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Philippines Trike Art

Updated on July 19, 2013
Example of Tricycle / Sidecar
Example of Tricycle / Sidecar | Source

Street Art on Trikes

The trike or tricycle also known as a sidecar in the Philippines, is a popular mode of transportation for the average person and is often the best way to get around as a tourist in the cities. They are cheap and can be hailed very easily, and if you are slightly brave can be an excellent way to get around the congested roads in the Philippines. After riding in a few, it is quickly apparent the every driver takes great pride in their motorcycle and side car and decorate them with unique paintings and often inscribed them with popular sayings or bible versus. The paintings generally represent the individual and things that they enjoy when they are not giving rides to passengers or are in honor of their family or something else with particular meaning to them. Many popular themes of trike art is painting the family name onto the front of the vehicle in large letters. While in Western countries taxi drivers and others that give rides will likely have the rates and safety information posted in bright colors, these drivers tend to focus their energy and space for unique and creative artistic expressions.

Every trike is different and if you enjoy street art, it is easy to quickly begin to appreciate the creativity and devotion to making a beautiful ride by the drivers and their families. At the end of the day the drivers are making their daily income through transporting passengers and the family symbols and things that are special to each driver comes through in their art, and can be appreciated as such.

Tom and Jerry as Trike Art
Tom and Jerry as Trike Art | Source

More Street Art Via SideCars

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Getting a Ride in the Philippines

It is very simple to get a ride in the Philippines, especially in major cities.

  • Simply wave a side car that is passing by if they are empty and you will quickly find a seat available to climb into. Watch your head as the cabin is made of metal and it is best if you are tall to keep your head low as a bump in the road may cause you to easily hit your head against the ceiling.

  • Negotiate the price of the ride before getting started, especially when going on a long distance. A short ride can be as cheap as 20 pesos, but a longer ride may run into the hundreds of pesos all depending on how far the trip will be.

  • Tell the driver to wait for you, if you are going to be going in and out of a location quickly, such as going shopping or picking up some food as it can be difficult to get a ride quickly, which is important when carrying food items or other goods from a shopping trip.

  • If going on a long distance, it is much better to get a ride in a multi cab or rent a car for the day with a driver which will be much cheaper and be a much more comfortable ride. Long trips in a side car if you are not used to it will likely result in a sore back and that is no fun when vacationing. However, a scenic ride through the rice farms and coconut farms is best experienced in a sidecar, with the breeze flowing through your hair keeping you cool, so if offered the opportunity, go for it, it will be a special adventure that will be remembered.

A markerPhilippines -
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The Philippines islands are a beautiful place to vacation and experience

Get in and Go for a Ride

Embrace Local Transportation

When travelling to new places, it can be very enjoyable to travel in the same method as the locals. Without getting the chance to go for a ride through a major city or through the coconut covered hills in the provinces it is hard to get into the local culture. The trikes are colorful and taken care of with great pride by the owner, so give it a try if you want to get out and really explore the Philippines.


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    • CZCZCZ profile image

      CZCZCZ 4 years ago from Oregon

      It's a beautiful country and so many fun places to visit. Hope you get the opportunity someday to go.

    • whynot1 profile image

      whynot1 4 years ago

      Very cool Hub! Interesting! I want to go visit the Philippines!

    • justom profile image

      justom 4 years ago from 41042

      Good hub, looks like it would be a fun ride on short trips. The art on the ones you show is amazing. Nice work!! Peace!! Tom

    • CZCZCZ profile image

      CZCZCZ 4 years ago from Oregon

      Thanks for the comment, yeah it was a surprise to me on my first trip there, but became one of the little things that I enjoy to look at, each one is unique and personal.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 4 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      This is really very interesting and I knew nothing of this custom of transportation at all. Rated Up and several more.