Sunday, January 29, 2017

Only in the Philippines: The Skylab

               You would probably think the Skylab is a laboratory built high up in the air - the sky.

               But it isn't.

               I do not even know how it earned its name on this side of the Philippines, particularly in Mindanao.  In the Visayas, it is more known as the habal-habal.

               It is actually motorcycle with appendages in the form of wood, added or attached to its sides, for the purpose of accomodating more passengers. The Skylab or the habal-habal, could accomodate as much as 10-12 persons, sometimes even 15, including the driver. That is a very far cry from the average of three persons that the motorcycle is designed to accomodate. Overloading would be such a poor term to describe it, but we all have to face the truth that the skylab is a product of the Filipino's ingenuity. That's the part I love most.

               The skylab has been such a useful means of transportation for quite a long time now - in my rough estimate, in the past 10-15 years - for most Filipinos specially those who are living in the outskirts of major business areas. To put it simply, it is the most accessible and affordable means of transportation for those who are living in the remote areas, especially in the mountains, where no buses dare brave to go, because of the indescribably rough roads and the distance. Where the buses can't go, the skylab takes you there.

               Friends, meet the skylab.

Side view.

Front view. Notice the kicker, the invitation to ride -- "Dali na! Sakay na! (Come on over, ride on!")

And finally....

Yes, that is me on the sklylab, with Manong, the ultimate photobomber. 

                Thank you for dropping by! 'til next time.


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