November 9, 2008

King of the road

The jeepney is unarguably the king of Metro Manila's public transportation system. Our light rail system is still severely limited. Buses ply most major thoroughfares but their size makes them unwieldy for narrower roads. Which is where 'jeeps' come in. You can get to almost anywhere in the metro using only jeeps since their routes criss-cross. Just be prepared to breathe in volumes of polluted air since none of them are enclosed or airconditioned. Neither do they have doors or seatbelts, so you have to hold on to the bar which runs down the length of the jeepney's roof inside. When I was a kid, all jeepneys were elaborately painted with Philippine landscapes, flora and fauna, religious icons and such. Those are rare nowadays but they do still exist. Some, like this jeep which just goes around the Diliman campus of the University of the Philippines the whole day, have taken to mobile advertising. And for those places where even jeeps don't have routes, we have tricycles and pedicabs. I don't have a photo of a pedicab yet, but a tricycle is here.

U.P. Ikot jeepney

17 comments:

Hyde DP said...

I wouldn't care to use one now but when I was young and fit would have loved it.

the donG said...

i agree! jeepney is the king of the road in the major cities of the philippines while tricycles dominate the provincial and rural areas.

Eki Akhwan said...

Jeepneys sound like our angkot in Bandung. But of course, Angkot is nothing compared to jeepneys when it comes to the decorativeness of the vehicles. They are one of the most memorable things I have about Manila.

I'm sad to know that many jeepneys today don't have those elaborate paintings and decorations anymore.

Wayne said...

Hilda, is the whole vehicle built in the Philippines?

Marcel said...

My almost 3 year old grandson has become fascinated with Jeeps. He is interested in all the various forms they have and now I can show him another Jeep, which I too found fascinating.

Webradio said...

Surprizing !
We have not this here...

Nice explain...

See You later !

marley said...

What a good way to get round, though it seems a bit like taking your life in your hands!

JM said...

The jeepney looks really cool! Love the colours!

Boise Diva said...

"Jeepney?" This is all new to me. Looks like a great idea that could maybe use some improvements..

Layrayski said...

The flamboyant jeepney-- I missed it.

Laurie said...

We definitely don't have jeepneys here. I love your description of holding on for dear life! I would have loved to have seen the painted ones. Just like I would have loved to have seen teh NYC subway system in the 1970s when the trains were covered with graffiti.

Ruby said...

I am loving the jeepney! Do they have music playing in them too?

babooshka said...

I'd gove it a go.

Hilda said...

Wayne:
Yes, they're made here in the Philippines except for the engines, which are either refurbished or brand-new Isuzu diesel engines.

Ruby:
Some of them blare loud music, unfortunately! Actually, you can't go anywhere much in Manila that doesn't have loud music. Which I hate since I like silence.

tr3nta said...

This looks like a really nice way of moving throw the city.

Islipian said...

jeepney is so cute! it looks vintage - is it, or are they just styled that way??

turtle said...

up ikot and toki!!!thanks for posting.

i like jeepneys. i like the ride and people-watching inside.