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I'll let you in a little revelation about my favorite usernames in my virtual sites. First is about my Mikimoto Angel pen name. Mikimoto is a famous brand of pearl accessories in America. I first saw that brand in Vogue Magazine. I got mesmerized by that label, and I thought of using it. I just added Angel from my name "Angela". Thus, the formation of Mikimoto Angel.

For my other pen name Mystic Nymph, the word mystic really came from the show Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog. I used to be so hooked to that show. I am also obsessed with mythologies, and nymphs are mythical creatures depicted as beautiful young women who are considered as guardians of objects and places in nature. Thus, the evolution of Mystic Nymph.

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Davao Jeepneys: Invaders of Privacy

The public Utility Jeepneys or PUJs have become the automotive trademark of the Philippines and is also an ultimate public transportation vehicle in Davao City. Through this form of public transport, we can go to many different places . Those destinations that are away from home becomes just within our reach, in the cheapest way possible.

Here in Davao, jeepneys crowd the streets more than private vehicles do. Because of this, one doesn't have to make much effort to catch a ride. On the contrary, it is also claimed by some politicians here that jeepney build-ups cause headaches and stress to most Davaoenos. Even though we hate the constant traffic congestion they cause, we still submit to their affordable offer to us.

Davaoenos are tightfisted individuals, in general. They will not spend money on something too costly, unless it's that important. It's not that we're too thrifty, we just think of what's more practical. For an instance, only a few choose to ride a taxi even though it's more comfortable to sit privately in it.

Speaking of privacy. that's exactly what jeepneys do not have that all of the Davaoenos scream for. Riding the jeep is more like paying for your personal space to be violated. Nobody wants that to happen, but the passengers do not have any control over it. All they have to do is sit and pay for the ride.

It's quite depressing that we can't fight for our right as paying commuters. The passage, "The customer is always right" seems to be so vague in Davao's public transport. It's inevitable that we feel helpless the moment we get in the jeep.

We sure have the privilege to choose for the jeep we want to ride on. But the dispatchers or the so-called kunduktor never seem to have the slightest sense of respect. They gang up on every probable commuter, and force them to ride on their respective jeepneys. And worst, they howl or shout on your face with their bad breath. It's harassing and irritating. They even have the nerve to touch and hold you, which is totally uncalled for especially when you don't know each other.

They also unhesitatingly carry passenger's baggage so that he/she has no choice but to get inside their jeepneys. Another thing, the dispatchers tend to compress twelve passengers into a ten-passenger jeepney size seat. Oftentimes, we ride in a noticeably full jeep but still the kunduktor (dispatcher) always says "Kulang pa! Sibugi lang diha" (Some more! Give space!) (Poor translation, I know) and constantly taps the jeep which tends to annoy the commuters.

Most drivers and dispatchers are never satisfied unless their jeepneys are fully -- make that overly loaded. No drivers hit the road with their jeepneys empty. Well, there are a few ones who are not so thirsty for passengers but that's just a rare case. I guess that's what you call business. If a passenger gets inside a jeepney with few passengers inn it, he or she has to wait until the jeepney is full. Passengers cannot just demand the driver to move on, because they're afraid it might only cause arguments.

"Kung nagdali ka, pag-taxi na lang!" (If you're in a hurry, ride a taxi instead!) That is the statement we often hear from the drivers and dispatchers whenever we ask them to roll. We can never stay away from these circumstances no matter what we do. The own the jeepney. Their rules on how to run it depend on their strategy, and not to us.

Another thing is that some jeepney owners get creative with their designs by pimping it with colorful stickers and accessories. In fact, there are also rides that have mirrors on their jeepney ceilings. Rumors have it that this is a strategy to peep on a lady passenger's cleavage, without being noticed. I hope it's not true though because that will definitely freak women out. The only way to stay away from this possible harassment is to dress accordingly.

What's most annoying is the loud music the driver's play. People have different preferences when it comes to music. Not everyone likes the same kind. Music is indeed personal. Some even hate music. For others, one song can be a source of headache especially if it's too deafening and boisterous. In this case, tthe passenger's privacy is also violated.

Some Davaoenos nowadays are used to being violated with their personal space. However, one should take a strong part in defending their rights not just as commuters but also as citizens. You must be fair to yourself if one is taking advantage of being unfair to you. Jeepneys are a part of Davao's culture. If one has to embrace it, one has to learn how to survive with it.

The images used in this post are not intended for copyright infringement.


Zahara said...

i've never experience being forced or in that case, bullied, by dispatchers to ride a jeepney. they better not or they're going to get it. haha! especially the touching part. eiw! that's just gross. i think it's up to the person if he/she let this happen.

i ride jeepneys before in davao during my OJT days. some dispatchers are bastos even and try to make a pass at you. but the only solution to that is to not respond and pretend to not hear anything. but so far, nobody attempted to drag me in to ride a jeepney. i think my maldita look scared them haha.

when i'm in davao, if i'm not on a private car, i usually ride a taxi. no hassle. but for some reason, i have trust issues on taxi drivers. i don't know why. sometimes i think they take you around so you pay higher. but that's just my paranoia talking.

Chelsea Elizabeth. said...

Those seemed so crowded. I really agree with you, people need to stand up for the rights and not just let it sit if it bothers them!

<3Chelsea Elizabeth

ice2kill said...

I can really relate to overloaded jeepneys when I was in Davao. The ride is totally uncomfy, some of the passengers are almost falling on the floor.tsk So far, I haven't experienced other things you mentioned here. I hope I won't.
Sana there will be solution to this dilemma as soon as possible.

Mikimoto Angel said...

I also practice the "Maldita" look to ward off those FC dispatchers. I just hate it when they go near me when we don't even know each other. It's not that I discriminate them, it's just that I'm being cautious. :-)

I really hope we won't experience all those other harrassments some Davaoenos have experienced themselves.

Thanks for sharing your insights. :-)

lav said...

i remember our coma 109 days. i miss school. --.

Mikimoto Angel said...

You should visit me here! :-(

Red Reidinghood said...

Funny jeeps1 Nicely done!
Thank you for your lovely comment, dear! You said you were following me, but I don't see you among my followers. As soon as I see you, I'll follow back!



Mikimoto Angel said...

Thanks for dropping by Rowan! :-)

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