It was my first time yesterday to ride an aircon jeepney. Apparently, such things exist here in Makati. I was on the look out for another route to take when going home to at least minimize (if not completely avoid) the effects of rush hour.
I was surprised that in Buendia street, an aircon jeep passed by. At first I tried riding through the usual entrance which was at the back but soon quickly realized that the entrance was at the sides.
What amazed me so much about this jeepney – apart from it being airconditioned – was the fact that there was no conductor (someone who collects the payment from the passengers). Passing your fare to the front – as is customary for most jeepneys – was not also practiced. Instead, the driver passed around a box where the passengers will drop their fare and if they need change, will just collect it from the box.
It was an unusual sight – for me. I remember reading once that a foreigner who visited the Philippines was once amazed that at the honesty of Filipinos riding jeepneys. He observed that when someone needs to pay his fare, he would simply give it to the front and ask the person before him to pass it on to the driver. He was surprised that nobody attempted to pocket the fare and would really diligently pass it to the driver without even claiming it as their own fare – even when the original person who paid it was not looking.
I believe that same guy would be even more amazed if he saw that in this jeepney, the driver simply passes around a box and trusts all his passengers to pay the correct fare and collect the correct change.
Indeed, despite the rampant corruption in the country and the other dishonest dealings we constantly hear about in the news, deep in his core, Filipinos are honest persons. I just wish that this honesty will manifest itself not only in simple things like paying the correct fare but also in bigger things like managing the country’s funds.