May 8, 2010

Posted by in Teacher's Corner | 0 Comments

Driving in the Philippines

This summer, my younger brother started taking driving lessons. One day, my mom decided to let him drive my car around the village. She said he was quite impressive :-) It amazes me how fast time flies because I still remember him as the little boy I used to yell at because he couldn’t get his homework right! (yes…for some reason even though I can be super patient with my students, I can’t do it with my own brothers!!!)

On the way home one day, we were discussing road rules and traffic violations. We got into discussing what particular road signs mean and the like when my brother asked, but why do they still do it? in reference to taxi drivers who refuse to set their meters and bus/jeepney drivers who weave in and out of lanes regardless of the fact that they are cutting into your lane and nick your vehicle here and there. This is why whenever i have to get my comprehensive auto insurance quote I just shut my eyes and pay the premium¬† because even though I am a defensive driver, I can’t do anything about others who don’t care. In the end, I had no answer to give him for that question except to remind him that just because others do it doesn’t make it right.

Driving in the Philippines is indeed a great challenge. Not only do you have to contend with people who don’t care about the rules, we also have traffic enforcers who ignore the rule of law except for when it benefits them. I think that one of the reasons our country doesn’t progress is because of this mindset. While some may think it’s only a traffic rule, keeping that kind of thinking translates to one thing: that you don’t care about the rules. As such, you learn to bend the rules to fit your needs and in the end, we don’t accomplish anything.

In my opinion, we Filipinos CAN be able to make changes happen in our country. It doesn’t have to be big right away but if everyone starts with something as simple as following traffic rules, I think we’d all be in a better place and this can drive the Philippines to greater success.

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