The Jeepney is to Philippines what the Tuk-Tuk is to Thailand… their trademark. Although it started as a legacy left by one of their colonisers – US, over the years, Filipinos have added their mark and made it their own. Here are some of the more interesting Jeepneys that I saw:
I actually took a ride in one of these. The ceiling is low and once you’re inside, you can hardly see anything outside. The driver is also the conductor and a genius at multi-tasking. I’ve seen him continuing his drive, change gears AND money at the same time, all the while with his eyes firmly on the road. Passengers pass money along the seat to the driver and change is passed back the same way. And fare is calculated based on the distance that you wish to travel. My Filipino friends say that although the Jeepney may be full of passengers but the driver knows who has not paid and who has paid less. The beautiful thing about the Jeepney must be its flexibility. As long as you can hang on to the Jeepney, while its moving, you can hitch a ride and of cause, pay fare. The Jeepney will also stop on your command, anywhere along the route.. unlike our bus service, which only stops at bus stops.
Being on the Jeepney is alot better than being outside, near one. I was unfortunate to experience first-hand, the black smoke being emitted from the Jeepney’s loud exhaust…. and trust me, you don’t want to be caught among smoke-belching Jeepneys, about to take off.