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The Drivers
Jeepney drivers have a lot to occupy them..

* Watching for potential passengers (on both sides of the road)
* Tooting the horn to attract passengers
* Shouting his destination as he passes potential passengers
* Counting change for passengers
* Chatting on his cell phone
* And last of all... watching the other traffic

The worst jeepney drivers I have encountered are those in Ermita, Manila. These have absolutely no concern for passenger comfort or safety. It's swerve left, swerve right, on the brake, off the brake, and when you get off you feel as if you've just been on a roller coaster.

And getting off is another art. You signal the driver to stop. He does... right in the middle of the road. You get off and find yourself isolated, with traffic hurtling past you on both sides. Now the trick is to get to the safety of the footpath without getting run over.

If you are in a hurry to get to your destination... don't be. The driver is concerned only with picking up more passengers, not getting anywhere on time.

Drivers will often stop at an intersection hoping that the people walking toward him will turn into passengers. I once got into a jeepney that was waiting outside the petrol station in Fields Avenue, Angeles.

After 10 minutes the jeepney still hadn't moved so I got out and walked. I arrived at the terminal well ahead of that jeepney.

How to Stay Safe on a Jeepney
Jeepney passengers are a common target for pickpockets, so guard your valuables carefully.

A common trick in Angeles is for a passenger sitting opposite you to drop some coins. He will then lean forward and put his hand on your knee for support while using his other hand to pick up the dropped coins from the floor.

While rummaging around he will shake your knee. This is to distract your attention from the bloke sitting next to you. This bloke will carefully take everything out of your trouser pocket or purse. Beware!

Allan Miller
24 June 2011

Allan E Miller, EzineArticles.com Platinum Author

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