10 Common Filipino Street Acts That Simply Lack Discipline

Though they pose danger, we always survive our daily commute, don’t we?
posted on: Tuesday, August 26, 2014
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Digital Agitator

Filipinos are known to be fatalistic in attitude, hence the famous expression “bahala na”. Sometimes, this attitude can be simply attributed to lack of discipline.

This attitude is deeply embedded in the Filipino culture that seemingly dangerous acts have become an ordinary sight in their everyday lives.

Filipinos’ lack of discipline is fairly evident during rush hours in the bustling streets of the city:

1. Spitting anytime, anywhere.

Filipinos who always spit saliva/phlegm may have a lung problem, or they just do it because it’s addictive and quitting the habit might result in withdrawal symptoms.


These people don’t care about decency, as long as they can expel whatever evil spirit resides in their mouth.

The spit usually mixes with flood water during rainy days and may or may not be harmful to your kids (depends on how much you strengthen your kid’s immune system by exposing them to rain).

You can easily spot a Spitter when you hear the noticeable sound qweeeeeckkk, pweh!

2. Smoking in public places.

According to the 2009 , about 23 percent of the Filipino population smoke.


Typically, Filipino smokers are hard to recognize since they blend very well with the non-smoking crowd. Their appearance ranges from an unwashed grade school kid to a call center agent that wears decent clothes.

Like the smokers’ camouflage ability, cigarette smoke blends well with the smell of black fog coming from the exhaust pipes of worn-out vehicles.

Protip: If you have no handkerchief to cover your nose, just hold your breath for a while and breath again when the air becomes less polluted. Ordinary people can hold their breath for before gasping.

3. PUVs racing against each other.

It’s hard to get by as a PUV (Public Utility Vehicle) driver in the Philippines without competing with other drivers for passengers and the occasional transport strikes.


Oftentimes, PUV drivers are friendly with their fellow drivers and greet one another whenever their vehicles meet.

Sometimes, they race against each other for other reasons like showing everyone whose jeepney can drift better or making the passengers use the handrail lest they get thrown away ( fault not the driver, goddamit!).

On a very rare occasion, they turn their vehicles into bump cars:

4. Jaywalkers and not using the overpass.

Patintero is a traditional Filipino game commonly played by children on an open ground or on a street filled with vehicles.

If you play it on the street, you are called a jaywalker (admit it, you’ve done this once or twice). You lose when you get hit by a speeding car or when CITOM catches you.


An overpass is a bridge that lets you cross the road without the risk of being a victim of hit-and-run. Usually, you’ll know who built a certain overpass by reading the politician’s name on a tarpaulin hanging on it.

Some Filipinos might despise those politicians because they’d rather risk their lives crossing the road than use the overpass.


5. Indiscriminate honking.


A man crosses the road. BEEEEEEP.

A chicken crosses the road. BEEEEEEP.

A vehicle overtakes the driver’s car. BEEEEEEP.

Driver wants to buy cigarette from a sidewalk vendor. BEEEEEEP.

If you do this in the US, chances are, you’ll be confronted by someone carrying a gun — no, not the traffic officer but a road rager.

6. Not wearing helmet when riding a motorcycle.


Motorcycles can be used to:

– Transport kids from home to school and vice versa

– Carry more than 3 passengers

– Drag racing at midnight

– Getaway vehicle for hitmen

Note: all of these are done without the aid of helmet. It may be safe since it’s rarely reported on the news about motorcycle passengers getting involved in road accidents.

7. Riding in tandem.

Daniel Go | Flickr

Hitmen. They’re one of the reasons why it’s “better” to not wear a helmet at all when riding a motorcycle. Wearing a helmet runs the risk of being mistaken for a hitman.

So what are the solutions of Filipino lawmakers?

The Good and Honorable Senator Tito Sotto proposed the of banning all motorcycle back-riders. Now, only one person can ride a motorcycle instead of three.

Meanwhile, in Mandaluyong City, an was enacted prohibiting non-relatives and men from back-riding. The only way to do this is to show your NSO Birth Certificate. You can order your BC just for a small fee of .


8. Overloading.

How many passengers would fit in a regular PUV?


About 20.

You can always hang (kapyot) on the back handrail if the seats are full. Overloading is fine as long as there are no traffic enforcers around.

A reminder: The front seat isn’t always the best seat. The driver might smoke a cigarette or has a contagious but curable lung disease but refuses to see a doctor because medicines are expensive.

9. Disregarding traffic lights.

Drivers who disregard traffic light are in a hurry.


Who knows? Maybe their wife is about to give birth or they just have to go to the comfort room to relieve their stomach.

I just think these drivers should buy wang-wang (siren) if they want to beat the red light to warn the law-abiding drivers that they’re coming.

10. Screw privacy, I’ll take a leak here!

Who’s afraid of the warning: Bawal mangihi diri (Thou shall not urinate in this private property)?


Pwehhh! They’re empty threats. What are you going to do? Cut my manhood?

On a serious note, why don’t we have those pink urinals here in Cebu like what they have in Metro Manila? Did the government funds run out because of overpriced lampposts?


The Philippine streets are really a stark contrast with the streets of Singapore. Singaporean streets are clean and you can get arrested just by chewing a gum.

Should we imitate Singapore’s street discipline or are we fine by our standards?