The common picture we have of a tricycle is usually the one which has the motorcycle in the middle with two wheels on both sides of the attached part (which I think is quite illogical because then you would have four wheels and thus it should be called quadri-cycle). However, the attached part of a traysibot, or in the layman Pinoy machinist’s term is called the sidecar, only needs one wheel to be completely mounted.
My trips to some Mindanao cities have also introduced me to some charming versions of the tricycle. In Cagayan de Oro, it's motorela (sounds like the mobile phone brand). While I've seen motorelas in limited routes in CDO, the tricycles in Butuan and Zamboanga graze the city streets like the jeepney and they look pretty much the same in assembly. In Butuan, however, you can easily identify them because they're all colored orange and they have humongous ID numbers painted in black.
In Davao, traysibots are common in subdivisions, villages or housing compounds because the size allow them to navigate the narrow streets. However, they are prohibited in highways because aside from the added congestion the whole anatomy of the poor thing can become an eyesore especially if metal parts are already rusting and clunking and it looks like an overblown version of a dilapidated toy tarak-tarak. Riding in the traysibot is another hell of an experience. The motor, depending on its age can really test the ultimate decibel levels, so answering your phone or talking to your traysibot-mate is close to impossible. And depending on the age of the entire thing, the moment you step off, you have your insides all shaken up.
But despite the occasional unpleasant experience, every nuance of the tricycle or traysibot experience is truly and distinctly Filipino.
I actually own one now. Not really own because it's still a liability. I practically loaned the whole thing. I got the motorcycle for a 5,000++ downpayment with no hassles of registration because they the company took charge of it. When interviewed by the agent, you're supposedly to tell every reason why you're going to purchase one except use it for business like jamming up a sidecar and make it a traysibot.
So I lied. And perhaps I believe it's a known secret that just gets passed off as a perfunctory response. Which explains why a lot of people consider it as an easy way to earn fast daily income. Something that pays my siblings' daily meager allowance. Something to buy a kilo of rice for or a bundle of firewood for cooking.
The motorcycle is not really for my own use because I've never driven anything in my life. I still have some phobia left from falling off twice while riding and getting whacked by a coconut palm because I didn't wear a helmet.
So this whole traysibot business is up, but it hasn't been running for the past days because there were no available drivers (who usually thrive on boundaries) who are usually just our neighbors.
Given that it's really mine, I think I have to start learning to own the thing. This might be the career path that has unconsciously eluded me. O, sakay namo!