When I first rode a tricycle in Manila I sat behind the driver the way men do in Nepal when they ride pillion on a motorcycle. I was told later by a Filipino friend of mine that that was the wrong way of sitting on a tricycle. The correct way, I was told, was to sit like the way most women-especially those clad in saari- do in Nepal: by hanging both legs on the same side.
But that’s for the third (and last) passenger on a tricycle. The other two are holed up in a small carriage- supported by a tire- on the right side of the motorbike. When that carriage is attached a bike becomes a tricycle (or a motorcycle taxi). And tricycles are everywhere in Manila though their future seems uncertain. For some (and that includes city officials) they are traffic nuisance and for many others they are cheap medium of transportation in the city. Continue reading