Folk art, to me, is simply, the art of the people. On a recent trip to Dumaguete Phillipines I was cativated by the local means of transportation - the Pedicab. There are 2500 pedicabs in Dumaguete, the city of gentle people. Each and every pedicab is different, each is a unique work of art. I set out to take a photo of as many pedicabs as I could.

The Dumaguete pedicab is a fascinating piece of folk art. The cabs serve a functional purpose as inexpensive transportation for the local people and a cultural experience for the traveler. There is no meter in the cab and buyer beware is the standard. The drivers are friendly and curteous and are proud of their cabs and the history of each cab. The passenger portion is attached to the motorcycle portion and are decorated by the driver or companion.

Each cab is different in design and decoration but all are functional. The motorcycle is usually small with an engine size ranging from approximately 125 to 150cc. The number of riders is limited only by where they are willing to sit and every passenger pays the same fare. The motorcycles average about 10 years and many of the cabs I rode in were on their 2nd or 3rd motorcycle. 

The cabs are all numbered from 0001 to 2500. I hace captured photos of a great many and would like to have pictures of all 2500. I am also interested in stories and documentation of the history of the pedicab in Dumaguete. Below are pictures of Pedicab 0001 and 2500. The lyrics of a song I wrote about the Dumaguete Pedicabs is also included below.


The Best Pedicab


(D) (G) (A7)) (D)

Verse 1

(D) My pedicab is the (G) best pedicab

The (D) best pedicab in Duma(A7)guete

(D) If you ride in (G) my pedicab,

A few (A7) pesos, you’ll travel (D) plenty


Chorus – Slower Phrasing

(G) The best pedi(D)cab,

The (A7) best pedi(D)cab

(G) My pedi(D)cab

Is the (Em) best in (A7) Duma(D)guete

Verse 2

(D) You can go uptown, (G) go downtown

You can (D) go anywhere in the (A7) city

(D) You’ll not ride better than (G) my pedicab

It’s the (A7) best in Duma(D) guete


Verse 3

(D) You can go to the airport, (G) go to the docks

You can (D) go to the shopping (A7) mall

(D) Wherever you go, you’ll (G) have no doubt

My (A7) pedicab is the best of (D) all


Verse 4

(D) I can turn on a dime when you (G) signal me

I’ll (D) get you there ahead of the (A7) line

(D) My muffler’s quiet, my (G) seats are clean

I’m (A7) ready all the (D) time


Verse 5

(D) I paint my cab with the (G) colours of the world

With (D) swirls and sweeps a-(A7)plenty

(D) It will dazzle the eyes of (G) all who see

It’s the (A7) best lookin’ cab in the (D) city

Chorus 2X


It’s the (Em) best in (A7) Duma(D) guete

(D) (G) (A7)) (D)

 ©       Joe Wiseman       2012                     SOCAN



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