Wednesday, November 29, 2023
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By Jeepney into the Hinterland to Talakag

There are two types of passenger transport to more remote and rural places. There are the vans, but they can only carry a limited number of pieces of luggage, and then there are the big jeepneys, the workhorses. They are not beautiful, they are functional.

This is exactly the kind of journey I have wanted to capture on video camera for a long time. Yesterday was the day. We had business in the community of Talakag, in Bukidnon. To get there, we wanted to take such a workhorse. The Jeepney workhorse usually has a truck engine and twin tyres at the back, as well as a large luggage rack on the roof. This is often loaded with crates of drinks, sacks, bicycles and, as the icing on the cake, passengers. Often, heavy bags are also loaded in the passenger compartment to keep the weight down.

Arriving at the terminal, we went in search of such a jeepney and found it in a side street of the market. Here, other jeepneys also go to the far-out barangays and one route even goes the 120 kilometres or so to Valencia City, in Bukidnon.

We had left home around 7:30 am, now it was 8:30 am and the place for our jeepney was empty. It was on its way and would leave at 10 am, we were told. Anyone who believes such statements has not been here long. Around 9:30 our jeep actually arrived. My wife spoke to the driver and conductor and made sure that I could film in the front seat and also switch to the back or vice versa if we stopped. Then it was time to wait again.

I used the time to watch the hustle and bustle of loading and unloading and was able to get some impressive shots of the manual loading of a large truck with copra, watch the flying traders and got into many a conversation with passengers going to other barangays. In the meantime, our conductor filled up the water tank to cool the brakes on the way. I even had time to do a road walk with the GoPro.

At 11am we set off with only a handful of passengers and a bike on the roof.

I was able to capture great video clips and the videos will be uploaded to the PHILIPPINE MAGAZINE YT channel soon.

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