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Riding A Jeepney In The Philippines

Jeepneys are the way most people travel. They are modified Jeep style vehicles carrying 16 to 18 passengers on benches facing each other in the back. One or two more passengers ride with the driver in front. Jeepneys have flags, decorations, colors, family names and nicknames, logos, mud flaps, and other ornaments. Most have altars on the dashboards. The shotgun seat is best and reserved for the disabled. You can travel across the city of Cebu for about 8 U.S. cents. It is the cheapest public transportation in the world, I understand.

Jeepneys are a bit hard to get at rush hour, though there is not much rush here. (Have you heard of Filipino time?) Jeepneys range from almost empty to extremely crowded.

The roads are often bumpy, and the drivers may drive erratically. If you are tall, watch your head. This is another good reason to wear a hat, maybe a straw made locally, like I do. It does not provide much protection, but telegraphs the blow so you can move away.

Riding in a Jeepney has all the excitement and charm of riding a roller coaster. But it is really cheap and a good way to meet many nice local folks. I ride taxis because of a back problem. I really miss riding the Jeepneys. I made so many friends on them.



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