The Philippines Public Rides
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The Philippines Public Rides

Jeepneys are a popular means of public transportation in the Philippines. They were originally made from US military jeeps left over from World War II. As American troops began to leave the Philippines at the end of World War II, hundreds of surplus jeeps were sold or given to local Filipinos. Locals stripped down the jeeps to accommodate several passengers, added metal roofs for shade, and decorated the vehicles with vibrant colors and bright chrome hood ornaments.

THE PHILIPPINES PUBLIC RIDES

Philippine Jeepneys

History: In 1941, when the threat of war loomed large in the Philippines and South East Asia, a shipment must have arrived of early jeeps, as well as other cars and trucks. These of course were not the standardized WWII Willys MB or Ford GPW. The earliest Willys MBs were delivered during November 1941.

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Jeepneys are a popular means of public transportation in the Philippines. They were originally made from US military jeeps left over from World War II. As American troops began to leave the Philippines at the end of World War II, hundreds of surplus jeeps were sold or given to local Filipinos. Locals stripped down the jeeps to accommodate several passengers, added metal roofs for shade, and decorated the vehicles with vibrant colors and bright chrome hood ornaments.

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The jeepney vehicles rapidly emerged as a popular and creative way to reestablish inexpensive public transportation, which had been destroyed during World War II. Recognizing the wide-spread use of these vehicles, the Philippine government began to place restrictions on their use. Drivers now must have specialized licenses, regular routes, and reasonably fixed fares.

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Although the original jeepneys were simply refurbished military jeeps, modern jeepneys are now produced by independently owned factories within the Philippines. In the central Philippine island of Cebu, the bulk of jeepneys are built using second-hand Japanese trucks, originally intended for hauling cargo rather than passengers. These are known as "surplus" trucks.

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Philippines Kalesa

A kalesa or calesa (sometimes called a karitela) is a horse-driven calash (carriage) used in the Philippines. The word, also spelled calesa, predates the Spanish conquest and descends ultimately from an Old Church Slavonic word meaning "wheels." This was one of the modes of transportation introduced in the Philippines in the 18th century by the Spaniards that only nobles and high ranked officials could afford.

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They are rarely used in the streets nowadays except in tourist spots and some rural areas. The Kalesa driver is commonly called as “Cochero” or “Kutsero”. When “Cochero” direct the horse to turn right he says “mano” and he says “silla” to direct the horse to turn left.

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When the kalesa was introduced in the 18th century during the Spanish colonial period, it became one of the modes of transportation in the Philippines, especially for commerce. Rich Filipinos known as the ilustrados used the kalesa for personal travel as well as for the transport of goods to nearby areas. (picture above)

Although the kalesa has become a rarity, some century-old examples are still preserved in areas of the Philippines, such as the city of Vigan and Laoag. Kalesas can also be found in Intramuros and Binondo in the city of Manila and also in Iligan City, which has a street where decorated kalesas can be taken for a ride.

In Cagayan, kalesas are common, especially in Tuao and many other municipalities. In Tuguegarao City, they are mixed in traffic with private cars, motorcycles, sidecar motorcycles, jeepneys, trucks, and bicycles.

Philippines Tricycle

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The tricycle is a Philippine transportation vehicle that rules inner roads and alleys. 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.

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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.

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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.

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Reference:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalesa

http://www.mdjuan.com.ph/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=15&Itemid=2

http://www.blancsablon.com/Philippines/jeepney/philippine-jeepney-history.html

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Comments (4)

A very interesting and informative read Ron. I had heard of these vehicle but didn't know much about them until reading this article. Really great pictures.

Ranked #21 in Philippines

Wow, I like those beautiful pictures. Great article!

Brilliant account of this unique aspect of local culture.

Ranked #1 in Philippines

Your kind comments are well treasured, thank you so much Jerry, Aileen and Michael.

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