Colegio de San Agustin road rage! Is the Philippines home to a decent society?

We make one big assumption whenever we express indignation and outrage over the instances of banal injustice that make regular news fodder in the Philippines — that ours is a “decent” society. But step back and ask a more fundamental question: Is Philippine society really a decent one?

road_rage_honda_crv_wpo_372Just now I spied a recent post made by Top Gear Philippines on its Facebook Page. The post showed a photo of the rear end of a Honda CRV vehicle with license plate WPO 372 apparently belonging to someone who had allegedly threatened to shoot a man and his pregnant wife in the presence of their third-grade son following a traffic altercation (full Top Gear Philippines article here).

The astounding thing about this is that the incident happened in front of a school during dismissal time amongst parents picking up their kids. The school is no ordinary school. It is the exclusive private school Colegio de San Agustin which is located within Dasmariñas Village in Makati, a wealthy heavily-fortified residential enclave adjacent to the Philippines’ Central Business District in Makati City. So the people involved were definitely not palengkeros.

Top Gear Philippines captioned the Facebook post, “There’s no place for this in a decent society.” Indeed there is none. But the reason these sorts of incidents resonate powerfully among Filipinos is that it is a common occurrence. Indeed, Top Gear Philippines should know. It is a sumbungan of many incidents of road rage in the Philippines, many of which are not too different from this one.

So ingrained in the Filipino psyche is this sense of entitlement on the road that no less than Philippine President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III made the stamping out of this sense of entitlement a cornerstone of his campaign in 2010, vowing to eradicate the “wang-wang” from Philippine roads. Wang-wang is a Filipino term that describes a strong tradition among politicians, rich folk, and other “important” Filipinos to equip their vehicles (even private vehicles) with police sirens and flashers to enable them to muscle their way through Manila’s infamous traffic. Ordinary Filipino motorists are quite aware that owners of these vehicles and their bodyguards are often armed and dangerous psychos who will not hesitate to use their hardware against anyone who dares challenge their entitlement to expedited passage.

A recent incident illustrating this mentality involved Makati City Mayor Junjun Binay who also happens to be the son of Philippine Vice President Jejomar Binay. The incident saw the Mayor being subject to a security check by the security personnel of — coincidentally (or not) — the same village. But because Binay is the mayor, he promptly summoned the Makati Police and had the “offending” security guards hauled to jail.

Small wonder that such acts of violence continue and that this recent drama happens to have been set in the same community. Maybe Dasmariñas Village folk ought to have themselves subject to psychoanalysis on account of this apparent statistical skew towards their locality when it comes to high-profile incidents of road rage that kick off media circuses.

Interestingly enough, President BS Aquino’s famous no-wang-wang promise is an utter failure today as the practice evidently persists on Manila’s roads. So if the President himself cannot eradicate this sort of mentality what hope is there of lesser government officials, much less ordinary Filipinos, ever making any progress instilling better manners on Manila’s streets? It doesn’t look promising. Even Filipinos’ proud tradition of pissing on their roads cannot be changed.

So back to the original question: Is the Philippines home to a decent society? The answer to that question, it turns out, is a confronting one.

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50 Comments on “Colegio de San Agustin road rage! Is the Philippines home to a decent society?”

  1. I’ve seen that in many Filipinos: with wealth comes arrogance.

    I see less of this tendency in much wealthier countries. Not really sure why. Maybe this country’s general lack of self-respect, and where many of its better off citizens think they are superior to others by stepping on other people’s dignity?

    Disgusting.

  2. Is ‘threatening someone with a gun’ even a crime in the Philippines? The cops just don’t give a crap unless someone’s dead.

    1. Unless someone’s dead? I don’t think so. I’d say they won’t care until it goes viral or until it goes to the media.They would say they’re on the case, but nothing really happens afterwards.

  3. Even in middle class Filipino neighborhoods, there seems to be no such thing as a “good neighbor.” Blasting karaoke, dogs roaming loose and howling all night and shitting all over the streets, firecrackers going off at all hours, children ripping open garbage bags and letting the trash blow all over the street, people burning trash so that the smoke blows directly into your house, people double parking in the roadway so that the street is blocked, etc. Common courtesies thank we take for granted in civilized countries; just do not seem to exist in the Philippines. Why?

  4. “Maybe Dasmariñas Village folk ought to have themselves subject to psychoanalysis on account of this apparent statistical skew towards their locality when it comes to high-profile incidents of road rage that kick off media circuses.”

    these people probably arent dasma residents, probably living elsewhere in manila just there to pick up their kids.

