A brightly coloured Filipino jeepney will be decorating a fiesta in Ripon this month.

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A brightly coloured Filipino jeepney will be decorating a fiesta in Ripon this month.

The jeepney will be on display at the Barrio Fiesta in Ripon at the Racecourse, Boroughbridge Road, Ripon HG4 1UG on June 11th 2016.

Jeepneys are brightly decorated mini-bus style transports, originally built from US Army jeeps left over after World War Two. They are often referred to as the workhorse of the Philippines, responsible for moving commuters in the big cities, or villagers and their produce in the provinces, where they are often seen with roofs piled high with sacks and extra passengers. They are custom built, with exuberant murals on the sides, chrome statues on the bonnet, and lavish interiors. Paul Farbon, 55, from East Anglia, worked in the Philippines with Voluntary Service Overseas in the 1990's when he first had the idea of bringing one to the UK. They are such a part of the Filipino culture, with a bright spark of individuality and colour, representing communities where most things are shared, including transport. Most jeepneys are family owned, often vital in getting children through school and college. They are great way of promoting the Philippines. In 2003 he returned to Baguio in north Philippines and found a workshop to build him one. It was shipped to Bangkok, Thailand in 2004 and he drove it back across Asia over the course of six months. It generated huge interest along the way in places like China and Kazakhstan. When we stopped in towns, throngs of people would come to look. Paul's jeepney is decorated with wildlife from the Philippines, including kingfishers, eagles, and a water buffalo - leading one person to think it was a travelling circus! Since in the UK the jeepney has been on display at many festivals, including Glastonbury and Latitude, and Filipino fiestas - big get-togethers for local communities. It's especially popular with children, many of whom have seen nothing like it.
The jeepney will be on display at the Barrio Fiesta in Ripon at the Racecourse, Boroughbridge Road, Ripon HG4 1UG on June 11th 2016.