Friday, March 07, 2008


This has got to be the most colorful and ornate jeepney I had ever photographed. It's so over the top that one may get a toothache just by looking at it.

Although I am one of those who find the arrogance of some of its drivers annoying -- such as not pulling over by the curb when picking up or dropping off passengers -- I still feel enamored of these vehicles. I guess it was because I learned to drive on one, as well as took many rides in it while growing up in Manila. Suffice it to say, my fond memories of these commuter four-wheel vehicles are quite plentiful.

And this may also explain why I enjoy taking pictures of them whenever I have the chance. So much so that I even asked my fellow shutterbugs at an online forum to share their shots of which. To my pleasant surprise, this forum thread I've started a few months ago remains quite active to this day -- with posting of jeepney pictures in its diverse forms and decor (and at times lack of it) from the country's various urban and rural settings.

Take a moment to enjoy some more images of jeepneys at Pinoy Photography.

Related link:

Jeep Memories


posted by Señor Enrique at 5:45 PM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It certainly is very colorful!

Of all the Filipino icons, I think I love the jeepney best because it's very colorful ... almost like our own lives as a nation.

March 07, 2008 11:38 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

It certainly is, Bugsy! Anything goes, as they say, to liven up our tropical lives :)

March 08, 2008 6:54 AM  

Blogger Ebb Tide said...

Hi! Looking at this outrageous jeep will give you a tooth ache? Guess what? After having my teeth clean just a day ago,few are aching and I haven't seen a jeep around here. Love your colorful jeep photo no matter how overdone.

March 08, 2008 8:29 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

"Colorful like candies" as little kids would say around here, Ebb Tide!

March 08, 2008 9:13 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It's so over the top that one may get a toothache just by looking at it."

Hehehe. Nice description.

I've seen a jeepney which the owner made like an extension of his house. Family pictures, curtains, floor mat and all. :)

There must be a rationale why Pinoys adorn their jeepneys.

March 08, 2008 9:22 AM  

Blogger Sidney said...

Take a lot of pictures of them... they will probably disappear in the (far) future. One of the big manufacturers of Jeepneys is complaining they don't sell enough Jeepneys anymore and for the first time in their history they are considering to close their factory.

March 08, 2008 9:39 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I may comment on Sidney's, Eric.

I guess one reason why jeepney manufacturers don't sell enough anymore is because as of now, there are already more jeepneys than our roads can accommodate, hence the LTFRB (Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board) has to moderate issuance of franchise. And then of course, there are the passenger vans, tamaraw fx plying the usual jeepney routes too.

March 08, 2008 9:56 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

You should have taken a pic of that jeepney, Rhoda :)

I think the Pinoys have a tendency to decorate anything much like a jeepney. Even San Augustin Church in Intramuros, as Carlos Celdran said, seemed to have been put together like a jeepney ... hehehe.

March 08, 2008 10:51 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Sarao, one of the largest proponents and manufacturers of jeepneys had closed its doors a couple of years ago, Sidney. And I think there are now newer versions of jeepneys with more contemporary look to them. So the post WW2 jeepneys may indeed be on their way out.

Quite interesting that a number of folks online have collections of jeepney images on their sites.

March 08, 2008 10:55 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

And that doesn't even include the jeepneys that ply our roads without the required franchises, Rhoda. So oftentimes, our roads are inundated by jeepneys that cause major snarls, especially during the rush.

March 08, 2008 10:58 AM  

Blogger nutart said...

My husband had always been in awe of the jeepney. He says it is quite sturdy in built and any car for that matter (maybe daw except the Suzuki and other stronger models) will just crumple when it crashes against this Pinoy "carabao." My husband rarely exaggerates. The downslide however is that for a tall guy, he finds it impossible to be comfortable seated in one. He can't see where he is going and if he has arrived as well as he can't understand why people have a tendency to prefer seating by the edge towards the door when they should move towards the driver when a new passenger comes---you know, out of courtesy. I, however, always find the jeepney the most accessible transpo there is, even with the LRT and MRT in existence!

I also got to know a jeepney artist---a quite interesting character. He has "retired" but continous to make art (ships, community scenes,etc) out of shells and "debris" from the sea. Kasing gulo ng jeepney art! Masaya!

March 08, 2008 6:05 PM  

Blogger Tina said...

if holden car is for australia,jeepney is for pinas. oh i'd kill for the sight of ubiquitous
jeepney here hehe. when i was there i've seen even more elaborated jeepneys full of borloloys. i read this saying inside a jeep when i was in college:"hudas not pay" can be hard for the driver to know really, nice topic eric.

March 08, 2008 6:17 PM  

Blogger Toe said...

That's great! I haven't seen those colorful jeepneys in a long time.

Our family used to have a jeepney so although I also can't stand jeepney drivers, I also have a special affection for these WWII by-products. :)

March 08, 2008 7:05 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Colorful yet nakakainis sometimes. Parang bang buhay ng Pinoy.

March 08, 2008 7:28 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

are these one of those hataw jeeps of Marikina?

March 08, 2008 11:49 PM  

Blogger Amadeo said...

