Robert Carabuena versus the MMDA: Who’s gonna win?

What is it about guys and their cars? The moment guys get behind the wheel, they turn into Mr Hyde. What I thought were mild-mannered Clark Kent types suddenly start acting like they are flying down EDSA (whenever they could) wearing a blue suit, red boots, and a cape. What’s up with that? It’s not as if the average Pinoy motorist is any more special than the other idiot on the other lane driving what is likely to be the same make of Japanese economy car and paying off the same exhorbitant car loan.

Maybe cars have become such comfy cocoons designed to nurture the fragile Pinoy ego even as it frays in the midst of that great equalizer that reminds the biggest among us that none of us is really that special in the scheme of things — Manila’s infernal traffic. Yet I speak too soon. It seems some of us harbor the delusion of our special specialness. Like this guy…

[Photo courtesy]

Robert Blair Carabuena — supposedly an Atenista and “experienced recruitment executive” extraordinaire. The guy allegedly mauled a traffic officer of the MMDA.

What makes the man tick? Luckily I needn’t go too far for an answer. GRP blogger Ilda pretty much answered that question some time ago in her article Filipinos need to work on their ego. I liked this particular passage because I could easily relate with it:

There seems to be something wrong with a psyche that makes us so vulnerable to getting upset or offended so easily. Most Filipinos get offended so easily from a perceived indiscretion and are often unable to move on to something bigger or higher than such trivial pursuits. We tend to be consumed with words that should mean nothing to us if they were untrue. This demonstrates a real sign of having an unhealthy ego and insecurity. As someone aptly put it, Filipinos can be onion skinned cry-babies.

And this too…

We place too much value on how other people see us and how our actions are perceived. Filipino culture is averse to being direct to the point. We hate it when someone is totally frank. We tend to contradict ourselves when we project our coyness and at the same time, try so hard to read between the lines and end up failing at this miserably. This is evident in the way most Filipinos offer food to someone as a show of graciousness. Accepting the offer or rejecting the offer of food can mean two things to most Filipinos. If a person rejects the food being offered, a Filipino will tend to think that he or she was snubbed. Often times, the recipient is actually forced to accept the food even if she doesn’t want it. If the food was accepted, the person who offered the food might then actually think that the recipient was greedy.

Atenista pa naman. I’ve dated a lot of Atenistas and they’re pretty ok. Maybe this guy is not a real Atenista. Real Atenistas, if I recall, wear old frayed t-shirts, smelly jeans, and will not be caught dead looking at himself in the mirror for more than a couple of seconds (though I know they do in private!). This guy Carabuena looks like one of those self-anointed “Atenistas” by virtue of having spent four years studying at the Ateneo College. I could be mistaken of course as I don’t have all the facts. But here is my biased take: real Atenistas spent twelve years at the Ateneo: from Prep to Grade 7 then up to fourth year high school. You can’t simply buy the distinction of being a true Katipunero guys. 😉

But I digress. The real point here is that between Carabuena and the MMDA guy, I’d root for the MMDA guy. Let me clarify first though that I’m not a big fan of MMDA traffic enforcers by any stretch of the imagination. I think a lot of them are not any more further evolved than our Atenista wannabe pal. But the thing with traffic enforcers is that they represent the Law. Being as such, they represent something a bit more civilized than the Pinoy male ego or some Jesuit school that presumes to educate “the best” of them. And recognizing that, it comes down to another thing I learned from ate Ilda, that Filipinos cannot progress if they cannot follow even simple guidelines. This excerpt sums it up:

There is very little evidence that Filipinos are capable of living by the “rule of law”. The society is quite extraordinary in the sense that simple rules and regulations whether on the road or in the work place are for the most part ignored. This is because each individual has this baseless sense of being more important than everybody else. It is why you see people cutting you off on highway lanes on the road or pushing their way in lines ahead of the rest in a queue. In other words, Filipinos in general tend to put their own interest first before other people.

And that is why guys like Robert Blair Carabuena do what they do.


