The Art of Riding the Philippine Jeepney

The Philippine jeepney beside a car
The Philippine jeepney beside a car

The Philippine Jeepney

The Philippine jeepney is one of the major means of transportation in the country. The original design is based on the army type jeep which was used during World War II. But by opening the back and adding seats, the Philippine jeepney was born.

Modification of old army jeep into a family jeep
Modification of old army jeep into a family jeep
Modification of family jeep into the present passenger jeepney
Modification of family jeep into the present passenger jeepney

Design Your Own Jeepney

To the basic design, each jeepney owner adds his/her own ornaments and this makes every jeepney a colorful, flamboyant and playful expression of the owner's personality.

The front part have decors ranging from horns to horses while the side parts usually have paintings of some family members or some religious icons.

Sometimes, the jeepney even expresses the owner's philosophy and/or beliefs.

It is not uncommon to see phrases like: "gift of God", "katas ng Saudi" or "Allelulia" painted on the jeepney's body especially the back part.

Front decorations on the jeepney
Front decorations on the jeepney
Side decorations on the jeepney
Side decorations on the jeepney
Back decor and belief
Back decor and belief
Side decor and philosophy
Side decor and philosophy

The Art of Riding a Jeepney - Getting On and Off

The jeepney usually seats 12 - 20 people depending on the size. At the back of the jeepney, people are seated side by side facing each other while the front seat can carry 2 more passengers.

Because of the design of the jeepney, one also has to be creative in getting on and off as one can see in the following pictures. This has become a form of art, thus the title of this hub. 

Getting On/Off at the Back Part of the Jeepney

Getting On at the Side Part of the Jeepney

The Art of Riding a Jeepney - Creating Space

How to get a ride even if the jeepney is already full is also another art form. Some provincial jeepneys place a long bench in the middle of the back aisle to fit in more passengers. But some people even occupy the roof while others hold on to railings at the back. You will be amazed at how a 20-sitter jeepney can carry an extra 5 or 10 more people plus some baggage.

Hanging on from the back
Hanging on from the back
Sitting on the roof and floor and hanging on from the back
Sitting on the roof and floor and hanging on from the back

Try Riding a Jeepney

Riding a jeepney is an experience like no other. If you are fond of traveling and trying new things, then this is one experience that is worth trying.

Experience how people interact. Experience how people pay the fare while inside a jeepney. Sometimes there is only a driver who amazingly knows if somebody has not yet paid his/her fare. Sometimes the driver has an assistant who either sits in front or at the back.

Some jeepneys are also equipped with loud music so you have to pull a string that is connected to a light near the driver. When you pull the string, it signals the driver that you want to get off.

Once you learn to ride a jeepney, then it develops into an art - the art of riding a jeepney.

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Comments 46 comments

coffeesnob 7 years ago

Oh-The jeepney rides are such a thrill! Oh yeah! you can't be a back seat driver? Those drivers know where to go, how to get there and the best manuevering techniques to get through the traffic - and it is sometimes quite the ride! Wheee! Wonderful article and great pics -brings back memories.


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi coffeesnob,

Thank you for being the first one to comment my friend. I'm happy that you enjoyed your jeepney rides.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

I have always enjoyed photos of these vehicles. You have some great ones here. Very creatively decorated. Adds a bit of spice to the road. Thanks!


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello James,

Thank you for dropping by and leaving a comment. I didn't know that you are familiar with these vehicles. That's great!

Yes, the decorations in these vehicles are really something. In some provinces for example, some jeepneys are even shaped and decorated to look like limos and ferraris and other expensive cars. I still have to take pictures of these however.


tony0724 profile image

tony0724 7 years ago from san diego calif

Man ! Those look so cool , I really gotta get out to the Phillipines sometime and take in the local sights . Jill if I ever get out there you are gonna have to take me on a jeepney !


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Tony,

If and when you do get here, I promise to take you on a jeepney ride. You really must try it!

Thanks for dropping by!


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 7 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

Wow, this is really cool, I enjoed your Hub and photos. Thanks for sharing it.


midnightbliss profile image

midnightbliss 7 years ago from Hermosa Beach

for those who have not tried riding in the jeepney, you should try it, it would be fun:)


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi Tatjana,

I'm happy that you enjoyed this hub.

Thank you for dropping by and leaving a comment.

If you do get a chance to visit the Philippines, then you should try a jeepney ride. It's fun! I can even accompany you.


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello midnightbliss,

Yes, riding a jeepney is fun! I especially love observing the people while on board.

Are you from the Philippines?


milynch43 profile image

milynch43 7 years ago from Philippines

The jeepneys are awesome. It amazes me how the driver can keep track with everyone getting on and off all the time. The tricycles are fun to, though not allowed on the highway any more in Lapu Lapu City.


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi milynch43,

Yes, jeepney drivers are really amazing. You sound like you have ridden the jeepney several times.

I don't enjoy riding in a tricycle that much because they are so cramped. However, riding them is a totally different experience too. It can be fun for some but a nightmare for others.

Thanks for the visit and the comment.

All the best!


emievil profile image

emievil 7 years ago from Philippines

Hey jill, great hub and topic. The king of the road rules!


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi Emie,

Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. You are right, even with the presence of trains, the jeepney is still king of the road in many places here.


talfonso profile image

talfonso 7 years ago from Tampa Bay, FL

Wow - at one time on my vacay to see relatives in the Philippines, I enjoyed the jeepney ride - it's just captivating! Great hub on the subject - it brought me great memories!


GeneralHowitzer 7 years ago

Great Hub... I love riding in a jeepney especially in front seat.


