Day 2 – Braving the roads

Today we set off to explore Tagaytay.  And we soon discovered the delights and discomforts of public transport. This is not for the faint hearted. Especially when you’re roaring down a narrow road in something called a tricycle – a motorbike with a tiny two-seater carriage attached. Once inside, it’s like riding in a microwave.

Taller European travellers usually find themselves hunched over with the back of their head pressing against the flimsy fabric ceiling.  Once you sit down, you begin to doubt the wisdom of heading down a busy highway in a motorised shopping cart. Will travel insurance cover us if we’re flattened by an impatient lorry?

Slightly more robust and even more outrageous are the ever-present Jeepneys. These are no-frills mini-buses covered in polished aluminium and mirrors. They’re a classic symbol of the Philippines, originally made from US military jeeps left over from World War II.

Jeepneys give a distinctly 1940’s American feel to the busy city centres. They all share two common features – flamboyant decoration and crowded seating. They remain the most popular form of public transport in the Philippines. At times, they seem to outnumber the cars.

0 comments on “Day 2 – Braving the roads

  1. Some of these jeepneys have air conditions, but the fare is a little bit higher than the regular fixed fares. I used to take the front seat, it’s not crowded and you can almost see everything from the front seat. Try it and enjoy the ride!

  2. Thanks Alan. I’ve just returned to the hotel via Jeepney after a late dinner at one of the doctors’ homes. The party ‘police’ located a driver at home somewhere in the neighbourhood, and hired him for my ride. Judging by the smell, I think he’d been enjoying a few quiet ones in front of the TV. But it was an entertaining drive. Sat up front as you suggested. My view was blocked by windscreen stickers. But the vehicle bounced so much, the view came and went on a regular basis. Great fun.

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