Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday Shootouts: Philippine Public Transportations

I just arrived home from the beach with my family to celebrate my Mom's birthday. Happy birthday, Ma! Anyway, this would be my 2nd time to share in the Friday Shootouts. The topic is all about the public transportations in one's country. My country, the Philippines, is composed of many islands. Therefore, we have access on different routes: through air, land, and sea. Since there are many means available in my place, I'm going to enumerate all of them.

In every islands and places, there are also different ways of means of transportation. In northern part of the country, their means are different from the southern part, and vice versa. So, here they are.

Modes of Transportation:

1. BUSES - Some travel by land and some are being traveled by the sea through the ferry boat or barge. Regional and provincial buses usually operates day and night on a hourly or more frequent basis. Buses stop usually every 2 or so hours for 10-20 minutes to allow a snack and relief for your bladder. And if a person couldn't resist his/herself to urinate, one can actually ask the bus driver to stop just to relief him or herself. That's tradition here. No need to suffer and wait for the next official toilet stop.

2. VAN - Vans are common especially in the southern part of the country. These are being used for long-travel or provincial purposes. If people want a 'no-hassle' ride and cheaper than a taxi, a van is the good choice.

3. JEEPNEY - is the most popular among all public transportation in the Philippines. This is originated from World War II, used by the G.I’s as military transport. It also became as part of the national culture of the country as it became the symbol of local transportation for its population. It’s popularity became known worldwide in the early 70’s for its colorful designs, upgrades and modifications. Most run on diesel fuel and are produced all over the country by independently owned workshops and factories within the Philippines. The jeepneys have different kinds, depending on the places where it is being used. Like, in my place, there are different kinds but the common one is the Multicab because it is once used as a private multicab, like being shown in these pictures:

And these ones are the bigger kinds:

4. TAXI - Taxis are much available in larger cities than in provincial cities, which is most of the time none at all. Taxis are run by "meter-rate" are equipped with a taxi-meter to give accurate fares.

5. FERRY BOAT - Small distances up to a few dozen nautical miles ( 1 nm = 1,852 km ) usually are served by small ferry boats that are certified for 20 to 60 passengers They run at a speed of around 10 knots ( 1 knot = 1 nm / hr ). Different types are used - hydrofoil, catamaran or the very fast regular wooden hull - i.e. converted or adapted fisher boats equipped with safety equipment, radio, roofing and often toilet. The pictures below are the ones being used from Surigao City to Siargao Island, the home of the famous "Cloud Nine" (a surfing region).

My cousins going to the famous Siargao Island from Surigao City. They were riding the airconditioned ferry boat.

This time, from Siargao Island to Surigao City, they rode the open-type of ferry boat. They told me that they felt super dizzy and scared since the waves are really high. They were on the sea for almost an hour.

Pictures with my family and extended family taken in different dates going to Samal Island for beach escapade.

Large distances at sea are served by large ferry boat operators - probably the largest one in the Philippines is WG & A Superferry Philippines with a large fleet of modern stell hull vessels that take several hundred passengers to sleep, feed and entertain with life music for trips that usually take more than a day (e.g. Manila to Zamboanga city, Mindanao is about 32+ hrs one way by Superferry 9).

6. PEDICAB - known in English as cycle rickshaws and locally as padyak. The Pedicab are used mainly on smaller streets or in subdivisions. It is a bicycle with a sidecar carrier for passengers of 2 or 3. This mode of transportation is also a popular ride in other parts of Asia as well as in some countries around the globe. It is also used for nearby deliveries of goods and are efficient in saving gasoline while good for the health for the driver as it is riding a bicycle is a form of exercise.

7. TRICYCLE - is an upgraded version of the Pedicab. Besides the sidecar carrier which can accommodate 2-6 passengers, the motorcycle itself can have 2 or more passengers riding on it. As of now it is considered as one of the popular transportation in the the smaller parts streets and city provinces as well as rural areas around the Philippines. Trip fares have a minimum amount and additional pay depends on succeeding kilometers. An efficient way of transporting people and goods, the tricycle, can be seen all over the city with different styles and wonderful colors and designs.

8. KALESA - is one of the oldest means of transportation in the Philippines. It is an inclined cart with 2 big wheels at the rear and has 2 rows of seats, with a solo seat on the front row for the driver or in local language as “Kutchero” who handles the horse. Introduced first by the Spaniards in the late 17th Century, for use by noble families and high ranking officials of the colonizing government of Spain. The Kalesa is very rare to spot in the streets nowadays but it is still being used as a means of public transportation in some districts in Metro Manila, especially in Divisoria, Binondo, Intramuros, Mandaluyong near marketplaces and a few rural places around the country, like Cebu. They are commonly seen in the Luneta area for tourists to take a ride around for better viewing of the scenery.

9. HABAL-HABAL - a motorcycle which can carry 4 passengers is being used in rural and far-flung areas. The government has already implemented its complete eradication due to safety measure but there are some who are still engaging in this illegal activity.

SKYLAB - very much common in very far-flung areas. This was also illegalized by the government for safety purpose. But, still, this is being used to carry passengers in the provinces and in mountainous areas.

(P.S. Some pictures used are old ones in which I am grateful and are still stored either in our hard disk or in the USB.)


  1. Fascinating, some things I've never seen before :)

  2. I think the pedicab sounds fun, and safer than the cabs we have in brasil weaving in and out of trafic.... we could use pedicabs in Friburgo IF they would close the steets to cars/taxis and buses.

  3. Yes, Rachel, some things were just created by some old folks who wanted to revise some things.

    Wow, GingerV, are the pedicabs used in Friburgo are the same as ours?


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