Road Courtesy – Pinoys do not get it


Christmas season is well under way. Malls are jam-packed, traffic jam….etc. It seems that the Pinoy nowadays has lots of disposable income. Whoever said that the Philippines is in poverty now? Makes you want to believe the guy in yellow shirt with the yellow ribbon on his collar?

Inside malls and shopping centers, usually at their main arteries, there you will see, in all their glory, motorcycles, cars, and SUVs on display. Sometimes with pretty sales personnel, and some with just pretty convincing sweet talkers. These vehicles on display can be had for a very low down payment as low as Php 28K or in some cases zero down payments. Makes you wonder why you ever bought your new smartphone now when you can have a new car or a motorcycle for almost the same cash outlay. With the arrival of the Chinese makers and Korean badged cars, these goods which, couple of years back, seemed out of reach to the common Pinoy is now within his means. In fact, this has been going on for some time now. Our roads now are clogged up not only by public transport but also with subcompact cars, full sized cars, small SUVs full sized SUVs, extra-large sized SUVs and noisy motorcycles. All well and good.

Subscribe to our Substack community GRP Insider to receive by email our in-depth free weekly newsletter. Opt into a paid subscription and you'll get premium insider briefs and insights from us.
Subscribe to our Substack newsletter, GRP Insider!
Learn more

Well no, with more Pinoy motorists why does it seem to me now that there are even more arrogant motorists? I really don’t know what it is with the Pinoy mind and a new vehicle, that he feels he can buy you and your friends too (sorry couldn’t help it). Or is it just me?

Case in point 1: I was about to enter our driveway so I tried to stop at the most extreme right side of the road (limited by some road works) with my hazard lights on. Mind you this is just a road with relatively light traffic, but in my mind I wanted to avoid inconvenience to other motorists, with the hazard lights on, they should know that they could just overtake at their own judgement. Going in reverse, I was startled at the view of a motorbike stopped just few inches from my rear bumper and was not able to reverse into my driveway until the motorbike moved towards the left side to pass me. My window was open so at the right moment they managed to give me angry looks which could kill plus curse words and the bird. Please note, I said “they”. That means the driver and the wife, oh and yes, a toddler and a baby held by the wife. (Of course the curses and the bird mainly came from the driver and his wife)

Case in point 2: In a mall parking area, where we all know a slot is worth a life. Barely spotted somebody leaving his slot, oh goody. Hazards on stopped just beside the slot still to be vacated. I have to back-up a bit so he can vacate the slot. Was about to reverse and lo and behold a puny car at my back side! Flicking his head lights and motioning me to move forward. I realized that he couldn’t back up as other cars are also behind him. I moved my aging oil burner forward thinking the puny car will leave me alone with my now vacated slot. My mistake, he went into my precious slot before I could reverse into it. Talk about kabastusan. I hesitantly went down and talked to the driver of the puny car and told him, that obviously, I intended to park there, and his words were “unahan ‘to eh, may problema ka?” Walked to my rig, shaking my head, imagining backing up my rig all over his puny car. If only I could…

Case in point 3: SLEX middle lane travelling at 90 (hey I’m a slow driver, also my old oil burner is slow), still managed to catch up to someone slower than me. Glanced at left side mirror – clear, flicked turn signal and pressed accelerator to pass slower vehicle at passing lane. I admit, my vehicle is struggling to reach 100, engine screaming to pass the slower vehicle so, yeah, it took a bit of time. Then from my rear view mirror, with headlights on high, flicking angrily, a Fortuner – basically shouting at me to get out of his effing way and get back to the loser lane! Got back to the loser lane as soon as I could to let the angry bloke pass. The Fortuner’s passenger side window opened and the angry driver and passenger gave me the bird as they sped off.

I guess the bottom line here is, even the average Pinoy enjoys the privilege to own a motor vehicle, be it the lowest cost Chinese sub compact or luxury SUVs, it just so sad that road manners is so hard to come by in the Philippines.

24 Replies to “Road Courtesy – Pinoys do not get it”

  1. Traffic rules are not followed.

    Everybody is on his own. Everybody is the King of the road…

    Politicians take advantage of the country. Public officials take advantage of their position. Everybody wants to take advantage of anybody…

    We don’t have a country…we have chaos ! Crab mentality and “pasikatan” is the call of the day !

