I have been waging a probably futile fight against security guards in Manila. I’m aware of this fight’s futility but I feel like it needs to be addressed. I’m never going to win this so-called fight via passive-aggressiveness. I can try and get people to do what I do to rile security guards up but I have a feeling that being sarcastic and making dabog are never going to produce results.

The fight is not with any specific security guard, as in with the kupal sikyo in Ayala MRT station, the selective bag-inspecting sikyo in my building, etc, but with the idea of having security guards everywhere: malls, LRT, MRT, office buildings, any place we think is dangerous, which is  everywhere.

Every day I have to deal with at least 3 to 4 security guards. One in the morning when I go to work, then in the evening after work, and one in the MRT if I’m in a hurry to get home and another one if I’m entering a mall or whatever public space I need to go to for whatever. The MRT/LRT guards are the worst. In banks, hospitals and restaurants, I can understand the presence of security guards, but to install them in mall entrances, train stations, etc, and have them inspect our belongings, is just so worthless. It is a waste of everyone’s time. People who hire them have done nothing useful but deploy them in these thankless jobs of having to pry open everyone’s bags to check for bombs which they will never ever find. No security guard can save us from Manila’s special kind of everyday peril.

What are they really, really looking for anyway? It’s either dynamite or guns. This is just stupid. I can’t imagine any of these guards apprehending someone who actually had a bomb or gun in his possession and refusing him entry. In the first place, people with guns are either powerful people from affluent families who would never ride the MRT, or police/military men, some of which are actually criminals. Really totally worthless to check our bags, really. I also hate very much those guards who are selective in bag inspection, those who don’t check old ladies’ bags because women are never going to be terrorist or gun possessors.

In my old coffee shop office, the security guards were very useful. They spot people who leave valuables, they keep an eye on suspicious looking people, and they double as busboys which was really helpful to us. They are definitely with the marginal 10% useful guards. At least 80-90% of the security guards in public places are worthless. This is really poor statistics that I’m just drawing from daily experience but I firmly believe this. They are worthless!

4 thoughts on “Sikyo

  1. Maybe the mere appearance of authority figures deters attempts of destabilization? But I’m with you on this one, they really don’t do much in terms of actual inspection. Nuisance, nothing more.

    A few times I’ve asked a similar question: bakit lalaki lang ang kinakapkapan pagpasok ko? Simple answer: lalaki lang yung security guard kasi imposible nga namang maging security threat ang mga babae.

    Oh well papel. 🙂


  2. I doubt that the absence of sikyos will automatically cause chaos and destruction. We’re better off embracing our city’s savageness. It seems like such a petty fight to pick, but you have to experience the travesty of being bag-inspected daily in order to appreciate the fury over this false sense of security-creation. In my very humble opinion, walang kakwenta-kwentang gawain ang ginagawang pag-inspect nila sa bag. 🙂


  3. I think what they are essentially are deterrents, no more no less. If they really are meant to provide any degree of security or preventive measures, they would’ve been trained for far more diverse competencies such as behavioral diagnostics, threat-identification, non-invasive lie-detection, and the like.

    They simply provide a semblance of protection, more for other people’s sense of security than actual security or anything else. For example, in a mall, it sends the message to less observant and intuitive patrons that the mall operator is ensuring their safety, thus they are more likely to go in the mall and linger, thus a higher potential for transactions/ purchases.


  4. That’s really paranoid thinking but I like it. Hehe. But I completely agree that they’re just providing a semblance/illusion of protection. I think they’ve been stripped off of any awareness that what they’re doing is ridiculous and annoying. They go about their jobs in the ‘i’m just doing my job’ manner typical of people who are indeed just doing their job. But what a sad way to make a living and what a sad way to go through life – for people so affected at being inspected.


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