How disciplined are Filipinos?
() - February 21, 2010 - 12:00am

Lucas Banzon Madamba II, PENNSYLVANIA, USA: Filipinos are mostly disciplined in all aspects and areas of life. They also make sure that the work is properly done before they call it a day.  

Armando Tavera, Las Piñas City: Send a Pinoy abroad and you’ll see a refined and disciplined person. It’s very sad we can’t be the same in our own turf.  

Only when abroad

J.R. Mondonedo Jr., Parañaque City: Pinoys are only disciplined when they are in another country, especially in the Middle East, because they implement their laws there. Otherwise, most Pinoys are undisciplined as our laws here can be broken because those implementing them are just as corrupt. Some good examples are: Beating a red light; littering; not knowing the word “queue”; and driving on the side of oncoming traffic, just because they have a police escort. I think it’s one of the bad traits most Pinoys have. It’s not something to be proud of.  

Jose Fabello Jr., Cagayan de Oro City: When abroad, most Filipinos are a disciplined lot, but at home, we are as free as the maya, nonchalantly eating in the rice fields, unmindful of the scarecrows.  

Ishmael Q. Calata, Parañaque City: An observer can gauge the level and state of a nation’s discipline through visible bases. The best observers are the world travelers, especially tourists, who can compare the discipline in one country with that of another. A tourist in Manila is usually shocked by the bedlam in our streets: Pedestrians crossing just anywhere, jeepneys stopping in the middle of the street to pick up passengers, men peeing and spitting just anywhere, etc. Despite these visible signs, I believe Filipinos are basically disciplined. What we have lost in recent times are people who enforce the rules strictly and leaders who are exemplary on discipline. Filipinos abroad are well-disciplined. I was amazed at their refinement and orderliness, at the way they carried themselves and observed rules. Then again, I have seen some of the same people acting differently when they’re here in their own country!  

Lolong Rejano, Marinduque: Filipinos in general are not disciplined in their native land. But when they are abroad, they live like saints and very few are stubborn. This, perhaps, is the result of our negative environment.  

Dino Monzon, Caloocan City: Filipinos are only disciplined when they are overseas or when they know the law has teeth.  

Rose Leobrera, Manila: Not too much here in the country, because it’s our own and we are familiar with the consequences. If we do something wrong, we usually know that we can get away with it. But in other countries, the Pinoy is as meek as a lamb. Takot eh.  

Rene Fuentes, Quezon City: Filipinos are the most disciplined people in other countries, but, sad to say, not here in our own country.  

We are naturally disciplined

Edwin Monares, Rizal: Filipinos are intrinsically disciplined people. Offshore, Filipinos manifest discipline, leading to an improved life. In the Philippines, however, Filipinos tend to forget discipline due to the fact that public officials and law enforcers show undisciplined behavior. We lack role models that we can emulate and that can serve as the standard of discipline.  

Luisito Vallo, Pangasinan: I observed that Filipinos tend to be well-disciplined in other countries, where laws are implemented strictly. I believe we are naturally disciplined. It’s just that we make a mockery of the rules if we think those who are enforcing them are the ones breaking them.  

Ruben Viray, Antipolo City: In my travels around the country, I’ve found our compatriots to be well-behaved, God-fearing, versatile person and easily adaptable. Filipinos are obedient by nature. While their behavior differs in places where they reside or work, and even in far away countries, they are still very much disciplined. Wayward individuals sometimes taint this trait when they break rules. That makes me unhappy. I wish that we could learn from our elders.  

Pedro Alagano Sr., Vigan City: Generally, Filipinos are disciplinarians, as shown by our capability to follow rules and regulations during the early years of PD 1081 or Martial Law, but we are in a chaotic situation today due to our fickle-mindedness, all in the name of a vibrant democracy.  

Leandro Tolentino, Batangas: Filipinos are disciplined enough to obey their Constitution no matter how its contradicting provisions were loosely crafted.  

Lack of discipline is in our nature

Leonard Villa, Batac City: Filipinos, in general, are lacking in discipline. We even flaunt our hard-headedness and commit crimes in other countries. It’s in our culture.  

April dela Cruz, Cabanatuan City: We truly don’t understand how to be disciplined. We get mad if someone promotes discipline in our streets. If we keep acting like this, we will never have a better country. We should trust in our government, elect better government officials, promote a fair judicial system, promote nationalism, develop discipline, obey laws and, most of all, promote unity and reconciliation.  

Ric Vergara, Calamba City: We are the worst as far as discipline is concerned. Look at our drivers, pedestrians, students, teachers, politicians, voters or even church-goers.  

Diony Yap, Bacolod City : No, even an intelligent employee in a company uses the gas range as a lighter and flowerpots as ashtrays. Worse, he would even smoke in non-smoking areas!  

Editha Monreal, Antipolo City: My husband says, “If you live in garbage, you become garbage.” I couldn’t agree more.  

Miguelito Herrera, Cabanatuan City: Discipline is not in the vocabulary of the many Filipinos that continue to violate traffic rules and are always late to work.  

