[FOR FUN] Filipino car driver stereotypes: Who are you?

Updated Apr 25, 2019 | Same topic: Let's Drive Smart!

We have a not so serious discussion on the familiar kinds and stereotypes of drivers that can be found here in the Philippines.

Dear readers of Philkotse.com, we all know that not all drivers are the same and there are many out there that we somewhat fit into stereotypes whether as a joke in our private inner thoughts or even as actual observations on the road.

Now stereotypes in social psychology are defined as over-generalized and are only assumed to be true for each and every single person, or in this case driver, that fits the category.

While this might make it easier and quicker for some people to make value judgments and or decisions in day to day driving, one might be surprised to find out that stereotypes, including the following that we will list, will not always be true.

Stereotypes can also lead to prejudice but for our case on this article, it’s just poking a little bit of fun into what we’ve observed from news sources, word of mouth, and of course from our own observations whilst driving around in Metro Manila.

So please, take this with a grain of salt. And if you find yourself offended by a stereotype…well: “talo ang pikon” as they always say.

Now in our journeys driving in Metro Manila, we encounter drivers hailing from many different backgrounds driving many different cars. While many others out there classify a driver into a stereotype based on what they drive, drivers themselves can also be observed to have seemingly formed their own identities. So let’s get to know them better;

Do you know who I am?

Often times we encounter this very impatient person, usually a male, after he breaks some kind of traffic law. Most often than not, we often find these guys caught or reprimanded by either other drivers or law enforcement after counterflowing, beating a red light, after nearly running over a pedestrian, nearly hitting other motorists, going the other way on a one way road, or bullying other drivers whilst jockeying for position on the road.

As you may have guessed ladies and gents, these dudes have an inflated sense of self-worth that they would often use as a defense mechanism especially when they are cornered and caught red-handed or even when you stand up to them after they cause a ruckus with their bewildering sense of entitlement.

In some situations these a-holes are indeed real big shots in their respective occupations but mind you, that doesn’t actually make you the King of the road.

A picture of an angry woman

Very impatient and often illogical.

Also more often than not, these guys have quite a temper denying the obvious and will rant non-stop shouting over and over that familiar phrase we always hear on the news; “Do you know who I am?” regardless of who they’re talking to; police, traffic enforcers, pedestrians and of course other motorists.

They are often illogical and would often deflect the blame to you or others during the event of an accident. And most often than not these people overlap with.

1. Road Rage dude

A more dangerous version of the above. The road rage dude still has that sense of entitlement or inflated sense of ego but is also backed up by clenched fists or worse…a loaded firearm.

And yes indeed, there have been noteworthy cases that a minor traffic scuffle has escalated to assault or even murder especially if there were no law enforcers around. Don’t be the road rage dude and let calmness prevail.

Road rage driver

These gun-toting motorists give legit gun owners a bad name

2. The road weaving public transport

During the daily commute, it is of no doubt that many of us will have experience in using public transport be it a taxi, bus or jeep. Most of the times, these are driven by polite, and patient middle-aged dudes who are conscious of traffic rules and road etiquette.

Others are seemingly always on the rush and have been observed to somewhat “race” to get to would be passengers. These are pretty scary to encounter especially if they are large buses weaving in and out of traffic despite their size and the current state of road congestion.

A picture of a road full of buses manila

Buses, Metro Manila's prime choice for public transport. Often calm, but sometimes too aggressive

3. The Kamote rider/driver

No offense to the sweet root crop, these scum of the road are oftentimes motorcyclists who ride aggressively without safety gear and with little regard for road rules and road etiquette.

However there are also four-wheeled drivers who fit into this stereotype as they also tend to stop at an intersection blocking pedestrian lane, rarely use their signal lights, are often found NOT practicing defensive driving, and are overall a menace on the road that will inevitably cause accidents.

And much worse is that, the Kamote mentality can be found from all kinds of people from all walks of life, be it rich or poor, educated or uneducated, there will always be drivers out there like this. 

A true kamote driver

A typical Kamote driver 

>>> Related post: Top 10 bad behaviors that drivers should avoid while driving

4. The Indecisive learner

We’ve all been there ladies and gents; you first few weeks of driving on the road with your brand new car and is nervous as a Chihuahua. While not inherently a bad driver or mean spirited by any means, the indecisive learner is still trying to grasp the finer details when it comes to road etiquette and sometimes even road rules.

A picture of a nervous lady driver

What's that? What's he doing? oh no oh no oh no

Also these people are found to drive slower than most especially on tricky roundabouts like the Quezon City Memorial Circle. If you sense one of these out in the wild, try to be patient with them and better yet give them a lot of space and not honk at them aggressively as nervous drivers can sometimes lose control of their vehicles if agitated too much.

If you’re still nervous after years of driving, well, you might have actual anxiety so better see a professional for that.

5. The Handicapped with no actual handicap

Often encountered during parking, these people are either unscrupulous, unaware, mean spirited, or just plain a-holes. Or even worse, pretending to have a disability just to get that sweet sweet parking spot.

A picture of a truck taking up two handicap parking spaces

Please, it's for Handicapped !!!

