Apathy:The "Deadma" Phenomenon in the Philippines

Philippines
December 5, 2009 6:34pm CST
I was riding the MRT because I was headed for Saint Paul Manila. I noticed this woman who was like sweaty, and wiping her face with tissue. Her face was so sticky that bits of tissue stuck to her face. Other people in the MRT saw her, but they did not do anything. I waited for five minutes for someone to tell her that she has tissue bits all over her face but still no one did. My mind was nagging me to tell her that she looks funny with bits of tissue all over her face. I mustered my strength and told her in her face, " Miss you have tissue in your face." Another incident happened to me when I was about to ride the jeep to Rosario. I fell down and scraped my knee. No one in there even bothered to come to my aid to help me and ask if I was alright. I cried silently inside the jeep, feeling numb inside. Another incident was when our helper Manang Rose was already getting off the jeepney when she fell down from it,face flat. She only cried when she arrived home, telling us that no one helped her up her feet. Does anyone experience these situations here in our country? Or do other people from other countries also experience this as well. Please share your thoughts on this deeply rooted problem of social apathy.
2 people like this
12 responses
• Philippines
6 Dec 09
Hi there, unfortunately here in our country the "Deadma" phenomenon happens a whole lot more often now. A lot more people just seems to "not care" nowadays and just prefer to be "special bystanders". A lot of people must have forgotten the concept of "a simple help". But I have some personal experiences that a perfect stranger would come up and help and I am very grateful for those rare moments. I still believe that a lot of our fellow countrymen out there are genuine and are willing to help without expecting in return. I know that there is still hope...
@agv0419 (3027)
• Philippines
6 Dec 09
I also experience that no one seem to care to help when I'm fell in the tricycle one time. It is very embarassing moment for me because I fell on the mud and no one dare to help me to stand up. Yes I agree some Filipinos don't really care about other people "deadma" happens all the time but I do believe that there are also helpful Filipinos and they seem to care to anyone.
@rsa101 (22783)
• Philippines
9 Dec 09
Well I think this phenomenon is happening anywhere not only in the Philippines but anywhere in the world. Even in the Bible there seems to be similar situation like this when Mary was about to give birth no one even bothered to take them in because they were busy with their lives. That is why Jesus was born in a manger because people never entertained them or at least help them to get a comfortable place to give birth. People nowadays are just too busy with their lives already. Life as we see are not as easy as it was before that is why we tend to not help those that need immediate help. That is sad but sometimes reality bites. I am not justifying that it should be an acceptable behavior because of the situation but I am just reasoning out why we tend to become one at some point in time.
@pillow08 (97)
• Philippines
8 Dec 09
That's sad. I would like to believe that Filipinos are better than that. What's happening to us? It's true though. I once came home from work with a big white correction tape pasted on my nose, I was so tired that day that I didn't get to check myself in the mirror. It's hilarious to think how many people saw me looking so silly. (And I thought I looking so pretty that day because everyone seems to be glancing at me) I guess these changes come with modernization. Another factor comes to mind, may be Filipinos are so timid that they didn't want to embarrass? "They feel embarrassed to embarrass"
@leateagee (3667)
• China
7 Dec 09
It is really so sad to recall all these experiences. I had in a way or the other same experience with you but I wouldn't mind if they won't help me because I fear they won't help but damaged more. Filipinos are known to be helpful but there are some who are pretending and usually take the advantage of doing something bad. If I'll be the one to help, I would love to. If they will help me, I am fine. Life is like that. Why do I feel this way? It is because of this: Fifteen years ago I was in my freshman year, I am commuting from home to EU Recto. As a medical student there are some specimen you have to carry home and back to school. One afternoon on the way home, I was waiting for a jeepney when my things fell and I have to pick it up from the ground. A woman helped me put my things inside my bag and when I am about to stand she extended a hand to lift me up together with my things then all of a sudden she grab my wrist and took my bracelet. I was shocked and was not able to move for a moment or two. I could feel people were staring at me. Some were shouting "the lady snatched the student's bracelet" and so on and so forth. I was so pale that I almost fainted when a classmate just approached me and ask me what's happening? And to cut the story shorter ... I feared most of the people around who would try to help. It's like I lost the trust. I was young and studying in Recto area was really new to me. I was schooled a private school for girls and meeting all kinds of people in that place was one of the greatest challenge that made me tough whenever I get out of our home. I really don't mind they won't help me but I will try to be a help to those in need. Happy mylotting. I miss home.
