London bus driver Josh West heads to Manila, the world's most densely populated city, where, with his host Rogelio Castro, he braves the chaos of the streets in a Jeepney.
Browse content similar to Bus Driver. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Three British workers. A bus driver, a midwife and a paramedic.
They've all accepted the challenge to do their job
under some of the most stressful and dangerous conditions on the planet.
That was a really, really horrible birth.
One satisfied customer, he got off and he's alive.
Look, he's even smiling.
How do you guys do this in these conditions?
Josh West is leaving his home and his job as a London bus driver
to work in Manila,
one of the most densely populated cities in the world.
This is not what I expected, put it like that.
He'll have to master driving a bus designed in the Second World War.
I wouldn't get in my bus yet, unless they've got balls of steel.
Along the way he'll meet people struggling in a city that's simply running out of space...
She's doing this and she's in pain and she's doing this.
..before taking his life in his hands on Manila's mean streets.
Anywhere they see a gap, they just go for it!
We are the veins of London and if we don't keep flowing,
supplying everybody with where they want to go, they are not going to get there.
It's a very important job.
Josh West is 39 and he's been driving the 148
bus through the heart of London for the past seven years.
I like the route a lot. It's nice big, wide roads
and you're going through the major areas of London.
It's enjoyable because you've got a sense of power,
responsibility, you're servicing the capital, if you like.
You're doing your bit to make it run smoothly
which means I play my part and I like the idea of that.
The downside, when you drive a bus, you tend to sit down a lot.
Grapevine, lets go, twisting those hips, keeping the body square with me.
'I did athletics, I did football, I played American football for a year, I did basketball.'
Get those knees up as high as you can.
'Keeping fit and training is an important part of my life.'
I like competing, I like competing against myself, setting myself a
challenge that I'm able to obtain and then set myself another challenge.
Three, two, one. Go.
Josh is about to face his greatest challenge when he swaps London for Manila.
'I've got luxury driving a bus over here.
'I've got power-assisted steering, I've got a team of mechanics behind
'me looking after the bus in case something goes wrong.'
This is my bus, and it's got 220 written on the side.
So you press the button on the bus and it makes some beeps and whirrs
and it tells me it's ready.
Josh's bus is a high-tech, state-of-the-art machine costing more than £315,000.
Wait for the checks to go through,
make sure it's in neutral
and I press the start button. First thing I should do is adjust
the seat so it's the right height for me and adjust the steering column
so I'm comfortable where it is now.
Plug in my module and then it starts downloading the information on there.
Check the ramp, press the button.
THUNDERBIRDS THEME TUNE
Every bus has a ramp
in London, so we can get disabled customers on as well.
We check that the CCTV is working now.
People don't realise how high-tech the buses are.
Check the monitor's working.
They are not just four wheels and a steering wheel, there's a lot more to it than that.
In fact there's six wheels instead of four.
For the next ten days, Josh will live the life of a Filipino bus driver.
I don't know how I'm going to react to it.
I know it's not going to be what I'm used to.
I'll be out of my comfort zone, that's for sure.
-They drive the other side of the road.
-Have you done that before?
-Yes, but not in a bus.
I suppose it is a whole different kettle of ball games.
-Not going to be easy.
To give him a proper send off, his family and his fiancee Lynn have arranged a surprise party.
'I love my family. It's a very large family.
'I work out to be number eight of ten.'
Josh is kind of looking for something bigger, I think, in his life.
This is an opportunity to open things up for him.
And we're going to have your nephew, Simon, to
say a prayer, you're going to need all the help you can get.
Father, we thank you for this gathering, we truly praise, bless and magnify your name.
I think it's going to make him think about him as an individual and the privilege he's
got back here in England. I think he'll embrace it.
'I know virtually nothing.'
I can tell you what I do know. I know that Imelda Marcos was President or
something like that and she had 200 pairs of shoes, I knew that.
After that, not very much.
I'm going to be flying by the seat of my pants.
Let's see how I go.
The Philippines, 6,500 miles from London.
Its capital is Manila.
It's thought to be the most densely populated city in the world.
Millions of cars, trucks and motorbikes all jostle
for space with seemingly little regard for any rules.
In the past 20 years, the population has doubled
as millions flock here from the countryside looking for work.
