Imagine yourself walking down the road, and viewing the different transportation that passes by.
You’ll see cars of different models, and of different color. Then suddenly, you’ll see this:
What would your reaction be?
A weird form of transportation right?
The only transportation found only in the Philippines.
It’s amazing how those kind of transportation becomes popular and existent only in the said country.
Well, what are Jeepneys?
Those piece of useful junks came from historic era of Philippines. That was on World War II when Americans stayed in the country for several years. Jeep was a popular vehicle during that time which was being used as a wide means of transportation.
When Americans leave the country, the jeeps where left in the hands of the countrymen. These countrymen were known as Filipinos.
And alas! With the creative minds of Filipinos, those jeeps where re-designed, refurbished, and modified. They stretch the body of those little jeeps so as to occupy several passengers. They paint the body with decorative paintings. They do several things to the vehicle. Those vehicles are now in the hands of the creative people. The fate of the vehicle is in their hands.
And after some time of modification, the jeep now becomes of what we call a jeepney!
An elongated kind of jeep designed to accommodate several passengers. These jeepneys now become useful on everyday transportation needs of the Filipinos. People produce more replicas, and become a widespread popularity in the country even until today.
Several vehicles of different forms now appear because of the dawn of new technology. Expensive and decent vehicles emerge today. Technology is now embedded in every transportation. But surprisingly in Philippines, the jeepneys are still popular especially on public transportation.
It’s amazing to think how a World War II piece of metal exist and still of great use today. It’s wonderful to see an ancient artifact living together with these country men. A glitter of pride among them. A simple old technology of what has been a trademark of transportation to Filipinos.
So what does it feel when riding a jeepney?
When the jeepney runs with only you as the passenger, the wind breeze would really touch your face. This is because the open window of the vehicle allow wind passage to go through the inside of the vehicle. Thus making the trip breezy.
However, situations are not always like this.
Because of the need to carry more passengers in one trip, jeepneys mostly have full passengers.
And because this is a public transportation, many people will ride in going to their destination.
When the jeepney is full, passengers are seated shoulder-to-shoulder. Yup! You heard me right, shoulder-to-shoulder.
You can feel the arms and shoulders of your left and right co-passenger. Sometimes it’s difficult to move once the jeepney is full. And the more it will be difficult when a person has several belongings to carry.
An average jeepney can carry around 16 to 18 passenger. That’s 8 to 9 passengers on the left and 8 to 9 passengers on the right part of the vehicle. People that are seated on the left part of the vehicle are facing the people on the right , and vice versa. Meaning to say, aside from feeling the arms and shoulder on the person sitting beside you, you are also looking at the person in front of you.
Also, going out of the vehicle when full of passengers is not an easy task. When somebody wants to come out, that person needs to bend down a bit to prevent his or her head from hitting the ceiling. Then walk slowly toward the only exit of the vehicle located at the back portion of the jeepney.
The person must walk carefully to avoid stamping the feet of the other passengers. And as you walk slowly to the exit, the knees of those people sitting are brushing through your legs as you make your way out to the exit.
And sometimes, the vehicle is fully loaded that people rides at the back of the jeepney in standing position.
This has been the real life experience of the Filipinos using the jeepney. It’s already normal for them to experience the tight scenario of being a passenger. Feeling the tight scenario is not anymore a big deal for them as long as they arrive at the destination.
The jeepney in the Philippines shows the world how history manifest in our present lives. How history lingers in our lives today. It teaches us how a simple change of design can benefit many people. And it teaches us that inspite difficulties in life, inspite how “tight” your problems in life, it doesn’t matter, as long as you reach your destination——-your goals in life.