@Ritchelle (3795)
• Philippines
7 Dec 09
a lot of factors i believe come into play. one's culture plays a lot. people in the philippines are very conservative and tends to only be showy in their emotions when it comes to procreation. no offense . it's just a joke. but proves true . this is quite saddening as instances like the ones you mentioned calls for one to just forgo of one's conservatism and basically show concern to another human being. i also notice that one's appearance also tends to intimidate others especially if one happens to look well to do. i just noticed this having lived 34 years. however, i had never been in a situation where this happened to me.
@jaiho2009 (38989)
• Philippines
7 Dec 09
Hello liz, This is very common here in our country,and i don't know why this is happening in this new era. I wonder where the hospitality and friendly traits that we "FILIPINO" are proud of. Is it gone with the modernization?...so sad to think...but slowly good Filipino TRAITS were slowly die and forgotten with time.
@ybong007 (6656)
• Philippines
7 Dec 09
I believe there is this urge to help others but it seems that we are waiting for someone to act first before we do. It's not that they don't care, they're just shy enough to make the offer. I can see it everywhere, the MRT especially. Men don't usually offer their sit because their expecting others to give in first. So each and everyone pretend to sleep just to avoid the nagging look others are giving them. it's the same shyness that lead them to appear apathetic. Which only shows that we are made to be followers because we will act only when someone leads.
• Philippines
6 Dec 09
That is really happening and very common here in our country... When people see some unusual like the one you cited (tissue on the face), people tend to ignore it... they acted as if they saw nothing... its either they are shy to make put the person on embarrassment by telling it straight to her or just don't care at all... It is really disappointing and sad, that now a day, good Samaritans are becoming less and lesser as the days go by... Maybe people are becoming more suspicious... We cannot blame some, for they are really people who are doing things to betray or cheat others... The ones that are suffering are the ones that are really in need of help…
• Philippines
6 Dec 09
Many times did it happen to me. In those times that you expect help from someone else yet no one extends help, can be very frustrating. That's part of life. We cannot be expecting much from others. Have a wonderful day.
@lealuvy2j (1984)
• Philippines
6 Dec 09
I have actually experienced this attitude from my fellow Filipinos during Typhoon Ondoy. I am one of those people who were stranded in SLEX at that time and I decided to walk from Nichols to EDSA. Unfortunately, I fell into a muddy plant hole and half of my body is stuck there for a few minutes. There were a lot of people there because the cars were not moving because of the floods but no one helped me get out of the plant hole. I was really disappointed but still I am lucky because it was my strength and adrenaline rush that got me out of that predicament. I still expected for someone to help me because I thought Filipinos are better than that.
@Qaeyious (2361)
• United States
6 Dec 09
That is interesting. I live in California, Sacramento County in the central valley, and I see people helping others all the time. Especially older people on public transportation when the driver doesn't wait for passengers to take their seat. There was one bus driver who was really bad. He was taking on passengers and waited, and when the elderly lady with a walker got to his door he closed it and tried to leave. A number of passengers made him stop the bus, got out and made sure she could get home safely. I fell and broke my arm a few years back, but I was able to walk on the bus who happened to go near a hospital. A person stopped the bus before we left and handed me a book that I dropped. Another time there was an air show in very hot weather, and a stranger offered me to take me home so I wouldn't have to walk. The most severe case was when a person in a wheelchair tipped over on the sidewalk. A motorist stopped and with his passenger assisted her. Now maybe these are isolated cases, and I am just paying attention to the actions of more civilized people. I wouldn't deny there are many people who do not care, but I am confident there are many as well who know, and will do, the right thing. I'm sorry that you haven't experienced that yet.
@athomice (396)
• Philippines
6 Dec 09
When I was still able to go any where by myself, I remember when I was in a bus...I usually sit in front, a pregnant woman came and the bus is almost full. The only left sit was at the back but the woman chose not to go there because she's 7-8 months pregnant (I think), she sat on a small chair for the conductor. At first I wait for somene to give her a sit, I'm thinking twice because I had a brace on my left leg but in my heart I really want to give my sit. After waiting for a few minutes and noone gave up their sit...I stand up and give mine and let the people see a disable person help the pregnant woman. I know most of them feel ashamed of themselves after I did that. Then one man gave his sit to me, I found out he was an office mate of my father. I'm lucky to have the urge of helping, I don't know why but ever since I was a child I was doing that without noticing it. It's just unfortunate that I had to deal apathy from other people because of the life changing experience that happened to me when I was growing.