It is now officially one of the world's megacities.
20 million people call Greater Manila home.
And it's growing.
For the next ten days Josh will live here, San Andres Bukid,
a poor area in the heart of Manila.
He'll be staying with Rogelio Castro, a Filipino bus driver, and his family.
Hello, hello, how are you?
How are you? Sorry?
Yes, yes. How are you?
I'm Rogelio. Hello, Rogelio, I'm Josh.
Welcome to our house.
The ceiling's very tall, so it's good. I don't have to duck. It's OK.
We go upstairs.
Rogelio's house measures just ten feet by ten feet,
and is entirely self-built.
-This is our bedroom.
-so you roll the beds out at night?
-Where will I be sleeping?
-I will sleep in here?
-OK, this is cool.
No, it's hot, no air-con.
We have the window, it's OK.
We'll be fine, we'll be fine.
-This is our rooftop wash area.
-Oh, your washing area.
-This is... Drying the clothes, sometimes we drink here.
So all that's the financial area.
-We built this house little by little.
It's small, but you can build it as high as you want?
An estimated 50% of Manilans live in poor-quality housing.
When people in Rogelio's neighbourhood need more space,
they simply extend upwards using breeze blocks and corrugated iron.
He's proud of building his house himself, and I would be. I wouldn't know how to do it.
But in my head I'm thinking health and safety features of it.
How safe is this house?
Who comes and checks that your structure is OK?
They've just tacked stuff together over there. At least he's done a good job here.
Done a reasonably good job here, anyway.
Rogelio's going to take me to where he picks up his bus
and I'm interested to see what that looks like.
'It'll be very similar to what I have to do when I get to work in the mornings.'
So this is your neighbourhood?
Yes, this is our neighbourhood.
How you doing? You all right?
-Where are you from?
-London. England, yeah.
How you doing?
This is the main road now, yes?
Rogelio has left his bus at the end of the route.
To get through the traffic, they're taking a small tricycle across the city.
Do we sit in now?
I think that is better.
This will be his first taste of Manilan traffic.
In London, Josh walks to his bus garage. The journey takes five minutes.
This is madness, absolute madness.
Sitting side-saddle on a half-bike, half-tin-can.
They do what they want.
Just regular people stepping in the roads, stopping the traffic, that's
ridiculous! Imagine that on Hyde Park Corner, it's not going to happen.
This is not what I expected, put it like that.
If Josh is expecting anything like his double-decker bus, he's in for another surprise.
This is my bus, a little bus. This one, this little one.
It's like a big Jeep,
I thought it's going to be one like a coach sort of thing.
I didn't think it was going to be like this. What do you say?
Where's the rest of it?!
This is the jeepney.
There are 300,000 of these basic buses on the streets of Manila
carrying millions of passengers every day.
Today they are custom-built, but they owe their heritage to
a vehicle that was last seen on these roads some 70 years ago.
'The Jeep is here to stay.'
After decades of colonial rule, America left the Philippines at the end of the Second World War.
Their parting gift, thousands of ex-army Jeeps.
Grateful Filipinos converted these into trucks and buses and they've been on the streets ever since.
It's Josh's first chance to get a feel for the vehicle that he's
going to drive around the streets of Manila.
It's like being in the bumper cars at the fairground, really.
Your vision is just like... It's like looking through a letter box.
You feel nervous?
It's only you have this?
You don't see the stop light.
You must do this?
-This is the engine, it's too small.
-It's small, yes.
-Choke off the engine.
Cuts the engine?
Isn't that supposed to be a...
-it's a piece of string.
-You improvise, right.
'Rogelio is going to take me round and show me how he drives his bus.
'That will be an experience for me because I don't see how I can do that.'
It's beginning to dawn on Josh that driving the jeepney might not be as straightforward as he thought.
You've got clutch, brake, accelerator
-but no handbrake?
-Just shut off the engine and then take the low gear
so it cannot move.
He's driving literally that distance away from the car in front.
If he gives it anything more,
what you'll find is a car cuts in front, gets his nose in front
and then slows him down.
And his half-an-hour journey becomes 45 minutes.
There's no bus stops, where would your first stop be along here?
-They wave you?
-Do you pull over?