Post Author: Kate Natividad

Frustrated artist doing geek for a living.

Leave a Reply

87 Comments on "Robert Carabuena versus the MMDA: Who’s gonna win?"

Notify of
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted

good post as always! I totally agree on the excerpts you put from Ilda.

I always read antipinoy before (esp last national elections) your site related to ap?

Amy Lee

Mayabang ang mga pinoy. The biggest ego inside the smallest… err, thinnest skin. OVERCOMPENSATING 24/7. KSP na KIA pa.


Is he connected to PLDT? kc before i had a problem in PLDT and was able to talk to an arrogant, unreasonable, so mayabang and nakakasumpang kausap na tao by the name of Robert Carabuena….wala di naman nia nagawan ng paraan ang problema…Nagyabang lang siya at muntik pa akong magka HB.

Ron Tan

Bea, the one you’ve talked to is a Robert Brian Carabuena (Big Bad Barney’s brother) who not only is mayabang, arrogant and unreasonable as you have described but is also a swindler.


brother nya un un asa pldt. his name is ROBERT BRIAN CARABUENA, asa SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS PHILS CORP sya ngyon.. ganun lang talaga siguro ang lahi na mga kup*l na mga yan,

Typical Pinoy motorist…Almost all Pinoy motorista act like this. Put them behind the wheel and they are ticking time bombs. I think it has something to do with the Pinoy “I am better than you”. Being an old motorist myself, I had my share of this kind of Pinoy attitude and has been one at least once. You are right about the “cocoon” thing but what about those increasing number of scooters. Now this guys with engines between their legs are the worst ever. I think LTO should do something about the spiralling downward of motorist discipline. If I may… Read more »

Stories and pictures have been shared about this “Pinoy” attitude and now we have a good video showing it. People will react to it but they’ll just shrug it off soon saying it’s normal and they’ll not think about themselves. Ugaling Pinoy.

What’s good about this is that it’s been captured by the media and I hope it gains traction to the point of Mr. Carabuena gets what’s coming to him.


A fat fuck in a violet shirt

Amir Al Bahr

Doesn’t that remind you of Grimace, the McDonald’s mascot?


now that you mention it, he does!

Matthew Parkes
Recruitment executive? Isn’t that what you call a criminal who works in HR and demands bribes from those he interviews in exchange for a promise to be put on the shortlist? Seriously, if BS wasn’t seriously intellectually handicapped he would be pursuing this waste of space with more vigour than he used in the persecution of Corona. After all, the problem in this country was not Corona but the fact that the average Filipino is fundamentally dishonest and corrupt in every area of normal life. No wonder the politicians are such kleptocrats when Filipinos are utterly incapable of doing the… Read more »

Right the president of a country has got the time to waste on a motorista…sure,he’ll get right on it.


Off topic. I am really annoyed treating “The” Ateneo as a brand and how being part of “The” Ateneo would entail a generalize picture of what an Atenean is expected to be.

True that there a lot of smart people graduating from ateneo but again, you can not generalize things and expects a uniform expectation of what they should be.

I tell you, a lot of ateneans are not that smart as they thought they are. They are just so confident about themselves because the society looks so high “generally” about them.


To add to that, most Ateneans are not as rich as what people think. Most of my Atenean friends came from an average type of family, some of them has been sponsored by a distant relative. That’s why it is unfair when people who saw this video says that this guy has a lot of guts because he is from Ateneo.


“This guy Carabuena looks like one of those self-anointed “Atenistas” by virtue of having spent four years studying at the Ateneo College. I could be mistaken of course as I don’t have all the facts. But here is my biased take: real Atenistas spent twelve years at the Ateneo: from Prep to Grade 7 then up to fourth year high school. You can’t simply buy the distinction of being a true Katipunero guys.”

I think you might just be confusing “true blue Atenistas from Atenistas”. In any case, I think this is a generalization. 🙂

Jose Gracia

E kung kayang babuyin and bastusin and Chief Justice, the very person who represents the Laws of the Land, ano pa ba ang isang MMDA trafic enforcer.

