Exotic Forms of Philippine Transport

The Philippines is a developing country located in Southeast Asia. It is an archipelago composed of 7,107 islands. Its’ people, of whom 80 percent are Catholics, are renowned for their hospitality and friendliness. Other than the national language which is “Tagalog”, English is an official language which is also widely used. This makes the experience of visiting the islands much more pleasant. If you are planning to visit the Philippines, be ready to try out the diverse forms of transportation used in the country.

The Jeepney

The jeepney is a symbol of the Filipino spirit of ingenuity and resourcefulness. The first jeepneys were developed from American Military Jeeps left behind after World War 2. The colorful jeepney is the Filipinos’ main mode of public transport. The jeepney normally carries 14 to 16 passengers ,depending on its’ length, and provides closer pick-up and drop-off points compared to buses. They are used throughout the country.

The Tricycle

The triclycle is a motorcycle converted to carry passengers using a covered sidecar that can hold up to three persons. They are used for short trips on minor roads not normally serviced by jeepneys. They are mostly located near main and secondary roads connecting residential areas.

The Pedicab

The pedicab is a bicycle with an attached sidecar. They are in essence man-powered tricycles. They ply the streets using shortcuts in smaller roads. They are used to transport people and packages to locations that are too far to walk to.. You can see them normally near market places.


“Habal-habal”, named for the manner of seating, is a motorcycle taxi usually used on rural mountain roads without normal means of public transport. They are mostly used to go to remote areas in the provinces.


Kalesas or Karitela are horse drawn carriages introduced by the Spanish during the 18th century. Today they are used as major attractions and platforms to see the different tourist spots.


“Kuliglig” which means cricket in English is one of the more exotic forms of transport used in rural areas. It is an ordinary hand farm tractor with attachments used as an alternative transport to carry people and goods from the farm to the market.

If you are feeling adventurous or just want to satisfy your curiosity, try these different vehicles during your stay. This will make your Philippine experience much more memorable.

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