A couple of my goals during my last visit to the Philippines were to see much more of the Davao region, and to try to experience things as though I were living there, instead of as a tourist. Those two goals may sound as though they are conflicting, and to some degree I suppose that’s true. Regardless, one of the ways I tried to combine the two was to take local transportation, whenever possible, to these various sties and attractions, instead of the taxis that I’ve grown accustomed to in the past.

I did get in my share of trike, jeepney and bus rides. I may not be a pro yet, but I certainly got the flavor of the system. I learned that I need to add a little meat and/or some callouses to my back end. It was often quite sore after a day out.

There are quite a variety of vehicles in all three of those classes – trike, jeepney and bus. Even the lowly trike can be manually powered or motorized, windshield or not (good idea when it’s raining hard), almost completely open or nearly fully enclosed.

The jeepney is where I found my interest being drawn, as that became a very popular ride for me. I did not see nearly as many ornate, older Mercades jeepneys as I had in the past. Maybe they are a dying breed, or maybe they are more prevalent in the Manila area. I never really got an answer to that question. A lot of the jeepneys now are versions of a multi cab.

The one I had not experienced before was the aircon jeepney, which was dubbed the L3 by the company I kept. It was in fact a Mitsubishi L300. They are a lot newer, of course, than the old style jeepney, but the main benefit to a sweating foreigner like me was the aircon. That was diminished a bit buy the fact that they still put at least 4 more people in them than they are designed to hold, but since that’s true with any of the styles of transportation, other than taxi, the aircon was a welcome benefit.

I would have thought that they would charge more for that, but it did not appear to be so. Catching a L300 versus the open style, seemed to be a matter of luck as much as anything else. It was also funny to see the open style jeepneys, that weren’t close to full capacity, cutting off your access to the L300, and even buses, in some areas.

I thought the L300 was an advancement from my point of view. It made me feel that it will be easier, and most definitely more comfortable, to get around the Davao area if I decide not to own my own vehicle. I’m thinking I may start out with the intention of not owning a vehicle and see how things go from there.

Anki Bisaya Phrasebook Flashcards