Monday, December 28, 2009


Jeepneys hold a special place in my history and memory. The United States of America occupied the Philippines between 1898 and 1946. When they finally got out of the archipelago, they left behind a grip of army jeeps leftover from WWII. Filipinos, being the enterprising and creative folk that they are, turned these hideous hunks of blah green metal into beautiful, colorful, incredibly unique-looking passenger vehicles that to this day, decorate the islands with their flair.

Sometime in the late 40s/early 50s, my Great Lolo (Lola's father) won a considerable amount of money in the lottery. He gave the money to my Lolo to buy his very first jeepney. A jeepney business was born.

At the peak of the business, my Lola and Lolo operated 15 jeepneys. Their house was constantly filled with jeepney drivers and mechanics, who would all share the table with my Lola and Lolo and their 9 children.

My mom worked in the garage during High School doing payroll. As an added benefit, if she ever saw one of her family's jeepneys driving by on her way to school in Manila, she could hop on for free. She was the bosses daughter, after all.