When I visit Iligan City in Northern Mindanao I usually find something new that interests me that I had not seen or experienced before. My recent vacation visit of a few weeks ago was no exception.
On the evening after my arrival as I was on the way out to dinner with local friends I noticed a new kind of transportation vehicle that I had never seen before. My friends told me they are known as a ” Racal “. This kind of surprised me as the only ” Racal ” I had known of was a British manufacturer of military radio equipment back in the vacuum tube era of electronics.
The Racal is an electric motor battery powered vehicle that can hold up to several passengers. I saw two kind of seating arrangements in those that I saw. One consisting of a scaled down jeepney kind of configuration and the other had similarities to what you may experience on a trisikad. They have a roof like cover for protection from rain and sunlight. The front end has similarities to a motorcycle although it is a 3 wheel vehicle.
I took several rides on Racals on the recently blacktopped section of Tibanga Highway in Iligan City which provided a very smooth and quiet ride for about a mile or so to nearby restaurants. From what I could find out although don’t hold me to the accuracy of this, Racals are only in use in Iligan City after sunset. One reason is that since they do not have a traditional engine they are not recognized or licensed by the LTO. Another reason they are ” tolerated ” after sunset is that they do not compete with other forms of licensed transportation. The Racal provides a means of livelyhood for those that own and operate them. I paid 20 peso per ride on the Racal for myself and a couple of friends that were with me each time. For me it provided a cool refreshing evening ride in the summer time heat ranging from 90 to 100 Degree F. as this is the summer season there.
All of the Racals I saw appeared to be in like new condition so I think these must be something new. From what I understand they can be recharged from solar energy and can go up to about 40 Kilometers per hour. I have tried to find out more about these vehicles by web searching, especially the technical specifications but so far only very limited information has turned up. I am under the impression that these are manufactured and marketed in The Philippines by a motorcycle manufacturer going by the name of Racal Motors.
These vehicles could very well become something quite popular as more and more of them take to the streets. Riding a Racal can add to More Fun in The Philippines !