Jeepneys are hot!
Features of the jeepney
The oldest jeepneys were of origin
old American jeeps.
They were extended in length by approximately two meters. Inside were put two
long seats and the 'jeepneys' were ready to serve as a small bus. The
generation' jeepneys were replaced by 'new' jeepneys produced in the
Philippines. Small family enterprises built up jeepneys and even a
jeepney fabric arose in Sarao, just south of Metro Manila. The fabric
"Sarao Motors" went out of business in 2001.
The jeepneys, 'made in the
Philippines', are all 'hand built'. Used parts (engines, transmissions,
axes) are imported from Japan. The chassis and bodywork
are original Philippine parts. Many of the jeepneys have loud horns
and the driver blows it at everyone and everything.
Pictures: © N. van
What makes a real jeepney?
Especially the colorful and glittering ornaments
on the car, like paintings, color lines, dots, a specific name and
frequently a typical small aluminum horse (or two) in the front of
the jeepney and extra
lights. All these details make many jeepneys very special and give the
Philippines a characteristic face.
More than once the seats
in the jeepneys are full of passengers. Still, always some new passenger
will be added. Sitting in a jeepney, your knees will unavoidable touch
the knees of your neighbor.
License to drive
The owner of a
jeepney buys a permit or license to drive a certain route,
called "Boundary". There is only a permit for that route. The route is
usually written on the side of the jeepney, for example: "Talambin - Carbon".
Tap your peso!
To get off
at a particular location, you just tap your peso coin on the roof.
conductor will yell for the driver to stop. When you get out and
eventually new passengers get in, one single word "Sigi" of the
conductor is enough for the driver to move on.
© Scott Williams