Many foreigners want to try riding a jeepney but they don’t know how to. That’s why most of them just ride a taxi.
Are you one of them? Don’t worry, riding a jeep (or jeepney) is as easy as 1-2-3. Barato pa gyud ang plite.
A jeepney’s route is painted on the side and a signboard is hung on the front.
Also, there’s a number code posted on top of every jeepney. Example: if you’re in Colon and you have to go to Talamban, just search for 13B or 13C.
You can also ask a barker. They look like this:
If you already know what jeepney to ride….
How do you “para”? Simple.
Wave your hand like this:
If you’re shy, you could just make eye contact to the driver and raise your eyebrows.
If you’re already inside the jeepney…
If you’re beside the driver: The driver’s usually bad-smelling. Get your handkerchief and cover your nose.
If you’re at the front: You have to constantly pass the fare towards the driver.
If you’re at the back: This is the best seat. No problemo, injoy da byo ob da pleys.
In case the jeepney’s full: You can just hang outside. Don’t do this if there are CITOM personnels around.
Chances are, they would raise the actual fare by 1 peso. If the driver doesn’t even reply, he doesn’t know how to speak English.
Just ask another fellow passenger and be sure to sound friendly.
You can pay immediately after sitting or before you disembark. Just don’t hand out 1000 pesos ’cause the driver surely won’t have any change.
Also, don’t try to cheat and not pay the fare ’cause it’s easy to remember your face, foreigner.
While waiting to arrive at your destination…
If you’re in front, you should pass the fare of other passengers.
If a passenger gets in… welcome them. Don’t be grumpy ’cause you can do nothing about it. Wiggle your butt and make space for the new passenger – yeah, jeepneys are tighter than a can of sardines.
Don’t display your iPhone or girlfriend. They might get snatched. People can even steal land titles, how much more a girlfriend with no title.
Hug your bag and make sure the zippers are closed. Take note of your seatmate’s face:
If he looks suspicious o or wearing a bandana like Dao Ming Se, be extra careful about your possessions and GF.
Knock the roof of the jeepney. If you have a coin, strike it to the handrail so the driver could hear you. You could also shout DARNA! Or you could say “para”.
If the jeep doesn’t immediately stop then that area is a no stopping zone. Don’t force the driver to stop, you might get into trouble.
Say “iskyus, iskyus” so other passengers would give way. Hold the handrail ’cause the jeepney might move before you could get out. A driver’s time is precious so you should get out fast.