Well The Philippines was destroyed by WW2 with the Japanese destroying infrastructure and vehicles as the Americans retook the islands, so at the end of the war the only vehicles left were the US Jeeps. So the Politicians and connected were teh only ones, besides US service members who had access to Jeeps.
With limited stocks a civilian having a US Jeep soon became a status symbol.
Of course shortly after the war the Jeeps were decommissioned and many more were imported from around the world, giving Filipinos more access to Jeeps.
Building replacement parts was the beginning of the Filipino car industry, it didn't take long for the Filipinos to start stretching the Jeeps on longer chassis to to use as public transport then they started copying the shells, remembering these were still status symbols.

That's when you get the early "Owner Type Jeeps" like mine the M38 replica, that were "exact" copies of the US Jeeps (except the drive chain of course), after that the Filipinos started modifying them and the longer "Jeepneys" that carry up to 30 people became more common.
Still when I drive my car a very old man will sometiems salute as I drive past with a grin, sometimes I get an old couple see the car, jab each other in the side as smiles spread and reminisce about the past,or just plain come up and start asking about the car.
Even though mine is a copy you have to understand that this WAS the Fililpino car industry almost in full until Delta motors in 1962 (Chrysler Philippines opened in 1963), a Toyota joint venture, who made Toyotas and parts under license, as well as striking out on their own with the Delta "Jeeps" and the Delta Mini Cruiser used by the Philippines Army. THis Delta motors/Toyota connection is why most of the Owner Type Jeeps run 1.2 liter Toyota 4K engines, cheap and indestructible.
So basically most of the old cars on the roads are one version or another of these replica Jeeps. Daily in Manila I will only see a handfull, but heading to the provinces they almost get to be the majority of the cars - the combination of galvanised/stainless steel and older bullet proof Toyota running gear make them last a very long time, even without maintenance. Of course some in Government are pushing to have these old reliable cars taken off the roads as they pollute and are "dangerous" (ie taking car lobbyists money), so far they have failed but they keep pushing. I have only seen one other early replica same as mine and have only heard of one US M38 still being driven daily, unfortunately by an American who is driving it into the ground without servicing it. There is a special car registration type that is more relaxed for collectors cars but you are only allowed to drive on weekends, I think this is what the Jeep clubs here use mainly as handbrakes, interior lights, rear license plate lights, etc are now required by law.

As an aside in Manila the Neuvo Riche are becoming very status obsessed (and arrogant as attested by non-Manila people commenting all the time) and as my wife said "They will not let you in (changing lanes) because they think you are poor.", in fact I see this a lot some new bank loan SUV will often times try to block me until a big foreigner arm comes out the door with a big foreigner finger then they realise it's not an old poor farmer.... To counter that almost everytime I drive my car I'll get someone pull alongside roll the window down and give me a thumbs up if they can't speak English or a "Nice car!" as it does represent the recent history of The Philippines.

It will come as no surprise since Filipino drivers often just pay to pass their driving tests that they are terrible on the roads, I have driven in several countries including in Asia and these guys really are bad and take some getting used to. If you plan on driving here just make sure you take full insurance until you work out how they interpret the standard International driving laws.

Delta Motors: