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The Versatile Philippine Tricycle

The Versatile Philippine Tricycle

Looking for a cheap ride that will drop one off at the exact address? A cab is too expensive and a jeepney will only go so far. A bus won’t fit in alleys. So what’s the remaining option? A tricycle ride.

The tricycle is a Philippine transportation vehicle that rules inner roads and alleys. Well, on second thought, it rules even highways at times. It can go from one street corner to the next, or one town to the next, or one city to the next. There are times when it goes from province to province. Why not, when in fact it is actually a motorcycle?

When the tricycle was first used as a Philippine transportation vehicle, no one seems to know. A few claim they hadn’t seen the thing before the Japanese time. Many aver tricycles started appearing on the road scene after World War II. Others declare it almost co-existed with the converted GI army jeeps. Accordingly, excess body parts left after the conversions were used to assemble sidecars attached to motorcycles, and thus the “tricycle” that has been known since in Philippine transportation.

The tricycle is a Philippine transportation vehicle that is so versatile. It is adaptable in rural and urban applications. It can serve passengers rain or shine. It can take one to several street corners, the next town, or even the next city or province for the right contract fare. Tricycles are known to rule even national highways.

For instance, they are seen amid MacArthur Highway leading a train of cars, buses, and trucks behind them, which often cannot overtake and have to keep pace with them. This Philippine transportation three-wheeled vehicle can traverse highways, city streets, inner roads, alleys, dirt paths, and even in places where there are no identifiable pathways. Tricycles strike anywhere.

Normally, a tricycle can accommodate 4 passengers (including the driver), if safety measures are considered. But often one will see this Philippine transportation vehicle carrying 10 to 20 passengers, mostly daring students or youths, squeezed in the sidecar and at the backseat behind the driver, some hanging from the rear and side of the sidecar and more atop its roof.

This Philippine transportation mini vehicle is often seen carrying loads of market goods, hardware, or furniture and appliances. Tricycles even act as ambulances carrying patients or the injured to hospitals.

Nothing beats the versatile Philippine tricycle, which can be the third wonder of Philippine transportation, following the crazy jeepney and the monstrous traffic.


  1. Dietmar Schubert

    Hello, I am a german tourist and want to travell with a trycicle. Is it possible to go everywhere? I know, that some highways are closed for trycicles. And I even can´t go to Makati to get my retiree visa there. But Can I reach every town I want? I would like to go to Samar and Leyte too. D. Schubert

  2. Connie

    To Dietmar Schubert,
    Hello, Sir. If you would like to go to Makati, there are taxi at your disposal. But I suggest you get one through an aency so you would be assured that you will rach your destinatin. Or better yet if you have a Filipino friend, invite him to be with you. The same suggestion I will if you would like to visit Samar or Leyte, that is through an agency. You cannot take a tricycle going to these two places from mania. However, there are tricycles when you reach Samar and Leyte espcecially if you are in the rural areas… Good luck. Connie

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