I know a few things about jeepnies now. The base unit is the military Willis jeep, left by the US after the war with two bench seats, each designed for three personnel.They were surplus to requirements when the Americans left and some in factory condition. Local Filipino mechanics would use their inventiveness to extend the chassis and bodywork to fit up to 20 passengers. To power this beast they would whip out the original engine and put in a Mitsubishi truck engine. And there you have it – the jeepny. That was interesting wasn’t it?
Anyway, this is volcano land. I stayed in Tagaytay on the edge of a large fresh water lake which must have formed part of a volcano at some point in the past. So, after clambering aboard an outrigger and a short hop over the lake to Taal Crater Island which so looks like a proper volcanic come.
Then I have a choice. I either hike up to to the top of crater rim or I wander around the village at the bottom. Hmmmm. Quite easy really as I have seen quite a few volcanoes in my time and that incline is quite steep enough.
Firstly I explore the small centre where the locals hire out their skinny nags to take tourists up the volcano.
Having had a rather disgusting cup of Nescafe and take the very difficult decision to walk left along the beach rather than right. Soon I am amongst the village houses and livestock and families. Such a joy.
What a lovely, warm, friendly people with no axe too grind and no agenda other than to make a crust by tapping up the tourists or managing their offshore fish farms. Life is pretty basic and simple but a smile comes to their faces quick enough and they seem content with very little. Maybe we could learn a thing or two.
I love these two images. They seem to sum the whole thing up.