TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Filipinos are getting a big chuckle out of a sign spotted inside a bus in northern Taiwan, which admonishes Filipino passengers in Tagalog to not make noise.
A photo of the sign inside a bus first appeared on the Filipino migrant worker Facebook page Mga Pasyalan Sa Taiwan on Monday (Oct. 14) and was quickly shared that same day on website OFW Buddy and Facebook page Siklab PINOY SA Taiwan before being shared the next day PINOY Refresher. The posts drew many comments from Filipino migrant workers, who were amused at the sign's contents and the fact that only Tagalog was present, as opposed to Mandarin and the languages of other major migrant worker nationalities, such as Indonesian and Vietnamese.
The full text of the sign reads "Pakisuyo: Huwag Maingay!" which in Tagalog means "Please: don't be noisy!" Another photo on the page showed a Chinese version below the Tagalog sign, which read "Please keep quiet when inside the bus" (車內請保持安靜).
The photos were taken by Ariel Abalos, who lamented on Mga Pasyalan Sa Taiwan: "Reminder to all Filipinos here in Taiwan. Sadly, there are Filipino words and a Chinese translation written inside the bus." Abalos told Taiwan News that the photos were taken on Sunday evening (Oct. 13) at 7 p.m. as he rode the bus from the Taoyuan High Speed Rail Station to Taoyuan's Zhongli District.
Abalos is a 27-year-old Philippine national who works in quality control at a Taiwanese factory in Taoyuan's Luzhu District. He says that he has lived in Taiwan for two years and that he has never noticed Filipino passengers being particularly loud on the bus.
The website OFW Buddy suggested that the sign indicates "[Taiwanese] notice our behavior in terms of being noisy in public." OFW Buddy then advised Filipinos taking the bus to "please, minimize your voice."
Filipinos had various theories as to why the signs were only in Tagalog and not other Southeast Asian migrant languages:
"The notice is 'only' printed in Tagalog, which means it pertains to Filipinos 'only.'"
"What a shame! It sounds as if only Filipinos are noisy, while Taiwanese are silent."
"I remember when we rode the bus out there in Taiwan, the driver told us not to be noisy. Our voices were so loud when we spoke. There were some who are sleeping because they were old."
"When we rode the train to Fengyuan, we three were quiet, but the Vietnamese people were noisy, but we didn't care. It's not just Filipinos who are noisy!"
"Groups of people inside the bus sometimes complain really loud about their boss. The driver is right to put up a sign to have them keep quiet. But the signs should also be in Indonesian and Vietnamese. Because we are all foreigners here, we should follow the rules."
Abalos posing with signs in Tagalog and Chinese. (Photo by Ariel Abalos)