The Jeepney

The Jeepney

Date: 04/17/2015 
In the Philippines, the king of the road is the "Jeepney." Find out how that came to be and discover how unique each Jeepney really is—as Pastor Doug Batchelor takes you for a ride through the hustle and bustle of Manila.

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Amazing Health Facts! Magazine by Amazing Facts
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For over 60 years, Jeepney's have been the virtual king of the road here in the Philippines. These unique vehicles that are festive with colorful stickers, lights, and chrome have grown into the chief source of transportation in the country. Let's go.

These iconic four-wheel-drive military vehicles made by the Willys Company were known as Jeeps because it stood for general purpose. It also came from a character in a Popeye cartoon that was known as Eugene the Jeep. He was an imaginary dog that could crawl across the ceilings and the walls, and these jeeps could go anywhere.

When the Americans left the Philippines following World War II, it was just cheaper for them to leave these thousands of military vehicles behind rather than to transport them back to the States.

The creative Filipino people modifying these military vehicles by extending the frame about six feet, they added a couple of opposing benches that are designed to carry about 18 people. They put a cab over it to prevent the water from coming in, but I've seen what looks like 20 to 25 people hanging off every possible edge and ledge of a Jeepney. And jumping off, and jumping on as it goes through congested Manila traffic.

Every Jeepney is a little bit different. Some are just held together with patches of baling wire and bubblegum, a little bit of duct tape. Some are a little more ornate and modern. They've got chrome and stainless steel. There's good reason that the ceilings are padded.

When one of the local Filipinos wants a ride on the Jeepney, they just flag them down, they shout, they tap on the hood, and then they jump on board. They might not even slow down when they do this. Then they pay about eight pesos, which is the equivalent of $0.16 for us. It's by far the most economical way to get around in the country.

Some Jeepneys are even equipped with their own emergency privy. One little downside to the Jeepneys, is because the cabs are open like this, they're not air-conditioned. It gets pretty hot in the summertime, and all the fumes from the street come in, which can make it an exhausting experience. Whew. Part of the downside of a Jeepney is they don't have all of the modern safety features, those seatbelts. You have to take advantage of the padding if you hit a hard bump.

If you're in a serious accident, there's no airbags other than the friends that might be sitting around you. That's the upside of a Jeepney. Because you're up close and personal with everybody, you make some new friends. Riding on a Jeepney requires teamwork. If you buy something from one of the vendors, you all sort of pass it back to each other. When passengers get on board, you just pass your money upfront. [foreign language] Thanks a lot.

Friends, it's safe to say there are no two Jeepneys that are exactly the same. They're all unique and distinct, and so are you. Have you ever felt that you get lost in the mass of humanity and God doesn't notice you? The Bible tells us that He knows your name, the very hairs of your head are numbered, and he hears your prayers. More than that, the Lord wants to take you to his kingdom. You just have to get on board.

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