I really don’t understand the lack of dignity and self respect that I see daily in the average Filipino out in public. I’m sure if you ride on a jeepney, you’ll know what I mean. The jeepney operator will never realize that his vehicle is full. There’s always room for one more in his mind, and he has no qualms about telling his paying passengers to squeeze in even more, or climb on the roof of the vehicle and ride up there. And on a hot summer day, it is about the most nightmarish experience for anyone with any measure of self respect or human dignity. This is why I no longer ride Jeepney. I have dignity.
You are not a human being to the Jeepney operator. You are like a pig for slaughter. The more you can squeeze in, the more you can sell to the slaughterhouse. That’s fine for pigs, pathetic for human beings. It’s disgusting having to be sandwiched between two sweaty, dirty persons squeezed up against you, suffocating you, dripping sweat on you, their sweat soaked clothes transferring their sweat and odor into your clothes, and getting sprayed in the face every time someone near you sneezes.
Yet Filipinos just pile in. No sense of courtesy, they’ll just push on you, lean on you, shove you, and stare at you and not think anything about it. Whenever I ride a Jeepney, I feel very undignified and inhuman, and often if I do have to ride a Jeepney, I end up with a cold or flu virus within a couple of days. It’s truly nauseating. What blows my mind is that people even ride by standing on the back, sometimes with just enough room on a bumper or rail for their toes, and hanging on for dear life. This is absurd, unsafe, and uncaring. I can’t believe it when the jeepney is obviously way over-loaded and you’re already squeezed in with only one ass cheek on the bench, the other overlapped on the person next to you, and the driver stops again to pick up that family of 4 more people, as if his jeepney is empty. I think, “WHERE THE FUCK ARE THESE PEOPLE GOING TO SIT???” It just seems like there is no value placed on sanitation, health, or human life in general here in Philippines.
Therefore, I take a taxi. I do realize many cannot afford to commute by taxi. But in my opinion, when all room is gone with each person having BOTH BUTT CHEEKS firmly planted, and at least and inch or two between them, the Jeepney is full, and no more passengers should be taken on until a space is vacated. This is called community respect and human dignity. That is something that just doesn’t exist in Philippines. It really saddens me. These are human beings, yet they don’t treat each other like human beings.Published in