08 November 2004

It's an uphill climb from here

Tricycles (or pedicabs, as they are also called) can be found in most places of the Philippines. I have yet to see one in Baguio, though. This mode of transportation is easy to use and you virtually rent the vehicle for yourself in the duration of your trip (though in some areas, it becomes a smaller version of the jeepney; anybody can take a ride with you given a fixed route). There are also various designs of the pedicab, with the main difference mainly on its passenger capacity.

The photo is taken from our recent trip in Boracay. There were six of us, and our seating arrangement is thus: 2 in front, 3 at the back seats, and 1 behind the driver. However, you'll notice that the coach is rather slanted upwards. So you'll have to achieve a 'weight balance', especially since it was an uphill climb to the place where we were staying.

One time, we were taking a ride to our place, and the road wasn't exactly paved. The ladies can't avoid making stifled screams and looks of panic as we made our way amongst potholes. The driver stopped mid-way then requested one of our companions to move to the front seats. He was a large, heavy-set man, and he muttered that he knew he was going to be noticed, what with the pedicab lurching upwards everytime it crosses a 'crater'. The smiles and giggles were later replaced by panic again as we moved on, though the vehicle didn't lurch as much.

By the second ride, everyone knew where they're supposed to be seated.

At another time, we were unfortunate to take a pedicab with a motorcycle that had seen better days. So the engine was really making a lot of noise as we went uphill, with the whole frame violently rocking each time we crossed uneven sections in the road. His loose change were also flying all over the place onto the road, which he didn't seem to mind! We clung on to dear life, and the ladies said, 'Mama, baba nalang kami!' ('We're getting off!'), and they were already trying to get out while the pedicab was still running. And some of us walked the rest of the way uphill while the pedicab moved on, stopped at the levelled, concrete road, and waited for us.

The weird part is, we nevertheless used the pedicabs on our trips from the resort to the beach and vice versa for the duration of our vacation. Must be because we got so tired walking around buying pasalubong and food that we momentarily forgot how it was to take a ride until we were already on the uphill climb.

Or, it might be because we had no other choice. :-)
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