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Jeepney Travel


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Bob Ward

As many of you have read, I travel by jeepney quite often. I find them to be quite safe and obviously inexpensive.

 

BUT one must use common sense and your wits to keep from becoming a victim of crime while using them.

 

Pickpockets often work the jeepney routes. Here are a few tips to thwart their efforts.

 

* Try and ride in the very back next to the entrance, This gives the advantage of only having to be aware of one side. Move cell phone and/or wallet to the protected side if feasible.

 

* Always be aware of who is sitting next to you. My experience is that pickpockets work in pairs [so they can hand off the stolen items] and are generally more mature as it takes time to master their trade. They are generally reasonably well dressed and usually carrying a backpack or small bag of some type. They always put the bag in their lap to help hide what their hands are doing.

 

* Be VERY alarmed if anyone makes it a point to sit near you even though there is more room elsewhere on the jeepney. People usually migrate to the open space versus squeezing in.

 

* One of the most common distractions used is coughing. Typically it will start of slowly and progress to hacking. The natural tendency when someone is coughing next to you in public is to turn your head and thus you are not aware of what he/she is doing.

 

* If you feel at all alarmed or suspicious, just move to another spot if possible or just get off and catch the next one.

 

Snatchers are out there as well. Unlike the stealthy pickpocket, they are brazen and will just snatch and run.

 

* They typically work in groups of three or four.

 

* They are typically younger than pickpockets and many times wear tennis shoes to flee the scene faster.

 

* Most people on jeepenys are bored and a bit aloof just waiting for their stop. These guys will be eying the people coyly, but intently. Looking at rings, bags, necklaces, chains, watches and cell phone to name a few.

 

* Many times one or two of them will cause a distraction of some kind to pull peoples attention. They might act drunk or pretend to have an argument.

 

* If you sense any suspicious activity like this, get off immediately.

 

I have been here two years and have ridden jeepneys hundreds of times for sure. I'm not ever really worried, BUT I am aware. I garnered this knowledge because I have seen these things first hand and also learned from K and the locals.

 

I was a victim of a pickpocket once. I stopped a pickpocket once by grabbing his hand an issuing a stern warning, he got off immediately. I have moved on one other occasion because I suspected a pickpocket was targeting me.

 

Kristine has advised me that we should leave a jeepney twice because she sensed snatchers lurking. I did not argue as I got a similar vibe.

 

Just be aware.

Edited by Bob Ward
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I recommend also buying pants with many pockets. It makes it harder than the 2-pocket variety. Sitting near the entrance is good if you need to jump off quickly, had to do that all the time in Venezuela.

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udonthani

if for whatever reason you're bothered about theft on a journey, wear loose-fitting pants that cost about 150 pesos from Gaisano. The cheapness of the apparel will also serve to minimise unnecessary attention. They usually have deep pockets that just make it more difficult for a hand to penetrate and access a phone or camera. Cash isn't kept in a wallet but lose under a breast pocket of a shirt that has a velcro cover so you can hear it move, even above the noise of the engine.

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smokey
if for whatever reason you're bothered about theft on a journey, wear loose-fitting pants that cost about 150 pesos from Gaisano. The cheapness of the apparel will also serve to minimise unnecessary attention. They usually have deep pockets that just make it more difficult for a hand to penetrate and access a phone or camera. Cash isn't kept in a wallet but lose under a breast pocket of a shirt that has a velcro cover so you can hear it move, even above the noise of the engine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What no love....???? Come on all everyone talks about is safety and the lack of crime and the open happy go lucky people of the Philippines... and yet they STEAL ... come on your mistaken this is not the US or England where there are thieves and killers this is the Philippines.... heaven.... On earth so respect it or get out... you should wipe your mouth out right now with a bar of soap

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softail

My wife Sally and many of her family have all advised me to sit right next to the exit door so as to make a quick exit if necessary, also an added benifit is the fact that I am not a likely to bump my head on the handrail on the ceiling because I am a bit taller than the average Pilipino.

Doug

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volstateguy

When I rode jeepneys I would either sit with my hand in my pockets or I'd have my hands on my thighs on top of my pockets. Either way I would've been able to tell if someone was trying to get something outta my pockets. But as Bob said I think the main thing is just being aware and not letting your guard down.

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All good advice until the entire jeepney gets stopped and robbed. unsure.png

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Bob, thanks for starting this thread. Definitely good advice.

 

As for the "except if the entire jeepney gets stopped and robbed". What is the recommendation in this case (aside from the obvious)? I'm wondering how to word my question, as I could invite the wrong type of replies. How often do actual jeepney robberies occur (versus the pickpockets and snatchers)?

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Alan S

In over 20 years of travelling to the Philippines, including living there for most of 91-92, and using jeepneys often, I've never had any such trouble.

 

Read about it in the papers a few times though.

 

In over 20 years of travelling to the Philippines, including living there for most of 91-92, and using jeepneys often, I've never had any such trouble.

 

Read about it in the papers a few times though.

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Bob Ward
All good advice until the entire jeepney gets stopped and robbed. :lol:

 

There's one in every crowd. ^

 

f3dragonjedi, the answer to your question is VERY infrequently. Although it is a bit more common in Manila. When and if there is an actual holdup on a jeepney, they don't have enough time to rob everyone, the jeepney routes are quite busy. They will just target the most likely candidates to have cash and valuables.

Edited by Bob Ward
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Christine

You could pretend to be poor. Wear some really tatty clothes, put holes in them if you must. One of my Filipina friends used to do that to her hubby's clothes whenever they visit PI, so they won't get bothered by money-hungry relatives. Filipinos are easily impressionable, even if you have white skin, but if you look like a beggar, especially if you're riding a jeepney, then they'd think you really are poor, they might even feel so sorry for you they'd pay your jeepney fare LOL!. Of course, it won't do you any good if you're trying to impress a girl.

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smokey
You could pretend to be poor. Wear some really tatty clothes, put holes in them if you must. One of my Filipina friends used to do that to her hubby's clothes whenever they visit PI, so they won't get bothered by money-hungry relatives. Filipinos are easily impressionable, even if you have white skin, but if you look like a beggar, especially if you're riding a jeepney, then they'd think you really are poor, they might even feel so sorry for you they'd pay your jeepney fare LOL!. Of course, it won't do you any good if you're trying to impress a girl.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

instead of pretending to be poor you can give all your funds away to a worthy cause and then you can experience the true culture so many yearn for the REAL Philippines ... you can experience hunger, and frustration and be one with the people.. For me i will stay hidden behind my walls and in my car as i have no desire to experience being poor and find being poor is not a fashion statement but a depressing reality...

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  • 2 weeks later...
Vince Runza

Is there such a thing as a Jeepney that will accommodate a guy who's 6'2"? ;)

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Is there such a thing as a Jeepney that will accommodate a guy who's 6'2"? ;)

 

 

Only if folded in half :lol:

 

I'm 6ft and I have to bend my head or slouch. But I have ridden a few where I didn't have to (rare).

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