At least in most areas that I have been to, I can say with sadness that gone are the days when the Pinoy Jeepney is a symbol of Filipino hospitality and artistry. Jeepneys today no longer reflects the colorful, festive mood of Pinoys. They are now considered as utility in essence. No more, no less.
I recall them being tagged as the country's king of the road. But there was a time when I thought the title was taken by so-called FX's and other similar AUV's which started to crowd the metropolis during the 90's. They did survived, nonetheless.
But today, there are more unhappy experiences than good ones that I can tell. I do not blame the machines, but the men behind the wheels.
- Lots of units are poorly maintained, thus causing black smoke to engulf the streets.
- Jeepney drivers become younger and younger (some barely qualify for a driving license, if they even have it) and as we all know, youth can be equated to recklessness resulting to undesirable consequences.
- There are also oldies that really don't give a damn when getting passengers, no matter how they stop in the middle of the road, as long as they get everyone aboard.
- Just no proper education on safe driving (not to mention good grooming).
The last time I saw an authentic Filipino-inspired passenger jeep was when I opened a coffee table magazine (thanks Sarao, Lippad and others for the memories). It's just like reminiscing the old Manila through an FB account. How nostalgically sad.