Passenger jeepneys in the Philippines are filled with so many interesting details - fiesta-like paint jobs, hood-mounted horses, and even contradicting images of religious and pop icons. This article lists the funniest and most insightful of another interesting mainstay in Filipino passenger jeeps - the ubiquitous jeepney sign or karatula.
Passenger jeepneys in the Philippines are such interesting contraptions. Besides managing to fill their insides past the comfortable passenger capacity, their vibrance and vitality betrays an interesting part of Philippine culture. In addition to the fiesta-like colors, hood-mounted horses and contradicting images of religious and pop icons, another intriguing mainstay in the Filipino passenger jeep are the signs displayed in its interior (usually behind the driver's seat). Besides revealing the inherent wit and humor of Filipinos, these give some insight into the unique Filipino psyche. Here is a list of some of the funniest and most interesting signs you can see posted inside Filipino passenger jeepneys. Enjoy!
"The driver is not liable for anything lost inside this vehicle including virginity"
"Miss angkini mo ako, wag lang ang kita ko."
Roughly translated, "Take me miss, just don't take my earnings."
"Hatak mo stop ko. Bayad muna bago magtext [o] matulog"
Roughly translated, "You pull, I stop. Pay first before you text or sleep."
(Some passengers actually pull this stunt off to evade paying the fare.)
"Pinagtibay sa rilasyon pa iba ibang posisyon"
Roughly translated, "Proven by [sexual] relations, try different positions"
(This is quite green and offensive to more conservative minds, at the same time it urges passengers in a light manner to contort their bodies so that they may fit inside overfilled jeepneys.)
Roughly translated, "Vagrant"
(This can be quite close to the truth in some cases, with jeepneys traveling between towns as far as 25 km apart. Very industrious drivers work 12-hour shifts too.)
"Magbayad Ka!!! Kilala na kita. Minimum Fare 750"
Roughly translated, "Pay, you!!! I already know you. Minimum fare is 7.50"
(Many passengers resort to different tactics - as seen in the third image - to keep from paying the fare. This sign acts as a threat or deterrent to would-be fare evaders.)
"Magandang dalaga nais kitang makilala...ngunit ako'y abala sa aking manibela."
Roughly translated, "Pretty lady, I'd like to get to know you...but I'm busy with my steering wheel."
(This particular sign reinforces the "driver, sweet lover" subculture amongst public transport drivers. It boosts the "macho" image of these drivers and makes them more appealing - in the face of the fact that most of them barely manage to make ends meet with daily earnings between P100 and P200 a day.)
"Basta driver, sweet lover. Basta fungi, patay!"
Roughly translated, "A driver is a sweet lover. Fungi are dead!"
(This is an ad for Canesten, an antifungal cream marketed in the Philippines, which for a time can be seen in many jeepneys as well as tricycles in the country. It capitalizes on the "driver sweet lover" image with quite some success.)
"Sexy..kung nais mo'y libre, sa driver ka tumabi he he he."
Roughly translated, "Sexy, if you want a free ride...sit beside the driver he he he."
(Again, another variation of the "driver, sweet lover" subculture among jeepney drivers.)
"Basta't sexy libre, buntis 'no way', pag bakla gulpe"
Roughly translated, "Sexy is free, pregnant no way, if gay - a mauling"
(This shows a more homophobic side of the "macho" culture seen not just among jeepney drivers but in Philippine society in general. Sexy ladies are free -be it in terms of fare or in a more sexual manner - pregnant women are a no-no, while gay men will be beaten up.)
"Subukin mong ako'y ibigin, pag ikaw ay nabitin, saka mo ako sisihin."
Roughly translated, "Try to love me - if I fall short, then you can blame me."
(Another "driver sweet lover" sign oozing with testosterone.)
"Natuto kang lumandi, magtiis ka sa hapdi."
Roughly translated, "You've learned how to flirt, now endure the stinging pain."
(Aside from the same "driver sweet lover" line, this sign also betrays a bit of the melodrama that also permeates Filipino culture. Prime-time TV soap operas are big purveyors of this culture.)
and a personal favorite...
"God know Judas not pay..No Smoking please."
(This is a common sign you can see in many jeepneys in the Philippines...it takes a religious yet funny poke at 'sinners' who do not pay their jeepney fare. In Filipino Judas is pronounced as 'Hu-das', so this is a playful pun quite contradictory for a Roman Catholic country that takes religion pretty seriously.)
For more serious reading into the Filipino jeepney driver's subculture, you can read Hermenia Menez's article, "Jeeprox: The Art and Language of Manila's Jeepney Drivers" published here.