ANGELA: When I was a little girl, I used to think that the Chinese built the roads in America—someone must have told me the Chinese built the railroads and I guess I got confused. When the Chinese workers finished paving the road, they’d write “PED XING” on it in big white letters, in honor of who I assumed was their emperor or something: “Ped Ching.” (Source: Urbandictionary.com)
A lot of Filipinos have a penchant for shortcuts and acronyms and oftentimes infused with humor. Look at the way we communicate Filipino style—text, chat, email using shortcuts to save time. I do sometimes find it hard to decipher some texts received from my nieces or nephews, especially, the Jejemon ones.
Anyway, a few years back, while in a race along Roxas Boulevard, Manila, I saw a lot of signs with the name Ped Xing on them. Seriously, it made me think who is Ped Xing? What was his contribution to Philippine history? Well, pardon my naiveté; I couldn’t remember seeing Ped Xing in my home city, you know.
(Ped Xing photo courtesy of US based Rachel)
I’ve totally forgotten about this until a few days ago when a runner friend, whose family is in the US now, reminded me through an e-mail she sent me of the somewhat funny story which I’ve told them. According to her (Rachel aka Eichbar), we were in their car and upon passing a road sign; I pointed Ped Xing and told them that I thought it was some sort of homage to a person named Ped Xing, wondering what kind of contribution Ped Xing did to the Philippines because of the many signs. Rachel’s recent e-mail made me really laugh when she told me that Ped Xing’s contribution is not limited to Asia since she also saw Ped Xing in the US. Ha-ha!
But who really is Ped Xing? Ped Xing simply means pedestrian crossing. You’ll find Ped Xing street sign every time you cross streets. According to an online dictionary, Ped Xing is not one of the names of Chinese historical figures.
To my relief, I was not the only one who thinks the same way.
Whoever invented or coined this Ped Xing abbreviation, I should congratulate him/her for his/her ingenuity.
So the next time you cross the streets while on the run—as you stop, look, and listen— don’t be surprised to see Ped Xing street sign.