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A Study on Tricycle Sign Systems: A Reflection of Filipino Optimism, Masculinity, Religiosity, and Values
Corresponding Author(s) : Kristinne Joyce
Humanities & Social Sciences Reviews,
Vol. 3 No. 2 (2015)
Tricycle, the most popular mode of transportation in the countryside, has served as a means to articulate one’s thoughts. The signages posted on these usually express humor, wit, spirituality and sexual thoughts. The researchers believe that the language utterances displayed on these tricycles may be influenced by a number of social factors. The paper answered these questions: What are the signages found in tricycles traversing Tuguegarao proper? What do these signages in language reflect the lived world or thoughts of the tricycle drivers? Or their social background? How do these signages correlate to social factors? This paper used the descriptive design in examining the signages that were gathered from 100 tricycle driver respondents in Tuguegarao City. Analysis of the signages is strengthened through Barthesian’s sign systems. Drawing on the social constructionism, the paper highlights the following: First, tricycles have become a medium of Filipino expression where the vehicles communicate the drivers’ worldviews.
The gathered signages reflected some Filipino values and traits such as optimism and fatalism; masculinity and machismo; religiosity and social cohesion; and hard work and cultural capital. Second, the paper holds that language may be understood by looking into the relationship between the signifier and the signified. The signages used by the tricycle drivers reflect not only their explicit thoughts, but also symbolic meanings and their habitus. Lastly, language has fulfilled its metalinguistic function as the signages were analyzed to show that these were representations of one’s cultural behavior.
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