'He's constantly having to cope up with other people cutting in on him,
'bikes coming down the inside, horns beeping and getting the person there safely, as well.
'In a vehicle which is, which I consider to look unroadworthy.'
It just sounds ridiculous that you have to go through that.
It just sounds...
It's the end of Josh's first day and it's time for him to meet the whole family.
In total, eight people live in Rogelio's house.
His daughter Rose Gay lives with her son Russell.
And Rogelio's grown-up son Michael lives here with his wife and their daughter Janelle.
All eight people share three bedrooms.
This is delicious. I love this.
Neither of Rogelio's children have been able to find permanent work.
-Three this is my bus.
You can see how tall it is. Form the front to the back is about ten metres.
We have about 150 buses in there.
-It's too big garage.
-Yes, very big, it's the size of a football field.
This is me in the cab.
It's so fantastic. I want to come to your country to drive your bus.
That would be nice, wouldn't it?
It's Josh's first night in Rogelio's house and sleep is hard to come by.
This village, if you like, doesn't sleep, there's always noise outside.
From about three o'clock, you've had the cockerels crowing, motorbikes,
cars starting up, it's a bit surreal.
Everything's just upside down, backwards,
and...like Russian writing,
backward R's and stuff like that.
Aaagh! It's five o'clock in the morning.
An hour later, and Rogelio is beginning his working day.
He does it every other day if it's not raining.
If it's raining he does it every day.
He's his own mechanic, as well. He's doing far more than you'd ever do in London, that's for sure.
Many jeepney drivers rent their vehicles.
Rogelio owns his through a loan-to-buy scheme.
A third of his daily income goes towards repaying the debt.
This is the first opportunity for Josh to see what's expected of him
when it's his turn to drive the jeepney.
Rogelio doesn't have time to stop to take fares.
The more passengers he carries, the more money he can make.
Each passenger pays around eight pesos or five and a half pence for the four-mile journey.
Worked that out while he's doing all of this driving.
He's also wrapped the money around his left hand so he's got easy access
if someone comes with bigger notes and it's easier for him to change it.
The good thing is he doesn't take his eyes of the road, so he saw where he was going all of the time.
So that's the kind of thing that I've got to master as well.
Rogelio's route is a short trip across the centre of Manila.
He mainly carries office workers and students going to university.
But to earn enough money, he needs to make at least 12 journeys a day.
He's just called out what the largest stop is, which is Round Table.
There's no type of bell system here, you call when you want to stop and
you stick you hand out when you want him to stop as well. It's basic, but it works.
Rogelio sets his own schedule, including unexpected stops.
He's run out of gas, so what he's done is, in service, he's pulled over
and come into the petrol station and filled up.
He asked the passengers if it was OK to fill up
with diesel and they said yes, so it's very easy going here.
There'd be riots,
people would be climbing the walls in London,
complaining to Boris Johnson and everything.
Rogelio takes around 1,500 pesos in fares a day, but once he's deducted money for diesel and the repayment
on his jeepney, he usually takes home about 600 pesos, just over £8.
Rogelio's wife, Edith, shops every day at the market.
It's her job to make his income stretch to feed the eight people living in the house.
What does Rogelio prefer, what is his favourite food?
-Chicken, like me?
Everything Rogelio earns is spent on food and household essentials.
On the money that Rogelio brings home, how tough is it to survive?
-It is really difficult. If you want to buy other things,
you can't, because we don't have the money. Like my medicine.
In recent years, Edith's suffered three strokes and cannot work.
She should spend 300 pesos every day on medicine, but she can only afford to spend 200.
Isn't that dangerous for you to sacrifice your medicine?
Of course it's not OK, because I need it badly, but I
can't I do anything, because that's all the money we have, just for food.
It looks like they're living day to day.
They work as hard as they can to eat today and tomorrow the same and the next day they do the same.
There is no time where they can say, "I need a rest. I need to go on holiday, I'm tired."
If they don't work, they don't eat.
Tomorrow's another long day.
Hopefully I'll get a map of the city so I can see where I'm going,
cos at the moment he's doing so much,
picking up fares.
It's twisted, it's twisted.
I'm going to sleep, I'm tired.
How are you?
You sleep well last night?
Other than that, it was fine.
