I want my jeeps!

Sun.Star Pampanga - - OPINION -

THERE has been talk of a phase-out of jeeps, re­plac­ing di­lap­i­dated units to ejeep­neys [elec­tri­cally pow­ered] and for some so­lar driven. State of the art.

The last batch of the iconic Sarao is­sued jeeps may pale in com­par­i­son to the pro­posed im­prove­ment of the jeeps, in a vlog, im­prove­ments to the Pi­noy jeep were de­tailed to per­fec­tion com­plete with graph­ics and ef­fects.

The e-jeep will have higher roofing than the tra­di­tional jeep, al­low­ing you to stand up with­out hit­ting your head; it will also have more leg room, also al­low­ing you to stretch while on the ride.

Seat­ing will also be dif­fer­ent, as de­signs will vary based on pref­er­ence which will in­clude choices of a bus type and face to face seat­ing de­signs, some e-jeeps will also be air-con­di­tioned which will elim­i­nate the smog snorted by p as­sen ger s.

The e-jeeps in the long run will also dis­pense of the has­sle pas­sen­gers are sub­jected to by pass­ing on fare of co pas­sen­gers to the driver as the jeeps of the fu­ture will now have beep cards. Cash­less. Wow.

The vlog ends with a happy look­ing Pi­noy in­side the e– jeep of the fu­ture seem­ingly ready to go on va­ca­tion rather than commute. The face of a happy, con­tented and care­free com­muter.

I hon­estly wanted scr eam.

I love the di­lap­i­dated Pi­noy jeep­ney, I love the way it’s de­signed even if I hit my head on the roof some­times. I find it charm­ing that peo­ple pass on the fare of pas­sen­gers to the driver as well as the change.

I also find it re­lax­ing to look out the win­dow of the jeeps and feel the wind on my face… yes even if there is smog. If I wanted to ride an to air-con­di­tioned ve­hi­cle… I would get the bus or book over Uber and Grab.

I find the pe­cu­liar­i­ties of the now bashed Pi­noy jeep en­dear­ing. The corny de­sign of each jeep amuses me and gives me some­thing to smile about each time I take the time to look at the gaudy art­work.

The signs on the jeep take the cake too. “Barya lang sa Umaga,” “Basta driver sweet lover,” “Smile Je­sus loves you,” “This is your fi­nal des­ti­na­tion,” “The Lord knows HUDAS not pay,” and my fa­vorite “We re­pair bro­ken hearts,” what e jeep can top that?

The only thing I liked about the jeeps of the fu­ture was that it will also have CCTV’s all over to thwart thieves from prey­ing on pas­sen­gers. Hands down to that need.

Aside from that, the vlog on the jeeps of the fu­ture was pol­ished, so­phis­ti­cated and up­beat but can you imag­ine your manong driver us­ing so­cial me­dia as a plat­form to cham­pion the cause of keep­ing the old jeeps on the road, you can’t? Well that’s just the start of the prob­lem.

Manong driver will bat­tle the streets and scream from the top of his smog filled lungs to keep his pre­cious jeep on the road… some­thing that the gen­er­a­tion to­day looks at as crass. What they do is file an on­line pe­ti­tion and vir­tu­ally sign it.

They would not care if manong driver does cart­wheels on the streets. They will think it is un­nec­es­sary drama. The bat­tle to keep the old jeeps has been waged on so­cial me­dia to a group of peo­ple who have sel­dom rid­den ac­tual jeeps. To a gen­er­a­tion brought up by an iPod… manong driver doesn’t stand a chance.

If the phase out pushes through the gov­ern­ment is set to con­vert to the more sus­tain­able elec­tric jeep sourced from abroad which costs P1.5 Mil­lion per unit backed by the De­part­ment of Trans­porta­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tion (DOTC), Manong driver hasn’t even dreamed that amount was pos­si­ble for him to have in his life­time.

The bat­tle con­tin­ues for the old jalop­ies and the jeeps of the fu­ture and in be­tween is your friendly Manong driver and I who thinks old jeep­neys are charm­ing.

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