A form of public transit unique to the Philippines has found its way to Vancouver.
Started from American military jeeps left behind in the Asian country after the Second World War, the jeepney is celebrated in an art project by multidisciplinary artist J Peachy.
Known for its colourful paint jobs, festive accessories, and lively stereo music while plying designated routes, the jeepney is a cultural symbol to Filipinos.
The vehicle is as Filipino as sizzling sisig pork hash.
In the iconic and often traffic-gridlocked city of Manila, it is considered ‘King of the Road’.
Peachy, whose heritage goes back to the Philippine province of Pangasinan, fetes the jeepney in his painted bee hive box project.
Peachy and other artists connected with Gallery Gachet designed bee hive boxes to raise funds for the Hives for Humanity.
The painted bee hive boxes are for sale.
Gallery Gachet and Hives for Humanity are both based in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver.
Hives for Humanity is a nonprofit that builds community and helps people through beekeeping.
On his website, Peachy dedicates his “Bees and Jeepneys” work to Filipino immigrants in Canada.
Specifically, Peachy pays homage to Filipino Canadians now on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19, where they can be found in health care, food production, and other industries.
He also recalled that the idea for the jeepney originated from leftover U.S. military jeeps
Fitted with a longer body, the remodeled jeep carries around 20 people, and serves as an affordable means of public transportation.
“In an act of recycling, creativity and resilience, local citizens transformed and repurposed them as public transport vehicles, each with their unique identity,” Peachy writes.
The other artists involved in the painted bee hive project are Haisla Collins, Larissa Healey, Jessica Numminen, Jacqueline Quewezance, Jeska Slater, Martin and Shona Sparrow, Jacqueline West, Ilirijan Xhediku, and Sandra Yuen.
Details of the fundraising initiative for Hives for Humanity are found here.
For more about J Peachy, click here.