Today is another early start as Rogelio is using his jeepney to help a friend.
Millions of people in Manila live in sprawling slums made out of any discarded materials.
Rogelio and Edith used to live in similar conditions,
but with money from his jeepney they were able to build a better house.
Today he's taking his old neighbour, Elsie, to hospital for an appointment.
This is Elsie's place. This is Elsie. How are you doing, Elsie?
It's very low. I'll watch my head.
Her home is just six foot square.
It's built out of discarded wood and plastic sheeting.
It's small in here, isn't it?
I don't think you can realise quite how small it is in here. I'm a big guy, I'm over six foot,
but it's the size of a cupboard, literally the size of a cupboard, I can't stand up, no way I can.
Elsie, how many people live here?
-There's you and your husband and how many children?
13 children? There's 15 of you.
Large families with 12 or 13 children are quite common here.
To fit everyone in, her home has been divided into two floors.
Neither is high enough to stand up in.
So some of you sleep here and some of you sleep downstairs?
From what I understand,
they only have these two floors, but the third floor, somebody else lives there.
So their neighbour lives above them.
But even this room has been divided in two.
Elsie's sister and her family live in this part.
I wouldn't want to do this every day, that's for sure. Wow!
Elsie, you don't look very old, you look very young.
What age did you have your first child?
-I used to get pregnant twice in a year.
When one child was having a birthday I'd be giving birth to another one.
I didn't know anything about family planning before.
But now life is becoming really difficult so I've decided to give it a try.
In the Philippines, contraception is not provided for free
and few women in Elsie's situation can afford to pay for it.
We're taking Elsie to hospital and talk about family planning and see if she can get some help.
Which I think is a good thing.
She should have done it a while ago as far as I'm concerned.
I'm not living their life, they are.
The hospital is across the city.
Elsie could not usually afford to go by herself.
The family planning clinic is next to Manila's busiest maternity hospital.
Often four women share a bed.
In this ward alone, 100 babies are born every day.
It's nice to see a newborn baby -
first cry and the first little thing it does and that sort of stuff.
But when it leaves here, what does it go home to?
If it goes home to a life where it is living with
the type of person that lives in a house like that Elsie does.
What do you do?
In the Philippines, there is strong cultural opposition to contraception
from one of the biggest influences in the country, the Catholic church.
Children in Philippine culture are considered gift from God.
The more children you have, this may be considered a source of resource,
a source of help that God provided for you
to help you in your livelihood.
But in some women, despite being Catholics,
they set aside their religion and they more focus on the need
to be able to move on economically.
For 15 years, politicians have tried to pass a law allowing universal access to free contraception.
So far all attempts have failed.
80% of Filipinos attend Catholic mass regularly
and the church remains one of the bill's strongest opponents.
Supporters argue, without this Reproductive Health Bill,
the population will increase by 50% in just 30 years.
Unlike Elsie, Edith and Rogelio decided
to pay for family planning after the birth of their third child.
Why did you decide not to do
the way the Catholic religion ask you to do it?
-I know it's a sin against the church.
But rather than having a lot of kids who will die of hunger, I chose
to go ahead with contraception, even though I knew it's a sin and just asked for forgiveness.
Before Josh takes the wheel of the jeepney with paying customers,
Rogelio thinks he needs some proper lessons.
So he's brought him to Manila's top driving school.
Welcome, Mr Josh from London.
He will be attending also the lecture.
Do you know already your traffic lights?
-Yes, let's see, ah? A review on your traffic lights.
What is the meaning of yellow traffic light?
Ready to stop?
-I thought you know your traffic light. What is the meaning of yellow traffic light?
You must go faster, you cannot stop on top of the pedestrian line, it's obstruction in the road
and you will penalised for an amount of 500 pesos.
Let's watch this video.
The vehicles are already stopping but this one is beating
the red light, then the green light goes on, hit the pedestrian.
Who's at fault in this area?
What's the meaning of red? Stop.
There's a lot of shock factor in that, they're trying to scare people into doing the right thing.
I'm never going through a red light, that's what's going through my head.
I didn't need to see that video to be nervous about taking to the streets of Manila.
I've seen how they driven over the last couple of days.
It's totally different to what I'm used to.
It's now time for Josh's driving lesson to begin.
