With my more than 30 years of existence living a life in the Philippines, I do not recall a moment when the jeepney fare has gone down. At present, minimum fare is pegged at seven pesos and fifty centavos (Php7.50). But come Monday, December 11, 2006 the jeepney fare will rollback to Php7.00.
This good news enthuse me to take a jeepney ride on Monday when going to the office to validate if the report is factual and to test if the driver will go bonkers when I hand over my seven-peso payment.
At this early point in time, I am trying to consider where is the best place to sit when taking this exciting ride. Two spots easily entered my loony brain. The back most seats and the one right in front (not in the middle beside the driver but the one on the leftmost portion).
Common obvious reasons for these two seat areas are:
- You can get into the vehicle with no trouble of slamming into other passengers’ knees while moving inside in an awkward posture
- You can have a 180 degree peripheral vision of the sights outside the jeepney
- You can easily alight from the vehicle when you reach your destination
- When there is a holdup situation, you can jump out in a jiffy and spare yourself from losing your money and your cellphone. (Never mind the plastic cards in the wallet since you can easily block them by immediately calling the bank/s. I will also not mind losing my pictures in my wallet, since I can always cut those out from fashion magazines. Joke!)
- You will be the least victim of smelling the gas of other passengers who relieved themselves from flatulence! Thus, there’s no need to shout, “Sino umutot?!”
Other reasons for selecting the backmost seat:
- It’s a custom for commuters when seated in the middle or inner most portions to assist the driver in handling over payments of passengers seated on the backmost spots. Thus, you need not have to bother passing other’s money/fare to the driver.
- You would not suffer from smelling the stench emanating from the driver’s or co-passenger’s kilikili (translation: underarm)
Other reasons for selecting the seat in front (a seat away from the driver):
- You can easily handover your pamasahe (translation: jeepney fare) to manong driver
- Jeepney’s side mirror is right in front of you! Instead of looking into the sullied, grubby and polluted metropolis, you can always look into the mirror and check your face out. (It always gives me a good laugh when I see passengers busy looking into the side mirror and would check their teeth out or would pluck out their nose hairs!)