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Ermita Jeepneys 2009
Ever since I first set foot in the Philippines, I have had a thing for their local icon, the Jeepney.These colourful transport legends were a magnet for me, both photographically and, of course, riding around while exploring Manila. At the time, we thought they would be part of the scene forever.
Fast forward two decades, and numerous governments, and we find ourselves facing the very real prospective of the current government eradicating them forever.
I am not going to get into the policy, mostly because it is against the law there for a foreigner to have an opinion. Not to mention that politics is banned in our 'Philippine Railway Historical Society'
Looking back through thousands of Philippine photos, I find a monumental amount of jeepney images, far too many to put in one post (far to many to put in one hundred posts LOL).I decided to focus on a morning in Ermita, during a visit in 2009. We were staying in my old favourite Mabini Mansion, which is just a short walk from Luneta Park, a spot I had long wanted to photograph the 'King Of The Road'.
The traditional jeepney is a very polarizing subject for people, who are either for or against them, I rarely note any middle ground.
However, beyond the important fact that they are the livelihood of thousands of families, for me they are the soul of Manila, the streets of which will become a very lifeless place should they all disappear. So, just in case you have not noticed, yes I am a fan of the traditional jeepney. For me, they are as much a part of the Philippines as Adobo and Tanduay Rhum.Have met numerous drivers over the years, most of them friendly, some suspicious of your intentions, but the one thing that has struck me is the pride in what they do.
So they should be, it is a long running tradition. Anyway, no matter how you feel, please enjoy this selection of shots taken during a warm morning back in 2009.
While I've taken incalculable jeepney shots since, this was probably one of the most memorable photographic sessions.
While the Jeepney comes in many different styles and colours, some come along that truly are outstanding.
The blue one above is a terrific example. Well that's all folks, a small look at that mornings Jeepney action. Hopefully things change and these can be enjoyed for many years to come.
For me, the alternative is not something I really wish to contemplate*---------------------------------------------------------
* = Personal opinion. I am entitled to such just as much as everyone else. Even if you don't think so Thanks to Nhing.
This article first appeared on philippinerailwayhistoricalsociety.blogspot.com
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