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The Multi-Cabs in Cebu
A multi-cab is a utility vehicle in the Philippines and sold according to the function they are used for, which are pickup truck, van, and passenger types. The multi-cab’s body and parts originally came from service type vehicles used in Japan or South Korea. They disassemble the original vehicle when it becomes unserviceable and the body and parts are shipped to the Philippines.
Manufacturers here in Cebu then repair and assemble the body and parts to become the multi-cab that we see. The passenger type of multi-cab can hold 12 to 14 passengers with six to seven passengers seated on each side. The front seat of the multi-cab can seat one to two persons.
The multi-cabs in Metro Cebu and the province of Cebu either can be used for public passenger vehicles or used as light vans and trucks to carry light cargo and equipment. Just like the jeepneys, the multi-cabs come in different colors but are simpler in design and appearance.
An advantage of the multi-cab as a public transport is its ability to maneuver in traffic and in small and winding streets and roads because of its small size.
However, from my own personal experience that happens every day since I take two rides of multi-cabs in my three-ride trips of going to and coming home from work, it is usually not a comfortable ride especially during the summer season.
There is no air-conditioning similar to the jeepneys but I am in a cramped space much smaller than a jeepney and I have to sit knee to knee with the passengers.
If I am carrying a large knapsack bag or several plastic bags of groceries, I have to place them on my lap since putting them below me on the floor of the multi-cab would block the passengers who are alighting or disembarking from the vehicle.
I’m already used to all the discomforts of riding a multi-cab but there are times during the summer when I wish my multi-cab ride would be very fast so I would feel very windy, or how I wish I could afford to ride a an air-conditioned taxicab.
The multi-cab would especially be cramped and uncomfortable for tall people because there is not much elbow room for a tall person to stretch his legs and he/she really has to stoop lower so they would not hit their head on the multi-cab’s ceiling. That is why very few foreigners, especially those that are six-footers, would take a multi-cab when traveling in the city. They would either take a taxicab or take the slight comforts of the jeepney’s bigger space.
From what I have seen in Metro Cebu, you can usually see the routes of the multi-cabs in the Banilad to Talamban area in Cebu City going all the way to the Mandaue City Hall area. There is a sort of a multi-cab terminal in the intersection of A.S. Fortuna Street and A.C. Cortes Street in the Cebu South Highway. The multi-cabs there are the routes going to Lapu-Lapu City and Mactan, and to Danao City and other towns in the north.