Funny Filipino-Style Transportation!

If you don't live in the Philippines or never visited, some of the modes of transportation depicted on this video may seem funny or even dangerous to you. They are both. I've experienced the majority of these different ways to get around in this paradise of 7,107 islands except for the small boats depicted in this clip. The motorcycles with the sidecars are called "tricycles" and are quite common in Guimaras, Iloilo, and throughout the Philippines.getting to where you need to get

I've only traveled on pump boats and passengers ships on Negroes Navigation when I've been on the sea. I can assure you that the motorcycles with three or more passengers is very common, along with the overcrowded jeepney shown near the end. We don't have any horse drawn carriages in Guimaras or Iloilo (that I've seen), but have spotted some in Manila.

This is reality. Safety issues are thrown out the window. Whatever laws that are on the books are not strictly enforced, and can usually be dismissed by just passing a 100 peso (2.30 US dollars) note to the traffic officer anyway for minor infractions.  The video is of high quality and has no music track, just street sounds, and will give the novice an informative primer in what to expect when visiting the Philippines.

36 comments

  1. Dave..that is what you call over load on all modes of transportation there.I see no moto helmets, no life jackets…wow…its call living on the edge for sure……hahaha one moto had the whole family on it……5..and oh…..I am thinking it would have been fun to be a moto driver and have a couple of sweet Fillipina’s riding on the back a huggin heavy so they not fall off…..I might have even hit the brakes just a little!!

    1. Helmets? Life jackets? Seat belts? They have them in the Philippines, Dan, but most people don’t use them. Laws are rarely enforced here. The only time our jeepney drivers use their seat belts are when they approach a PNP (Philippine National Police) checkpoint. Something about guys carrying assault weapons that makes you want to comply with the law.

      And the motorcycles? Oh, yeah, I’ve seen six on one bike plenty of times. It is quite dangerous. But I’m sure most of the moto drivers don’t mind those cute Filipinas hanging on to them for dear life, that’s for sure.

  2. That one big jeepney sounds like the brakes are going out to me…hahaha I am not sure I would want to ride on one of those…maybe one of them horse and carraige rides be better idea if a person was in no hurry…well Dave….one thing for sure..nver a dull moment there for sure…..hahahah

    1. I’ve ridden on many a jeepney that didn’t seem like it would be that safe, Dan, it’s a crap shoot, but watcha going to do? It makes live more interesting.

      1. Yes your right Dave…Just you never see anything like that here in the states……and I must say they over load the boatsa also…was a fun video to watch…I thought it was funny the one guy on a bike with the front so loaded up he had to stand up a lot to see where he was going…bet he has crashed and burned before….

        1. Yes, Dan, it’s amazing how some of these folks can ride those overloaded bikes and not get into an accident. You’d think that guy with the overloaded front has crashed and burned before, but you never know. Some of these guys seem to have nine lives like a cat. I had a buddy back in the States that dropped his bike so many times and had so many accidents, he should have been barred from having a license. He’s been working the past 20 years in Kansas City for a messenger service.

  3. Joy’s friend picked us up on a small motorcyle, there were 3 of us on it driving through the streets at night with t-shirts, shorts, sandals and no helmets. Fortunately the headlight worked. I tried to be a gentleman and sit on the back with Joy in the middle but the driver refused because he was afraid I would fall off. So we compromised, I got a photo of the 3 of us on the bike with me on the back and Joy in the middle while the bike was standing still, and then Joy sat on the back and me in the middle for the actual ride. We managed to get to our destination and back without incident.

    1. I’ve only ridden on the back of the motorcycle here a few times, Lance, and not with three of us on it. I prefer the back of the tricycle or a jeepney when we travel around Guimaras. Much safer for this kano.

  4. That video was missing one of my favorites in our area. A motorcycle with wooden planks attached to the side so that you can fit 10 or more people onto it.

    1. I have yet to see that one, Hazel, but I would not be surprised to see such a rig. The resourcefulness and the utter lack of regard for safety is pretty amazing.

  5. Some of my favorites are the motorcycles with huge containers on each side and a roof. They mostly sell fish where I live and have a PA system so they can call out the product and price as they ride down the road.

  6. You guys need to see my facebook page. I have a photo of 6 people riding on those boards on the single motor. Sometimes Meriam is forced to ride a single motor because the trike drivers want more riders. No helmet! Just scares me to death. I raced motocross when I was young and very foolish. Come off a bike and your head is the first to hit the ground.

    1. So you have the motorcycle with the boards on each side in your area too Gary? The ones here are for travel to the mountain areas and I’ve ridden on the boards, it’s actually more comfortable than being crammed on the bike with everyone else. I’ve had some of my American friends try that out, one couldn’t stop screaming in fear and the other said it was just like Disneyland. Haha! But yeah, the only safety precaution I can take around here is making sure I get the best drivers, other than that you just kind of have to cross your fingers.

      1. Tagum City is flat as a pancake but it only takes a few minutes to get into the mountains. Yep! There they are, how do they get so many people on them? Here in town we just have plain single motors but they get 6 or more people on them too. Worn out and almost flat tires. What fun.

        1. So you’re from Tagum, I’ve been there a few times we have family there and we live about 4 hours away. I don’t think I’ve seen the bikes with the boards there, but I’ve only been in the city area, I think the trikes there are a little tighter than what I’m used to in our area, nice place though.

  7. I think we have better trikes here in Tagum City than in the video. They hold 6 people plus the driver. Still have small motors and it doesn’t take much to overload one. They are SLOW! I cannot understand the white lights on the rear. At night you don’t know if they are coming or going. Then you have the ones with NO lights, trying to save gas. Those are the ones you see under the bus on the news.

  8. Have yet to be on a boat of any kind here in the Philippines. Looking forward to it. Had tickets on the Super Ferry but changed them for a bus ticket to CDO. Sigh. Maybe next time.

  9. So Dave if you don’t wear the life vest because of the heat I am sure that is the reason so many don’t wear a motorcycle crash helmet. I have only used a seat beat once on a bus, sitting in the back row. It sure helped me! One bump and BANG, hit my head on the roof of the bus.

    1. You’re probably right about the helmet, Gary. I’m sure it must get extremely hot riding with a helmet around in the Philippines. Of course, it could save a life, too, as my wife’s unfortunate Cousin Edgar found out last year. Poor guy. Wore his helmet the last day we saw him. Didn’t wear it the next day and lost the bike on the road and died. Probably would have survived if he had the helmet.

      1. When I was a young lad and very stupid I was known to race Motocross. I got busted up a few times but always had my helmet on. BTW – I was terrible at racing but had so much fun.

        1. I wasn’t as brave as you, Gary. About the only thing I would race was my bicycle that had a baseball card clipped to the back spokes so it would make a cool noise when I rode down the street. I hope Babe Ruth rookie year original cards weren’t valuable.

  10. I have been to the Philippines and I must say that there means of transportation there is really scary. What I mean is that they are not using any seat belts while driving.

    1. You’re right, Valentine. It’s extremely rare to see anyone using seat belts. It’s an adventure riding public transportation in the Philippines, that’s for sure.

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