Joshua West – London Bus Driver
Toughest Place to Be a Bus Driver
Two years ago, London bus driver Josh West spent a memorable fortnight on the chaotic streets of Manila in the Philippines learning how to drive a `jeepney’ – an adapted Jeep with no power steering, dodgy lights and an uncomfortable seat.
Josh West is a London Bus Driver who starred in the BBC’s “The Toughest Place To Be A… Bus Driver” documentary where he went out to Manila to learn what it was like to be a bus driver (in this case a Jeepney) out in the Philippines.
During his time there he lived with the usual owner & driver of the Jeepney that he would drive – Rogelio Castro. Living with Rogelio and his family he discovered the similarities between them both, they share the same values and believe in working hard, caring for their families and behaving responsibly. And they both earn a living driving members of the public around their country’s capital city. But though they have similar jobs, Josh discovered that their lives were incredibly different…
He saw just how hard life is for Rogelio, his family and everyone in the slums. He learned about things like the terrible truth behind ‘pagpag’ – the meal that so many people in the slums survive on.
He also learned about how hard and desperate Rogelio is to help his family escape the life they have now. He learned that Rogelio works himself so hard because he wants to save up the equivalent of a few hundred pounds to pay for his grandchildren’s education so that they have the opportunity to escape the slums one day.
He grew close to Rogelio and travelled with him to see where he grew up – a picturesque paradise where his father was a fisherman, a place Rogelio would not have left if economic conditions hadn’t forced him to leave for the slums to earn enough to feed his family.
This whole experience changed Josh’s life and in March 2013 he returned to Manila to re-visit his Filipino family and to raise funds through danceaid for disadvantaged children in one of the world’s poorest cities.
You can also read about some of the articles written in response to the original show and see how the documentaries influenced and changed other people too;
YOU can change things for the people of Manila today – Donate to Manila’s street online (by clicking the donate button to the right of this page), by text, or you can take a child off of the dangerous streets of Manila by sponsoring a child just 50p a day. Please do what you can to transform a life of poverty and suffering, to smiles and opportunity. Thank you