But the jeepney's got a problem.
Up until now I was relatively confident about the jeepney.
But now you know,
it let me down at the perfect time.
Rogelio's my good mechanic, he'll be able to sort something out.
Hopefully when I get driving it doesn't happen to me.
With the starter motor removed, Josh's lesson can begin,
with a push start.
I'm very sorry for you.
It's OK, seriously don't worry, seriously don't worry.
Pull the old shorts up. D-Day is finally here.
Can you not sit sideways?
Yes, I can but my legs are very long you see so I have to...
-Sit like this.
So you can reach your clutch pedal.
Release your clutch.
Push the clutch. Push, push, push.
You have to push the clutch and the brakes first.
Anyone would think I've never driven a car before.
Now we will try and move the vehicle first.
You have to push the clutch again.
Push the clutch. Push, push, push. You cannot let go the clutch.
You cannot let go.
Release the clutch.
-Despite Rogelio's confidence, Josh is finding driving the jeepney tough.
-Wait, wait, wait, now.
It's a world away from the state of the art bus he's used to in London.
At the moment I can't do it, at the moment no.
I wouldn't be able to do it. I wouldn't trust myself to do it.
That was an experience.
It's more than an experience, I've never, ever driven like that bad before in my life.
-I swear. I put my hand on my heart.
-You really know how to drive?
While driving this vehicle it's always jerking.
I know, I know. If you see the vehicle I drive in England, it's three times the size of this.
-Is it automatic.
-Yes, it's automatic, but it's smooth.
That's why there's a problem here.
-This is manual.
-Yeah. I'm getting the hang of the clutch.
Josh, I think, is having a hard time driving this
He cannot drive this vehicle alone.
I've got to put some practice in, that's for sure.
There's no way I trust myself out there, especially with Rogelio's jeepney.
It's too precious for me to take it out there and do something wrong.
The thing that I'm worried about is if I'm not able
to get to the standard I need to be at the end of the week,
because I don't like failure, so coming in second place
would mean that to me, and that would be second place for me.
If Josh is to drive Rogelio's jeepney, he's going to have to confront the busy Manilan traffic.
After some more practice, the instructor thinks there is no choice
but to see if Josh can cope on the roads.
Do you want to go out? Really? Are you sure you trust me?
Let's see how we go, let's see how we go.
Unfortunately, now he's about to hit the rush hour.
With nearly six million vehicles in the city it's little wonder the rush hours is horrendous.
Drivers in Manila spend on average 1,000 hours a year stuck in traffic jams.
Everywhere, it's like ants. They're like, you know...
Just move in. Anywhere they see a gap they just go for.
Doesn't matter if they're indicating left or right, if they see a gap, there they go.
That was the scariest I've ever done.
I thought I was a going to lose my life. It was that bad.
The swerving... It was...
Thinking back on it now, I'm even more shaken now than I was then.
I don't know.
I don't know how I got through it but I did.
Not making much sense now, best time to go to bed.
The next day Josh can't practise.
Rogelio's jeepney has to be off the road.
In an attempt to curb the growing traffic problem,
each vehicle is banned from the roads for one day a week.
Anyone caught driving faces a heavy fine.
Sometimes, when Rogelio can't drive, he takes his two grandchildren to the mall to go shopping.
-It's a big bike.
-In the Philippines, the gulf between rich and poor is huge.
There's no economic safety net for those who are sick or cannot work.
Look at your handsome husband.
A third of the population live on less than 80 pence a day.
Rogelio and Edith hoped their own children could have
got to university to lift themselves out of poverty.
It didn't happen.
One, two, three...
Now they have the same hopes for their grandchildren.
This is a treat for the grandchildren?
-Yeah? Do they ever ask you to go to Jollibees? Yeah?
-Fry it at home.
Rogelio wants to get his grandchildren a better education.
The school he'd like to send them to costs £300 a year...
way beyond his means.
TRANSLATION: I will do what I can so I can send Russell to a good school
so he doesn't fall into the same situation as my children.
You work so hard.
If I was born here, I'd be in the same position you're in.
That's what makes it tough for me.
It's just by pure chance that I was born where I'm born.
Perhaps, we both have the same jobs and we're both human beings on this earth.