Ella Arenas, Pangasinan: It’s sad to say this but we have to face the reality that Filipinos are poorly disciplined. Just check our parks everywhere. We can cut in lines in groceries and malls when paying; we do what is prohibited even to the extent of hurting our environment; and we break traffic rules. One of the best indications of our undisciplined ways is the scattered garbage everywhere.  

C.B. Manalastas, Manila: Sad to say, most Pinoys are undisciplined, particularly in obeying traffic laws and respecting the rights of others.  

Louella Brown, Baguio City: Filipinos lack discipline. Just observe traffic jams, garbage in the streets, disorderly queues, disregard for simple rules, etc.  

Ferdinand Rafer, Cavite: People spitting on the streets and throwing garbage anywhere, taxi drivers zigzagging along roads and highways, jeeps stopping wherever they want, corrupt politicians  that’s how disciplined we are.  

Gerii Calupitan, Muntinlupa City: Just the other day, as I was lining up for my 2010 cedula at the City Hall. A man cut ahead of me, soliciting uproars from those queuing behind me. “Pare,” I told him matter-of-factly, “ako nga nakapila eh, ikaw pa.” He sheepishly replied, “Sorry po, sir” after seeing me in uniform, yet still lining up like the rest of us taxpayers. Even Luli queued at the NAIA, but spoiled brats think they are above the law.  

Ricardo Tolentino, Laoag City: Sad to say, we are not disciplined enough because of the poor and non-implementation of our laws and “nakukuha sa pakiusap” attitude.  

Ed Alawi, Davao City: Here in our country, Pinoys are too concerned about their rights, never mind others or the law. This is true especially for the rich who can hire corrupt lawyers.  

Janet Lopez, Manila: As manifested by our political will, we have the discipline and backbone of wet noodles.  

Tina Aaronica Limueco, Cabanatuan City: Disciplined? I don’t think that Filipinos know the real meaning of this word. We tend to be pasaway. We don’t follow rules. We always do what we believe and think is right, even if it is against good manners and right conduct.  

Erwin Espinoza, Pangasinan: Diyan tayo kulang. Tapon dito, tapon doon tayong mga Pinoy sa mga basura natin. Pati hindi pagsunod sa batas, diyan tayo magaling.  

Dennis Montealto, Mandaluyong City: Rich or poor, a Filipino will make garbage out of the country, if you let him have his way. From fancy cars to decrepit jeepneys, out flies trash from idiot passengers who think no more of the environment’s degradation. That, my fellow kababayan, is how disciplined we are as a race.  

Rowena Remiendo, Makati City: Sad to say, most Filipinos are undisciplined, from children up to senior citizens. It’s so disappointing.  

Richard Decena, Quezon City: Nakapamuhay na po ako sa ibang bansa kaya nakakalungkot sabihin na walang disiplina ang karamihan sa kababayan natin.  

Situational discipline

Ignacio Anacta, Metro Manila: I have observed that Filipino discipline is situational. If the enforcement of laws is proper and fair, Filipinos follow accordingly. However, if we know that leaders don’t follow the order themselves, we easily do the same! Since many of our leaders are corrupt, it’s no wonder that many of our government services are corrupt, too! Discipline indeed starts in the family; children normally follow what their parents do. If parents are disciplined, children will likely grow disciplined, too.  

Loi Castillo, Davao City: It depends on how the law is enforced. In Davao, you can see how smokers respect the non-smokers by smoking only in smoking areas of establishments. First-timers in Davao are usually surprised to hear an airplane announcement informing them of the smoking ban, which they have to comply with or else it could mean spoiling their vacation. Respeto lang ‘bay!  

Germi Sison, Cabanatuan City: Filipinos were known in the past as reliable people in word and in deed. It is ironic, however, that the more we learn, the more we digress from our old virtues. Seemingly, the greed of others to gain headway over the rest causes confusion and competition and thereby results in breach of discipline. The Japanese are known for their discipline because they have a common objective to protect the interest of the country. Singaporeans observe discipline due to the strict imposition of rules. If the Japanese and Singaporeans can observe discipline, the Filipinos can, too, if we love our country.  

We’re survivors

Col. Ben Paguirigan Jr., Ret., Zamboanga City: We Filipinos are resilient; we can endure things that come along our way, like our daily hardships in life. That’s how disciplined we are.  

Eric Gopilan, Quezon City: Filipinos are disciplined  at least our conservative culture says so. But some just resort to their survival instinct due to daily hardships.  

Manuel Abejero, Pangasinan: In our barrio, a man who cannot even feed himself has 14 children. Because of lack of CRs, we urinate everywhere. Fernando is hated in his desire to educate and discipline the sidewalk vendors and reckless drivers. Like in the song “Honesty,” discipline is such a lonely word!  

No discipline on the streets

Manny Cordeta, Marikina City: No offense meant, but sadly, much is left to be desired. A case in point, which, for sure, other pedestrians like me have experienced: More often than not, inconsiderate motorists, instead of slowing down, would deliberately step on their gas even if a person is crossing a street. This is so glaringly different, based on my experience, from the US, where operators of private or public vehicles give much courtesy to the pedestrian by slowing down.  

