Last week on Monday I dropped my New Old Honda at the shop for general maintained. I was informed by Kuya Greg that it would be a few hours. Being that I had no desire to “Please Wait” I decided to just go home and come back in the morning.
Being that it was now 0830 I took a Trike down the hill to the Victory Liner Station and walked over to the market to catch a Jeepney home. I was thinking it had been a long time since I rode public transportation, but the rules popped right back into my head.
For those who do not live in my area the first rule is to board the correct Jeepney. Since I’ll assume one knows where one is going, you just read on the side the starting and stopping point. Reverse it if you’re going in the other direction. Or if you live in Olongapo City, and thanks to Senator Dick Gordon, who when he was the Mayor of our fine city, he color coded all the Jeepney’s. I do mean color and not numbers, as in the color coding in Manila. So to go to my house up the hill, I take the Brown Jeepney.
The reason for the color coding goes back to the heady days of when Olongapo was a sailor town and Jeepney’s went where they wanted to, which translates as to the busiest routes. which made the Driver the most money. The downside of the driver’s side of the plan was that a lot of areas had little or no transportation service.
If sailors boarded a Jeepney the driver would ask them where they were going and if they said the Barrio he would discharge all other passengers’ and take the sailors there, at a higher fare of course. Hence the new and fairer system, in which the driver had to stick to the route as per the color of his vehicle
Alright; so I’m at the market and the Red, Yellow and Brown Jeepney’s are lined up, I board the brown one and slide up behind the driver because I’ll be riding it until it turns around at Tipo which is as far as it goes. (Market-Tipo)
Do not pay right away because you might not know the cost, wait and see what the other people going to your destination are paying. As they hand the money forward they will say; “Tipo or Check Point” (The names could be different where you live, but I doubt it) and the now driver now knows what to charge.
When the money is passed forward, do not assume it is now yours, you accept it and pass it to the driver or his assistant. The change will be given back to you to pass along. It will seem confusing at first but this system has worked very well for longer than most of us have been alive. Plus by handling the money you now know how much to pay. Plus if the Jeepney breaks down you can exit and grab the next one without paying twice. Do not ever expect a refund.
Personal space; it is no longer there, the guy wedged against you has now invaded it. Which is the norm, his hand on your leg or in your pocket is not the norm, but a forceful “HOY” will solve that problem quickly.
Even if the driver is smoking, you may not. The why of this ruling has never been explained, but know that it’s true.
I noticed over the years that the lady sitting across from you on that hot March morning will always have fish in her bag, as noted by the tail fins protruding from the top. So you are not only jammed in like a sardine, but smelling them also. Oh joy to us!
When wanting to disembark you simple tap a coin (Or your knuckles) on the roof and say “Para” the driver will stop exactly where you want to exit, so after you see someone get off, let the driver move ten to twelve feet and then you request to get off. That also is the norm. The same rule applies when boarding Jeepney’s along the highway, If you’re traveling in a group try spacing each member about twenty feet apart, and watch as the driver will move to each one to pick them up.
The old or young lady with all the sacks on the floor in front of you, yes the one with the fish, when she exits it is deemed polite to assist her by sliding the sacks towards the rear. Don’t get up, as others will help pass them on behind you and she will never have to move to get them, tailgate delivery. It’s a nice thing to do.
Albeit I enjoy the freedom my car affords me, I still enjoy the Jeepney rides once in a while. As a matter of fact, due to poor infrastructure in Olongapo I will leave my car parked where I found a parking space and ride a Jeepney or Trike to other places I must get to. For 9 out of 10 times the only way to get a parking space here is to buy a parked car.
So anyway that is a broad overview on Jeepney riding, if I’ve omitted anything I’m sure our fellow readers here on LiP will chime in, and add to the discussion. It’s one of the reasons I so much enjoy reading and writing on Bob’s site.
The capacity of a Jeepney is: “One More”
Now for the rest of the story: My car was not ready the next morning, this I knew because Lolet the billing lady at the shop texted me and stated; “Kuya Paul, your car is not ready today!” Well that about summed it up, it was as clear as mud, but the text did cover the ground.
So I called and asked the reason; it seems that a special part that goes on my car that is called a speed sensor, had to be shipped down from… You guessed it, “MEGA MANILA.” So three days later on Friday afternoon at 1500 I received word that the car was done and running great once more. I told them I’d pick it up on Saturday; let them wait for me one time. I didn’t get to say “Please Wait.”
So after starting this article I it dawned on me that I would be on a Jeepney a few more times this week. Oh well that is life here in the Philippines and I wouldn’t trade for a sack of crazy monkeys! But the New Old Honda is back in fine shape once again. And my world is within its norm.