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Dancing Santa lifts mood in jams

[ 2011-12-12 16:50]     字号 [] [] []  
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Thousands of traffic enforcers struggle grimly to keep the Philippine capital's notoriously gridlocked roads moving every day, but Ramiro Hinojas does it with a smile and a little help from Michael Jackson.

Rain or shine, seven days a week, the diminutive 55-year-old stands in the middle of one of Manila's major intersections, and to the cacophony of roaring engines, puts on an elaborate dance show as he deftly guides traffic flow.

The struts and footwork may have been copied from the King of Pop, Hinojas' deceased US idol, but the flare and passion by which he mixes them with hand signals to direct amused motorists are uniquely his own.

His sleek moves have made him a minor celebrity and a champion for the country's lowly paid traffic force that is faced with the impossible task of trying to keep roads flowing freely.

"It gives me joy to see people happy while they're stuck in traffic, because I know how the rush hour can make anyone crazy," Hinojas said in between breaks at the main junction in Manila's Macapagal Boulevard.

The father of three has been adding even more spice to his routine this month, dressing up in a Santa Claus outfit to help motorists cruise into the Christmas season.

One of 16 children from an impoverished family in the central Philippines, Hinojas came to live in the chaotic slums of Manila as a boy.

He found his calling as a traffic enforcer about a decade ago when he was laid off from his previous job as a security guard.

Hinojas said he decided to introduce the dance routines in an effort to get motorists to take notice and follow his instructions.

(中国日报网英语点津 Rosy 编辑)

Dancing Santa lifts mood in jams

About the broadcaster:

Dancing Santa lifts mood in jams

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.