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GMRC must be shown, not only taught

05:01 AM June 12, 2019

I was riding a ferry on my way to an island when I was seated beside a man, perhaps in his mid-30s, munching on his big-sized junk food. I knew he was done with his snack when he crumpled the plastic pack and stood up, probably to throw it into the trash can in front of us.

To my surprise, the man threw the trash into the sea. I was a second late when I called his attention. Despite being younger and smaller in physique, I shouted at him, saying why would he throw it into the sea when the trash can was just a meter away from him. The man hurriedly transferred to another spot without opening his mouth, his face red from embarrassment.

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I was plying a busy and narrow street one night when a passenger jeepney, whose tail lights were not working, suddenly stopped to pick up a passenger in the middle of the road. A couple of inches more and my car would have collided with it.

When I had the chance to overtake him, I rolled my window down and told him to position his car properly the next time he picked up a passenger. He responded with a curse then yelled at me, saying I should mind my own business because he was just doing his job. Enraged, I cursed back at him and told him to do his job properly.

I was about to cross an intersection when the vehicle in front of me and another one in the opposite direction had a standoff, completely blocking the intersection. No one wanted to give way as they were passing the blame at each other.

As vehicles started to pile up, I went out of my car and took the initiative to solve the impasse. I told the driver of the car in the opposite direction to give way since his lane has the space to do it. He refused and told me it should be the other car since it was not his fault. I made him realize that a dozen more cars would be trapped if they continued their petty fault-finding. He finally gave way without further objection.

I’m sure we all have experienced these, too:

It was the usual afternoon rush when cars, including mine, were on an extended standstill. Out of nowhere, a motorcyclist hit my right side mirror. Instead of stopping, the driver zoomed away without even acknowledging the wrong he had just committed.

I was on my way home when a street child, probably 5 years old, climbed on my car and insisted that I give him money. When I refused, he gave me the most solid “putang ina mo!” When I alighted, he ran away, still cursing.

I hailed a taxi cab one day and went inside immediately. But the driver asked my destination first before proceeding. When I told him, he arrogantly asked me to leave. Annoyed, I stepped outside and closed the door as hard as I could. The driver alighted from his cab, checked his window then approached me and threatened to break my face if I had broken his window.

So I ask myself: Do Filipinos not know how to throw trash properly? Don’t we have respect for laws and ordinances? Don’t we know how to acknowledge our own mistakes? Don’t we know the concept of courtesy and civility? Are our manners deteriorating as years go by?

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Maybe it’s time to revisit how we teach good manners and right conduct (GMRC). Maybe it’s not enough to teach GMRC; maybe it has to be shown. It should be shown.

OLIVER CACHAPERO JR.
[email protected]

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TAGS: courtesy, GMRC, good manners, Inquirer letters, Oliver Cachapero Jr., right conduct
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