One thing’s true about being a Filipino: You’re not a Filipino if you haven’t traveled through the Public Utility Jeepney. According to Wikipedia, when American troops began to leave the Philippines at the end of WWII, hundreds of surplus jeeps were sold or given to the Filipinos. And through the ingenuity of our ancestors, the normal jeepney was transformed into something that could accommodate at least 20 passengers. Which brings me to my title. Jeepney people. When you’re stuck in a jeepney for thirty minutes, you notice things and see things you wish you haven’t. And here are just some of the people or species we encounter during public transportation:
The crammer (pasaherus dinagstudyus)
These species get in the jeep with eyes haunted by dark eye bags. They usually have a book with them or a dog-eared photocopy of their lessons. They murmur among themselves, reading throughout the ride. Their two eyebrows become one, as they focus through the bumps and stops the jeepney makes. Even though reading in a moving vehicle is bad for their eyes, they still take the risk into making sure they pass their exam. Their stomachs are growling tigers, a result of skipping a few meals. Beware of these types of passengers as they are subject to grouchiness when disturbed.
The smoker (pasaherus pataybaganus)
Even when there is a sign that reads “No Smoking”, the stubbornness of this specie could be compared to a mule. They look away from the others to feel less guilty, even though they blow their poisonous gas to the unfortunate person beside them. They truly have no conscience as they do not think of the health and welfare of the other passengers, more so to him. He thinks he looks like a bad-ass for smoking, but all they really look like is someone inconsiderate. These species are to be handled by an elder whose anger to the specie could humiliate them for doing such an act.
The perverted one (pasaherus hawakhawakus)
“Kung siksikan, bawal ang manyak!” (In tight situations, perverts are prohibited!) A sticker on a jeepney once read. These are warnings to girls who may be taken advantaged of when the jeepney’s passenger capacity has maxed. This is when the jeepney looks like a tight can of sardines, just waiting to pop. These are usually when the species come out of hiding. Their hands are skilled into trying to get a “feel” from distracted girls. They pretend to cross their arms and brush their hand to the unknowing prey. Their range of meal covers from the hair of the girl, the breasts, and the exposed legs. This type of species is usually mentally deranged or usually hormonal, as they take the risk of being caught. These species are to be handled with a smack on the face and a police report on sexual harassment.
The music addict (pasaherus musikerus)
These species are not to be disturbed easily. They are lost in their own world of music that is practically blasting from their ears. It’s either they’re listening through an earphone, or they have their music on loud speaker for everyone to hear. They are usually lost in thought, and looking into the distance, trying to find the meaning of life through song. Their earphones range from the huge headphones to the Bluetooth ones that makes you wonder if there is really music playing. These species are to be understood for their lack of understanding of the world and escaping it through plugging their ears with something plastic.
The road blocker (pasaherus maydalaeus)
These types of species usually has something big and heavy carried with them, thus blocking the path towards the jeepney’s door. Although these people are not to be blamed by what they carry, they should be considerate enough to give space to the passengers getting on and off the ride or to move to a seat near the driver’s seat so as to not disturb other passenger. As a passenger you must help them get in and out of the vehicle.
The gossip worshipers (pasaherus chikkaeus)
These type of species are usually one of the people who just bumped into each other and have started talking almost at the same time about their neighbor, their kids, their husband, politics and everything else under the sun. Though very annoying, they usually provide inside details about important things. Beware of their stare, as they are sometimes quick to judge since they have someone to back them up.
The mommy with babies (pasaherus nanayeus)
These species have younger versions of themselves inside the vehicle. They’re usually pesky and wild, as the specie calls out to them. The younger versions are always in some kind of trouble which ends up as a burden to the other passengers. The specie is usually identified the moment little species climb in the vehicle followed by an older woman with a baby in her arms and groceries on the other hand. Be understanding of this species’ stressful lifestyle and help her when possible.
The old one (pasaherus matandaeus)
This species is made of different breeds that could be summed up to grouchy, happy, know-it-all and the judge. As obvious as what their breed means, they are usually harmless unless they notice you. They are identified by the wrinkles of their body and their eyes are usually covered by a small framed glass. They are usually nosy and they butt-in to other people’s conversations, even to complete strangers. They are harmless enough, but be warned for a lecture when your friends are too loud.
The “in-a-relationship” (pasaherus PDAeus)
These types of species travel in two’s, the way the animals did back when Noah built the Ark. Most of these species are identified when they hold hands or the male rests his arm around the female. They are usually harmless but some have been found to do more than holding hands. They are usual topics for gossip in the jeepney, receiving bad looks from the “conservative” part of the passengers. Although they dismiss the gossip, they must be treated with respect as you may have done this then, or you might do this in the future. Do unto others what you want others to do unto you. Gossip about them, and soon you’d be the one who they gossip about.
The cliques (pasaherus barkadeus)
These types of species prefer to travel in groups, usually tagged as loud and uncivilized, thinking that they have the jeepney all to themselves. They pay their fares together; usually one collects and counts the money before handing it to the driver. They talk in a whole new language and they laugh at the most mundane things.
They get in the jeepney together and they hop off together, leaving the jeepney very silent. They feel no pain even when other passengers are sending daggers through their eyes wishing they would shut up. Though very harmless, they may cause noise pollution.
And so in conclusion, public transportation seem to bring out the best in people. People take a ride in it every time they need to go to one place to another. This is where they may interact with others or simply mind about with their business. I know there are more species out there, but the important thing to remember when you’ve encountered these species is to appreciate them. They were part of your journey, and as the saying goes, it’s not the destination that’s important. It’s the journey. So no matter how irritating the people in the jeepney may be, remember that they are just like you. Living life the best way they know how.