‘London has the red double-decker bus, New York the yellow taxi, and the Philippines has the Jeepney.
The country’s most popular means of public transport zipping by adds a flash of vibrancy in the often frustrating, gridlocked streets of metropolitan Manila.
With names like Delilah and Rosa emblazoned across the front, each one is individually adorned with religious and nationalistic artwork – no two are identical.
For Ed Sarao, head of Sarao Motors – one of the first makers of Jeepneys – the vehicle represents the multi-cultural history of the Philippines.
“There is bit of Spanish, Mexican traits there; how they incorporate vivid colours, fiesta-like feelings. There is a little of the Americans because it evolved from the Jeep. There is a little Japan because of the Japanese engine. But it was built by Filipino hands,” he says.’
The jeepney is on its way out, however.
They are difficult and costly to repair because of the lack of standardised parts.
But most of all, they belch CO2 into the already thick Manila air.
So, the government has in place a program to replace the jeepney with an electric version.
They are a soulless, but clean machine.
But of course the owners of the original jeepney aren’t about to let their livelihood slip away without a fight.
So change is slow.