Abnoy has been exemplifying the Hambog in the Filipino. Lead by example, as they say, so fellow Atensita, Carabuena dutifully followed.


I am pretty sure this guy has a gun, or guns even. I think the firearms licenses should be revoked before someone gets hurt. This guys purple shirt might just turn yellow.


Why… why… why.. anak??


Dami kasing fixer sa LTO at mangungutong sa daan kaya yong iba wala na ring respeto sa kanila..

What does the situation have to do with Ateneo? I really wish people would stop judging a person based on what school they went to. Why do you have to call him “nagfefeeling Atenista” and write the qualities of being a true katipunero or a true Atenista? Just because you’ve dated Atenistas doesn’t mean you can generalize the whole population, unless of course, you’ve dated all of the people there. No need to wash your hands in behalf of the school and imply that “real” Atenistas won’t do something like this. Just because the person did something embarrassing sasabihan na… Read more »
It’s the person, his personality and actions, not his school. Almost every paragraph after mentioning his name talks something connected to Ateneo: “Maybe this guy is not a real Atenista. Real Atenistas, if I recall, wear old frayed t-shirts, smelly jeans, and will not be caught dead looking at himself in the mirror for more than a couple of seconds (though I know they do in private!).”—-What are they? Are they products of some sort that are standardized? For everyone’s reference, where could people check what a “real Atenista” is? “real Atenistas spent twelve years at the Ateneo: from Prep… Read more »
Princess Leah

i would agree with Mark, being Atenista is definitely out of the question here but how this Carabuena guy acted that way to the MMDA officer. But it just confused me though, how spending 4 years in Ateneo, differs from spending 12 years and becomes the “REAL ATENISTA”? how will someone calls himself if he just spent his tertiary education in Ateneo, “SEMI-ATENISTA”?

Doomed Nation

Because prep to highschool encompass our formative years. During this time our identities and values are developed and formed. By the time you get into college, you are pretty much a whole person already and 4 years won’t have as much effect as 12 early, young years.


Well, I read in another blog that this Carabueno guy was indeed a “REAL ATENISTA” as you would call it. I left the link for you just in case you needed proof.

Doomed Nation

There are always bad eggs in the basket.

Alvin Lizada

Let this be a life lesson to all of us in the realm of social media and the internet that everything is being recorded (heck I even have the conscious effort of looking from left to right before picking my nose in public LOL). Big Brother is watching and to wild barney I hope you get a damn good freggin lawyer dude. Don’t worry nandyan naman is Phillip Morris on your side. One this is certain, Robert “Blair” Carabuena, You will be humbled.

sitting pretty

Though I understand what you are generally trying to say in your article, your statement that “real Atenistas spent twelve years at the Ateneo: from Prep to Grade 7 then up to fourth year high school” would make it seem that Atenista women don’t exist since until the fourth year of high school, only boys are admitted to the Ateneo. Kinda sexist, don’t you think?

Bad behavior is not unique to Filipinos. I guess this is pretty obvious. That guy Carabuena seemed arrogant and it does not excuse him. Whether he is an Atenista or from any school does not matter. To paraphrase, no one has monopoly on good breeding in the same way that there are really people who do bad things. An Ateneo education, or any education for that matter, cannot guarantee a person’s character (remember those who cheated in the bar exams? they were from Ateneo). So maybe it would be good to focus on issues and not on where this person… Read more »
Hi Kate, Funny that you commented that Blair was not a true Atenista simply because he did not attend the school since prep. Oh, please do not confuse those “Real Atenistas” with those who only attended the college for 4 years like Blair who, God forbid, us “Anointed Atenistas” turn out like this fat heap of embarrassment. For purposes of this discussion though, allow me to use your oh-so-“perceptive” definitions of “Real Atenista” versus “Anointed Atenista.” Blair Carabuena is NEITHER. Yes, he graduate from Ateneo but barely. In fact he was kicked out several times from a couple of courses… Read more »