Beep-Beep, Jeep-Jeep-Yeah!

Behold, a Beatles-inspired jeepney: spotted in San Mateo, Rizal. Somebody’s obviously a fan of Beatles RockBand. The jeepney is still the king of Philippine public transport--your ride with an artful, customized hide used as a canvas of the owner’s personal pride. In this case, it’s all things related to the Fab Four. When will jeepneys end up at MoMA, I wonder?

The minimum fare is now seven pesos. I made it a point to carry a coin purse to store my commute-ready currency. While there’s the FX taxis for those who prefer to ride with airconditioning for an added rate, I still ride the jeepney for shorter distances. Besides, they’re faster. It also offers you the chance to people-watch and experience a close encounter of the “Jejemon” kind—which I recently had. Yesterday, I sat across a girl with braces grinning at her celfone-cum-TV receiver.

In this country still majorly spell-bound by Erap’s charm, most people can only speculate about Ford Taurus prices, Nissan 370Z prices, GMC Acadia prices, and Honda CR-V prices. Perhaps if I hung out at the Batasan Pambansa (Philippine Congress) parking lot, I’ll be able to see such cars…most likely bought with people’s hard-earned tax money.

My driving skills are challenged once again in this stick-shift-governed territory. I have manual driving amnesia, which is why I’m always a passenger while here in the Philippines. It’s a little embarrassing. I’m making up for it by volunteering as the paparazzi-on-board. I just hope I end up with enough photos to make our summer trip memorable.

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