On an out of town trip, I had the fun of being able to sit at the top load of a jeepney en route to an obscure town. The jeepney was packed to the brim, with people and packages, groceries, bags and yes, even chickens, being a lady, I was given the privilege to have a seat inside, with the men, going to the top, and
leaving us in sweltering heat as the jeepney trudged on the beaten footpath.

On the first and last pit stop, which was a small store with decent restrooms, the multitude of passengers
disembarked from the jeep and stretched, took a snack, or checked if all body parts were intact after a turbulent ride. It was then that I was presented with the option to join the men on top of the jeep. The top load was definitely a cooler option, with the wind on your face and free from chicken feathers which somehow managed to fill the passenger area, so, despite my fear of falling off from the vehicle, I
took the offer to go up.

Getting on top was easy enough, there were no ladders, but the make of the jeep made it easy to scale it and reach your summit. At the top, the sitting area which was intended for baggage, was occupied by us, who wanted to be on top of the world, there were rails to hold to, ample leg room to stretch. The cool wind
does slap your face, so with the branches of the trees. The top load will give you a great view to shoot photos, and also make you an open target for bird poop to land on your head or face.

Despite the bird poop and constant struggle to avoid tree branches, being on top was truly spectacular, it’s like being on the Titanic but not with Leonardo De Caprio, you know that there will be impending doom but you enjoy the ride anyways. We reached our destination after a couple of hours, with no one falling off from the jeep, a happy crowd cheered as each one got off from the top, I had many foreigners with me and of
course they were a spectacle to behold in the disembarking process.

One by one, the blue-eyed humans were able to get down from the jeepney that they probably rode the first time, smiles on their faces and cuter smiles from locals who surrounded us. After getting everyone
from the top down, all the baggage from the inside out, all that was left on the top was me, least to say, it really is lonely at the top. I watched each one get down and when it came for my time to come down, I realized I was scared shit to disembark, the people who cheered on the blue-eyed ones, smirked at my
discomfort, jeering at me to jump and get it over with.

My partner in crime and photographer for this assignment coaxed me like a child to get down so we could
go to our homestay, almost exasperated but realizing my actual fear, had no choice but to wait for me.
So it took me a few more minutes to will myself to climb down, trying hard not to jump or squeal, I slowly but surely was able to get off from the vehicle.

Mercifully, there was no one left but my photographer partner, who snickered all the way to our homestay, saying this story will go down in history and be told and retold to many. After all, what goes up, eventually has to go down, with a few snickers in between. We all eventually will.

Amianan Balita Ngayon