Why is it that there are rich people and why is it there are poor people?
It doesn't seem fair.
I put everything into my work.
All of my strength goes into my work.
But no matter how hard I try, my life just doesn't get any better.
I'm stuck here.
If I could, I'd work 24 hours a day to get out of this.
But I know I still wouldn't.
Yeah, you keep fighting.
-And this is...
All of this in here is 25 cents. It's not mixed.
No, not mixed. They pay, you change just like this.
-Right, without looking.
Because it's all separate. Yeah.
Before he can be a Manilan jeepney driver, Josh needs to understand the money.
If they started at the beginning of the service, I'd give them two pesos, 50 cents.
No, no, one peso and 50 cents.
Nine, ten. OK, one peso, 50 cents.
I don't want to give them too much. OK, that's cool.
If I take what I do and what Rogelio does, his job is far harder than I do, for far less reward.
Yes, we both do the same job in the sense we're transport people,
but if I drove my bus for a whole day and didn't pick up a single passenger, I'd still have my money.
If I drove for an hour,
I'd get more money than Rogelio does working the whole day.
Driving, driving... Just get the two pesos and three pesos.
You look at the...
-Look in the mirror..
-And give to the passenger.
Rogelio wants Josh to spend the day being his conductor as well as learning the route.
OK, first one coming on.
So it's... I've realised that when I'm doing
the coins I'm taking my eyes of the road. That's what I'm worried about.
I don't mind getting flustered but I can't when I start driving.
I'm used to stopping and taking fares.
I don't drive and take fares normally.
It's quite an important part of the job.
If the passenger doesn't pay, the money goes directly out of Rogelio's pocket.
I reckon we took about 100 pesos, would you say, in total.
Rogelio needs to carry 200 passengers every day to make enough money.
Rogelio, like millions of other Filipinos, came to Manila in search of a better life.
Today he's showing Josh the area he grew up in, 200 miles to the north of the city.
Rogelio only gets to visit his mother once a year.
All of his brothers, sisters and cousins have come out to see him.
-How you doing? How you doing?
You OK? There's a lot of people here.
A lot of people, a lot of names.
This is the like the size of my mum, my mum is the same height like this.
She's small. My mother's about the same height. We're like this.
-Oh, your best friend.
Today there are few jobs in the countryside.
Those workers who've stayed survive as rice farmers or fishermen.
Rogelio used to fish on this beach as a boy. Many of the men here today he grew up with.
No, not for me.
Making a living here is tough.
If you get a big catch what's the maximum money you can make?
TRANSLATION: A big catch would be around 20 kilos and that would sell for around 1,000 pesos.
But for poorer fishermen like me, we don't have money to buy our nets, so we catch very little.
When I look out here it's absolutely beautiful.
I find it really amazing that
people want to leave this and go and live in a very tight community.
That's because when I was little, if they said Manila, it meant a lot of jobs.
You'd get rich, and as long as you're hardworking, you'll get rich.
But with me, I worked and worked.
I thought I'd get rich, but there was nothing.
But, I still want to come home here to the province because here, however it is, you can breathe freely.
I hope you do come back here
and live, because I'd love to come visit you.
I think when I have kids I'll bring my kids here as well.
We'll all have a barbecue and eat prawns and...
-You will come?
-Yeah, we will come, we will come. We will definitely come.
He says to me he loves it here. He finds it
peaceful and he doesn't want to go back to Manila.
So simple answer would be stay here, if you love it that much,
but the problem being is there's no work.
There's no industry here, there's nothing he can do here.
This is upsetting.
He works 12 hours a day to live in a box
with eight other people cos he loves his wife and he loves his family.
He can't afford to live in a place which is better for him.
But a man that works that hard shouldn't have to.
He shouldn't have to work that hard
for the little bit that he's got.
Back in Manila, and Josh is still not confident he can drive the jeepney.
Ah, horsey, horsey.
'When I relax a little bit too much and don't concentrate, that's when it doesn't go smoothly.
'If I saw someone driving like I am at the moment, I'd say it's an accident waiting to happen.'
Change gear, third.
Oh! Sorry guys.
My legs are tired.
My ankles are tired, my legs are tired.
-My bum is sore.
-It's 12 hours...
-12, I know.
-Almost every day.
