Reading the Bible inside a Jeepney: Celebrating Colonized Peoples' capacity to beat swords into ploughshares, to transform weapons of mass destruction into instruments of mass celebration: mortar shells into church bells, teargas canisters to flower pots, rifle barrels into flutes... U.S. Army Jeeps into Public Utility Jeepneys.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
The U.S. Army, back in 1940, required an all-terrain reconnaissance, go-anywhere, vehicle that seated three and had a mount for a 30-caliber machine gun. Filipinos have turned this military vehicle into a sort of mini-bus that can accommodate about twenty people. There are those who look at a jeepney and call it Frankenstein’s monster. There are others who see it as a “Filipino home on wheels,” complete with an altar.
The military jeep was, and still is, a sort of imperializing text. A jeepney resists this text. The inventors of the jeep never imagined that this weapon of mass destruction can be transformed into a public transport vehicle. The jeepney is an “unexpected reading” of a jeep.