National discipline for Pinoys? Good luck!

Johnny Delgado, one of the best character actors in Philippine cinema, was almost convincing in his monologue in that new advocacy ad currently running on TV. He’s asking the same question that we Pinoys (Filipinos) all over the world are asking: why are Filipinos more disciplined when we’re not in our own country? Here are my random answers.

It’s not that we mystically morph into respectable foreigners when we set foot on foreign land. I believe that we’re just scared of getting deported because we did something stupid.

We make it an effort to know the laws in foreign lands. At home, we only know the obvious. We don’t seem to care when we’re actually breaking rules here because we know damn well we can run faster and are more cunning than the authorities.

Congress has been busy trying to impeach our tiny President ever since she took office. Who’s taking care of the laws of the land, guys? The only bills being passed are my financial bills which I am so desperately trying hard to settle until the last drop of my blood.

A friend once told me we have good laws (whatever is already there, no thanks to our congressmen), but enforcement is b-a-a-a-a-a-a-d. I can relate to that. Traffic laws alone can give you colossal migraine. Hell, even simple city ordinances like cellphone use inside theaters, churches, and banks cannot be enforced strictly. Once, a socialite was talking loudly over her cellphone during a movie screening in Makati. I was about to exercise a citizen’s arrest when, as if on cue, the rest of the audience hushed in chorus. The rest is history for the ignorant socialite.

You’re right, Johnny, madali lang naman talaga maging disiplinado (it’s really easy to be disciplined). It’s our environment that makes it difficult for us to cooperate.

Funny, but we’re supposed to be molded by a society that believes in closely-knit family ties. Discipline should start from there. How come all those values we learned from our parents suddenly vanish into thin polluted air once we step out of the house? Or am I still living in the 60s?

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