Monday, April 14, 2008

Only In the Philippines

On the day I left for Los Angeles about a year ago, I felt happy and at the same a little bit sad. Although the country has been so economically ill for such a long time still my heart goes to her.
I was observing these people going inside the mall, some are patiently waiting outside for the jeepney, while some just get out of the taxi. I have been to Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore and I never found anything like that- jeepney. Its amazing how this car has been the most popular transportation in the country for a long time. It is actually the most inexpensive public transportation.
Back to the times when the American troops started to leave the country at the end of World War II, a lot of excess jeeps were given to the Filipinos. Then being as creative as they are, the Filipinos altered, stripped the whole vehicle down and added some other chrome hood ornaments to be able to fit more passengers on it. It quickly developed to be a recognized public transportation.
The fare for going to school cost around 1 Peso- when I was in college. However, due to the fluctuations of oil prices, its rate would be the first to get affected with. People have no other choice but to deal with the fare increase every now and then.

I admit I have a lot of fun memories riding in a jeepney as well as horrible. There are some scenes inside the vehicle that may not be appropriate but has become acceptable. It’s either; you can hear somebody talking out so loud with a seatmate, or an old passenger asking the driver to turn down the volume of the stereo, or another passenger screaming that her necklace had just been snatched by another passenger, or a driver yelling out to the passengers waiting alongside the road. During college, most students always pick the good-looking jeepney. It should be new/well-decorated and with loud music on it. I know its ridiculous but if you will be riding for an hour or so, and then it would just be fun, lols!
Oh well, I could go on and on with all these since this is the culture that I had been brought up with. I still missed those days in the island where the jeepney will not run till it’s full- meaning, more passengers up in the roof, in the sides and in the middle aisle. This, they said- “only in the Philippines”. It has become the symbol of a Filipino culture.

2 Grateful Heart's Words:

emanrais said...

Wow, what an amazing story you have, shawie. I knew and wish to enjoy ride on Jeepney, since my early elementary class in 1950's. But unfortunately never get in Filippino. But in Bandung I have enjoyed such like Jeepney in 1959. We call that Powerney, as it made of an oldies Powerwagon. During WWII alies leaves their military vechicles such like jeep and a bigger than that but smaller than truck called Powerwagon for a group of infantry carrier. Unfortunatelly this experimental people vechicle was not last long. People more enjoying such Opelet. A Morris wooden cab look more easier and comfortable and less noise for carrying people and vegetables for villager onto the nearly municipal market.

As with jeepney people, our opelet people familiar with such ngetem (from, take a time) action. The driver wait until his opelet full housed. And this habit still on by such inter-region normally 14 passengers carrier with loud full music. But wait until they get 22 passengers, then the 3/4 bus may on her ride. Sometimes we call this vechicle as a a goat people vechicle. Do you ever know why?

Salamat said...

Hi, Emanrais... pls tell me why? I didn't know that you have that powerwagon too... That would have been a big help to the community :)