  5. Filipinos are actually nice PEOPLE.
    But, as an expat once told me, put them behind the wheel of vehicle, and the “nice” goes right out the window and in its place is a manic road abuser… What makes it worse is that DRIVER’S EDUCATION is non-existent in this country, so there is no courtesy, no giving way, no following rules… It’s dangerous out there!

    1. im on the fence with this comment

      i agree there are SOME nice people in the country… but most of these nice people are not genuinely nice. I mean, i feel people are nice because:

      1) User: person A can get something out of person B, or the possibility of getting something out of the other

      2) shame factor: since they will be bound to see each other again, person A will be nice to person B so they would look good. Take that idea away (i.e in the road where people rarely meet again, or the internet) and the true personality of the person appears (someone who doesnt givr a f*** about others)

      3)Fear: person A is nice to person B bec person B can kill person A

      4) Required:person A is nice to person B bec A is in a situation where he or she HAS to be nice (i.e working in the service industry)

      ive met very few genuinely nice Filipinos, most of them are people who are exposed to other cultures and other people. The rest ive met sound a lot like snakes just waiting to find an opening

        1. Well maybe you should tell Filipinos to stop giving GRP material. Like not voting for Erap, Noynoy and Nancy . But since they won’t maybe you should stop crying foul .

        2. If youre not one of those people being as you said “bashed” by this site then you shouldnt be affected by this generalization. If you are then the truth hurts isnt it?

      1. I beleive being nice and kind to others is sense of duty and civility regardless of race and creed .Living in the Philippines is such a challenge , having opportunities to live abroad has been an option to us ,I chose the Philippines because there a lot of opportunies awaits to people who love to advocate for change . I am currently in the US for a visit to my daughter whom I encourage to come back to the Philippines for good .Our yearly visit in the US and Japan because of my two kids who had d their advanced studies there ,I also saw ,violence ,lack of civility ,arrogance ,greed of people .These aare every where in the world .In the end anywhere we are we make our world a better place to live.quoting Gandhi “be the chnage we want the world to be “I know we are sometimes overwhelmed by the challenges of environment specially in the Philippines ,our concern and love for the country will a make a difference.

        .

  6. I’ve stopped reading when I reached this junk:

    “The astounding thing about this is that the incident happened in front of a school during dismissal time amongst parents picking up their kids. The school is no ordinary school. It is the exclusive private school Colegio de San Agustin which is located within Dasmariñas Village in Makati, a wealthy heavily-fortified residential enclave adjacent to the Philippines’ Central Business District in Makati City. So the people involved were definitely not palengkeros.”

    Being rude and unprofessional is not something being that only palengkeros will do, incidents like this happened everywhere as long as there are humans sitting in the driver’s seat. Get real benign0.

      1. if youre not one of those people being as you said “bashed” by this site then you shouldnt be affected by this generalization. If you are then the truth hurts isnt it?

        I am affected because of the generalization, it is a logic fallacious argument.

        1. Why, would it make a whole lot difference if we pinpoint those who are supposed to be affected? As I stated before, generalization is not really an issue. Well atleast to the people who reads and understand the articles posted here looking beyond the mistakes made by the authors and the supposed “bashing” of stupid Filipino traits. So sorry but I cant really see the point you are trying to make here.

    1. Being rude and unprofessional is less prevalent among non-palengkeros which makes it more striking that such an incident did happen in a posh school as it did. If I were the school, I would have the children dismissed for the conduct that their parents did.


      1. Dick S. O’Rosary says:
        November 6, 2014 at 2:30 pm
        Being rude and unprofessional is less prevalent among non-palengkeros which makes it more striking that such an incident did happen in a posh school as it did. If I were the school, I would have the children dismissed for the conduct that their parents did.

        The statistics for prooef?
        You know if we study history, there is no relevance between being educated and less educated on how they would choose a certain moral value to uphold. YOu think that the world is more civilized and tolerant among each other because of the advance of education and science?
        Yeah, human depravity is the same yesterday today and forever, it is beyond repair unless you bow down and receive Jesus as your source of moral authority. Human greediness, lust for power, and the love of money is what drives as all to war. This road rage incident is just one piece of human sick condition. Because all posters most of you here, except some, are far short sighted, when I object about your criticism, you say crying baby. A typical troll indeed!!!

        LOOK, we have not change for the better, the only “changed” that we have made is the “tools” to destroy each other. Just count of how many stock piles of nuclear warheads/weapons in the world, we are even more destructive than in the past.

        1. Ain’t no one got statistics fo’ dat. Haha. This is based on my observations. But it is a sign of good breeding not to act like a palengkero. Acting polite and gracefully in public. Good manners and all that. There is a saying in my hometown: “kon mag-hambal daw taga-bukid” Means that if someone spoke so loud or used rude language, they must have come from the mountain hinterlands.

