The jeepney is a well-known Philippine icon; especially the decorative ones. It is very common in our country. But what if you suddenly see it in the US? Well, there’s a video that’s being shared of a colorful Philippine jeepney as it travels along the freeway of California.
On Top Gear alone, it has garnered almost 600k views and nearly 12,000 shares with happy commenters applauding the PH heritage making it in the US.
The clip came from Jhade Caoile who shared it with Top Gear and has the caption:
“Hi, Top Gear! I’m from Orange County, California. I saw this on the freeway. How cool is that?! It was going to San Diego. Enjoy the video.”
Among the commenters is one Letty Nicolas Veltkamp who expressed that it is indeed a PH jeepney, saying her husband, Steve Veltkamp, built it. She goes on to say that the jeepney story can be found on http://usjeepney.com/ and on https://www.facebook.com/jeepney.
Steve’s post on allmetalshaping.com in April of 2012 gives us a glimpse as to when he started to build it:
Hi, Steve Veltkamp here from Port Angeles, WA. I purchased a 1963 Willys Wagon in December of 2011, and am in the process of converting it into a jeepney. For those not familiar, jeepneys were converted from WW2 military jeeps by Filipinos into wildly decorated people carriers. I fell in love with them when I was in the Navy going to the Philippines, and have always wanted one. Too hard and expensive to import, so I’m building one!
I’ve never done any metal work before, so this all a new experience for me!
#Bringing the fun of the Philippine Jeepney to the US
Happy Pinoys posted proud and humorous comments regarding the video which makes it impossible not to smile or laugh. Many Filipinos in the US welcome the idea of seeing it there; feeling nostalgic perhaps and missing the Philippine icon dearly.
As Corky R. said, “Hope to see more of this on the freeway of USA.”
Joseph E I. goes, “I salute to the owner of this jeepney. para siyang bandera ng Pilipinas na mamamayagpag dito sa Amerika.” [It’s like a Philippine flag that waves in America]
Jethro T. has a funny post – “Bumabyahe ng wala sa routa yan. Paging LTFRB!” [Driving off-route]
Eman L. goes even funnier, ” Paraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa lumagpas na ko!!! Kala ko San Diego Street Sampaloc, SAN DIEGO CALIFORNIA KA PALA!!!” [Stopppp I missed my lane. I thought it’s San Diego Street in Sampaloc…]
In 2010, an old-school jeepney was also seen in the US as it was cruising the streets of Los Angeles; feaured in Adobo Nation TFC via Sari sari Etc. But so far, this latest upload gives us a more creative and decorative jeepney which has “MABUHAY” printed up front.
Let’s watch the video.
It has even crossed the magnificent Golden Gate going to San Francisco: