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The Art of Riding the Philippine Jeepney

Updated on May 11, 2012
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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