By Monico D. Mekaniko
MAKATI CITY, METRO MANILA – The jeepney has always been a symbol of Filipino creativity and ingenuity and the recognized “king of the road” in the Philippines.
However, the ubiquitous public transport that has been the symbol of Filipino creativity has slowly lost its luster with most jeepney owners and operators looking to maximize profits rather than make the jeepney an enticing mode of transport.
Nevertheless, a group of tourism advocates have started a campaign to celebrate the jeepney's colorful history. The upcoming Jeepney Arts Festival is a project by the Hop-On Hop-Off Travel Inc., which operates the Jeepney Tours.
Held on September 20 to 22, 2012 at the SM Mall of Asia Open Grounds in Pasay City, the Jeepney Arts Festival is also aimed at capturing the Department of Tourism's “It's More Fun in the Philippines,” campaign.
The three-day event will have exhibits depicting the many uses of the jeepney not just from public transport. There will be galleries of beautifully painted jeepneys by several artists.
Hop-on Hop-Off Travel also partnered with Designweek Philippines, the creative design project of the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM). Under the partnership, there will be an On-the-Spot Jeepney Painting contest where several jeepneys will be repainted.
Participants to the contest must render designs for the jeepneys that will highlight the DOT's “It's More Fun in the Philippines” campaign. Winning designs can get as much as P30,000 in cash prize and the jeepney with the winning design will be used for Jeepney Tours promotions and other tourism-related activities.
Jeepney Arts Festival Managing Director Clang Garcia said the activity should evoke appreciation about the only mass public transport vehicle in the world that was based on a World War II vehicle. She emphasized that Filipinos must continue to acknowledge the creativity and artistic flair of the Filipino for having built the jeepney.
“It is a cultural icon that shouldn't go away; it doesn't just represent the Philippines symbolically but the jeepney has contributed to national growth and thus, national pride,” Garcia said.
Among the other partners for the event are automotive paint provider Nippon Paint, Hotel Intercontinental Manila, SM Mall of Asia, ManilART, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Smart Communications, and the Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines.
Till next time, this is Monico D. Mekaniko, Va-va-vroom!
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