TABACO CITY: With Santa Claus carriage being drawn not by the reindeers but by pedicabs, Tabaqueños came in droves in spite of a heavy downpour to witness the lighting up of the city’s Christmas Village on Tuesday.
“Even with heavy rainfall you remained to see the lighting of our Christmas village. It’s full of symbolism but the objective is that Christ is the King. Christ should reign in our heart always,” Mayor Krisel Lagman-Luistro said.
Local businessmen in the country’s “Padyak Capital” are vying for the best design on their giant fiberglass hearts displayed at the city plaza with the theme “Paint My Love This Christmas.” A towering 50-foot Christmas tree decorated with colorful hearts and powered with LED lights completes the yuletide scene.
For several years now, the city government of Tabaco has been using the pedicab in lieu of the reindeer as a way of honoring the 4,000 or so pedicab drivers here.
Tabaco City is known as the “Padyak Capital” of the Philippines because of the sikad-sikad or pedicab which has been a common sight in the city for decades.
Believed to have originated here, Tabaco will not be Tabaco without its ever-dependable pedicab, a means of transportation used by people from all walks of life.
The sikad-sikad is basically a bicycle with a sidecar and the uniqueness of the features separates it from other three-wheeled cabs. The Tabaco padyak is intrinsically fabricated with very little deviation from the traditional design.
Each padyak is painstakingly handcrafted by Tabaqueno smiths and metal workers, from the body paint to the iron curlicues, that outline the chassis.
As it plies the streets, the sikad-sikad has become a symbol of the hardworking Tabaqueño. The padyak also symbolizes the Tabaqueños’ strength, innovation and commitment to keep the environment clean and healthy.