Every day for 12 hours.
You more...just need more practice.
My passenger is scared... JOSH LAUGHS
..because the...the jeepney is like a horse.
If I saw me driving this bus I wouldn't get on my bus just yet.
Unless they've got balls of steel, then I wouldn't get on this bus.
Many of the millions of Filipinos who migrate
from the country to Manila end up in the city's huge slums.
It's a journey Rogelio made himself many years ago.
Josh has come to Tondo, home to 90,000 people per square kilometre,
one of the most densely populated places on earth.
People here have been forced to extraordinary lengths just to survive.
This is rubbish scavenged from the bins of fast-food restaurants.
They're going through the different cartons and stuff,
and emptying out in all the bowls, out of the bags, into pots.
This is food that someone else has already eaten.
The smell is horrible, bad.
You just gets wafts of rotting food, and like...
..there's a dog going into the bowl now,
and nicked a piece of chicken out of the bowl.
This isn't just people hunting for food. This is a business.
It's called pagpag, meals from food that has been thrown out.
It is chopped, washed and re-cooked...
..and it's a huge seller.
Does it taste good? Do you enjoy it?
TRANSLATION: I eat pagpag because it's delicious and it's cheap.
I could eat other foods but this is what I really like.
A bowl of pagpag sells for about five pence.
For many of the people living here in Tondo, this is likely to be their only meal of the day.
It's probably one of the worst experiences I've seen in my life.
So, you're the chef? You make pagpag?
TRANSLATION: I do everything, not just cooking.
I do the collecting, I do the sorting, I do the chopping.
I have to go around at midnight on the bike looking for pagpag.
I'm only paid 70 pesos a day for doing this.
I live a very hard life.
If you see my husband, he's very ill, he can't work, he's paralysed.
I don't have any money for my husband's medicine.
With my 70 pesos, all I can buy is rice.
We were evicted from our house.
Now we live next an open sewer.
This is...this keeps her alive.
She's doing this and she's in pain as she's doing it.
'Tomorrow is my big day.
'Tomorrow I go out and drive his bus, his jeepney.'
You hold this one.
Josh and Rogelio are going through the route one more time.
Now these roundabouts, when I approach the roundabout,
I need to stay on my right, so I could take this first exit, can't I?
'Rogelio's job is twice as hard as mine in London for what he has to do.
'He's the conductor, he is the driver, he's the engineer.'
Oh, so we go here...
-and then down, yeah?
That one is...
I've struggled with this bus.
This bus is...is tough to drive.
It rattles, it bumps, it moves where it wants to move,
and that sort of stuff.
Um, good luck, Josh, you're going to need it.
Oh, my God, I'm shitting myself.
It's Josh's final day.
He's going to drive Rogelio's jeepney solo, with passengers across Manila, during the rush hour.
I'm still unsure of the route, I'm still unsure of my driving skills,
I'm still unsure of being able to do it completely.
Um, so it's going to be really difficult.
Check the oil first, yeah?
This is his livelihood, it's his family's livelihood,
so there's a lot more people counting on this jeepney getting out and making money.
If I do something to his jeepney that prevents him doing it,
I don't think I can live with myself. I'd be heartbroken.
The jeepney has remained largely unchanged in 70 years,
since American GIs drove them around these streets.
Today Josh West from London will be taking the wheel as a jeepney driver.
To succeed he has to remember all the different fares,
handle the change, follow the route and cope with the jeepney's temperamental gearbox.
Got to get my money ready.
So I have...60 pesos.
I'm on my final solo run. I'm going all the way to the south pier.
Not looking forward to this one.
At the first stop, there are passengers waiting.
OK, first ones.
They have no idea that Josh is in fact a London bus driver,
who ten days ago, had never seen a jeepney, let alone driven one.
Let's see if I, um...let's see if I have to ask them for the money or they give it to me.
She's given me seven pesos.
God, you'd think it's like a racetrack, the way he wanted me to get off that line.
Where you going to go? 300 yards. Not even that. 150 yards.
My heart's pounding a lot faster and there's a lot of adrenaline
and I'm getting the sweaty hands thing as well, so...
I think every time I stop and get the opportunity to get the sweat out of my eyes I'm going to do it.
How you doing?
He didn't want a lift.
