From: Scott Chase (
Date: Sat 24 Jan 2004 - 23:32:28 GMT

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    The Philippines is an interessting amalgam of Hispanic and American influences superficially riding atop a varied (Tagalog, etc.) indigenous basis. Before the Spaniards arrived via Magellan's journey the Arabs had arrived to introduce Islam and some parts of the Phillippines (eg- Mindanao) still bear this stamp. The Filipino Muslims have been referred to as Moros, which is not too different a word than Moors.

    When the Spaniards arrived and made the Philippines a colony they introduced Christianity in the form of Catholicism.and Hispanic names for the natives. For an Asian nation, the Philippines has quite a few Hispanic names. After the Spanish-American war, the United States took over control of the Philippines as a colony and introduced English among other things American.

    Fast forward to the 1940's and WWII (the shared anguish for Filipino and American soldiers of the Bataan Death March and all that). At around this time period Jeeps arrived in the Philippines. The Filipinos (or Pinoys) have modified this vehicle into a sort of bus like form of transportation called a "jeepney". This word is itself an amalgam or hybridization (aka pormanteau) of jeep and jitney. Jitneys are defined as: "a small bus that carries passengers over a regular route on a flexible schedule" (MWCD10)

    These vehicles are quite extravagant looking. Though I'm agnostic on memes, memeticists might do well to look at this sort of thing as a Filipino variant on an American artifact (ie- a popularly known vehicle known as the jeep). There's obvious descent with modification here.

    Check these sites out for some info and pix:

    If this previous URL doesn't work due to sloppy eyes/fingers on my part try a google on "portmanteau" AND "jeepney".

    This site gets a little technical and to find reference to jeepney you wil need to do a word search:

    Also there's a two part article (The jeepney and its intriguing ancestry) from the Philippine Daily Inquirer by A.J. Makalintal that can be found on the Asia Africa Intelligence Wire (May 15 and 22, 2003) if you have access to this via an online database.

    The influence of America upon the Philippines wasn't always rosy and there was some typical colonial ugliness on our part, especially in the transitional period between Spanish and American domination and callousnessness in our acquiescence to the Marcos regime much later
    (shoe collections anyone?). At least the evolution of the jeepney seems to be one positive aspect of the Filipino/American relationship even if these vehicles look a little gaudy to the casual observer.

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