History of Jeepneys

    Illustration by Mik Fajardo

    Jeepneys are one of the most popular mode of transportation in the Philippines. It has been part of our culture ever since. They were originally made from the US Military Jeeps and were known for its colorful and flashy decorations.

    After Americans leave the Philippines at the end of the World War II, hundreds of surplus jeeps were given or sold to local Filipinos. In 1953, Leonardo S. Sarao started redesigning these military jeepneys. The first jeepneys was primarily made as a transport vehicle to convey goods and other necessities across the city. With just 700 Pesos as an investment and a small garage in Las Piñas, nobody has thought that small investment would one day grow as a representation of culture of our nation.

    The jeepney was considered as the “king of the road” as it emerged rapidly as a creative way to renew a more economical public transportation. Most public transportations were virtually destroyed during the World War II. Due to its widespread use, the government began to place restrictions on their use. Drivers must now have special licenses and reasonable fixed fares.

    With the emergence of more convenient forms of transportation such as the MRT, the buses and the taxis, Filipino jeepneys has always been an innovation continuing its evolution. The jeepney is truly the king of the road and is staying alive.


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