Today we set off to explore Tagaytay. And we soon discovered the delights and discomforts of public transport. This is not for the faint hearted. Especially when you’re roaring down a narrow road in something called a tricycle – a motorbike with a tiny two-seater carriage attached. Once inside, it’s like riding in a microwave.
Taller European travellers usually find themselves hunched over with the back of their head pressing against the flimsy fabric ceiling. Once you sit down, you begin to doubt the wisdom of heading down a busy highway in a motorised shopping cart. Will travel insurance cover us if we’re flattened by an impatient lorry?
Slightly more robust and even more outrageous are the ever-present Jeepneys. These are no-frills mini-buses covered in polished aluminium and mirrors. They’re a classic symbol of the Philippines, originally made from US military jeeps left over from World War II.
Jeepneys give a distinctly 1940’s American feel to the busy city centres. They all share two common features – flamboyant decoration and crowded seating. They remain the most popular form of public transport in the Philippines. At times, they seem to outnumber the cars.