philippine, transportation, travel, jeep, colours, passengers, destinations,
fares, culture, art, tradition, ride
Caribbean Cruise Discounts!
Jeepneys the Backbone of the Philippine Transport System
by: Brett Jankowiak
No matter where you go in the world, each destination or country you visit, has
something uniquely there own. They can range from landmarks, both manmade and
natural, right the way through to transportation. For example, kangaroos are
synonymous with Australia, Big Ben with Great Britain, cigars in Cuba.
Now one of the things that sets the Philippines apart from all other countries,
is one of there many forms of transport, in particular the jeepney.
When visiting the Philippines, you cannot miss these colourful additions to the
Philippine National Transport system. They are the means of transport for anyone
who wants to travel short distances, whether you are in the cities of Manila or
Cebu or in the mountain provinces, you will find a jeepney to take you where you
need to go. Jeepneys are more than a form of transport, they are an indication
of the resourcefulness and ingenuity of the Philippine people. They are a
magnificent reflection on the capability of all things Philippines, once they
put there mind to it.
Jeepneys evolved at the end of the Second World War. After the United States
started sending home there troops, following the surrender of the Imperial
Japanese Army, a huge surplus of equipment was left over, which was probably
just as well as it gave birth to the jeepney.
The destruction the Second World War created, leveled the Philippines capital
city of Manila and choked the roads with debris making them almost impassable.
With the ability of the Willy’s Jeep to navigate, due to its off-road
capabilities, this sturdy vehicle was to become the father of all jeepneys.
The original Willy’s Jeep was modified. A metal roof was the first modification
to help keep out the various elements the Philippines weather can throw at them.
It was the painted in bright, bold and startling colours, so that potential
passengers could easily identify them and know where the ultimate destination
was. Business soon boomed for these entrepreneurs, in order to increase
passenger numbers, the Willy’s Jeep was stretched at the back and become the
jeepney. Further modifications were made, including chrome bumper bars,
screeching horns, blaring radio cassette recorders (now banned) and any number
of religious ornamentation.
As with all things, bureaucracy plays a lending hand. All jeepney drivers need
to be licensed fore the designated trips and have set fares imposed by local
Philippine Government agencies. If a rogue Philippine jeepney driver steps
outside the government rules and regulations that bind the jeepney drivers, the
fines and penalties can be crippling. What maybe worse is the added
confrontation with other jeepney drivers who your misdemeanors may have
What any amount of regulation cannot change is the fantastic culture that you
become exposed to when you jump in a jeepney. Not only are you traveling in a
Filipino’s pride and joy and a work of art, but you are embracing a modern
tradition that is showing no signs of abating.
If you are lucky enough to travel to the Philippines, ensure you give yourself a
treat and catch a ride in a jeepney. The moment will be with you for ever.
About The Author
Brett Jankowiak is the owner of http://www.philippines-travel-guide.com, his
passion for the Philippines is reflected in his writings and articles on his
information based website.