Thursday, June 12, 2008

Show Me Your Ride, I’ll Show You Who You Are

The car has become the carapace, the protective and aggressive shell, of urban and suburban man. - Marshall McLuhan

Early in the morning, we’re on the road, trying to be on time for work after I drop my daughter to school. All of a sudden a car cut us in front, releasing some expletives from my lips. My wife asks “How did you know that driver was an Eg**t**n”? “By the type of car his driving”, I answered. Sure enough, when we stop side by side at a traffic light, it was an Eg**t**n (or looks like one).

I’m not stereotyping, but most Arabs prefer huge cars (American) while South and Southeast Asians like the Japanese models. I myself drive a Korean model. But when it comes to old cars (model 80’s and 90’s) the stereotyping begins and the similarity is not further from the truth. Let me illustrate:

A typical car driven by typical people like me. Nothing fancy. It has all the necessary accessories for safe driving.

A car probably owned by locals. I’m not kidding. The tinted windows are to discourage prying eyes, especially if there are women inside. It’s not because cars are gendered as female as the reason of the hood covering, but to protect the lights and engine when driving on severe sandstorm.

I have no rational explanation for this, but I often see North Africans and Sudanese driving this kind of car. Remove the baggage carrier from the roof and most likely a South Asian is behind the wheel.

You guessed it right. It’s owned by a Pinoy. “Rice burner” I think is the American term for it. They modified it to look like a race car. Even change the muffler to sound like it has a powerful engine, but nothing special under its hood and suspension system. Maybe its owner is a frustrated race car driver, has a lot of money or has “attention deficit syndrome” ( kulang sa pansin).

A big metropolis in terms of area, my city is still lacking in mass transport. The majority prefers to drive their own car and culture, I guess, has something to do with it. As for me, I bought my car so I could go from point A to point B, if I go shopping or incase of emergency. I maintain it well because it’s an indispensable part of our daily life but not to a point that it’s “fully loaded” with non-essentials.

I still could not understand why some of our kabayans invest heavily on something they will only own temporarily and could not bring back to the Philippines. Your guess is just as good as mine.


  1. The correct term is "rice rocket".

    And as Rex Navarette points out, it's a sure sign that the person behind the wheel has a very small dick he needs spoilers and mufflers to augment the lack in breadth and length. ;)

  2. When I was working in Angeles city in Pampanga I was awed by the way people there transformed their old rusty cars ,they can turn the old car into porsche or mustang the ingenuity of the "kapangpangans" mechanics are really amazing,Maybe those ornate cars In ME were owned by "kapangpangans" too.

  3. Jsut like my taste for cellfones which is "if its good for texting and I can call who I want", that is good enough for me, a car that runs on four wheels is all I need.

  4. dati dream kona talaga magkaroon ng car pero sa mahal ng gasolina ngayon, parang ayaw kona yata!hehe!

    thanks for dropping by!;0)

  5. Like you, I simply need a car to take me to where I need to go. I don't make it flashy for other people to notice. I want things to be understated and simple. I take very good care of my car because I tend to hold on to them for as long as I can. I have a 12 year-old car in my garage and an 8 year old car that I use on a daily basis. They're good enough for me.

  6. Jon, I think Rex is right. I read somewhere that cars are reflection of a man's sub-conscious and desire.

    ed v., Kapangpangans are really good in construction and inovation. Some of them owns "rice rockets" as Jon corrected, but most of I know are not from Pampangga.

    Ka Rolly, ako rin ganoon. I won't let go of anything as long as it still serves its purpose. Que si huda kung luma at kupas na.

    point of view, I was planning to buy a multicab para may gamitin when we go for vacation sa pinas. Now I have second thoughts.

    BTW, thank you for dropping by.

    panaderos, me too. I want everything simple yet functional and elegant. It doesn't have to be expensive. In other words "simple lang pero Jazz".

  7. Babati lang po ng Happy Father's Day! =)

  8. Ms. Sassy, Thank you.

  9. Siyanga pala happy fathers day sa lahat ng bloggers dito pati na sa community host......... You know blogusvox here in Korea you rarely see ornate cars, strange but true about 70to 80% of cars here are white the rest are black ang gray.

  10. ed v., it's because Koreans are no-nonsense practical people.

    Happy Father's Day to you too.

  11. Its a uniform society seldom you see people express their indivuduality,when you are different you are an ousider,that makes life here boring sometimes he he he..

  12. Happy Father's Day!

    I don't think a multicab will do for your purpose; I don't trust it for long drives, especially kung ihahataw sa expressway. Thanks to the NLEX and SCTEX we now have legitimate expressways where we can easily go 100kph and get arrested beyond that (sosyal sila may radar, hehe).

    But a Toyota Avanza will do for me.

  13. ed v., parang Japanese pala ang ugali nang Koreano. But I don't think it's boring there compared to where I am.

    Jon, I don't trust multicab for long journey either but I don't live in Luzon. It's good enough pang ikot-ikot sa bayan namin and for picnic at the beach.

  14. kahit ang loob ng kotse ay pwede ring tingnan at pwede mo ring makilala kung anong ugali ng may ari.

  15. the donG, pag ang kotse saksakan nang kintab at ang loob e pwede kang kumain sa sahig sa linis, that's a sure sign, ang may-ari may compulsive behaviour.