Tricycles are a very common in the Philippines. Aside from the major business areas, they are practically everywhere.
These tricycles are mainly used by the public for transport; majority of the commuting population would probably have to ride a tricycle to go to a destination.
In rural impoverished Philippine towns, families are mostly dependent on the tricycle for livelihood.
But with every family owning a tricycle, it is almost impossible to earn a living when there are hardly any passengers around.
(No outsiders means no passengers, even at the beach [Blue Lagoon])
With a large number of tricycle owners competing for a small number of passengers, you will see a long queue of tricycles waiting for hours.
The situation creates an impasse.
In the past, Pagudpud was no different from other Philippine rural towns. The same long tricycle queues were also once prevalent in Pagudpud.
Ever since Pagudpud experienced a tourism boom, mainly as a result of the birth of social media, the situation has gradually improved.
(Pagudpud’s new face of being very welcoming towards travelers)
The internet today is extraordinarily littered with countless ads by Pagudpud tricycle drivers who offer tour services, posting their contact details online.
Amazing that not too long ago, it seemed inconceivable to think that rural tricycle drivers will effectively use the internet as a marketing tool.
It was through this same channel that chance led us to Ron, our Pagudpud tour guide. He was one of the first tricycle drivers who started using the internet to promote tour services.
(With Ron, a Pagudpud tricycle tour driver)
His humble tricycle number 341 is more than enough to take any visitor to an unforgettable journey across Pagudpud.
Seeing that travelers are the lifeblood of Pagudpud’s rural economy, he makes sure that they are treated only with the best service he can possibly offer.
(Ron’s tricycle number 341)
It is obvious that he pours his heart out in making sure that visitors will only have positive stories to tell when they leave Pagudpud.
“If people hear great stories about Pagudpud, then more would surely visit” he says.
As for our own experience, he surprised us with a gift of steamed corn cobs. His gesture although simple was massive in leaving a lasting feeling of joy within us.
(Enjoying Ron’s gift of steamed corn during a long walk to Kapurpurawan rock formation)
During our visit, he already was a father to one boy and was expectanting another. He entirely recognizes that the future of his kids depend heavily on Pagudpud’s tourism industry.
“My tricycle tour services and my wife’s small souvenir business is how we feed our family. This is also how we plan to send our kids through school in the future.”
So aside from visiting Pagudpud’s numerous sights, make your travel more meaningful by knowing that your visit will help the local tourism industry.
(During days without visitors around shops face a long day of waiting for customers [Bangui Windmills])
As mentioned, the long tricycle queues although reduced have not been completely eliminated.
Visit Pagudpud and let us hope others will follow suit, so that there will be plenty of passengers to go around for the families.
Visit so families similar to Ron’s can have a future comparable to Pagudpud’s great beauty.
Put a stop to those long tricycle queues.
Go now and don’t make the people of Pagudpud wait any longer.
(Let’s bite Pagudpud’s bait and provide them with dependable livelihood [Patapat Viaduct])
(Nicco Lampa visited Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, Philippines on January 7, 2011 until January 9, 2011)