Friday, September 30, 2011

Old Entry #18: Jeepney (A Commuter's Life)

Time for another old entry!

Oh, this one's a good oldie.  I wrote this over two years ago when I ran away from home and was living in Cebu on my own.  It summarises the things I've observed in some Cebuanos when taking public transportation.

Enjoy reading!

This was originally posted on Jul 14, '09 9:06 PM on


On the way home from work this afternoon, I took a jeepney like I always do.  On it, as my fellow Filipinos are aware of, you come across different sorts of people from different walks of life with different stories to tell and different treasures to boast.

Two women near the edge, seated opposite each other, were making a raucous conversation laughing at a topic only they could both relate to.  Another woman was coughing like she was about to regurgitate a fist she had just swallowed, while two others seated beside each other on the front bench were exchanging quasi-intelligent remarks, trying to outdo each other, talking about how young people today have lost the so-called traditional Christian values.

And you think only women make noise?  No!  Direly mistaken, are you!  Three young men who looked quite educated were making a fuss exchanging stories of their sexual escapades with their girlfriends as if they wanted to tell the people on the other road vehicles.  Another one, who was obviously suffering from a runny nose, was making hyper-inhales as if trying to keep his nose from falling off his face and two other elderly men were addressing each other with military titles while talking about their wives' ability to bear children without observance of health precautions such as birth spacing.  Wow!

One could learn a lot from a single jeepney ride.  I find them rather enjoyable, actually, despite the risks.  Yes, there are risks -- a lot of them, in fact.  For example: there's always a risk of catching some life-ending disease (like EVD) from your fellow commuters.  You never really know what the person next to you is carrying.

Another risk is getting robbed by people pretending to be passengers.  True, true!  There are a lot of instances when a band of men who look like innocent carpenters turn out to be robbers in disguise.  They occupy all corners of the vehicle at once.  One in the front seat, four on each edge of the benches, and two wind-surfers outside.  Now, that's a recipe for lots and lots of torn ears, lacerated fingers, and bleeding wrists.  Yes!  So, do be careful!  And once something like this happens, there's no way out since the jeepney will have been congested beyond substantial individual physical movement.  Bingo!  Jeepney drivers always ensure their passengers' comfort by overwhelmingly congesting each ride -- making it a literally "warm" experience.

Wait, wait!  There's more!  Besides the risk of getting robbed and catching EVD, jeepney rides don't come without live entertainment and unsolicited solicitations!  Whenever the red light turns on, the drums of the destitute street kids will roll and their dirty little fingers will start forcing themselves on you relentlessly until you give in and hand over some coins.

Yes, that's how a commuter's life is here in Cebu City! That's how it is here in the Queen City of The South! Amazing, isn't it?

Photo Borrowed from: