Driving in the Philippines means you have to deal with traffic on a daily basis. That being said, some drivers have learned a few tips and tricks to help them get to their destination faster even with all the gridlock. Madiskarte, is a Filipino term that can describe an individual that is quick-witted and cunning, someone who is resourceful, or someone who is a womanizer. It can also describe an individual with the ability to work around the system and avoid getting caught. Any person who commits actions in relation to the statements above will usually be the recipient of this “compliment.” In its literal translation, it means strategy, and perhaps the slang definition’s etymology is derived from having a strategy in mind.

While this may seem like a good thing, if we flip the script and put this term on the road it can quickly become something with a bad connotation to it. When you’re on the streets, you’re surrounded by rules and regulations. The law is in effect here, so why break it? You’re surrounded by other motorists that you will inconvenience if you think solely for yourself. Let’s digress.

road rage

There are certain ways you can get to where you want to be quickly, however, sometimes these methods can either be against the law or be to the detriment of others. That being said we will quickly discuss these common tactics that some drivers think are just diskarte.

Cutting in line to get ahead is a very selfish act. Other motorists have been waiting patiently to get through, while you just breeze in as if nothing happened. Everyone deserves to be home on time, not just you. The same goes for any sort of line, be it the drive-thru or parking lot or if you’re on two wheels or four. 

Counterflowing should be a deadly sin – literally. Going on the opposing lane in a two-lane road is asking for trouble. Just like how you cut the line to get ahead, it is plain reckless and impudent to commit such a heinous act. There is also a big chance that regular counter flowers will not understand the graveness of the insult I just hurled. 

Refusing to use your turn signals is a very irresponsible and disrespectful act. Not only are you presenting a risk to other motorists, but you’re also insulting their humanity by not asking permission to get in their way. Be the better person, and ask for permission. Just because you’re in a car doesn’t mean you should act like an animal – wild and unpredictable. It also goes for being deceitful, not indicating to get your way, and can catch others off guard. 

Using the yellow lane is inconsiderate since buses already have it hard. Let’s reiterate, the yellow lane is for busses, and you’re not a bus. Not only are they destined to spend more hours than you stuck in traffic, but they also have to navigate traffic with a giant box, constantly checking mirrors, and pressured to make good time between stops. Not to mention they also have to compete with other bus operators. Granted, buses also cut out of the yellow lane, but two wrongs don’t make a right. 

All hail the hazards on or to the side of the road. This should be penalized more. Stopping by the side of the road, especially on highways and major thoroughfares is shameful. There is no getting by the fact that taking up half a lane, a whole lane, or even a sidewalk is unbecoming of a decent individual. Are you a decent individual? Then don’t make life harder for people who have and don’t have cars.

Tailing the ambulance/firetruck is quite possibly, the lowest form of opportunism that can be found on the road. Just think, someone is dying inside an emergency vehicle, and you smile and say “Hey free space”  – what’s wrong with you? Fire trucks are also included in the list. Don’t even argue with the emergency vehicles, just give way, better to be safe than sorry. If there is someone already tailing the emergency vehicle, don't try and cut. Let them be. 

Using the shoulder is frowned upon in other countries. This area is reserved for vehicles that are experiencing technical difficulties, as well as motorists that need to take an emergency stop – and you just use it to overtake. What does that make you?

Swerving, whether fast or slow, is a gross disregard for the safety and space of others. A highway is meant to go one way, and you’re cutting and creating slowdowns. There is a special place down there for people that go through a highway at a 90-degree angle.

If I need to conclude and I still didn’t get to you, at least I wasted your time reading this article.

If you understand why it's a toxic driving habit, I salute you. Stay classy on and off the road. 

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