6. The Feeling racer

These are often middle-class young guys who fashion themselves as car enthusiasts or worse: street racers. Oftentimes, they are seen driving heavily modded (riced out) economy boxes that are louder than they are faster.

street racer

Yeah, it looks good, but does it actually make more horsepower?

Sometimes though rarely, these racer boys can get their hands on rarer actually fast cars and that indeed makes it more facepalm worthy. More common however they are often found in groups causing all kinds of ruckus and trouble at night which leads us to…

7. The Night Hooner

As we’ve said, these people with their modded out cars are found ripping on the public roads during night time especially after midnight where law enforcement is rarely seen.

Sometimes these guys are also found committing all sorts of violations like driving under the influence. In rarer cases, some just merely cruise around and are actually aware of their surroundings and are keen not to cause trouble.

8. The Actual Racer

Though very rare here in the Philippines, these guys actually exist and despite actually having the skill in drifting, drag racing, circuit racing and whatnot are actually very sensible drivers while out on public roads. Some more known Filipino racers are even members of road safety groups.

A picture of the filipino driver, Marlon Stockinger

Marlon Stockinger is a Pinoy professional racer who supports several safe driving laws

On times of their choice, these real racers unleash their skill and their track cars on race tracks such as The Circulo Verde in Pasig, the North Perfectline in Bulacan, and of course the Batangas Racing Circuit in Rosario, Batangas.

9. The backseat driver

We all know this person, whether he or she is a relative, a friend or a coworker, or for those public transport drivers out there; a complete stranger, these people from time to time offer their unsolicited advice with regards to your driving. While sometimes being useful, in most times backseat drivers can be found to be annoying.

backseat driver

Grzz, I am using my signal light !!

 >>> Read more: How to be a good car passenger: 7 Dos & Don'ts to remember

10. The EDSA offroader

The popularity of 4x4 off-road capable vehicles is undeniable here in the Philippines. As such, many who own such vehicles mod them out with skid plates, snorkels, lift kits, enormous all-terrain tires, bull-bars, LED light bars and whatnot.

Despite these mods and vehicles, these guys haven’t actually put their vehicles in actual off-road conditions and instead use them as daily drivers. A plus side though for having a lifted off-road capable vehicle is it can easily run through floods.

A picture of EDSA

Does this look like an off-road course to you?

11. The Real offroader

While there are people out there like the ones listed above, there are also the REAL offroaders who are often times seen driving their mud bathed vehicles after going at it at some gnarly trail somewhere in Quezon Province or in Cordillera.

Often times though you actually need to talk to the dude before making judgments as to whether or not he's the real deal or just like the one listed above.

4x4 off-roading in the mountains of Zamboanga Philippines

If you want to actually use your off-road vehicle and learn how to drive off-road you can go to the Southwoods 4x4 Park which is located somewhere between Cavite and Laguna.

>>> Also check out: Best 5 cars for road trips in the Philippines

12. The Provincial guy

Not all motorists in Metro Manila are locals and some indeed are from nearby provinces. Most often, these guys are bewildered by the concrete jungle which is the metro and is in fact, lost. If you have indeed found yourselves to be one of these, asking questions is a good start. Or better yet, Waze can help you find your way.

13. Mr. and Ms. Rules and Safety

These people are often uncompromising followers of road safety and rules and will inevitably criticize you even for your slightest of mistakes in driving. While inherently good, sometimes it just better to have a little leeway here or there and also not be a total control freak about driving. Often than not they are also backseat drivers.

>>> If you also want to be Mr/Ms. Rules, check out: Driving in the metro: 6 steps to avoid getting tickets for violations!

14. The Commuting workforce warrior

Whether riding on a motorcycle or a four-wheeled vehicle, these guys are dependable motorists who are familiar with road rules and road etiquette to the point that they can be called veterans of the Manila daily grind. But not only that, there are some who even travel very long distances all over the Philippines like product salesmen, medical representatives.

All of which are seasoned motorists who can sometimes do their own repairs, not get lost, and of course reverent to the rules of the road.

A picture of a toyota vios

One favorite ride of the commuting workforce warrior: The Toyota Vios

15. The consummate driver

The ubermensch. The ultimate and near perfect driver that all aspire to become one day. Whether be it a daily commuter, or anything else this driver can do it all and is a true car enthusiast. Most likely this guy does not exist at all though even outside the Philippines.

Indeed you might fall into one more of the stereotypes listed above. But as we've said earlier, take this with a grain of salt and with a little humor is stereotypes, as we all know, are merely generalizations that might miss some other crucial factor in your identity as a person. So while the summer lasts, let us safely enjoy our time, be polite and make friends and keep safe on or off the road. 

>>> Click for more useful tips and advice for smart driving. 

Cesar G.B. Miguel

Cesar G.B. Miguel


Cesar Guiderone B. Miguel was born and raised in Iligan City, Lanao Del Norte. He graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in English degree from Mindanao State University - Iligan Institute of Technology. He previously worked as a freelance writer for various websites, as a member of the Iligan City Disaster Risk Reduction Management's training staff, and as a medical sales representative.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/goridus.goridus

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