  2. Joeld,
    what was/is the speed limit on SLEX? Lets say that the speed limit is/was 120 k/h then in my country both the slow car and YOU would have gotten a ticket from the police. You are a danger on the road where 120 is the speed limit.

    If the speed limit was/is 90 then you were/are safe but if it is already 110 and/or higher, then you will get a ticket.

    And bec of your oil problems, you would probably also been cautioned and maybe even ordered (by the police) to leave SLEX. You form a danger for all the rest.

    I cant help it but that’s how the police deals with cars (and drivers; but not necessarily the owners).

    1. Hi, Robert. Thanks for reading.

      SLEX speed limit is between 60 to 100 for light vehicles. So I am sure I am not violating the speed limit.

      I drive an old diesel land cruiser, hence oil burner (diesel oil) it is in a fairly good condition, and I like to keep it that way. It’s not burning any engine oil if that is what you mean.


      1. Joeld,
        Wow, again your country is different.
        No matter where I drive that specific road has 1 (one) speed limit and not a bracket or window of maximum speeds. We also dont have slow lanes and fast lanes. You go with the flow and the flow is the maximum speed limit. Everyone (rich and poor and everybody/everything in between) will drive the maximum speed limit.

        If you stay below the maximum speed limit you are a hazard and forming a danger for all the others and yourself.

        Why driving the maximum speed limit? Simple: time = money and money = time.

        But pls dont get overboard. If I drive 5 km/h too fast then I have the very likely chance to get caught by all the cameras surveilling the roads that can ‘sense’ my speed. A ticket will be send (by snail mail) to my home and to be paid within 2 weeks. Not paying is not an option.

    2. The Netherlands highways must be different from all other European countries, because as a European I can clearly say what you posted is absolutely false complete nonsense. No one is forced to drive the speed of the speed limit. If you drive too slow you would hinder traffic, yes. But we are talking about extremes, like 50-60km/h on a highway. But as long as you stay on the right hand lane, no one will bother.

      Funny, as a matter of fact, compared to other European countries, the Netherlands, has an increasing number of motorway sections that have a permanent lower speed limit (notably 100 or 80 km/h) aiming to reduce air pollution and noise where there are adjacent residential areas.

      1. Jim,
        Lets pretend for a second that what I tell/write here is false (a lie). Do you really think, I will get away with that? All of you can check the internet or maybe even friends who are up to speed about things going on in my country.

        (back to the actual content)
        if you take a specific highway/motorway (lets say the A2) then that highway has different maximum speed limits for diffent parts of that highway. But at one given stretch (lets say a section of 500m) then there is just only 1 (one) maximum speed limit and not a range (50-80 km/h).

        The absolute maximum speed has recently been changed from 120 to 130k/h at certain parts of highways.
        When a driver drives 90 where 120 is the maximum then that driver forms a hazard and a danger. He will be pulled over by the police. He maybe may not get a ticket but he/she will be told to go with the flow or advised otherwise the leave the highway. Causing danger to others is also considered a feloney.

        In short: I didnt tell a lie or spread mis-information.

        1. Just in case you will say I pulled this out of my ass….

          Here are other officially listed fines for the Netherlands:

          Not wearing a seat belt: EUR 75 per person
          Child not in child seat: EUR 75
          Refusal to take breathalyzer test: EUR 130
          Expired license or illegible license: EUR 50
          Driving without insurance or proof of insurance: EUR 130
          Driving under the influence: from EUR 220 up to EUR1,000 and 10 months’ suspension of license
          Driving with unsafe tires: from EUR 17 to EUR 250
          Running a red light: EUR 130
          Using a mobile while driving: EUR 130
          Not stopping at a stop sign: EUR 50 Speeding: from EUR 16 up to EUR 660

  3. Ever since stupid Cory Aquino and her Yellow Crooks took office…

    You know the results, they say it’s “Democracy” but “no Discipline”…

    Rather than instill Filipino Values/Morals like Bayanihan(Forgotten), Filipino Courtship, Local Filipino Activites, etc. they instead inject Foreign ones…

    Thankfully it isn’t a Yellow Garbage President who won candidacy and most likely Pres. Duterte would instill discipline to these Lawbreakers for not following a SIMPLE LAW of Properly Crossing at a Pedestrian Lane or Vehicles that overcross a Pedestrian Lane or Do not stop at a Red Light…

    But then again Yellows in the Senate, Congress , VP, Government Offices(CHR), CBCP, MEDIA, Supreme Court, etc are gonna scream HUMAN RIGHTS!!!…

    1. As Lee Kuan Yew said that the Filipinos didn’t need a democracy but we need DISCIPLINE. But the problem is the Filipinos are too darn proud on our “PASAWAY” culture! But there’s a controversial proposed law that could prevent that:

      And hopefully, and also I doubt that this law might be passed it under the current Duterte administration & might even upgrade it! Surely our Filipino people will not like to pass that law & they’ll complain immediately as a violation to human rights, WTF!!!

