Many foreign tourists often say that a travel experience in the Philippines will not be complete without riding in or on a jeepney. Why? Mainly because it is already part of the Filipino culture and it is definitely fun. In fact, it is almost always blazoned as an integral part of any adventure across the country, especially in the third-world-cheap-thrills sort of transportation mode in the countryside.
Disclaimer: All thoughts expressed in this blog are based on my own. Every traveler may differ in perspectives on things they experience at traveling.
But do you have any idea what these jeepneys are and where they originate? Back in WW 2, the U.S. troops left their old military jeeps after the war. Filipinos, as innovative as we are, restored them, opened the back, designed them uniquely and beautifully, put decorative ornaments, added two benches, and some even have extra lights. Olah! There you have it, a vehicle dubbed as “The King of the Road” running in the thoroughfares of busy big cities and in the scenic provinces.
By average, a jeepney can accommodate 16-20 passengers, 2 are seated up front next to the driver and the other 14-18 passengers are seated at the back facing each other. The adventure starts, especially in the rural areas, when you will see extra passengers hanging outside or onto the back, those at the center sitting on extra chairs, or even those occupying the rooftop (which we did months ago during our climb at Mt. Manunggal).
*Note: Riding on top and hanging at the back of the jeepney is strictly prohibited in some areas under the existing policies of the Philippine government especially within the city for safety purposes.
Ride a jeepney if you’re looking for a fantastic way to explore the country. This will also give you a sense of the island from the local’s point of view and to know how Filipinos interact to visitors and locals alike. It’s fun to ride on top of this vehicle as it gives you free, natural air and view of the surroundings. Exciting isn’t it? So the next time you visit our country don’t forget to hop on a jeepney when there’s a chance.