Philippine Daily Inquirer

Death by jeepney–sort of

Before she can sit down, the jeepney zooms away, so she slides from the entrance of the jeepney to the front, where she holds on to the driver’s hair for dear life!

- By Dulce V. Aristorena­s Contributo­r

IN THE MOVIE “THE ASSASSIN,” Angela Jolie teaches her freshman assassin how to mount a running train, use it as height, and shoot the man for target killing on the 23rd floor of a building.

She shoots him right on target (got it, freshman?) but the running train is going into a tunnel. She’s going to be beheaded! So, Angelina, who is now kneeling atop the train, bends over backwards, oh so gracefully, so when the train enters the tunnel she is four inches in clearance off the tunnel’s ceiling and when the train’s out of the tunnel she kneels back up.

What that woman can do! (The most beautiful lips and the most uuuummm husband. But that’s another story.)

Movie: James Bond

Daniel Craig is James Bond, in the cut-to-cut traditiona­lly benign beginning of a “James Bond” film: police cars ramming into each other and guns rat-tat-tatting. He survives his fall from a building, but when he turns around, a 10-wheeler truck is in absolute speed ready to ram into him!

So, he lies down on the street, just right in the middle of the 10 wheeler. Since its clearance from the street is half a yard and he’s in the middle of the truck, away from the marauding wheels, Daniel Craig sees the fascinatin­g art of sculptured metal work of a truck’s underbelly racing over him and, when it’s gone, he stands up, alive, from under the truck.

Oooooohhhh, yeah! Bond. James Bond.

Movie: ‘Manila RIP’

Lhai hails a jeepney IN A PROPER JEEPNEY STOP and is about to board it, her one foot on the jeepney’s ramp, when the jeepney speeds off and off tumbles Lhai. That’s not the end.

The next jeepney, like Danial Craig’s truck, speeds toward her, runs over her foot so she falls UNDER the running jeepney. But Lhai SURVIVES! That’s because Lhai is a frail woman. She fit under the jeepney. The perfect Bond Girl.

Movie: ‘Manila RIP,’ the sequel

I have a dear 75-year-old yaya, Erning, who has been with us even before I was born. (That’s more than a half-century.) Erning wants to visit me so she hails a jeepney in A PROPER JEEPNEY STOP. With her two hands, she holds both rails of the jeepney’s ramp. But before she can ascend the ramp, the jeepney speeds forward. Erning’s mind flashes. If she lets go of the rails, she’ll get run over by the next jeepney!

So, IMAGINE IF YOU CAN, a 75year-old lola RUNNING WITH THE JEEPNEY, HOLDING ONTO THE RAILS! One of the passengers scream, and only then does the jeepney stop. Brave as Lapu-Lapu, she still ascends the jeepney with pride and get to my home. Alive. After that, she is totally banned by my brother from riding jeepneys again. Period. This next one is NOT redundant. I have another dear 65-year-old yaya, Vilma, who also has been with us since just after I WAS BORN. She hails a jeepney. But before she can ascend it, the next jeepney bumps her and she falls by the sidewalk! The jeepneys LEAVE her. ( Kasi baka mapolice blotter pa sila! ’ Di na bale mamatay ’yung nabangga. THAT is the Da Vinci Code of jeepney drivers.)

Fate, coming to the rescue, has my brother in his car about to turn toward the sidewalk’s curb. He seees it’s our Vilma! He picks her up and rushes her to the hospital nearby.

She’s okay now because God gives old, loving, faithful yayas warrior Guardian Angels.

What about pregnant Charize, who is crossing the pedestrian lane with zebra stripes—just like the iconic Beatles album cover on Abbey Road?

She sees a jeepney rushing toward her, not respecting pedestrian nor pedestrian crossing. Because she’s pregnant and terrified, she loses her balance and falls down on the pavement, only to see the jeepney’s silver bumper stop just an inch away from her!

More adventures

And what about Jenny, who boards a near-empty jeepney? Before she can sit down, the jeepney zooms away, so she slides like a streetdanc­er from the entrance of the jeepney to the front, where she holds on for dear life to the driver’s hair!

That’s when the jeepney stops. Ano ba? Bakit mo ako sinasabunu­tan? Bayad mo!

What about me? So I enter a nearly full jeepney parked in a line at a mall. It’s safe, I think. It’s not moving and it will only move when everyone is seated and paid.

The conductor collects the fare before the ride. After all 14 or so of us passengers have been given change, off the jeepney goes. It defies gravity. It flies!

I panic. I can’t see through the windows since they were too small and narrow. Besides, they are all covered with the backs of the passengers. I can’t see my stop.

“ MAMA! SA CALTEX! PARA SA CALTEX!” I yell.

It turns out I’m still three stops away, but since the driver figures there’s an insane woman in his jeepney, he properly stops at Caltex. And since I’m moving out of sheer shock, the passengers are kind enough to remind me: “ Heto na po ang Caltex. Pwede na po kayong bumaba.”

And so I do. Huffing, heart pumping, pacemaker unpacing, legs shaking, thanking God that I also have a Warrior Guardian Angel.

There’s a sequel to these jeeney tales. You’ll be in it this time.

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