sikad_1

The sikads of Naval, Biliran

A sikad along the wharf of Naval, Biliran

A good way to go around Naval. CLICK TO ENLARGE

I’ve always been fascinated with these three wheeled vehicles plying the roads of cities and towns in the Philippines. Either motorized or manually driven, it comes in different forms and designs and are unique to the places they ply. It’s wiry frame, thin pieces of metal assembled together with wheels whizzed passed me as its driver pedaled, carrying his passengers to their destination. I smiled, happy to see these contraptions, attesting to the Filipino’s ingenuity, feeling the familiarity of being in a small sleepy town.

I’ve visited Biliran the first time for the heck of it but also to strike it off my list of provinces to visit and the vistas I’m seeing while going to Naval from Ormoc just bowled me over. But that is another story worthy to be told.

For now, I was in the provincial capital of Naval for the night and the first thing that captured my attention were the sikads, pedicabs, that are a familiar sight around the country.

These type of sikads are common in Leyte, Samar and even in Mindanao. But depending on the location, there are slight variations of the same vehicles. Its wiry and light. The bicycle is high with large wheels. It has a rough edge to it that says it’s custom made. It’s roofing is just enough to cover the passenger’s thighs. When it rains, a sheet of clear plastic rolls down to the front. In some, the driver is shaded but most are open.

Foot brake of the sikad

April showers but they got to earn. CLICK TO ENLARGE

One thing that caught my attention is the foot brake. Unlike those that I’ve seen in Samar where the brake is controlled by hand, here, its a simple lever with a piece of rubber at its end that is put into contact with the wheel by the left foot. Just smooth!

What’s great? It doesn’t consume gas, no pollution and a perfect exercise for the driver. In towns like Naval, as much as possible, I go with the sikads or in some places, called padyaks. Riding these is not only green but also a good way to help support these people earn a living.

Besides, I like the slow tedium of riding in one.

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Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications.

He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces.

I’m open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

10 Comments

  1. journeyingjames
    April 15, 2011 @ 12:21

    amazing talaga ang filipino ingenuity. ganyana pala sa biliran, galing. last week, nabigla din ako sa tricycle sa pagadian tricycle.

  2. estan
    April 15, 2011 @ 12:25

    @james, yep. ang galing din ng Pagadian no? hehehe

  3. » Sikad driver in Naval, Biliran + ESTAN CABIGAS PHOTOGRAPHY +
    April 15, 2011 @ 15:24

    […] A sikad driver from Naval, Biliran poses near the wharf as I asked him to. These light transport vehicles is rather common in small towns and cities around the country. More about this in langyaw.com. […]

  4. Aleah
    April 16, 2011 @ 1:33

    There are so many different kinds of sikads all over the country. Do you collect photos of them? Some look really weird (like in Pagadian) but they all serve their particular purpose.

  5. estan
    April 16, 2011 @ 7:46

    @aleah, yup, i take shots of tricycle and trisikads across the country 🙂

  6. sometimes Kim, sometimes Mj
    April 17, 2011 @ 12:50

    You’re so much like my boss in the fascination with this sikads:-) Great great photos, danggit kainggit!:-D

  7. Bonzenti [Con Tour Blog]
    April 17, 2011 @ 23:00

    These sikads are eyes sores to some, but to some people who loves environment, sikad is an option.Ok bai. Pagadian’s is unique.:-)

  8. Earl (Suroy Pilipinas)
    April 19, 2011 @ 17:25

    medyo modern na ang sikad dito sa amin kasi motorbike na ang gamit nila.in fact they now call it “motorsikad”.

  9. » San Carlos City’s beautiful sikads | Langyaw: Sojourns and Off-the-Beaten Path Travels
    May 13, 2011 @ 0:08

    […] nature and non polluting. But the ones in San Carlos City, like in Ozamiz, Leyte, Samar and Biliran (the last three provinces have smaller bikes), have almost the same […]

  10. Sikad of Naval, Biliran | Langyaw Travel Photography
    October 26, 2011 @ 9:01

    […] More about Naval and its <em>sikads</em>. Share Tweet […]

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