If you have never experienced “The Ultimate Transportation System” then you have never been to the Philippines. I’m not talking about fancy subway systems like the London “Tube” or the Japanese “Bullet” trains that speed you to your destination. I’m not even talking about the average subway system in any large metropolitan area. No. I’m referring to the everyday and most common form of transportation used by many Filipinos. In the Philippines, outside the National Capital Region (NCR), and throughout the provincial island areas, there is a completely different hierarchy of vehicles used for transportation. While the big transport buses and large ferries carry passengers to their more lengthy travel destinations, it is the jeepneys and the multicabs, the Centercars or Motorella’s, and the motorized tricycles and the pedicabs that move more volumes of people than almost all the fancy forms of transportation combined. You can really live here without a personally owned vehicle!
The most basic of all forms of transportation in the Philippines is the Pedicab. While it is not found in all areas, it is a predominant form of getting around in the smaller cities and barangays and in the less congested areas of the islands. This form of transportation is not unique to the Philippines and is also found in use in many other parts of the world. The name can be as varied as the uses of the vehicle itself. The cycle rickshaw is simply a small-scale local means of transport and it is known by many names such as biketaxi, samlor, velotaxi, bikecab, cyclo, beca, and trishaw. Believe it or not, it is no stranger to many European countries and can even be found in some U.S. cities (although not that popular). In the Philippines it know by such names such as traysikad, trisikad– or simply sikad, or Pedicab or the padyak (pronounced Pa ‘jock)
In the Philippines, the pedicab is typically a three-wheeled bicycle with a covered side car for passengers and is powered by human pedal power. Pedicabs are particularly welcomed on hot days when primary transports drops passengers blocks from their destination. Just like here in Calbayog City, the main use is to ferry passengers short distances along residential streets or from store to store. We actually sometimes will park our car and use the Padjak so we don’t have to drive the congested streets and we also avoid the hassle of re-parking. They are also used as utility vehicles for transporting cargo too heavy to carry by hand. It is not uncommon to see someone transporting large bottled water containers or their live pig.
During heavy rains, they become useful as a way to avoid walking through flood waters.
The pedicab is the least expensive form of transportation here in the islands where pedicab fares range from 3 pesos to 8 pesos (in USD that would be roughly .08 cents to 18 cents per person). It is said that Pedicab driving can be one of the most difficult occupations in the world where drivers are often ill from the exhausting work and exposure to heat and constant sweating. I know I couldn’t do it all day, and especially with those large foreigner types!
Check out the short video taken in Calbayog City…..