Jeepney Chronicles

I do not remember anymore the first time I rode a jeepney. I do remember though having to ride it on the way to my pre-school. A riggidy raggedy piece of metal thrashing the highway. Black fumes up my nose. Pigtails soaring like wings. Oh, the freedom of it. Sometimes, the heat would make me lethargic so I’d lie on my mother’s lap as we tear the road on the way home. Back then, I did not care how much the ride cost, as long as I get to keep the change.

When I was old enough to commute, I recall having to pay P1.50 to P2 depending on the distance. Sensible enough since I could buy candies and other goodies with my one peso. My mother complained about it. The usual bragging of old people, recalling how cheap products were during their time. Again, I did not care since I had P10 all for myself plus my packed baon.

My friend from college recalled that the UP Ikot ride at the University of the Philippines (UP) pegged at P1.25 when she entered as a freshman. During my time we would pay P2.25, not that bad considering we had to pay P2.75 or more if we set off outside the university.

Just recently, the minimum jeepney fare was raised to P5.50. I swallowed it like a bitter pill. Now that I am working hard for every peso I earn, the news did not sound good to me. In fact, it was not sound at all.

Yesterday, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) granted the petition of jeepney operators to raise the minimum fare to P7.50. Press secretary (read: apologist) Ignacio Bunye may argue that the P2 increase only means an additional two sms messages. How utterly snobbish and apathetic could you get? Oh, I see, the government does not care about people without cellphones. PGMA has long proven that. What more could we expect from officials who do not even get their upturned noses smudged with the filth from daily commuting?

I go back to my vision of a jeepney ride. Hair swiftly flowing. Clothes flapping incessantly. Smoke stinging my eyes.

Somehow, the ride does not feel so free anymore.

10 Replies to “Jeepney Chronicles”

  1. for me, it means no more fisballs in the afternoon. sad, so sad.

  2. When I was in Kinder our fare was only Php1 and when I started my freshman year is college, student fare was Php2. Then later the same year it got to Php2.50. When I graduated it was Php3.25.

  3. I share the same sentiments… Juan dela Cruz is getting poorer, poorer & poorer each day… fare hike, increase in prices of the basic commodities, oil price hike, etc. etc. etc… and oh how about the peace & security situation in the country? journalists killings here & there… WHAT THE HECK OUR GOVERNMENT IS DOING?!?

  4. hay nako mhay, puro reklamo nga rin ako sa blog ko. nakakainis na talaga ang gubyerno. lahat tinataas!

  5. How right you are. Lahat tinataas. Except suweldo. Now MRT and LRT are planning to raise fares too. LIke they only did, well I remember LRT, about two months ago, if I’m not mistaken.

    Correction for my previous comment: …freshman year IN college…

  6. Thanks for visiting. Blame this to oil deregulation at sa mga pu@#$ ekonomistang burgis. Kung ako ganito mag-angas, papaano na ang mga minumum wage earners natin?

  7. grabe, kung kelan malayo na yung papasukan kong school saka tumaas yung pamasahe, hehehe 😛

    siguro pag tapos na ako ng college 10pesos na ang pamasahe. eep.

  8. Nicko: Sad naman. For Bunye, the hike is equals only 2 txt messages. But that’s 4 fishballs for you. 🙁

    Ardythe: I heard MRT’s planning to raise its fare by P10. Tsk tsk.

    Richelle: Oo nga. Some people in the government are just enjoying international travels with their spouses courtesy of the farmers’ fund while those close to the Queen relax in super luxurious suites in the US. Even the Queen’s apo walks arould in Louie Vitton (did I spell it right? di ako familiar dun e.) shoes that I heard cost thousands of pesos per pair.

    Kat: wish ko lang itaas din sweldo hehe.

    Vanya: At the rate that we’re going, hindi malayong mangyyari yan. Baka nga P12 pa eh. Hala ka!

  9. tumatanggap ba ang mga driver (o konduktor) ng pasaload/share-a-load na pamasahe. and even if they are, that’s additional peso if you do.

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