Finding the Pinoy Ultimate Jeepney

Jeepneys get the star treatment at Resorts World Manila (RWM). Now on its sixth year, Pinoy Ultimate Jeepney (PUJ) continues to promote Filipino arts and culture while enhancing the jeepney-riding experience. In photo (L-R): Jay Sia of Halimaw! Sculpture, Owen Cammayo, Corporate Communications Director of RWM, and James Deakin, automotive journalist, give a special award to a Masskara-themed jeep during the judging of the 2015 PUJ.

Jeepneys and their drivers don’t always have the best reputations on the road. The hulking heaps of metal would likely fail roadworthiness and environmental standards of any developed country. Many jeepney drivers also seem to lack a basic awareness, or show an utter disregard, of traffic rules and regulations.

Motoring journalist and celebrity car enthusiast James Deakin has made driver education, especially for professional license holders, one of his many personal advocacies.

“Things would be so much better on the road if everybody knew the rules and followed them,” says Deakin. “There would be fewer accidents, and traffic would be more bearable.”

Jeepneys are a common feature in his social media posts for their drivers’ blatant traffic violations – something Deakin finds disturbing given that jeepneys are the most common form of public transport and so many people depend on them to get them to their destinations safely.

“There should come a time when the Filipino riding public has better options for mass transit, but for now this is what we have,” he laments. “But there are little things we can do to make the jeepney experience better for the passengers, other motorists, and the jeepney drivers.”

Deakin has signed on to be one of the judges for the 2016 Pinoy Ultimate Jeepney (PUJ) design competition held by Resorts World Manila (RWM). PUJ is a celebration of Filipino culture and heritage through the visual arts, with the unique approach of using actual franchised and functioning jeepneys as the canvas.

First launched in 2010, the competition has turned 46 artist concepts into mobile works of art, many of which are still actively plying their routes around the metro.

Going beyond promoting arts and culture, PUJ has also helped uplift and develop the best traits of the Filipino through the jeepney drivers, whose vehicles were selected as the mobile canvasses for the competition. The PUJ drivers were given professional training and character development seminars to help make them better citizens, enhance the riding experience of their passengers, and make them exemplars among professional drivers.

“As a driving enthusiast, I know that there’s this sense of pride when you know you and your steed are turning heads for the right reasons and as silly as it sounds, it makes you want to be a better driver,” Deakin chuckled. “One can only expect that jeepney drivers will be better behaved knowing that they’re taking a mobile masterpiece representing Filipino culture around.”

RWM is inviting college-level artists to be a part of the PUJ by submitting jeepney art design concepts through their respective universities. Artists may join either individually or as a team, with a maximum of ten (10) members. The top 10 PUJ designs will be prominently displayed in Newport Mall during RWM’s Grand Fiesta Manila yuletide celebrations. Winning entries will receive cash prizes totaling P600,000.00.

Pinoy Ultimate Jeepney 2016 is accepting entries through partner colleges and universities until November 14, 2016. For more information, visit www.rwmanila.com or contact Mark Meneses through 0917.878.8559 or [email protected].

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