Please bring back GMRC! (Good Manners & Right Conduct)

Please bring back GMRC! (Good Manners & Right Conduct)

Jan 25, 2023

Raise your hand if you had GMRC as a subject back in elementary. It’s alright to admit your age, because implicit in it is the fact that you had Good Manners and Right Conduct as a graded subject that made you pay proper attention to the lessons.

Last week, there was a big hullabaloo over the rude behavior of a celebrity who smeared the face of the waiter with icing from her birthday cake. Yes, this is true – not a “smear campaign” nor a “birthday bash-ing” for the celebrity (pun intended), but a real unfortunate incident. You can still find the videos and the numerous reactions of people online if you google Alex Gonzaga.

Today, I discuss about manners in my FQ/money column because we are all better off if everyone develops good manners before getting rich. Why? Because money exaggerates. I always say, “If you are a jerk and you become rich, you become a bigger jerk!”

It is the same with fame, “If you don’t have manners and you become famous, you become a terribly rude person!”


Good Manners and Right Conduct is sorely missing in our society today. Observing good manners conveys respect to those you interact with. It also commands respect from those you interact with. Right conduct is living in a moral and ethical way in the standards set by a particular society at a particular time.

Actually, a law restoring GMRC was signed on June 25, 2020, ironically, by the president who didn’t care so much about manners, even while speaking on the Pangulo ng Pilipinas podium.

Are you minding your manners?

Let us check our manners by answering the following questions.

  1. Do you say please or thank you when you’re asking for or just received a favor? 
  2. Do you come to meetings on time?
  3. Do you speak so loudly or blast your speakers in public places that other people are disturbed?
  4. Do you chew with your mouth open?
  5. Do you cut in lines?
  6. Do you always interrupt when someone is talking?
  7. Do you turn on your signals when you change lanes?
  8. Do you smoke in no-smoking areas?
  9. Do you overstay your welcome as a guest?
  10. Do you tuck in your chair after getting up?
  11. Do you yell or speak rudely at service providers?
  12. Do you cough or sneeze without covering your mouth?
  13. Do you spit or pee in places other than the toilet?
  14. Do you curse in public?
  15. When you bring your dog for a walk, do you pick up his/her mess?
  16. Do you flush the toilet after use?
  17. Do you wash your hands after using the toilet?
  18. Do you use serving spoons when sharing dishes with others?
  19. Do you talk when your mouth is full?
  20. Do you constantly use your cellphone while talking to others?
  21. Do you put your phone on the table during shared meal times and meetings?
  22. Do you keep using your phone while watching a movie in a cinema?
  23. Do you send RSVP in a timely manner when invited to an event?
  24. Do you come to meetings (both F2F and online) well groomed?
  25. Do you return items you borrow, including cash, in a timely manner?
  26. Do you speak to elders or people in authority with respect?
  27. Do you do the same to other people?
  28. Do you return things in their proper places so others may know where to find them easily?
  29. Do you pay your dues on time?
  30. Do you laugh at bastos jokes in public that somehow shows your approval of them?
  31. Do you apologize properly when you did something wrong?
  32. Do you look people in the eye when you speak to them?
  33. Do you look for opportunities to compliment others but do so truthfully?
  34. Do you keep your surroundings clean?
  35. Do you practice basic personal hygiene?
  36. Do you pick your nose in public?
  37. Do you allow the people to come out of an elevator before getting in?
  38. Do you wash your dirty linen in public?
  39. Do you condone bad behavior by passing on lewd photos/videos illegally obtained such as private photos/videos even of public personalities?
  40. Do you give disrespectful comments online?

What’s your score in this list? There are many more items that you can ponder upon to assess where you are in your manners department.

You may wish to watch Mind Your Manners, a Netflix series hosted by Sarah Jane Ho. She is an American-educated Chinese who’s known as an etiquette expert. She defines good manners as putting other people at ease. I wish to add – Good manners is showing respect not just to others but also to yourself. Good manners may be taken lightly by some, but minding your manners has a deeper meaning and challenge.

Re-examine “authenticity”

We are always bombarded with messages of the need to be authentic. I agree that being authentic is the way to go to live a happy life. Unfortunately, many have come to distort the true meaning of authenticity. “Totoong tao siya!” is a usual comment given when one reveals his weakness and flaws. But it is wrong to equate being authentic only to being flawed, sometimes to the point of being rude and uncouth. This could be the effect of watching too many reality tv shows that display private matters that need not be shown in public. Add to that the absence of censorship on the endless contents published on social media. Consequently, there has been a global trend of less than decent characters becoming popular, commercially successful, and given important leadership posts.

Authenticity is being who we really are and that’s not just our flaws. It includes, more than anything, what we stand for, what we dream of, what we aspire for.

Yes, we have weaknesses, but what is the essence and true meaning of our life? Isn’t it our constant pursuit to be our best selves? I have a story narrated in a previous article that you may read to fully understand what authenticity really is. (Click link.) Ultimately, our great moments, despite our flaws, are what reveal our true selves, our authentic best selves, and that includes minding our manners.


1. Start by checking where you are in your High FQ Journey. Take the FQ Test now. Share the link with your loved ones.

2. To have in-depth understanding of FQ and improve your life in general, grab your copy of the FQ Books.

This article is also published in Philstar.