America has taxicabs. London has the double-decker buses. In some cities in Asia, bicycles are a trend. Meanwhile, Paris is a walking city. All around the world, people enjoy vast types of modes of transports and these depend upon the comfort they feel and the efficiency of the system.
Pinoys, on this respect, also enjoy the comfort and efficiency of the transport system that has a deep connection with their culture, art and identity. History tells us that this famous public transport was patterned after the U.S. military vehicles left over during the end of World War II. In time, its features have evolved to accommodate a larger number of passengers. It was later then called the jeepney.
Jeepneys now are the most preferred mode of transport for most Pinoys.
Recently, I have taken a liking towards the convenience and efficiency of jeepneys in Cebu. The fact that I am a total stranger to Cebu’s streets and whereabouts, I usually ride the taxicab enroute to work. But I was able to force myself to take the jeepney because it would save my pocket from crying a river every after a week after payday.
However, I have had this crazy experience recently inside the jeepney. Not only this, I have heard stories from friends about their own experiences as well. And so, I’ve thought of outlining some of the funny, agitating and outrageously crazy experiences one may have inside the jeepney including the types of people you’d meet inside this Pinoy mode of transport.
Let’s see if you’d be able to identify yourself with these.
- Spaghetting Pababa – so I was sitting next to where the entrance to a jeepney You can call it, the back seat. I can feel the cold morning air brushing my tousled hair and it stings my eyes. Then all of a sudden, I felt tingling sensation on my face. I opened my eyes to see what’s causing that only to find that ate beside me had her long curly hair let loose. The strands where flying over my face. The devil inside me wants to rip her hair off her head but decided not to. What’s worse is the song on the stereo was Spaghetting pababa, pababa nang pababa. You can only imagine the inside joke.
- Coz I’m Dreamin’ of You Tonight – no! I am not singing this for no reason at all. There are times inside the jeepney when people are all so lost in their own world and then all of a sudden the jeepney would pull to an abrupt stop. And thanks to that abrupt stop, you were able to notice this pretty lady or this drop-dead hot guy infront or beside you. Lucky if he or she is in front of you. If this is the case, you will definitely sing one of Yeng Constantino’s hit, Jeepney Love Story. Sorry if he or she is beside you. Instances like that really happen but be careful not to miss your stop.
- Rock-a-by-Baby – these are the people who can’t seem to stop their intense drive to sleep. They would usually hang their hands on the metal bar that sticks from the roof of the jeepney and would rest their heads on their arms. Some of them would sleep on your shoulder. Again, when the jeepney would pull to an abrupt stop, they would animatedly jerk themselves awake and they would act like nothing’s happened. The expression on their face? Priceless!
- You Are Hired! Instant Job! – there is a reason why I always want to seat at the back seat inside a jeepney. When I was still in Zamboanga, me and my friends would always joke to ourselves about this. It’s a bit agitating when people keep on saying “bayad o!” or “pabor pasahe!” or “palihug ko!” and you are holding these tons of things and you have no choice but to extend a hand, get the fare, and pass it to the next person or directly to the driver. My friends would always say, “wow! Instant conductor?” then laughs.
- Hugot – I am very guilty of this. There was a time when a lady stepped forced herself in the small space and I heard her say “aww” and inside my head, I was like, “ang love parang byahe sa jeep. Alam mo nang puno, pero pilit mo paring ipagsisiksikan ang sarili mo. Ayan tuloy, nasasaktan tayo.” (Love is a like a jeepney ride, we force ourselves in even if there’s no more space. That’s why we always get hurt.)
See? These experiences are the most common things when you ride a jeepney in the Philippines. And these experiences may vary from mine to yours but there will always be a point or two similarities. These are some experiences that would make you enjoy taking the jeepney, experiences you will never gain when you ride a taxicab.
What is your jeepney journey story?