To make this kind of transport truly Filipino, I suggest we stay away from the name, jeepney, because it means many things other than our understanding of it. First, the word,Jeep, is a trademark of Chrysler. Yet our jeepney actually evolved from the GP (general purpose) vehicles used by the GIs, or also called geep (pronounced the same way as Jeep).

In the provinces, we used to also call such types of transport as jitneys. Now, when I got here in San Francisco, a few Fil-Am entrepreneurs plying the airport route called their transport vans jitneys. And now, here in the US, that word signifies any taxi transport that shares rides, much like the old transports with PU plates we used to have in our own airports which were more like charters.

March 09, 2008 12:44 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeepney is the sub-concious Symbol of Filipino character:

Strong, dependable, cheap (as a compliment) the work horse, open, artistic, spiritual, loud, burdened, shouting for recognition and dejected by cars on paved road it does not belong.


March 09, 2008 12:55 AM  

Blogger Android Eyes said...

I found this interesting mini doc regarding Jeepneys... I hope y'all enjoy it!

It's a 2 parter, just let it play n it continues to the 2nd part.

March 09, 2008 4:39 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...


March 09, 2008 5:56 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Ay, I think the jeepney is built for short and slim folks, Bernadette. If you're above five foot, the remaining empty seat better not be all the way inside behind the driver ... hehehe.

I have a sister-in-law whose taste in interior decor is very jeepney-inspired. They must've have moved to three different houses through the years yet the interior furniture and furnishings remained exactly the same.

March 09, 2008 3:21 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

They have a colorful Sarao Jeepney in NYC, Tina. I think it is owned by the consulate and used only in festivals or parades. They should ship one over there where you are :)

When I was a kid, the writings on the jeepneys serve as a source of humor or wisdom :)


March 09, 2008 3:25 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Toe,

My cousin's husband got a passenger jeepney and hired a driver for business purposes; this was in the province. However, during the summer, my cousin would instead drag all of us kids to the beach aboard it; hence, it never generated the income/profit that it should during the summer months ... hehehe.

March 09, 2008 3:28 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Lol ... so true, Mandaragat!

March 09, 2008 3:29 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hataw? Not sure what it means, Bing.

The most creatively decorated jeeps I've seen ply the Cubao - Marikina route. Very artsy and nice!

March 09, 2008 3:31 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Wow! So a word with Filipino provenance, Jitney, has become a generic term for taxi transport that shares rides :)

Very interesting, Amadeo.

As for the military GPs, weren't they referred to as Willy's as well?

March 09, 2008 3:35 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

You're right, Paolo. Never thought of it as such before.

Now, come to think of it, if I remember right, the calesas were also once decorated similarly, no?

March 09, 2008 3:37 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I am really in awe of you resourcefulness, Romy. I've just opened it on another page and waiting to load.

Many thanks for sharing!

March 09, 2008 3:38 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

You aint's seen nothing, yet, Tobey. Like bing said, the Cubao jeepneys are incredibly artsy!

March 09, 2008 3:41 PM  

Blogger Amadeo said...

Indeed, Willy's was another brand name.

But here's a thought, Eric, since you mentioned calesa.

As I recall, jeepneys plying less-traveled routes like Luneta and Binondo were smaller, like 3-to-row, and carried AC plates. Those in busier routes like Quiapo were bigger and carried TPU plates.

Guess what AC signified? Auto-Calesa. Now, wouldn't that be a good name for the current Filipino contraption, since it evolved from the horse-drawn transport anyway?

Though personally, I would like to see these "oversized monstrosities" consigned to museums and other display places. They are both inefficient environmentally and economically. We have seen many of our cities' streets clogged by them. Many of them are built from used and re-built engines coming from Japan and elsewhere.

If Sarao has closed, did Francisco Motor follow suit?

March 09, 2008 7:46 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Auto-Calesa jeepneys? Never heard of this before. Interesting! However, I don't think I've seen any smaller jeepneys; only those extra long ones that can accommodate 12 passengers per row. Oftentimes, seated right next to the driver is his wife who would collect all the fares and handle giving out the change as well.

That's right, Amadeo, jeepneys are often smoke-belchers!

March 10, 2008 6:00 AM  

Blogger Watergirl said...

It reminded me of a large 7-11 blue slurpee with the addition of gummy bear and other sugary candies. So it gave me a mental cavity lol

By the way, I read an article recently that the Dutch imported Thai tuktuks to ply the streets of Amsterdam. When will we see pinoy trikes in Hawaii or wherever our OFWs work?

March 10, 2008 11:25 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I think those foreign folks are smart enough not to infest their urban streets with tricycles like ours, MTan. The pollutions that emanate from which -- noise and smoke -- can be severely distressing.

March 10, 2008 12:16 PM  

Blogger Amadeo said...

Eric, I used to ride those AC jeeps on my way to Luneta from Malate for ROTC drill, passing thru Dewey Blvd. And that same jeepney proceeded to Binondo. Not as ornately designed as the bigger jeepneys.

BTW, when we were kids we thought the AC plates, meant "Around the City" since they were retricted to city boundaries. But a guy from MVO (now LTO) said it meant Auto-Calesa.

March 11, 2008 2:49 AM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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