It didn’t take me more than a few seconds to understand the meaning of “Pwede pong pakiusog“. The Filipino just squeezed herself in the small space between me and the backside of the Jeepney seat ..she had meant it as a request for me to move a little forward so she can get herself seated.
The Jeepney already had two persons sitting in the front next to the driver, 5 persons each including me in the two parallel benches inside the cramped space. With a jump start and a rumble the jeep began moving and like a dart was making its way in and out of different lanes. I kept hanging to the railing to keep myself steady.
Before embarking on this ride I had read travelling in a Jeepney is one of the many things to do in Manila and I certainly endorse this now. Else, I would have missed the raw, captivating slice of life in the Filipino capital city that travelling in a Jeepney entails, these vehicles criss cross the roads every day.
The traffic congestion on the roads and the people density made me realize its certainly safer inside Jeepney than walking outside these means of transport.
After my first ride, I had several occasions to travel in Makati and greater Manila in the famed Jeepneys. Locals swear by it and this is the most common form of transportation in this metropolis, the city teeming with humans, animals and vehicles belching out enourmous amount of pollutants.
By then I had learnt to say “Para Po” to stop and alight at my destination. For lack of change I usually gave 10 pesos and put back whatever change was given.
Checkout some of the pics of these colorful ,shiny and painted graffiti laden Jeepneys, a rugged representation of Philippine culture and national pride.