T is for Top load
The jeepney is one of the Philippines' cultural symbols. It is found in roads all over the country---in the crowded city streets, sleepy towns, provincial roads and rural back roads. Jeepneys are symbols of our street life, the workhorse of Philippine transportation. Through the years, jeepneys have earned a moniker "King of the Road" because jeepney drivers are notorious for doing as they please---unload and pick up passengers whenever and wherever, violate all kinds of traffic laws like stopping at No Stop signs, drive on lanes and streets where they are not allowed, bust people's eardrums with their blaring music.
Jeepneys have made an impression on our visitors. I haven't met a foreign guest who has not been fascinated by our jeepneys. Riding a jeepney is definitely one of their must-try when they're in the Philippines, and I bet they have interesting stories of their jeepney rides when they go home. An American client was fascinated how the driver can manage it all---keeps track of each passenger, makes sure each passenger pays before getting off, receives fares and gives change while snaking through traffic. Yes, a jeepney driver is great at multi-tasking!
I enjoy riding jeepneys when I travel to the countryside. The ride is inexpensive and it allows you to take in as much scenery as you could. I admit it's not the most comfortable ride, sometimes it feels like you're in a can of sardines. The fun part is, you get to meet interesting people when you share such small space with them.
Jeepney rides can give you an adrenalin rush especially when you take the top load---that means sitting on the roof of the jeepney. There are places in far-flung provinces where trips are few and far between, and commuters have to make the best out of these trips, hence the top load sitting arrangement. Tourists and thrill-seekers love the top load, photographers get the best drive-by shots.
Law enforcers discourage top load as it is dangerous but drivers allow it, and passengers ride the top load at their own risk. Maybe I should try this one of these days.:p
Linking to ABC Wednesday