The Art of Traveling in a Jeepney

A vacation in the Philippines wouldn’t be the same if you didn’t get a chance to ride on a jeepney. So if you are planning on traveling to these islands, then here are some tips on how to travel by jeepney.

A Jeepney is a simple and efficient means of transportation once you get the hang of getting on one. They can take you almost anywhere and give you quite an adventure at the same time.

Getting on a jeepney is quite simple, first of all make sure that you are standing on a sidewalk where it is legal for public vehicles such as jeepneys to load and unload passengers. The key is to watch out for other people who are also waiting for jeepneys, they often make a small crowd when waiting.

The route of a jeepney is often written on a placard placed in the windshield of the vehicle. Next you have to decide if that route will be going or passing by the place you’re trying to go to, if it is, then wave your hand as you would a taxi to let the driver know that you are getting on. Otherwise, if you know that it’s not going or passing through the destination you’re going to then avoid calling the attention of the driver and wait for another jeepney to come your way.
 
However if you are not sure whether the jeepney’s route is passing through where you’re going then you can wave your hand like you would a taxi and politely ask the driver if it is going where you want to. If you are not familiar with Tagalog you could say the destination where you’re going and the driver will answer if they will pass there or not. The Philippines has a good grasp of English so more than likely you will have no problems communicating your travel plans.

Once you are inside the jeepney you have to pay the driver your fare. It’s alright to ask how much is the fare for the destination you’re going to. You can do this by saying “Magkano sa…” followed by the destination your going to. Once you know how much, you can pay the driver anytime along the ride. You can do this by saying “Bayad po.” Then simultaneously hand over you fare.

Paying earlier is more polite so pay as soon as possible as it prevents the driver or the conductor from franticly coming up with your change when you reach your destination. If you are seating far from the driver and the conductor, other passengers are more than willing to lend a hand in giving your money towards the driver or conductor, just make sure that when you pay you’ve got their attention. If you didn’t, you can ask them to help you by saying. “Makiki abot po.”

Lastly, going down the jeepney is quite simple. You do this by tugging on the string that is placed at the ceiling of the vehicle or knock on the roof with a quick rapping sound as if knocking on a door. You can also say “Para” to the driver to inform him that you are getting off.

Sometimes it takes more than one jeepney to go to your destination so be prepared to get off one and get on another. Filipino locals are very helpful and friendly so don’t hesitate to ask for directions if ever you’re in need.
 
So, now that you know the basics on how to use the jeepney, you can freely travel around the city streets of Philippines and explore all of its wonders. Traveling around the Philippines is more fun and authentic full of adventure if you’re riding on jeepneys.

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