The Death of the Jeepney

Besides food, there is nothing more quintessentially Filipino than the jeepney. The Jeepney to the Philippines is the Yellow Taxi Cab to New York – Manila’s busy streets are lined with these iconic vehicles. Whenever I’m stuck in traffic (which is always), I find myself admiring the art of these jeepneys; even with its clashing colors and loud designs, they are a cornerstone of Filipino modern art. It is an art form that is constantly moving, visible, evolving.

Yet with rising concerns surrounding the Philippine’s pollution problems, there have been recent moves to phase out jeepneys, removing them completely by 2020. In its place, a more environmentally friendly bus will be used – and while this new form of transport will surely help reduce carbon emission levels, the homogeneity of these mass-produced buses marks an end to the iconic individuality of the jeepney.

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