Jeepney—the word, oh this heinous of a word. A repulsive word that makes one smile as he speaks its last wicked syllable. This Filipino-pride public vehicle, fueled by evil!
Jeepneys are among the most popular public transportation in the PH because of its practicality. You can actually fit 22 people inside it, plus 3 if the barker is goddamned delusional.
It also elicits good Filipino values, like bayanihan, when people pass along their fares to the next person until it reaches the driver on the front (the best place! more on front seats later). Unless the person next to you is sitting sideways like a queen, then we’re A-okay.
“We are a community in that jeepney. Aside from belonging to the same place, we are united and connected as we hold each other’s hand to pass cash. We are kind of monsters.”
But no. The jeepney does not only elicit positive vibes to the passengers. To me, the jeepney is a devil! It’s a poor man’s limo!
Whenever I step in and enter the long and tight body of the jeepney, I invariably feel like being put into a casket full of maggots. A coffin driving towards hell!!!
Seriously. Jeepneys are awful. Not because of their build—although sometimes it is—but because it’s a room full of judgmental human beings!
Nope. I am speaking of the truth.
They’re on you. All of them. Staring at your whole existence, quietly shaking their heads. They can see through you your difficulties, shortcomings, failures. They know who you are and what you do. They hate you. They don’t want you in the jeepney. They want you to leave.
Everyone is judging you. From head to toe. From good to bad. From fat to bones. They’re all on you.
I’ve told my close friend Ramon Emmanuel Salvadora (shoutout! Facebook, Twitter) this story, but sadly he had heard of the Michael Bay version—sorry, Emman. I didn’t fall onto the highway or bleed or almost-die!
In 2nd year high school, me, my sister and my cousin, Abegail, usually rode the jeepney every morning before our 7:30 am classes. So I am guessing it was about 6:56 am when this jam-packed San Felipe jeepney (yes, these jeepneys are the worst! more on San Felipe jeeps and drivers later) approached us after taking too long filling itself up with passengers at this awful, human-clad street called Aeroville, like we would all still fit inside his goddamn midget-sized jeepney.
My sister, being persistent, immediately walked inside and sat comfortably. My cousin sat half of her butt throughout the ride. Me? I squatted there by the exit, trying to look cool holding the bars on the vehicle’s roof like one of those badass guys who need not sitting (or do not have the fare to pay).
I imagined I looked cool. I was, meh. Easy. I was never so wrong in my life.
As the jeepney pulled its brakes, my squat position turned into an awkward falling position. I literally almost fell. Everyone was staring. Thankfully this lady near me caught me and saved me from dropping and, I imagined, getting pushed on the rough and warm highway. I would’ve come out skinless!
(Emman’s jeepney jitters story is better though. Contact him to know! Details on the shoutout.)
It started my phobia. Not from jeepneys, or from people. But from people on jeepneys.
Sitting on the Front
I am the driver’s pet. I always take the front seat if there’s some space. It’s the best place to sit on. You get the whole view. You don’t need to pass anyone’s fare but yours. You don’t need to yell para to reach your destination. You are safe.
San Felipe Drivers
Aside from addicts, these drivers are passenger-hungry. They wait for their jeepneys to get full, and arrive at the later streets with little or no space.
We live at the end of the barangay and most of the time, especially if you’re going to be late, these jeepneys go to you so full there are top-loaders (it knows! it fucking knows!). And try to stare at the driver, he’s fucking wearing thug life sunglasses.
Shame on you.
They also prohibit tricycles from providing service in the barangay until 9 pm. Fuck you all.
And they’re addicts. ‘Nuff said.
Fave word of the day: Elicit
I’ll be sharing more shart-eliciting Jeepney Jitters stories in the near future! There are so many!
Thanks for reading, judgmental!