The jeepney is the everyday public transport used in Batangas and other parts of the Philippines. It is the cheapest and convenient vehicle used by most Filipinos in traveling from one place to another.
The jeepney is an icon of Filipino ingenuity and has been termed “King of the Road”. Also identified for its flashy embellishment and jump packed accommodation.
In any country or destination in the world, each nation has something distinctive. And it is only here in the Philippines; one can find a vehicle known as the jeepney.
The Jeepney started after the World War II, when the Americans left the Philippines after the war. Creative Filipinos converted the U. S. military jeep that was extended to about a foot in length. A door was put behind to accommodate more passengers, and a solid roof was placed in exchange with the original canvass roof. The spare tire was positioned beside the driver, which was originally located at the rear. Repainted it with various colors, and different decorations or accessories were attached at the hood.
Initially, the jeepneys can ride six passengers, three on each side. But as time passed by, the length of the jeepney has extended equivalent to a light truck. There are jeepneys today, which can accommodate 30 or more passengers.
Under the hood of the original jeepneys are Willy’s gasoline engines with 4-wheel drive. But, the modern jeepneys today, have Isuzu diesel engines with 2-wheel drive. The chassis are longer and locally manufactured.
An exceptional point about jeepneys is that no two jeepneys look exactly identical. Each jeepney can be customized, from the airbrushed art and stickers, the accessories to be placed on the hood and the colors to paint on the vehicle. Even a stainless steel body can be ordered if one wishes. It will all depend on the owner of the jeepney.
In Batangas, particularly the common people ambition is to have their personal jeepney. It is a means of livelihood and could generate a good income and be self-supportive. An example is when someone hires the jeepney to a resort, or uses it in hauling his farm harvest to the market.
The cities of Batangas and Lipa, and the progressive towns of Lemery, Balayan, Malvar, and Sto. Tomas are places where manufacturers of the jeepneys can be located. And has been considered as one of the small-scale industry in Batangas. Every customer can have his/her jeepney built in whatever purpose he/she has in mind.
In the province of Batangas, one can see a jeepney fully packed with passengers, and standing commuters hanging at the rear end, just to have a ride. And that’s not all, there are more on the roof with different farm animals on board. No such thing as overload!
And if you want to discover the beauty of the province, it is a good idea to hire a jeeepney, and have a jeepney tour to the different spots of Batangas.
One can’t say that he has been in the Philippines, unless he has seen and ride the jeepney. So, if you happen to visit the Philippines, you must take time to ride the jeepney, and enjoy a hell of a ride and why jeepney drivers are regarded as sweet lovers.
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