Okay. So maybe you are new to the whole “jeepney ride” and public vehicle that looks something between a bus and ancient pick-up truck.
Depending on the certain region you are in, jeepney rides can be dangerous, especially in Metro Manila. Snatchers can grab rings, earrings, electronics, and money in the blink of an eye.
But, all-in-all, if you are careful, nothing bad will happen. You just need to follow the steps below.
Steps to surviving a Philippine Jeepney Ride:
- Don’t take out your wallet in the open. Prepare your money in advance. Take out the exact amount of change you need. Depending on the distance, it could be from 8 pesos to twenty to thirty pesos. Ask a Filipino friend how much it would probably be.
- Catch the right jeepney. Jeepneys have signs on their windshield on certain favored destinations on the streets they will be passing through. Ask a Filipino or trusted friend on what jeepney you should ride-or what sign you should look at for-to get to your destination.
- Get on and ride. If you have a bag or backpack, place it in front of you and keep at least one arm around it, so no one can snatch it up. As much as possible, do not take out your phone, electronic device, or wallet. Robbers can easily snatch them up and get off the jeepney in a jiffy. So be watchful of the people around you.
- Pay your money. If you see a person standing outside of the jeepney, hanging on with one hand, and calling for passengers, say, “Bayad, (then your destination).” [“Bayad” means “payment”, to my understanding] Then pass your money to him. If there is none, say, “Bayad, (then your destination).” If you are alone, you should say, “Bayad, Isa, (then your destination).” [Isa, means “one”. Clearly saying to the driver,”Bayad. Isa.”is “payment for one”] When passing your money to either the driver or the “caller”, simply stretch out your hand. Any Filipino will know that that is the sign that they will get your money, and pass it to either the driver or the caller. So don’t be alarmed if a Filipino simply opens their hand when you are trying to pass your money. They are simply passing it. If the driver or the caller say, “Saan galing?” What they are trying to say is, “Where did you get on?” Explain to them where you got on, the place when you got onto the jeep.
- Get off the jeep. When you see your destination up ahead, or about a few yards in front of you, you say, “Para!” to the driver. Sometimes, unfortunately, the driver might not hear you. There are two ways that always work. (1) you can tap your ring against the railing overhead (Hold the railing, then tap your ring against the railing to signal to the driver to stop.), (2) or you can knock your finger onto the roof of the jeep, to signal to the driver to stop. Make sure the sound is loud and clear, or make it louder and louder until the jeepney slows down and comes to a stop.
If in doubt, just watch the other passengers first. But, most importantly, you must remember your destination, how it looks like, and when to get off.
But, if it’s your first time, I would suggest you have a Filipino companion to help you out.
Although scary at times, the Philippine Jeepney ride is a silent culture that is embedded into every day life of a Filipino. So, yay! You know how a Filipino feels every day.
Filipino students ride the jeepneys to get to school in the morning. Mall workers ride very early in Metro Manila to get to the mall in two hours, to get to work on time.
The jeepney is a popular form of public transportation since it is cheap and affordable to the average Filipino.
And for you, it’s great for the experience! So get out there and ride!
Tala 8:36 pm