Need For Speed?

By Sarah Aterrado - December 21, 2023

A few Sundays ago, I decided to hit the road to fetch Jan in General Santos City. Honestly, with the cost of fuel consistently going up where a 500-peso worth of gas won't get you anywhere, I could have just let him commute because that would have been obviously waaaay cheaper. 

But after years of mothering a tornado trio without a nanny, I thought I'd take this opportunity to escape all kinds of duties. Savor at least two and a half hours of freedom that comes with going on a solo drive, 140 kms away from home. 

No kids, no chores, no routine, no chaos, no emails, no stress.

And no one to tell me how fast I can go—not a city ordinance, not a speed camera, nor a speed limit sign. Except, the husband, Jan.


"Sakto ra dagan (drive at a safe speed)," he would always remind me. 

I know I'm stubborn, but I'm glad I always listen to him.

I think every driver has this urge to step on the gas pedal when cruising on an almost traffic-free highway. I admit, I do too. But not to the point of overspeeding, and only in remote areas where there are no signs of human activity.

Well, anyway. 

I've driven between provinces before, but this was my first time doing it alone. I didn't know that countryside driving would be perfect for some "me time". It was so peaceful and therapeutic. Just me with good music, perfect weather, the green foliage stretched out on either side, and a goat that—out of nowhere—darted across the road and right in front of my car. 
The road to GenSan from Davao kind of looks like this, except the potholes are worse. 😅 
My foot slammed on the brake and I may have momentarily defied the laws of motion there. Nice job disrupting the peace, goat.

If it were another motorist, I would have already muttered all the expletives in the the back of my mind that you'd probably hear my head bleep multiple times. But it's a goat. It's driven by its own instincts. So I just kept my eyes on the unfazed creature as it raced to the other side. 

I continued to drive and eased off the pedal when the first sign of civilization appeared on the horizon. Then I slowed down because a pedestrian—a teen, maybe around 13 or 15—who appeared to be running away from God knows what, sprinted across from the other side of the road toward my lane. I came to a full stop when a motorcycle zoomed past me on the outer lane, just right where the teen was heading. 

Everything happened so fast but my eyes were quick enough to see the teen jumping away from the motorcycle mere inches before the impact.

If I didn't know any better, I'd say I had a mini heart attack back there. So much for a me time, huh? I wasn't even halfway yet. 

Much to my relief, no one got hurt. But my heart was racing along with the moto rider, who reminded me of the goat earlier. He was unfazed, and he sped off as if nothing happened. 


And now that I think about it, I'm afraid I just insulted the goat. I realize the four-legged creature was nothing like the moto rider. You see, when you pry open a goat's skull, you would find a perfect ingredient for an exotic dish right there. But do it on that rider and a gentle whooshing sound that accompanied the slow release of air would be all you get.

I've seen this kind of motorist before. We call them kamote riders. And please, I don't mean to offend the delectable sweet potatoes this time. But if there's another derogatory way to call these scums on a road because they are much more useless than an overripe kamote, I would be happy to call them that. 

I used to believe that jeepney and trike drivers are the worst. But now? The kamote riders, who no longer make up the minority, top my list. And I bet most of them do not even have a driver's license.

These kamotes are everywhere. They are reckless. They habitually beat the red light, counterflow, overtake at blind curves, block pedestrian lanes, cut you off, disregard traffic signs, do not signal when they turn, do not wear protective gear, and do dangerous stunts while driving. But you know the worst thing they do? They turn the streets into a race track—and they even have the guts to flex their top speed on social media!


Well, I certainly hope they get the attention they seek... 

...from the LTO.

I don't know about you, but I can only think of 5 reasons why drivers (not just moto riders) overspeed:

1. It's an emergency.
2. They are in a hot pursuit.
3. They are drunk or on drugs.
4. They are stupid and selfish. Especially those who are speeding for clout. They do it to show off in spite of knowing that it endangers the lives of other people they share the road with. 
5. Nobody loves and needs them. That's why they do not care what happens to their own lame lives.

Unless you find yourself in situation #1 or #2, driving at ridiculous speeds does not really equate to being a good driver. You need speed? Do it on the race track for crying out loud.


In the simplest term, the kamotes are drivers who lack common sense. And if you are one of them, please do us all a favor. Go and apply for a driver's license the legal way. Or go back and pay attention to your Comprehensive Driver's Education program (you can find them here and here). If you made it here on the internet, then there is no excuse for you not to understand all that. Unless you really are the bobo driver we think you are.


All GIFs are from GIPHY.com






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