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6 Helpful Tips in Riding A Jeepney in the Philippines

Zett is a student living in the humble island of Cebu within the colorful archipelago of Philippines. He is currently pursuing his dreams.

Arriving in the historically-rich archipelago of Philippines, it is undeniable that we will encounter the buzzing streets filled with colorful and iconic public vehicles known as jeepneys. These vehicles are the most common means of transport among locals especially going to work or school, visiting a local market, and just simply wanting to take a ride. Even foreigners have tried to experience the joy and new excitement in riding this kind of vehicle. However, there are a few things to remember before, during, and after riding a jeepney.

1. Know Your Way

Philippine Jeepney

Philippine Jeepney

Know exactly your destination. Knowing your destination means knowing what jeepney you should ride. Each jeepney has a corresponding destination clearly written on the side of the vehicle, though in some cases, routes pertaining to the destination may also vary.

Drivers would usually hang a signboard inside the vehicle to inform the passengers where the jeepney is heading or the route is going. In case you’re still in doubt of your destination, make sure to ask the locals or the drivers directly to save time.

2.‘Sitting Arrangements’

Jeepney Interior

Jeepney Interior

There have always been an exact place for a person to sit in a jeepney as to traditionally show a sign of respect.

  • Senior citizens and the elders have the nearest seat to the entrance so they can easy sit and go.
  • The youngsters and teenagers normally would be nearest to the driver, as they could actively hand the fare to him.
  • People with a lot of baggage should also be seated closest to the drivers as well as to avoid the baggage from blocking the way of the passengers.
  • Children under ten years old to be seated on their parent’s or guardian’s lap to accommodate some space for new passengers.

3. Neat Yourself

Avoid wearing strong perfumes.

Avoid wearing strong perfumes.

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Always remember that no one wants sit seat beside an excessively dirty person. Make sure to have a proper appearance in riding a jeepney.

  • In case you’re a woman wearing skirt or short shorts, make sure to properly behave and close your legs to avoid being molested.
  • As for people with haba ng hair (long hair), make sure to tie it properly to prevent annoyance after getting it caught on other people’s faces. You really don't want your wet hair sticking at other people's faces.
  • Though perfume smells really good, it could also cause dizziness. So make sure you use the light ones.
  • Being neat not only includes appearances, but also your observable behaviors.

4. Pass the Fare

'Passing the fare' makes the jeepney unique from other transportations. The act itself is a sign of honesty of the passengers and a trust given by the driver towards the passengers. Assure it that you pass the fare carefully, particularly coins (since it could be dropped and lost if mishandled). Passengers normally pay when he or she is nearing his or her own destination, or simply wants to pay in advance. Be polite in taking the money towards the driver, and back to the passenger.

5. Respect

Put your bags on your lap to avoid blocking the way of the passengers.

Put your bags on your lap to avoid blocking the way of the passengers.

Always learn to show respect to others inside a jeepney. Watch your behaviors that it might not disturb other people.

Youngsters in groups, colleagues, and acquaintances usually fail to lower their voice in especially if they are too engrossed in their conversations. Public Display of Affection (PDA) of couples might be tolerable in some levels such as holding hands and a peck on the cheeks, but avoid excessive display of such acts.

In case you have a luggage, never put it down to block the way; sit it on your lap or occupy the farthest sit from the entrance. Furthermore, it is a custom to always keep your hands to yourselves. Conversely, watch your step carefully in going inside and out of the jeepney.

6. Taking Your Exit

Para po.” is most common indication of someone getting off the jeepney. Just make sure to let your voice be audible enough to be heard. At some cases, using a coin to tap or knock on the metal handle place in the ceiling is also a signal of getting off. As mentioned, properly watch your steps as well as to politely excuse yourself especially if you have some heavy luggage that might hit someone.

© 2016 Zett Noir Cromwell

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