the famous Manila jeepney

The famous Manila Jeepney

Filipinos are known worldwide for their ability to improvise on and reproduce first-world technology into forms more attainable given limited financial resources. An example of this ability is the Philippine jeepney. The army jeeps left by the United States after the Second World War inspired the making of these vehicles. Artworks of painstaking detail are often seen on the shining chrome bodies of these vehicles, which, as earlier said, are copies of army jeeps, resized and remodeled to accommodate commuting passengers numbering from 20 to 30 all in all.

The unique thing about jeepneys is that no jeepney is exactly the same as another. Each jeepney is a testament to the artistic ability of the designer assigned to it. Work on the vehicle itself sometimes takes much shorter than work on the design and decorations on the vehicle, as the former has become almost mechanical, but the latter requires repetitive planning, and sometimes, mistakes can put back the designing effort by 1 or 2 weeks behind. It is a matter of pride for a jeepney designer to come up with a jeepney pleasing to the eye, and with an interior design that is both beautiful and not an impediment to function.

Payment while on a jeepney is on an honesty basis, with the jeepney driver just hoping that everyone who goes on his vehicle will pay the required amount for the distance traveled. Apart from the occasional companion while driving, the jeepney driver has little way of knowing who among his passengers has not paid. Sometimes, designers therefore put on signs to stoke the conscience of passengers, or to admonish passengers who fail to pay, with lines like "God knows Judas not pay".

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At 1/17/2006 02:20:00 AM, Blogger 3rdfloor20 said...

Is that really a Mercedes or did someone just put the star on the Jeepney?

We have the honor system here in Germany too, except that the pass control cops come around once in a while and if you get caught it costs about €50

At 1/17/2006 08:05:00 AM, Blogger Anne said...

Hi Rob! Nope that's not a real Mercedes. They just put the star there for an extra "character".

Recently, since not so many people are honest anymore, the trend is to ask people to pay first before riding.Well that only applies to routes with definite loading and unloading place. :)

At 1/17/2006 12:44:00 PM, Blogger Eric said...

I WANT A JEEPNEY! I can just see me cruising around Paris in one of these!

At 1/18/2006 05:52:00 AM, Blogger Rodney said...

I miss the Jeepney. I look forward to see more interesting pictures from Manila. My wife was born there and we were there for christmas 2003. I miss Pan de Manila also.

I added your blog to mine

At 1/18/2006 12:21:00 PM, Blogger San Francisco Daily Photo said...

This is a work of art! I hope you'll show us a few more some time. I'm thinking... this type of vehicle would probably fit in the San Francisco world... We have some funny vehicles too...


At 1/19/2006 10:09:00 AM, Blogger Voix said...

That is a fantastic photo. Thanks!

At 2/01/2006 05:24:00 AM, Anonymous Karl Betita said...

Jeepneys should be banned from the roads. It has outlived its purpose.

At 2/02/2006 08:26:00 AM, Blogger Anne said...

Hi Karl...I don't agree that we ban the's not the jeepeneys thats the problem, its the undisciplined drivers! We should try to educate and discipline them instead of taking out the jeepneys. We don't have a robust transport system yet that would justify taking the jeepneys out.


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