The Jeepney Stories: Walang Iwanan

“Walang iwanan” is a common phrase in Filipino that roughly translates to never leaving each other’s side in any relationship – blood, romantic or platonic. A common enough sentiment among people in general, but I especially find the scenario I witnessed a few hours ago on my ride home.

I was seated at the front beside the driver thinking about a lot of different things when the driver gets a call on his phone. The one-sided conversation went like this…

“Hello? … O, Unsa man? … Ha? Asa man ka dapit? … Naa ko, sige, hulat lang diha, brad, padulug na ko.”

(Hello? … Yes, What is it? … What? Where are you? … Yeah, I have, just wait there, friend, I’m coming…)

Short story made even shorter, the man on the other line was also a driver of the same jeep route and had the misfortune of getting a flat tire without a spare and the driver I was with just so happened to have one and extended his help. This is kind of why I still love commuting, because there are special interactions that happen everywhere and is a part of every day life, but more often than not, is a novelty in itself. Walang iwanan, was what they said to each other before leaving. It’s nice to have someone to lean on in these kinds of situations. When in a ditch, you ring someone up for help and the heartfelt response – can I just applaud you guys for reminding me that the world isn’t dominated by douchebags – yet.


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