          It would be nice to conduct a survey though, though I have a suspicion no has tried because any surveyor or interviewer might just get mauled in the slums.

  7. Let us not forget that 2 years ago, a parent pointed a gun at a student. What is wrong with this school? Do not put your children here.

    1. CSA is a good school, mind you. Don’t tell me that just because of those two incidents, you’re gonna tell people not to put their kids in there. You never know, stuff worse than this might also be happening in other schools but never get to the public.

      1. Way to set the bar Filipino low. Only in da pilipeens would this be ok. Elsewhere even the shittiest school would not accept this. Basta pinoy, da best Talaga!

  8. Ay wait, friends lang pala, not relatives… Eitherways it’s the connections that people have that makes them act tougher. In this country, people get away with their actions if they have ‘backers’.

  9. You didn’t have to generalize filipinos, you know. This incidents really happen no matter where you are or what kind of nationality you possess. :—–) just saying tho 😉 ive heard worse than this.

  10. At least it needs to be witnessed to be understood, that nowhere in the world most have travelled, has a place been so thoroughly ingrained with treating their fellow citizens as shitty as Filipino’s treat each other. Since the abolition of legalized slavery in the West ,no country seen such a callous disregard for the value of human existance than in the FAIL-IPPINES. AND as sickening as it can be, it is likely to get much worse, what with the concerns of most citizens being indifferent and only mildly outraged to the point of doing anything about it.The place is fucked.

  11. Can you guys at least spell the name of the school correctly? Colegio San Agustin not Colegio de San Agustin!

    As for the issue, it was just a minor threat verbally, the way I see it, the guy could’ve replied with a threat too lol. Ohwell!

    Thanks!

  12. How dare foreigners treat us like lowly paid ass wipers when we work as OFW’s. We should just stay home in the Philippines where at least we enjoy equality. What corrupted and morally bankrupt cultures they have….

    1. Equality my glutinous maximus! And yet the oligarch mafias always give you shit service and products while paying them expensively. And your anti-foreign mindset makes me sick! You always enjoy mediocrity do you indiot?

      1. Sarcasm… The missing sense in a Filipinos humour. My apologies, none of that canned laughter to let an ‘indiot’ know eh?

        1. Budoy. We don’t have access to your tone of voice or body language. Your ID is fairly new . Plus there are many naive pinoys who will give their basta pinoy da best routine here. You act like them and of course we will treat you like them.

  13. Please DELETE the word PALENGKEROS. This is very discriminative. If you mean “ill-manered” or “discourteous.” Use the proper words. You might be surprised but if you have not been to a palengke, there are actually a lot of gallant men and women around. Power, money, fame, education or the lack of these, DO NOT ASSURE US OF DECENCY. Every human being is given an opportunity to learn this and practice this in his/her lifetime.

    1. @janefrances

      A poster here agreeing with the other poster labeled Filipinos as pigs. It is okay for me to receive criticism, as long as it is constructive. In fact, I am the one in my group that really criticize, but this blog is sickening as they’ve gone overboard.

  14. You can only put so many rats in a maze, before they start to turn on each other. True, we are not rats; however, population density surely has a lot to do with the lack of courtesy exhibited by people towards one another.

  15. Dick S. O’Rosary says:
    November 9, 2014 at 1:55 am
    Ain’t no one got statistics fo’ dat. Haha.

    And this will make the statement I quoted wrong.

    This is based on my observations.

    And no one gave you the authority to impose your subjective observation on others as gospel truth.

    But it is a sign of good breeding not to act like a palengkero.

    Being a palengkero the root word is “palengke” that is the one who goes to market to buy things. There is nothing wrong for being a palengkero.


    Acting polite and gracefully in public. Good manners and all that. There is a saying in my hometown: “kon mag-hambal daw taga-bukid” Means that if someone spoke so loud or used rude language, they must have come from the mountain hinterlands.

    There is a saying also that Ilongos are “tikalon”. And so, if I follow your logic, this is true. Your cohorts here were acting as less civilized people for saying words like “ulol” “pigs” and benign0 provides this name of Pinoy as BS Aquino, which may provide a double meaning of Benigno S. Aquino. You ought to go back to Iloilo then to get a renewal of your “Tekal” authority. You know, I have not judge you for being tikalon as Ilongo, but just following the logic you posited on this post. We cebuano/davaweno also shared our own tikals also, so don’t worry.


    It would be nice to conduct a survey though, though I have a suspicion no has tried because any surveyor or interviewer might just get mauled in the slums.

    Wishful thinking.

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