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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Jeepney Popemobile-Pope Francis' Ride in Manila!

POPE FRANCIS’ RIDE A new popemobile to be used by Pope Francis during his visit is a takeoff from the jeepney, a symbol of Filipino ingenuity. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO from globalnation.inquirer.net

During Pope Francis' visit to MANILA, Philippines this January, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church will be riding in style- Filipino style that is. According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer he will be riding the first jeepney converted into a Popemobile, the unofficial designation for any motor vehicle used by the Pope!
The classic Jeepney design. Notice the horse symbol? Photo from Facebook page of Sarao
The jeepney is the undisputed ‘King of the Road’ in the past half-century in the Philippines. The word ”jeepney” itself is commonly believed to be a conflation of “jeep” and “jitney”, or “jeep” and “knee”, the latter referring to the jeepney’s crowded face-to-face seating. But aside from being the most popular mode of public transportation, the jeepney has come to symbolize the Filipino spirit.

Jeepney Buses – Art on Wheels in the Philippines
The jeepney is an indirect American legacy. After World War II, military surplus jeeps were left behind by the Americans and these were converted by Filipinos into public transport vehicles.

Original Jeepney 1955
A work of Art on Wheels?

interior of a jeepney
Jeepney Popemobile.

POPE FRANCIS’ RIDE. The hood is adorned with the papal coat of arms.
from: motioncars.inquirer.net
The white Pope mobile is built on a brand-new Philippine jeepney chassis, from the long bumper with steel “bull bar” up front to the stainless steel strips adorning the sides, to the checkered plate metal step at the rear. It is a stick shift which uses a diesel engine mated to a five-speed floor-mounted manual shift. Jeepney Popemobile conversions:

  • Carries a secure platform to give the faithful a good view of the Pontiff. 
  • The papal coat of arms adorns the hood, roof and sides and includes the emblem of the Society of Jesus, an eight-pointed star symbolizing the Virgin Mary, and a spikenard representing St. Joseph. 
    Coat of arms of Pope Francis
  • On each of the jeepney’s flanks is a glass cross, sculpted by renowned artist Ramon Orlina.
  •  rear entrance with a folding rear step covered in red carpet unfurling to the pavement. 
  • The passenger compartment is an airy three-seat space, with the papal seat front and center and two auxiliary chairs.
  • Interior surfaces are trimmed in white leather, including side-grab bars and roof liner.
  • concession to comfort: air conditioning; cold air is blown out of a pair of vents flanking the papal seats. Electric fans help cool down the cabin. 
  • Mounted on the left side of the passenger compartment is a collection of rosaries from the Vatican.
  • Driving the vehicle will be a member of the Pope’s traveling entourage, presumably a Swiss guard. He will have to be capable of driving 
partly adapted from globalnation.inquirer.net

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