“There’s a jeepney. And another! And another!” exclaimed Ayay. “Mama, I counted 31 jeepneys. That’s how old you are!”
While in the Philippines, Ayay developed a serious crush on the jeepneys. She was on high jeepney alert at all times, always searching for the fanciest jeepney.
“Ayay, do you want to ride a jeepney?” my dad asked.
“Yes! I want to ride a SILVER jeepney,” she said.
When the United States military left the Philippines at the end of World War II, they left behind surplus jeeps. The resourceful Filipinos altered these jeeps in such a way to create funky vehicles used to transport passengers. Hence, the jeepney was born. These public transportation vehicles are unique to the Philippines and are symbols of the Filipino culture.
Jeepneys are elaborately decorated in loud colors and adorned with chrome ornaments. The jeepneys have names, too. We spotted Raffy, Mother Dear, and Survivor II. (I wonder what happened to Survivor I.) If you travel to smaller villages, you’ll often see a jeepney filled beyond capacity on the inside, with baggage, people, and even animals spilling out and onto the roof of the jeepney. It’s the cheapest, most popular, and most crowded ride in town. And it was a major highlight of Ayay’s trip.