Anonymous asked in TravelAsia PacificPhilippines · 1 decade ago

People in the Philippines, the use of Swatiskas on public transportation here?

Why are many Tricycle drivers starting to display Swatiskas on their sidecars here in the Cebu/Yati area?

Don't they know how offensive this is for those of us who lost family because of the German Nazis in World War II?

Surely they have been reminded that the Philippines were Allies of ours during that long terrible war and history is taught in schools here.

I just can't believe that they could be so naive as to believe that nobody remembers the atrocities that occurred because of that emblem and what it represents.


I live here and have been here for 2 years and this seems to be a new fad.

WWII is taught in school and my sister in law, who is in the fourth grade is the one who pointed this out to me.

She asked about it and I really didn't know how to answer her without trying to find out a few facts first.

As far as asking the drivers, I was afraid of offending them, as is the custom here.

A person learns to bite his or her tongue here unless they have something very important to point out to others.

Update 2:

Thank you, CDOguide, I looked at the symbols in the link you provided and the sign that is depicted is the neo-nazi one like on the Nazi flag.

I did ask our houseboy about it and he said he has no idea where they came up with this idea, as there are few Chinese in this immediate area or Nazi groups.

As a matter of fact, he said that his grandfather used to scare him as a little boy by describing the many atrocities of WWII, involving the Japanese, who took the ppines over for a few years and the Nazis, who fortunately never showed up in this part of the world.

He did say, however that they were very afraid of Hitler's power even more than that of the Japanese because the Nazis were actually trying to take over the world.

He isn't sure about the intentions of the Japanese of that era though.

Update 3:

I have now asking, "Your houseboy?", I presume that he doesn't know what that means.

It simply means a man who drives your car, keeps your compound clean and maintained and helps with any work that is too hard or heavy for your househelper.

17 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I don't think they mean any harm. The current generation do not associate the swastika with the Nazi Regime.

    Remember, the swastika is very old and was originally a good luck symbol. It is still used for this purpose in many parts of south east Asia.

  • 1 decade ago

    Why not try talking to these tricycle drivers and ask them about the Swastika symbol. You probably get a blank stare and be told to loosen up. For them it is simply a symbol that they find interesting to adorn their vehicles. Some use the symbols of anarchy but it does not mean they adore or worship it. For Europeans and Jews who felt the brutality of the Nazi regime would really find it offensive.

    Filipinos are basically carefree and fun loving. That is why despite the poverty and hardships you can still see people smile. If Filipinos were that serious and strict, you would probably see a lot of suicides similar to Japan. Being carefree is a coping mechanism for Filipinos. Filipinos joking around is a common trait that sometimes put us in trouble. Also the Swastika is a lucky symbol in the Chinese culture. You would see Chinese temples being adorned with swastika symbols. Try researching or better yet visit a Chinese temple in Cebu and inquire about it. Remember this is the Philippines and not Europe so expect some cultural differences.

    Read this Wikipedia article to understand the broad use of the Swastika symbol especially in Asian culture.

    Just an addition, there are several Chinese temples in Cebu City itself. In one particular Chinese temple they use swastika symbols. It is found near the Reclamation area or just behind the old White Gold establishment. I hope the temple is still there. The area is a bit rough and not a good place to be at night. I know these stuff because it was part of our college curriculum on Asian culture and design motifs.

  • salyer
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

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  • 1 decade ago

    Swastikas really have no negative meaning in the Philippines. Our fight here was not against the Nazis, it was against the Japanese.

    It is no offense to use or fly the swastika in the Philippines as it really has little or nothing to do with Philippine history.

    And speaking of atrocities: we had enough committed here by the Japanese occupiers to be worried about what happened on some other continent. We, in the Philippines, would appreciate some attention for the ills done to us and to the Americans who lived here, rather than to succumb to the holocaust industry.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The Swastika - with the arms pointing in the opposite direction to the Nazi flag - was an Asian symbol of good luck for centuries before the Nazis ever existed.

    Which way do the arms on the ones on the Jitneys face? Look at a photo of a WWII Nazi flag then compare it with the ones on the Jitneys, I bet you'll find they're opposite.


  • 5 years ago

    Hmm...the ones defending it are incorrect and what I would call an apologist, way to easy to forgive the evils of history as long as it doesn't affect you. The swatstika, that represent nazism is black on a white circle on a red background or flag. Different than the sanskrit and Buhddist one. Displaying the nazi symbol sends a powerfully insulting message to many people in the world. I just saw a filipina teenager in Iloilo walking on the Espanade wearing such a t-shirt. Ha, Iloilo, which is going to host international dignitaries for the AEC conference in October!

  • mari
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Strangely enough, many people don't realize that the swastika was a religious symbol long before it was a symbol for the Nazi party. The people displaying swastikas on their sidecars may very well be Buddhist, Hindu, or Jainists, as the swastika is a symbol used in those religions. They could very well be neo-Nazis too, but you never know. I always like to assume the best of people, given a choice between thinking something bad and thinking something good about them.

  • 1 decade ago

    I don't live in the Philipines, but I am Filipino and go to the Philipines every year over the summer, but whenever I go to Manila and Cebu I've never seen a tricycle driver displaying a swastika.

  • 1 decade ago

    Simply because they don't know the story behind that symbol. I doubt, if they know about Nazi and what Nazi's had done during World War I.

  • 5 years ago

    Actually the Philippine Raelian movement uses the swastika in ther symbol, look

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