Edward Yu, Metro Manila: It depends. The facts would speak for themselves: Those riding in heavily tinted cars or SUVs flaunt the law. They beat traffic lights with impunity. The ubiquitous pedicab and tricycles would come charging down one-way streets. Jeepney drivers would block intersections. Taxi drivers would weave in and out of traffic. Pedestrians would walk on the streets as if it were a park. Need I say more? On the other hand, we also see people lining up to buy LRT/MRT tickets and movie tickets and to get their class cards, etc.  

Ernesto Oliquiano, Las Piñas City: I would say Filipinos are not that disciplined. One concrete example is the daily traffic in practically all the major roads in Metro Manila and other urban centers in the country. There are times when these traffic snarls could be prevented, if only our drivers were disciplined. That includes drivers of private cars. But one may ask, why is it that in areas where traffic rules are strictly implemented, drivers are more disciplined? I had the chance to be in Olongapo City when Sen. Richard Gordon was still the mayor and I observed that jeepney drivers there were much more disciplined than those in Metro Manila. Dahil hindi nasusuhulan ang mga pulis doon? And I’m sure, those who have been to other countries can say that Filipinos driving their own cars are also disciplined, maybe for the same reason. The bottom line is that the strict implementation of all traffic rules can do much for the discipline of Filipinos. 

Lydia Reyes, Bataan: Not all Filipinos are disciplined. Traffic rules lang di pa makasunod. Road accidents and road killings can testify to that.  

Eufrocino Linsangan, Isabela: Sad to say, many Filipinos lack discipline. A classic example is our traffic. Motorists and pedestrians alike violate simple traffic rules when there are no authorities around. Worse, Filipinos always pee in the streets. We really need kamay na bakal to be disciplined.  

Discipline is the beginning of greatness

Robert Young Jr., San Juan: While waiting for the go signal along Ayala Avenue, Makati one morning, I saw a driver alight from his bus and urinate facing the bus’ front bumper. This is an example of how undisciplined we Filipinos are. We treat the law with impunity. Jeepneys load and unload passengers in the middle of the street. Pedestrians cross just anywhere. People throw garbage wherever they please; a favorite dumping place of Metro Manila is the Pasig River. We are always late. If Filipinos become disciplined, it will be the beginning of greatness.  

Abelardo Abilay, Laguna: As they say, “To see is to believe”. How far have we gone in terms of being disciplined? Garbage segregation remains a problem. We see candy wrappers along sidewalks. Gossiping is still a lifestyle. There are still some traffic violations being committed. Some people still arrive late for work and for meetings. To this day, rules are still broken. I long to see the day when we can become more disciplined. Truly, we must start with ourselves. We must be the change we yearn for. The time is now.  

Jim Veneracion, Naga City: I would rather say that Filipinos are ill-disciplined. Being so makes us less competitive and perpetually consigns us to being a Third World country.  

Ryan Pahimulin, Rizal: Before the Marcos regime, the Philippines was second to Japan in wealth and sports. This would not have happened if Filipinos were undisciplined.  

We tend to make our own rules

Armando Cabahel, Cabanatuan City: On a scale of one to 10, with 10 as the highest, I guess Filipinos would be a 4 in terms of discipline. Whether we admit it or not, we are not the kind of people who will just follow rules and regulations, because we tend to create our own instead. This applies to even simple traffic rules and regulations, and maintaining the cleanliness of our surroundings.  

We are an easy-going people

Dave Velasco, Marinduque: Filipinos are an easy-going people having self-discipline in an easy ningas-cogon way.  

Education is the key to discipline

Ralph Ryan Rusiana, Metro Manila: As we can tell, our countrymen are not disciplined enough in some ways. Most of our countrymen are not privileged enough to have proper education. It’s only by education that we can attain proper discipline. Discipline can lead us to a nation that is more united and can lesson our doubts in our government. I think that education is a very lethal weapon that will help us achieve our goals. We need to start working on our own discipline, and then we can start influencing our countrymen. 

Josh Pacatang, Dipolog City: The discipline of a people is shaped and framed by their culture, beliefs and educational attainment and environment. In this country, school and religious institutions influence discipline among Filipinos. Of course, professionals are well disciplined. The masses are being exploited by politicians and businessmen, so their discipline is fragile and their behavior is erratic.  

The youth are undisciplined

Jovit Mendoza, Metro Manila: The discipline of Filipinos is deteriorating. Teenagers nowadays are exposed to all kinds of evil things  drinking, smoking and drugs. Because of these, teenagers lose control.  

Dr. Jose Balcanao, Benguet: The very first thing that Filipino parents teach to their children is discipline, but when the children enter the material world that is full of vices and sins and exposed to a system enmeshed in the culture of corruption, the youth becomes confused and tends to become wild in thoughts and in deeds. Our national leaders should be first exemplars of discipline before we expect discipline from the local arena.  

We all have a lot to learn

Rico Fabello, Parañaque City: There’s so much to say, but I’d rather keep it to myself. I can’t defend myself on this one. We all have a lot to learn.  

Digoy Coro, Batangas: Most of us are undisciplined. I have a hard time disciplining myself. I counsel, but I don’t do what I say.  

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