He just wanted to look at the odd-looking Filipino driver.
How many? One?
-He's handed a big note...
Now he has to juggle driving whilst finding the correct change.
So, I should give him 43 change. A minimum fare is seven.
So I've got 40 and then I got the three and hand those back.
Hopefully I've done that right.
At the end of the route, Rogelio is waiting for Josh and the safe return of his jeepney.
But Josh has got a problem.
I don't know where I'm supposed to go.
I'm going straight, aren't I? I'm in the wrong lane.
Am I sure I'm going straight?
Luckily his passengers seem to know the route better than he does.
I'm in the wrong lane.
It means crossing four lanes of traffic in Manila's rush hour.
Well, they're still alive and no one's broken into a sweat.
This is Round Table.
-Just a minute. Dude, please.
One thing or the other, mate.
Look at that. One satisfied customer.
He's got off and he's alive. Look, he's even smiling.
But after a bumpy start, Josh seems to be back on track.
Well, that went reasonably well.
Got to stop crunching those gears. I'm going to mess up the man's vehicle.
When I see how well he does it,
and then I do it,
I'm nowhere near that level.
I'm learning. Every time I push my foot on a pedal I'm learning something new.
Not far to go.
Ah, he's coming.
There he is! Ha-ha!
JOSH CONTINUES TO LAUGH
Last stop, ladies and gentlemen.
Thank you for joining. You're welcome.
How was that, eh?
You're a good driver.
'It started to click after a while and I kept hearing Rogelio's voice in my ear.'
A sense of accomplishment is there, that's for sure.
It's the end of Josh's trip.
In ten days, he's gone from being a London bus driver,
to driving a jeepney through the congested streets of Manila.
And during his time, he's seen and experienced some of the problems
faced by millions of people living in one of the most overcrowded cities in the world.
How are you doing, darling? I'm about ready to go, guys.
I'd just like to say thank you for looking after me so well and showing me around Manila.
It's been a pleasure to know you two.
-You've been great hosts.
TRANSLATION: We're both very, very happy that you came into our lives,
despite the short time you were here.
You now have become family. You are now my brother.
'There's a definite friendship, or bond I've made, and I'm going to miss that the most.'
Bye, Janelle. Bye-bye.
'I think we have similar ideals on life,
'it's strange I've only met him for a short space of time,
'and I've got a level of trust with him that I only have
with my best friend, and that bond won't be broken.'
We started off as strangers, became friends, and ended up as brothers.
It's as simple as that.
Back in London, and Josh is once again behind the wheel of the 148.
Driving now in London is so easy. I can do it almost blindfolded.
I don't, but I could do.
But Josh is determined to do something to help Rogelio and his family.
Six and final lap, speed lap, finish at me, please, finish at me.
'People I go to boot camp with have already said that they want to do a sponsored 10K,
'probably done round the local area, and people can donate to it'
and send the money over to Rogelio and that sort of stuff,
so that he can help get Janelle and Russell through school.
I didn't know the depth of how crowded it's going to be,
the depth of poverty there's going to be,
I didn't think people were treated so unjustly.
But you hear about it, but you never realise it until you see it yourself.
So when I saw it, it rocked my foundations, basically.
Next time, a British midwife goes to Liberia in West Africa.
This is so different to the hospitals at home.
She'll get to grips with the local culture and cuisine...
This is dry fish.
..and discover the harsh realities of child birth in one of the world's poorest countries.
I really don't want to experience that again. That was awful.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd.
E-mail [email protected]
In the second programme in the series where British workers accept the challenge to do their jobs in some of the toughest conditions in the world, London bus driver Josh West heads to Manila, the capital of the Philippines and the most densely populated city on Earth. Josh will be driving a Jeepney, a colourfully decorated, adapted jeep which has no power steering, dodgy lights and an uncomfortable seat. His host is Rogelio Castro and together they brave the chaos of the streets. It's a hair-raising and often hilarious ride, but Josh also learns about the incredible over-crowding and devastating poverty of Manila. He forms a strong bond with Rogelio and is moved by the daily struggle of an ordinary Filipino working to feed his family. It's an emotional roller coaster and Josh returns a changed man, aware that all the separates his life from Rogelio's is the country he happened to be born in.