I know some of you, even after having gone to the Philippines a gazillion times, have NEVER EVER ridden a jeepney! I strongly urge you to do this. Even if you are not Filipino or have never been to the Philippines,
THIS IS A BUCKET LIST ITEM
Where will you ever be in
A TIN CAN DISCO ON WHEELS
sitting uncomfortably stuck to the two people next to you?
If it sounds intense, it is. The physical requirements alone can make some people bow out. Like literally make a low bow while walking out of the jeepney.
Some say it is called "Jeepney" because people are sitting knee-to-knee with each other.
**BAD JOKE ALERT**
"Jeep" "Knee"? Get it? hehe <<-- (Tagalog for "haha.")
If you don't want to sit inside the small space, you are allowed to "sabit" either by sitting on top of the roof or by clinging on the back of the jeep. Don't be surprised if you see older kids clinging to the back of the jeep. I used to do this when I was younger too. Danger?-- What danger?
Anyway, should you decide to try out taking a jeepney when in the Philippines,
Here are some guidelines to follow:
1. If you are seated far from the driver (near the jeep entrance), the other passengers are expected to pass your payment to the driver (and pass your change back). Say thank you to the people.
2. If possible, pay with small bills or with exact change especially early in the morning. If people are being noisy in the Jeepney, do not ask them to be quiet. Filipinos are not known for being quiet in public.
3. During off-peak hours, it is expected that the jeep will wait for more passengers to ride before leaving. It will also travel slower to try to get more passengers along the way. If you get tired of waiting (more than 20 mins), you can ask for your money back and get off.
4. There are times when there are more people than seats in the jeepney, and you may see people, usually men or children sit on the floor. Like I mentioned earlier, you may also see men (and older children) stand hanging off the back of the jeepney.
5. When you are ready to get off the jeepney, say “Para!” Take into account the time/distance it takes for the driver to hear you and to get out of traffic to a complete halt. If you don’t say it in advance before you reach your stop, you run the risk of getting off a block away from where you needed to.
6. It is okay to knock on the jeepeny ceiling if the driver does not hear your “Para!”
Unless you are paying with exact amount, pay before you get off so that the driver has enough time to compute your fare and give you proper change.
Any good or bad jeepney experiences you can share? Please add your tips to this list in the comments below!