These Unique Rides Make Commute More Fun In The Philippines
by Anne Marielle Eugenio, April 03, 2020 2:46pm
Art by Ahl Mirambel
We are not new to long bus rides, crowded train cars, and long lines in PUV terminals. We can’t avoid these scenarios on the way to work or school. But as much as we hate Manila traffic, we are still thankful for the unique modes of transportation that make commute life a little bit exciting. Maybe we take them for granted but they took part in shaping our culture.
The Spaniards first introduced Kalesa in the Philippines during their occupation. It is a carriage drawn by horses and now can be often seen in Intramuros as an attraction to tourists.
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UV (Utility Vehicle) Express, also known as FX (from Tamaraw FX), has over 120 franchises in the Philippines. It is common transportation in provinces near Manila and can seat up to 18 passengers. UVs are mostly air-conditioned and not as crowded compared to other public vehicles. And of course, any true blue Manilennial knows a UV express isn't complete without its signature tunes.
Legalized in 1985, the tricycle is a popular and primary means of public transportation, especially in the provinces. Usually, it can accommodate up to five passengers, but in times of need, when there are little tricycles available, some even hop on the tricycle’s roof—not recommended to ensure your safety, of course.
Imagine a tricycle without the motor—that’s what a pedicab is. And since it has no motor that would malfunction when submerged into water, pedicabs are useful when floods come. Thanks to our pedicab drivers, we would be able to arrive at our destination without getting our shoes soaked.
We have Leonardo Sarao to thank for upcycling World War II jeepneys into mass transportation vehicles. Because of him, we have jeepneys that take us kilometer after kilometer to our destinations. Not to mention, it’s one of the Filipino symbols our country is known for worldwide.
When the MRT breaks down and EDSA’s in chaos, we know you turn to Habal-habal, an adventurous (but safe) motorbike ride. Your Habal-Habal driver will ensure your safety and save you from having a late record at work.
Take commuting as a lesson in life. It taught us how to be patient and responsible, to be independent and street smart. And these modes of transportation are our choices—those that would take us far from where we’ve been. They would sometimes break down, but in the end, we will arrive where we’re supposed to be.