First time visitors to the Philippines would be much bewildered by the many different forms and styles of transport on the roads! Besides the famed jeepneys with their colourful paint and many adornments and embellishments which most foreigners would have heard or read about before stepping on Pinoy soil, and the equally colourful motor tricycles or trykes, they would drop their jaws at the sight of motorbikes carrying 3, 4, 5 or even more passengers! And with their passengers, both male and female, young and old, clutching bags full of vegetables, rice and live chickens ... wow it's better than watching the circus, dude! To Singaporeans and Malaysians who in their own countries would be totally scandalised by helmetless riders, what a shock this is! Apa macam ini!

Most would think a much-laden motorcycle is a family on an outing, few would know that they are in fact the taxis of the Filipino countryside where the roads are so bad that only motorbikes can pass through. And that the passengers are indeed paying passengers and not likely related to the guy (who considers himself a driver not rider) driving (never say riding) the bike! And they have a name for these rough-riding machines that rarely travel at less than full speed... habal-habal.

Even the word habal-habal, I was told comes from the term for canine sex! Well with imagination, I believe the passengers do look like they are doing that ??!! And even such a word gets accepted and in fact becomes changed to mean a thrilling motor ride losing its original insinuation of intercourse between dogs well... this is the Phillipines!

My photo is a very mild example as it shows a brand-new machine driven (not ridden) by a teenager (unlicensed) with his three young pasajeros (passengers) in town.

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