These days, there are already a number of motorcycle-taxi operators in Metro Manila, namely: Angkas, JoyRide, and MoveIt. But that doesn’t mean that illegal habal-habal operations have stopped—some of these illegal riders even prefer to exist as such.
In fact, these illegal riders are all over the Internet—on a number of different Facebook groups, to be exact. If you’ve been using motorcycle-taxi services for a while now, you might have come across them on social media already. I recall my first encounter with such groups was when Angkas got suspended back in December 2018.
Now, we’re not here to talk about how booking rides through this method is both dangerous and plainly against the law. You all know that already. We’re bringing this up because a friend of ours recently told us that within some of these groups, the passengers have...well, we suppose you can call it an ingenious way hailing rides. Members—men and women alike—use photos of women in bikinis and lingerie to grab the attention of riders and secure a booking.
We did our digging and joined a few of these groups ourselves, and we saw firsthand what exactly our friend was talking about. We’ve compiled a few of them here below—check them out:
You might have noticed that a specific photo here has been used multiple times. The lady in that photo is Ivana Alawi, an up-and-coming Filipina YouTuber/celebrity. Her photos are often used ‘for attention,’ as the posts say, in these underground habal-habal groups.
Some passengers, meanwhile, use random photos of food, dogs, or other silly stuff:
There surely are other ways to grab attention, but that’s just us. What do you think, commuters? What’s your take on all of this?