Etiquette in a Jeepney

There's dining etiquette, social etiquette, etc...When boarding a passenger Jeepney, we also follow some silent rules to make the trip pleasant even if it's just short.   These unwritten policies serves as a system to make our public transport experience a bit easy and sometimes, fun.  Note: if you are a foreigner wanting to try a Jeepney ride, do the list below and enjoy the experience.  Bear in mind that these may also apply to other public transportation vehicle such as bus and FX taxi.

Okay, so let's say you know where you want to go. All public utility vehicle have sign board to tell you where they're going.  Read the sign board first before you hail it or if you don't know or not sure you've got the right route, ask the driver. Now that you're inside, the following are common passengers' practice.  They are considered proper etiquette.

  1. Upong pang-isang tao (sit as one man).  In other words, you must seat properly.  Don't occupy the whole stretch as if you own it or paid for it -unless you really do.  No loittering.
  2. Pakiabot lang po ng bayad (pass the fare please).  The system is to request the passenger sitting next to you to give your fare to the driver for you. In the same manner, you should also hand over fare for other passengers until everybody are paid.  If you don't do that, you will be tagged as selfish from irate passengers.  The rule is this: if you don't want to pass the fare over, then don't ride a jeepney.  In a bus, you don't do this as the "ticket guy" or "kundoktor" as we call it here, will approach you for your fare in exchange will give you a ticket.  Keep that ticket.
  3. No loud talks.  A chat is good, laugh is good but loud talk is bad.  People may not voice their grievance out but you'll know by their look. 
  4. Upong sexy (sit sexy).  This is for ladies.  To avoid any "disturbance" or "chaos"; if you don't want some weird guy to do you any untoward action, then better close your legs.
  5. Baggage in.  This means that if you have huge bags or heavy loads, you should sit, if at all possible, near the driver far from entrance.  This is to ease traffic.  And this also avoids the wrong signal a new passenger might get, like it is already choke-full - that no seat is available.
  6. Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing.  Some of us covers our mouth the entire duration of trip if we have cold.  If covering your mouth this long affects your breathing, then at least cover it when sneezing.  Do this even if you don't have cold and if you have cough or is coughing.
  7. Fold your umbrella (properly) upon entering especially if it's dripping.
  8. Most jeepneys today have trash bin however small it is; even if it's improvised from oil/paint gallon.  Put your trash here - not outside the road.  If trash can is not available, keep it in your pocket or in your bag temporarily until you stop by a bin.
  9. For safety reason, avoid putting out a hand outside the window or bend your arms protruding your elbow.
  10. Bawal ang Sabit (no hanging).  Before, adult males can do this if there's no more seat available inside and if it's just too difficult to find another jeepney.  Nowadays, this is a seldom practice.  This is being discouraged as all the fault will fall upon the driver's shoulder.
  11. Para! This is a Spanish word meaning "stop".  We use this term in this context only - to ask the driver to a jeep or bus stop.  However, you can't stop anywhere you want.  There are jeepney/bus stop. Don't whistle or knock on the roof.  This is considered impolite.  The only reason some do this is because the driver has faint hearing.  At some time, you will encounter a driver who will not stop if you do this.  We have this saying: ang sutsot ay sa aso, ang katok ay sa pinto, ang para ay sa tao (as whistle is for dog, a knock is for door while stop is for people). 
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Some provinces here in the Philippines allow passengers to sit on top of the roof.  This happens in remote areas.  It is most probably because the next trip will be after several hours and you have to wait for it.  When another one arrives, it will not leave until all the seat are full.  Tourist are discouraged to do this but if they want to experience it, they may do so at their own risk.


  1. dapat matutunan 'to ng maraming pasahero.. bukod sa marami na ring balahurang drayber na harabas maging lover, napakarami na rin ang kupal na pasahero.. lalo na sa lrt tsaka mrt.. riot..

  2. Talagang harabas e 'no? Naku sa mrt grabe na siksikan. Buti na lang lagi akong nagba-bus. :-)

  3. Very nice post, Joan, and very informative! I think I'd be pretty lost for my first few times until I learn "the routine", especially about points #2 and #11 above (luckily my wife can show me the ropes). You've done a good job in describing some of the "mechanics" of when and how you pay and when and how you figure out where you need to stop. I saw your other Jeepney post below and it looks like a good idea to bring exact change.

    I enjoyed your rule #4 - that made me laugh, as well your other post about the sexy flirty girl with the obnoxious-smelling armpits. Maybe I will witness her during my next trip to Philippines LOL!


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