GeneralHowitzer 7 years ago

Great Hub... I love riding in a jeepney especially in front seat.


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi talfonso,

Great! So you are also another jeepney fan? I'm glad you enjoyed your ride.

Thanks for the visit and comment.

Hello GeneralHowitzer, you are right, front seat is great especially if you want to see where you are going. However, if you want to observe people, then back seat is better.

Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment.


LizzyBoo profile image

LizzyBoo 6 years ago from Czech Republic

Excellent hub. It remains me of TUK TUK in thailand so much. Thank you for sharing.


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi LizzyBoo,

Yes, the jeepney is a little bit similar to the tuktuk of Thailand except that the jeepney is more colorful.

Thanks for the visit and comment.


jacobkuttyta profile image

jacobkuttyta 6 years ago from Delhi, India

Nice hub and informative. I like the colour of the Jeepney.


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Thanks very much jacobkuttyta! Yes, they are very colorful.


festersporling1 profile image

festersporling1 6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

Wow, there is a science to this. :) Jeepney's look cool.


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi festersporling1,

Yes, jeepneys are cool! Thanks for the visit and comment.


pinoyconnection 6 years ago

i am currently based in canada and i miss riding the jeepney so much. riding the bus cannot compare with the experience of riding the jeepney. it is such a wonder how we can manage our time and get around the city without the jeepneys having a predetermined schedule of arrival and departure.

i miss the experience of riding the jeepney. how the jeepneys are full of life - how passengers from all walks of life meet in the jeepney and fill it with chatter, laughter, giggles..


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello pinoyconnection,

How long have you been in Canada? Maybe you can come home for a visit again and re-experience the jeepney ride. That will be fun!

Thank you for dropping by!


regality profile image

regality 6 years ago from Iloilo City, Philippines

You've created something cool here ;)

wanna try these, lol.^^


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi regality,

Yes, do try the jeepneys! I'm sure you will not forget the experience.

Happy New Year!


dayzeebee profile image

dayzeebee 6 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

hahaha way to go with our adorable jeepneys! Your presentation is both informative and entertaining. Blessings:)


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Thanks very much dayzeebee! It's nice to see you again!


Cris A profile image

Cris A 6 years ago from Manila, Philippines

Finally, a tribute to that great Filipino cultural symbol. You make the jeepney proud with this hub. Two thumbs up, way way up! :D


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi Cris,

It's good to see you here! You are right, the jeepney is indeed a Filipino cultural symbol. It's really a part of our way of life.

Thank you very much for your inspiring comment!


Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 6 years ago from Philippines

jill of alltrades,

Very nice jeepney photos. I'm proud to be here. I'm a Filipino.


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi Lita,

It's nice to meet another Filipino here!

Thank you for dropping by and leaving a comment.


50 Caliber profile image

50 Caliber 6 years ago from Arizona

Jill of all trades, WOW,they have certainly got more custom and colorful since the 70s. I always own jeeps here in the states and the Jeepney's were some fun. Thanks for updating me on these, 50


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello 50,

Oh, so you are familiar with jeepneys? That's great!

Yes, the jeepneys nowadays have become more colorful.

Thanks for dropping by and leaving a wonderful comment!

God bless!


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 years ago from At the Gemba

I love the Jeepneys, except when I am trying to navigate my own car around them!!! I don't usually travel in them, being around six feet three inches tall getting in and out and finding space can be very difficult..

As you say, it never amazes me how many people they can get in and on to a jeepney. The Tricycles (motorbikes with home made "sidecars") are even more amazing, I never thought that it would be possible to transport 10 to 15 people using one bike!!!!


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello LeanMan,

Thank you very much for your visit and heartwarming comment!

You are right, with your height, you will really have a hard time getting on and off a jeepney. Hahaha! That's why I have photos of getting on and off a jeepney.

The same is true about the tricycle. These two means of transport are not meant for tall people. Both are amazing though in terms of the number of people they can carry.

Thanks again for dropping by!

God bless!


adventuregirl20 6 years ago

I love Jeepneys! Thank you very much for your hub.


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello adventuregirl,

That's great! I take it you are a regular jeepney rider?

Thanks for the visit and upbeat comment! See you around!

God bless!


psepheroth 6 years ago

i have here a link for foreigners who doesn't know much about jeepneys. http://trifter.com/asia-pacific/philippines/only-i...


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello psepheroth,

Thank you very much for the visit and for sharing the link.

You are a big help!

God bless!


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Whoa! I can't see Bob fitting in one of those! But he was a lot thinner back in his Navy days. Kind of reminds me of some taxi cabs I've seen in Mexico City and Guadalajara.

It does look like a fun ride though. Great photos as usual!


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 5 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi Lela,

Hahaha, I know you would react that way!!!

I'm happy to see you here!

Well, getting into a taxi is a lot easier than getting on and off the jeepney! That's why I call it an art! I'm sure Bob told you about it if he ever tried to get into one! Haha!

Thanks again!

God bless!


MM Del Rosario profile image

MM Del Rosario 4 years ago from NSW, Australia

Just to let you know that i used your jeeepney hub, as part of my presentation for the young fil-aussie campers. They enjoy it, it is a yearly camping activities for the Filipino -Australian youth so that they will be aware of their culture and heritage. In two years time we are saving and planning to bring the kids to the Philippines as an outreach project. Thanks for making this hub.


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 4 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello MM,

Wow! That's wonderful to know! Thank you! I'm really happy that you are able to make use of this in your presentation! That is a commendable undertaking. Hoping and praying for your success!

God bless!

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