Kalesa in the 21st Century

Vigan remains in my bucket list and one of the things I would do when I get there - ride a KALESA. For some, it might be non-sense shallow wish besides anyone can simply go to Luneta or Fort Santiago for a ride. But have you ever thought what a horse drawn carriage signifies?

I wanted to find out the difference of riding Kalesa in an old and historical place such as Vigan and listen to stories of our Kalesa drivers.




During the 18th century, Kalesa was one of the major modes of transportation of nobles, rich Filipinos and those in alta sociedad. Today, even the less poorest of the poor can ride a Kalesa or karitela.

Our Kalesas today plays different roles in the society. Aside from mode of transportation, transporting goods. Visitors from different countries would pose beside a karitela, others ride the Kalesa while enjoying the historical landmarks of Manila. It's nice to know that until today we value and preserve what has been part of the past. I wonder do we have Kalesa Festival? 




About a month or so, I met a group of advocates who are making a good move towards innovation, commerce and giving hope to our kababayans through the use of Kalesa. The organization is called Kinulayan Philippines People Organization, Inc or Kalesa. They started Project KALESA Self-Employment and Livelihood Project (S.E.L.P) few years ago. It's a social entrepreneurship program that aims to provide sustainable livelihood.

Well, you might ask me what a Kalesa can do to change the lives of our fellowmen? Well, technically Kalesa is a vehicle, a mode of transportation. The people behind the organization thought that thru Kalesa they can provide opportunities and at the same time teaching the beneficiaries the importance of social enterprise and business.

I met some of the beneficiary, they are called Kalesa Ambassadors. During the interview, they shared how life was difficult until they were given opportunity to start a small business through Kalesa. Today, they were roving along Manila carrying goods from their partner merchants. Coming from a middle class family, I know how it feels when you don't have food in the table and the children are all crying out of hunger. We can give them food but that won't change their way of living.

Remember the saying. "Give a man a fish and you will feed him for a day, Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."


Kalesa, the organization belives that slowly they can generate big waves, starting with Filipino families, and later on, to communities. How we can help? S.E.L.P. is a social entrepreneurship program geared towards providing sustainable livelihood for Filipinos.

iGive iCare iShare iPartner

You can be a partner of Kalesa in two ways; Share its advocacy and become a distributor, supplier or advertise with them. The more partners Kalesa have, the bigger opportunities they can share.

For more information, you may log on to http://www.kalesaphilippines.com/

So, what do you think of Kalesa?






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