Where Are Your Manners?
7 trivial but annoying habits of Filipinos
By Rolly Cerera
The Black Eyed Peas hit song “Where is the Love” may need a Filipino version – “Where are your Manners?” We often wonder how gruesome some of our countrymen can be at any given time and at any given place. What the heck is wrong with today’s people? I continuously ask myself the question almost everywhere I go.
As people clamor for change, peace, and prosperity, they unwittingly disregard the very foundation of manners. I listed down a few etiquettes most people find trivial but are otherwise annoying.
Cover your mouth when you cough. I can no longer recall who taught me this but it has inculcated deep enough in my memory that doing this deed is as natural as breathing.
Nevertheless, you would often see people coughing in public places like they do not have one slightest care in the world. I would like to highlight public transportation – in a cramped up space where you can barely breathe, a single spray of uncovered cough can actually contaminate the entire train car or the UV Express.
How can these people be so inconsiderate?
- Rainy days and your umbrella
Safe under the canopy of your handy umbrella you walk leisurely at a rate of 0.01 km/hr. Why rush when you’re protected from the rain? But have you ever thought about those few people who were unfortunate enough to be caught in the middle of the harsh downpour? Catching every breath trying to make his way through all the people under their umbrella just to get to the nearest shelter?
There are those as well who would barge right through a crowd with their umbrella fashionably held above their heads. They are the only ones with an umbrella and somehow feel gratified as the tips of the umbrella hit your head and worse, your eye.
- Two-way traffic
I remember explicitly at school where I was first taught about this most common etiquette. The signs on the wall of every staircase say: “Keep to your Right” – that’s right, stay on the rights side!
Wherever you go, you will see disobedient fools who would go against the flow. In the MRT stations, the corridors, aisles, and street pavements, you will see these people making their own way.
More disgusting than ever are those who walk in packs. I guess their animal instinct has gotten the better of them. Their primal instincts direct them to flock while walking not minding the other pedestrians. They will ignore you and talk loudly like they own the world.
- Signal lights
The signal lights on your vehicles are not exclusive for your co-motorists. They are designed to give a signal – a warning. If my calculations are correct, some motorist does not understand its meaning. Giving a signal while turning will not only alert other vehicles, it gives a sign to pedestrians crossing the street as well.
I encounter these idiots every day as I walk down one of the busiest business districts in Manila. They will take the curb at their pleasure so you have to be very attentive.
- The pedestrian lane
I heard a news wherein a blind man was actually able to get a freaking valid driver’s license. I wouldn’t be surprised at all – some motorist does not even respect the pedestrian lane. In a futile attempt to beat the red light, you will see these vehicles over a pedestrian lane – on numerous occasions.
Another classic instance is when these barbaric morons would not give way to pedestrians despite heavy traffic ahead. I just can’t grasp the logic – I mean, if you go ahead and do not let the people walk by, you will save one, the most two minutes. As you move for about four meters, however, you will be stuck for the next half hour.
Public utility vehicles are most notorious. They would load and unload anywhere their heart desires. Be it in the middle of the street, and of course, right over the pedestrian lane. Try to confront them and they will be the aggressors, common excuse – “we are trying to make a living.”
- “Actually, you know”
During my time down South, I find it ultimately pathetic for some people to speak in Filipino just to be recognized. You will hear them stuck at “ano” and “kasi” – the same premise is true in Manila, people are stuck at “actually” and “you know” – these attention seeking imbeciles want to showcase a sense of superiority through language.
How is this related to manners, you ask? Well for one, it is considered bullying to display superiority (if there is, in fact, any) and two, there is a term called incompetent communication. What most people fail to realize is that unless English is used as a language and not as a means to gratify social status, then we can never move forward as a nation.
- Loud mouth
Braving the traffic has integrated to our system and is as ubiquitous as adobo. We are so used to staying long hours inside a public transport that sleeping is the best option to waste the time away. If you do not have any data plans to catch Pokemons, sleeping is still the best.
There are these people, however, who would have their chit chat inside the vehicle like they are leisurely conversing inside their own house. They talk so loud your earphones cannot help. The worse part about this experience is you get to hear their rant and the lives of their officemates, neighbors, and who knows who. So you might as well forget about sleeping and disembark from your long commute tired feeling twice irritated.
These are all but a few assertions; there are a whole lot more that I have already drafted the second part of this article. These atrocities mirror the kind of society we live in. I bet that you too are guilty in one way or another. If we do really clamor for change in our country, then it’s best to start with ourselves.