|Electric Jeepney (Photo from www.ejeepney.org)|
The first jeeps were commissioned by USA and were used as the soldiers’ transportation at the time of war. After World War II, the American soldiers left the jeeps to the Filipinos. Faced with the desire to rebuild the nation and the lack of transportation, the jeepney evolved. More about history of jeeps will be found here.
What we have here now is the second and third generation jeepney. We now have e-jeepney which uses electricity-charged battery plying in Makati City since 2008. We also have eco-jeepney which uses LPG like some of the taxis here in Metro Manila. I shared a link about eco-jeepney a week ago. These may be air-conditioned types and are manufactured in response to a call for cleaner air/reduction of greenhouse effect and noise pollution (most of the diesel-run jeepney are noisy and smoke belchers).
The Patok Jeepney
What caught my attention the most and what I would like to expound about is the patok. I have not yet ridden a patok since after college so I’m not sure if they’re still diesel-run or are using LPG already.
Patok is a colloquial term which means “most popular” or “most sought-after” or “most preferred” in English. Jeepneys that gained this label have a route, which is most commonly, to the university belt in Metro Manila. They’re usually surreally painted outside, heavily decorated inside, with loud stereos, glittery lights inside, with young adult drivers and runs at a speed enough for you to faint and turn white. No kidding! Most of these jeepneys have a button or a string that a passenger can pull to signal the driver to stop. There’s also a silent rule of “get in fast-get off fast” implemented in this type of jeepneys.
If you think that Pinoy jeepney drivers are aggressive, patok jeepney drivers are more aggressive. This is where they are ‘patok’ of – aggressive and fast-driving. This is also the reason why most of the passengers are students or are young; the elderly won’t take it. The patok drivers don’t stop for long to pick up passengers and they escape traffic that easy. No wonder, students wants to ride patok; it’s because they will not be late. And it seems like patok jeepneys are made for students. Or is it the patok drivers? LOL!