Traffic Courtesy, Rude Behavior, Criminality, and I Park Like an Idiot Bacolod

I am a member of this popular group now on Facebook called I Park Like an Idiot Bacolod. The members, as far as I know, are from Bacolod or neighboring cities in Negros Occidental. They post pictures of cars illegally parked or were parked without consideration to others that they happened to pass by.

The word “idiot” can be harsh to some, but hey, that was already the name when the group was started and it kept growing. So while others cannot accept the word, they have to accept the fact that the group is highly regarded. And well, they can just very well leave if they can’t take it. Talking to some people I know who are members there, it made them more careful with how they park because they don’t want a photo of their car ending up on the page. So the purpose of the group is actually quite nice.

Now some of the posts are entertaining or amusing, while some have become quite boring (e.g. like the stepping over parking lot guide lines). They are just too commonplace already. I usually just skip that. But sometimes, things get really interesting. Today, I chanced upon a post by Ms. Dominique Yra Saquibal‎. Early this morning, she passed by La Salle Avenue and even at that hour, the traffic of vehicles on that road was already incorrigible. That is not surprising because aside from the University of St. La Salle, there is L’Ecole, St. Scholastica’s Academy, and two other private preschools located on the exact same road. When she got to the area across the first gate of USLS, the car in front of her reportedly stopped and the lady driver went down, took her daughter, and crossed the street to drop off her child at L’Ecole. Ms. Saquibal reportedly shouted to the other lady driver in the midst of the noisy jam to park her car properly and the other person only shouted back “Hulat da! (Wait!)” But instead of hurrying back, Ms. Saquibal recounted that the other driver went back only after a good 15 minutes and it was already crazy chaotic because the other drivers were also honking their horns. Here is the photo below of the incident. I blurred the other car’s license plate because I wouldn’t want her to be trolled either. That is not the purpose of this article.

Photo by Dominique Yra Saquibal‎. Published with permission. Blurring of plate number mine.

My point here is that the lady driver in the other car was in luck. Despite being so pissed, the drivers of the other cars did not go out and do anything bad to her car. In the group page, other people were talking really bad about her, suggesting her car should have been vandalized or her tires tampered with. And if indeed her car was harmed, I bet that bystanders would just say, “Serves you right for being inconsiderate.” This is a harsh world.

For me, that lady driver did a number of wrong things. Number one, nobody parks in the middle of the road unless your car just suddenly had a break down. And even if it did, you find somebody to help you bring your car to the side of the road so that your car doesn’t hinder the flow of traffic. Two, she did it in the middle of a very busy school street during the early morning rush hour when people go to school or bring their kids to school. Three, she endangered herself and her daughter when she jumped off the car in the middle of a busy street. Four, instead of being remorseful, she maintained the stance of being right as she demanded for the other driver who reprimanded her to wait. Five, instead of coming back as soon as possible, she took too long to come back, thereby holding up the traffic for too long. I believe that we only hold traffic like that for heads of state where security is a big concern, which I believe she is not.

Here we learn that not everyone who can afford a car and can pay for a driver’s license is good enough to be on the road. Granting that we are not perfect people and there will always be lapses, an apology or a kind word will surely assuage the situation. But being wrong and adamant at the same time–well, that will surely spark trouble.

The driver of that car should really be careful. While we live in Bacolod where people are generally peaceful, that may not always be the case. In Manila, we are aware of news items where people kill for much lesser traffic inconveniences. I really hope that she does not pull that stunt anymore, not only out of kindness and consideration to others, but also for her own safety and that of her daughter’s. Be warned.

If you were the driver of the car behind that lady driver, what would you actually do? How do you feel about this?


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