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I was schlepping over to “The Compound” to visit our niece and nephew last Saturday. A scorching sun was handing me a shellacking but I had my trusty bottle of tubig (water)  with me. Along the way, near The Shirven Hotel, I encountered a Philippines road construction crew on our island province of Guimaras. The guys took a break to mug for the camera as they saw me taking photos of the new highway improvements being done in our area. Here’s a few members of the crew in the following photo, one of the workers pretending to bash in the heads of his fellow co-workers with a shovel. Talk about violence in the workplace!

construction crew in guimaras mugs for the camera



These are gangplanks being used for pedestrians to enter the local businesses from the road. New concrete sidewalks are being poured in some areas. Sidewalks are a rarity on our mango island province and will be especially helpful for the locals to navigate around town especially during this rainy season.



Check out some Filipino ingenuity. Here’s a bamboo pole, painted with black and yellow stripes, and set in a used Boysen brand paint bucket filled with concrete. These poles are used as barriers, along with concrete bags filled with dirt and rock, until the concrete is cured.


Also, in order to keep track of when each section of pavement is poured, along the way I have seen blocks of concrete, such as the one shown below, which note the location and date that particular segment of road was done.


the san miguel widening


I’ve seen a lot of dog tracks whose paw prints are embedded in the freshly laid concrete. Many of the road tracts have tarps covered over them once the concrete is poured but I guess there wasn’t enough tarp to go around in some localities.


dog tracks imbedded in road in guimaras


Of course, if you have dogs in the Philippines, you’re going to have chickens and roosters hanging out, too, as shown in the next shot. I haven’t seen any cow, carabao or goat prints yet but there’s still lots of road construction to be done.


chicken tracks on the new road in guimaras


Here’s another look at the construction crew in Guimaras as they mug for the camera. Despite temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius  these guys were upbeat and friendly.

construction crew in guimaras poses for pictures

But since I posted the wages the guys are earning on a previous article, 240 pesos a day, I have been informed by a reliable source that the majority of the workers are earning far less, only 150 pesos a day, 3.42 US Dollars!

I have been told that one of the engineers employed on the project is allegedly taking a cut from the wages each employee earns, thus reducing the daily wages of each crew member.


The workers, desperate for a job, are helpless to do anything and this engineer knows it. There are no labor unions or other organizations on Guimaras that can help them but I wonder how the Australian government, which is funding these road improvements, would feel about this injustice.

4 thoughts on “Philippines Road Construction Crew in Guimaras Mug for the Camera

  1. Too bad they cant go after the engineer with a shovel for stealing from them all, and they make so little to begin with.

    In the second picture. Do you know what the cinder block wall’s are for, is it for some sort of a underground storm sewer, since the side walk seem to be poured over top of them, and they wouldn’t need footers for a sidewalk,,,just wondering. I also have noticed in many pictures I have seen, they dont mortar the vertical joints between the blocks, when laying-up walls. It would substantially weaken the wall but was wandering if it might possibly be done to help in earthquakes, by making it easier for the wall to crack,again,,,just wandering about how things are done there.

  2. Common Knowledge and common practice I am afraid Dave. A buddy of mine is the owner of a mom/pop building supply place. Seems its common practice for a job foreman to “charge” for the privilege to work for him. One of the reasons we handled our own payroll. That and the propensity for the foreman to take disappear on his way to pay the guys. One of the reasons we handled our own payroll.

    I can’t help but notice the safety equipment lololol. Really funny when we got our building permits, one of them was from the Phil version of OSHA. Saying that we would either supply or ensure that all workers used PPE safety stuff…boots, hard hats all that stuff………..funny, our guys looked exactly like those in your pics lololol 🙂 .

  3. Dave,
    Things never change. As long as people except things like corruption, poor customer service, etc things will stay thesame. Like my American friend here who still does not have internet service that has been out since the typhoon on July 16th. They have the same excuse everytime he visits there office. He told them if he doesn’t have it by this week, they can just come and disconnect it.

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