I have been a passenger of jeepneys ever since I learned to use mass transport as a means of travel. In Zamboanga City, there are only two means of public transport, the tricycle, which is sort of taxi in our part of the country, and the jeepney. The tricycle is like a taxi here. The drivers charge an expensive fare and once you flag one down, you become the exclusive passenger. Unlike in other parts of the country where the tricycle can pick up several passengers along th way. I am not fond of riding tricycles. My preferred means of transport is the jeepney. I only ride the tricycle only when absolutely necessary.
This post is the start of a series of post about adventures in riding the jeepney. I rode the jeepney everyday, except Sundays. I ride it on my way to work and in going to town. When I started working in an agency (short for government agency), particularly in our local university, I was fortunate enough to ride just one jeepney on my way to the office. The minimum fare way back 2001 was still P4.00. When I got married in 2002, we moved in a barangay which required me to ride the jeepney twice, once in going to town then another one in going to my office. When my pregnancy was near its full term, I had no choice but to ride the tricycle. But, the fare back then was cheaper than it was now.
We moved to a barangay where my parents live. I only have to ride the jeepney once in going to the office. The fare became P5.00. Today, the minimum fare is P7.00. The fare to my destination is P8.00. So you see, the fare has doubled in seven years. This is mainly due to the rising price of oil in the world market. But I won’t delve much into that.
According to Wikipedia and its related sources, Jeepneys are the most popular means of public transportation in the Philippines. They were originally made from US military jeeps left over from World War II, and are well-known for their flamboyant decoration and crowded seating. They have also become a symbol of Philippine culture. The word jeepney comes from two words, “jeep” and “jitney”. Accordingly, it is called the “King of the Road.”
Well, this is all for now. More stories from a jeepney ride to come…