1. ABUNDANCE OF STREET VENDORS
There are a lot of street vendors you will encounter--water, newspaper, trapo (a circle formed small cloth), candy and cigarette vendors. They will fearlessly walk into the center of the road and under the heat of the sun just to sell and earn money. It is so risky, but they are used to it, and they are doing it to support the needs of their family. You will not be bothered by their presence because you will surely see them smiling, enjoying, and loving their job. Sometimes you see them go from one street to another. It shows how far filipinos will go to care for their loved ones.
Poverty is a very big issue here in the Philippines."Manlilimos" (beggars) are not allowed in the streets, but there are still people who will beg for money and food, especially from foreign people.
2. AND THEN THERE'S THE SIDEWALK VENDORS
You can see them selling food, fruits, kakanin (native food), pasalubongs (filipino delicacies), accesories and clothes. The "pungko-pungko" is a stall placed on the sidewalk and sells food like ginabot (deep-fried pork innards), ngohiong, bola-bola (meat balls), fried chicken, as well as chorizo and paired with puso (hanging rice) and a sauce that has vinegar and sliced onions. Also, the "mani" or peanut and "banana que" (fried banana) are available on the sidewalk. You will see a lot of these vendors everywhere. Some vendors also have multiple products. They sell different kind of fruits (it depends on fruit's harvesting time), and they also sell some pasalubong like dried mangoes, otap, pili tart, yema cake, chocolate-covered-polvoron, peanut-kisses and many more. People go to the sidewalk venders for clothes and accessories because it is cheap. These stores are called "Ukay-Ukayan". People patiently search for and 'ukay' (find) nice clothes that fit them. You can really say that filipinos will do any kind of job, as long as it is legal and can make money.
3. FOOD ON BICYCLES
If you are fond of street food, you will surely like the Philippines. There are bicyclists you can find in the streets that sell hotdogs, fried chicken, isaw (intestines), fishballs, tempura (food, made by covering small pieces of fish or vegetables in batter and frying them), kwek-kwek (traditionally made with quail eggs, while Tokneneng is made with chicken eggs) and much more. But don't be fixed on the idea of whether the food is clean or not, because trust me, it is delicious and worth it. Furthermore, the food that we call tatak pinoy (filipino branding) which we are proud to have, is the BALUT (is a developing bird embryo (usually a duck) that is boiled and eaten from the shell). Every tourist should try this food,. Sadly, I don't like balut so I don't eat it, but others love it, so maybe you will too.
4. PRESENCE OF TRASH
Since a lot of filipinos make their money by selling, they are not concerned so much about the trash on the street. You may see trash anywhere because the trash bins are not visible enough to the eyes of the people for them to think about using them. There is also inconsistency in collecting the trash, besides the lack of discipline by the filipinos. Don't be shocked if you happen to see people throwing their garbage on the ground without any hesitation, because they aren't concerned about the environment, and they don't seem to be aware of the consequences of their actions. But I believe that the bad things you do to the earth has far-reaching consequences.
5. JEEPNEY: RUN FOR YOUR LIFE
Not all of us own a car that will be used every day, so we have to commute and ride a jeepney (bus). You can see a lot of jeepneys in the street, more than private-owned cars. It might not be normal for others, but for filipinos, it is. The cheapest way to reach home is by riding on a jeepney. It is also safe. The drivers have seminars to teach them before they can operate or drive one. Don't be confused about the numbers and letters written in the body of the jeepney because each one has a specific area or destination. Also, when it is rush hour, expect the run of your life. I mean, you have to run and compete with the other commuters just to have your space in the jeepney. Can you imagine how we survive on it? All kidding aside, it's fun. You should try it.
6. CUTE TRICYCLES AND TRISYCAD
You may also see these kinds of vehicles. They are only found in the villages, sub-divisions and compounds; also you can find these in provinces or small towns. "Tricycle" is the vehicle with three wheels that is motorized, while the trisycad (or pedicab) also has three wheels but it is a bicycle attached to a sidecar.
7. THE WHITE TAXIS
In the street, you will also notice taxis roaming around. Yes, taxis are available here in the Philippines. It can be comfortable riding in one, but some find it expensive. It can become more costly than you expect, because when you ride in a taxi with the meter running, you could become stuck in traffic. There is a great possibility that you will pay more than what you planned. Some of the taxi drivers will talk with you, though, and they can be pretty entertaining.
8. THE STREET BEGGARS
You will see them and sometimes you'll be annoyed by them. Poverty is a very big issue here in the Philippines."Manlilimos" (beggars) are not allowed in the streets, but there are still people who will beg for money and food, especially from foreign people. You may see beggars who look healthy but have a dangerous look to them, or you may see some with physical or mental disabilities. There's no one to support them and they think that begging is the only way to survive in this world.
9. TALENTED KIDS ON STREET
I am sure you are wondering why kids are on the streets instead of going to school. Well, their families can't support them to even let them go to school, again, because of 'poverty'. You can see children in the streets using the big cans of milk as their drums just to make music and dance with it. Some are talented in singing, but their lyrics are not right because they weren't able to learn how to read. They do it to earn money and to buy food for their family. Yes, there is a child labor law, but some kids want or need to help their parents, just to survive. They already enjoy being in the streets, and don't care how important and fun it is to go to school and learn.
10. THE BAD PEOPLE ON STREET
Don't forget that since poverty is present in this country, you will find crime here. On the streets you can find pickpockets, snatchers, scammers and drug addicts. Yes, they are real and they don't choose their victims. It will be based on their interest. So, if you want to have a safe and happy tour of the streets, never bring a lot of money, jewelry and gadgets. On a positive side, situations and people like this are already under control of the government. It is good that there is an improvement on how the government addresses these kind of things in our country. Always remember that wherever you go or travel, never forget to prioritize your safety.