Calesa or Kalesa (noun): a horse-drawn carriage (calash) with two thin wheels; commonly seen around Chinatown in old Manila. This is how I personally describe a calesa, as I remember it from my childhood.
I honestly can't recall how long it has been since my last calesa ride in downtown Manila. Years... But just thinking about it brought back memories of those leisurely rides, along the hustle and bustle of the Binondo sidestreets, hearing the clickity-clack of the horse's steady gallop.
When I was younger, it thrilled me to be riding high, even slightly, above the busy roads amidst zooming jeepneys and cars. Nowadays, all I have to do is go to Tiendesitas in Pasig City to enjoy a nice, leisurely ride around the village, without the pollution and stink. (",)
|Posing for a shot with this calesa that the boy got to ride in with the nanny|
Of course I could never compare the sights and sounds (and smell!) of Chinatown, which is part the whole calesa ride experience, to this express carriage ride around this commercial complex.
Sometime ago, a roving calesa caught the eyes of my kids while strolling around Tiendesitas. They never rode one before, so expectedly they bugged me for a ride. They did not get one that day but mommy promised they will, and soon.
|Another souvenir shot with the white horse, the girl's choice|
Cheap thrills you say? Absolutely! At only P10 a ride for adults, and P5 for kids, a few breezy rounds in the mini-carriage (don't expect any sight-seeing here) sure made a super fun day for the boy and the girl. And they can't get enough!
You may think this experience is nothing spectacular, but how often do you get to ride, or even see, a calesa these days? A ride that's "alive and kicking" sure beats the mechanical amusement park rides they usually enjoy -- at same price! They even had a big laugh when they caught the brown horse peeing like a hose! So this was truly a unique and welcome treat for the kiddos.
"One more please." "Last one mommy, last one."
It only took around 2 to 3 minutes per ride, circling the village.
We passed this spot 6 times already!!!
Finally, they had enough. Before getting off, the boy tried his hand at the harness...hee-yaaa!
With the dizzying rounds we had, the two manong kutchero (mister horse driver) that drove us around were nice enough to oblige (I guess they should, we paid for it! heehee) even cutting short their snack time to appease the little ones who just can't wait to hop on.
We shall return!
Had a calesa ride lately? =)
Kalesa Ride at Tiendesitas
Frontera Verde, Pasig City
1 round @P10 / adult; P5 / kid
4 pm - 9pm Daily
See the kids' happy faces on their first horse ride here:
Family holiday trip to Tagaytay
Mom-Friday's shopping finds at Tiendesitas:
Blouses & Tunics
Espadrille Wedge Shoes
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