The unique jeepney found along the highways of Cebu City that easily caught the hearts of Filipinos everywhere. And though it didn’t possess any mechanical marvels and was still liable to be stuck in the traffic of Metro Cebu, it did have one trait that truly made it unique and therefore, lovable by all FIlipinos.
The “Jeepeoke” was conceptualized through a collaboration among Kim Obiso, the owner of jeepney, his faithful driver, Alexis Abastillas, and Shoebox Builders, as a way to differentiate themselves among all other jeepneys plying through the thoroughfares of Metro Cebu. When it first rolled out onto the streets of Cebu, it was known as “Baby Bus,” in lieu of its appearance as a small, yellow bus, they christened it as the “Jeepeoke,” and the name has stuck ever since.
The Jeepeoke provides its riders a fully-functioning videoke machine onboard, yet does not charge any extra for the service, only charging the stipulated fare based on distance. According to the brains behind the Jeepeoke, the smiles on their patrons faces, and the assurance that they will look forward to riding the unique jeepney again is enough compensation to reward them for their efforts.
When asked why they chose to create such a unique jeepney experience, Alexis simple said, “Marunong at mahal ng mga Cebuano ang pagkanta!” Truly, all Filipinos have a penchant for singing, with some having more talent than others. However, regardless of talent or technical skill, the love for singing will always be a trait that the Filipino will definitely excel at. And when you couple that the Filipino’s love for fun and festivities, as well as our innate resourcefulness and creativity, it would only be a matter of time until more innovative inventions start popping up all over the Philippines!
Kim Obiso probably said it best: “Ito ang instrumentong nagbibigay ng closeness, kahit na hindi sila magkakilala!”
So consider taking the Jeepeoke the next time you’re plying through Naga, Cebu; you never know, you might just make a new friend while you’re at it!