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Monday, June 1, 2009 , Posted by Jason at Monday, June 01, 2009

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“YAN ANG PINOY” is a popular expression spoken either with pride or in shame. Unfortunately we say it more often as a negative, such as when we see Filipino behaving badly and wish we could kick them in the butt. Pinoys do behave badly and nobody botheres to tell them off. We may mind other peoples business in many things but at times like this, we shrug our shoulders or laugh derisively… as if to say, “ Bahala na sila”.

is right because we ourselves could be just as guilty for doing the very same thing we criticize others for. As the local saying goes: “ Basta may gusot, may lusot.”

About a year ago, a newspaper columnist got slammed when she castigated some overseas Filipino workers (OFW’S) for behaving badly on a homebound flight from Europe that she happened to be on, as well.

Remember, OFW’s are dubbed our “modern heroes” because their foreign-exchange remittances are the backbone of our sagging economy. Overseas workers send billion of dollars and Euros to their families here.

The woman columnist didn’t expect the brickbats hurled at her for chastising these uncouth seamen and domestic helpers who, she wrote, wreaked havoc in the plane cabin and messed up the comfort rooms. You don’t do that to “heroes”, no matter what!
Stuck on a homebound flight from Frankfurt, a favorite hub for homecoming, she had to wait for two-hour delay in that huge terminal because it took that long for the airline to load the balikbayan boxes of our Pinoy “heroes”. This was before the new luggage restrictions.

During the flight, she attempted in vain to sleep because she was squeezed between overly boisterous seamen who were celebrating their going home. She didn’t begrudge them, but what does one do when your seatmates are jumping all over the place, guzzling beer and swapping jokes?

By midnight, the toilets were sorry stinky mess and the flight attendants were not about to clean it up- no thank you!
I guess the difference between myself and that columnist is that I had more or less gotten used to such misbehavior (not only by Pinoys). Believe me, there’s no difference between squalling toddlers and drunk seamen- the toilets are always filthy. Nobody pays attention when the seatbelt lights flash on.

Perhaps recruitment agencies should be requires to provide seminars for outbound. OFW’s on rules and proper behavior. This should include the proper way to use the toilet. Remember, most OFW’s come from the province and probably never saw a toilet seat before or flushed a toilet. So they squat on top of the seat and fidget with the toilet tissue till it unfurls on the floor. They most likely can’t find the flush button. No one has told them not to pee on the floor, or that one should was afterward. These are the simplest things that we take for granted but are so new to the probinsyano.

On the other hand, city folk also have plenty to learn about certain nasty habits, such as taxi drivers opening the car door to spit on the street and people tossing things out of car windows, buses and jeepneys. Do we think the streets are one huge garbage bin?

You don’t dare throw trash on streets in countries like Singapore and Malaysia and cities like Marikina. And yet, for some insane reasons, we have this urge to get rid that candy wrapper or cigarette stub immediately. Can wait to get to a trash can, eh?
Well, okay, we just don’t have enough trash cans on sidewalks and that’s because, believe it or not, people also steal garbage cans!
At fast-food eateries, we don’t pick up our trash to dispose of it in trash bins provided for that purpose. So that fast-food chains have to hire busboys to pick up after you.

And there’s jaywalking. One solution to unraveling traffic jams is to require buses and jeepneys to load and unload at their respective designated spots and for commuters to obey the rules. At least now, they’re learning to queue for their ride.
We cross the street only pedestrian lanes, which vehicles should respect and stay clear of during stop lights. Rules, rules, rules! They are the only way to restore order to our chaotic country. We need rules about waiting in line. No doubt, everybody is guilty of trying to sneak unto a line instead of going to the end of the queue. A favorite trick to joins friends already in line, especially if they’re near the entrance. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

On the subject of punctuality, I am convinced that it is not in the Pinoy’s vocabulary. Somewhere in our Hispanic heritage, we acquire the habit of being late. It’s a no-no to come on time, as expats discover quickly. So, if you want your guest to come at a certain time, the invites should read an hour earlier.

Another bad habit is piling food on our plates at an eat-all-you-can buffet. We all want to get the money’s worth-at least, that’s the excuse for all that excess food. I call it kanin baboy-the baboy obviously being the person piling it up on his plate.
Alas, we have so many bad habits that we could write a book on. But for starters, these should suffice-in fact; they are far too many as it is.

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