  4. As long as there is no stone cold enforcement of traffic rules with punishment that come close to a death sentence, Filipino drivers will not change.

    Most of the bad behavior is also a result of plain stupidity. 70% of people on the road are complete morons and don’t even know the most basic traffic rules.

    Even the traffic enforcers themselves don’t know the law.

    If I had anything to say, first violation would cost 5000 and a confiscation of the license for 1 month. 2nd violation 10000, 3 month suspension. 3rd violation 30000 with 1 year suspension. Let’s see how fast people will change their behavior.

    Traffic would improve as well, wanna bet?

  5. personally, the scariest time of day for me is just after sunrise, when some motorists think the roads should be wide open for them; yesterday morning about to cross just as there was 5 seconds left on the green, a multicab driver was jumping the gun and heading straight for me, lucky he was going slowly and talking to his wife at the same time…
    and the many many times I’ve almost been wiped out by those motorists who insist on running the red light: people have been killed by these careless clowns.

  6. Every time I am out on the roads I see the WORST driving I have ever seen in the world. I tell everyone that while Filipinos might know how to make the vehicle move, they certainly cannot DRIVE.

    They pull into a giant, empty parking lot and rather than turn around INSIDE the parking lot, they BACK into traffic. How stupid is that? The answer is, “It is Pinoy stupid.”

    Down the street from my house is a giant house with a pull through driveway and 2 gates. Just a couple days ago as I walked past, somebody opened the gate and directed a car out as it backed into the street. The gate was open and I had a clear view of an empty drive almost the size of a basketball court, so why on earth did the asshole need to back out? Stupid is as stupid does I guess. Why are you Pinoys so damn stupid once you get behind the wheel of a car? If you drove in America the way you drive here almost all of you would have lost your licenses by now. Traffic violations also come with hefty fines and are ALWAYS enforced. The police there will always pull you over, give you a ticket and expect you to pay the court eventually. Get a couple tickets and your insurance may very well be too expensive for you to renew and it is a crime to drive without insurance.

  7. The most frustrating part is that if you don’t follow the typical Filipino driving (if you can even call it that), you’d be considered a “bad” driver.

    Like, I normally follow the “first to stop, first to cross” rule in intersections. But most people don’t even bother stopping in intersections, and you’ll be branded as a weak driver if you don’t cross aggressively. I stop at intersections and there would be a stupid guy behind me honking at me for stopping.

    Once, I’ve had a guy roll his windows down (he was initially behind me) and shouted “tang ina, ang hina mo naman” when I let another car cross before me. Look, that other car arrived at the intersection before me, so I let him pass. But then since people here are uneducated drivers, the cars behind him decided to cross the intersection without following the “first to stop, first to cross” rule which prevented me from crossing the intersection, which then caused my lane to stop moving. But I’m the stupid one for trying to follow the rules apparently.

  8. I wish people were more honest with their posts. The problem is that the vast majority of Filipino’s don’t actually have a license. They have fake documents or they bribed someone at the LTO to give them a license without actually knowing how to drive.

    Steering a vehicle down the road is not “driving”.

    I agree with Jim DiGriz. Start imposing some serious fines and suspensions. Throw in some jail time for repeat offenders and the roads will become manageable very quickly.

  9. Even pedestrians have no courtesy for the road and drivers. Get hit by a vehicle then the driver is blamed. There is an overpass for a reason but in some places the stairs are narrow.

  10. Pinoys ONLY follow the rules when there’s strict implementation. They can be disciplined drivers in other parts of the world but not in our own country.No total respect whatsover for everybody but become so sensitive when he himself is disrespected.I dont get it really.There’s a need to do something ‘coz whatever riches we have in this country we will never be as big as other developed countries.We have the potential, yes, but we already lost it as soon as we get behind the wheel.All intelect goes down to stupidity level, even common sense, too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.