A kalesa or calesa (sometimes called a karitela) is a horse-driven calash (carriage) used in the Philippines. The word, also spelled calesa, predates the Spanish conquest and descends ultimately from an Old Church Slavonic word meaning “wheels.” This was one of the modes of transportation introduced in the Philippines in the 18th century by the Spaniards that only nobles and high ranked officials could afford. They are rarely used in the streets nowadays except in tourist spots and some rural areas.
When the kalesa was introduced in the 18th century during the Spanish colonial period, it became one of the modes of transportation in the Philippines, especially for commerce. Rich Filipinos known as the ilustrados used the kalesa for personal travel as well as for the transport of goods to nearby areas.
Although the kalesa has become a rarity, some century-old examples are still preserved in areas of the Philippines, such as the city of Vigan and Laoag. Kalesas can also be found in Intramuros and Binondo in the city of Manila and also in Iligan City, which has a street where decorated kalesas can be taken for a ride. In Cagayan, kalesas are common, especially in Tuao and many other municipalities. In Tuguegarao City, they are mixed in traffic with private cars, motorcycles, sidecar motorcycles, jeepneys, trucks, and bicycles.
This is one of my favorite pics from my Intramuros Photo walk 🙂 Behind the Kalesa, is the San Agustin Church.
San Agustin Church is a Roman Catholic church under the auspices of The Order of St. Augustine, located inside the historic walled city of Intramuros in Manila. Completed by 1607, it is the oldest church currently standing in the Philippines. No other surviving building in the Philippines has been claimed to pre-date San Agustin Church.
In 1993, San Agustin Church was one of four Philippine churches constructed during the Spanish colonial period designated by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, under the classification “Baroque Churches of the Philippines”. It had been named a National Historical Landmark by the Philippine government in 1976.
How I took this shot:
Canon 7D + Sigma 10-20mm, hand held
f9.0 | 1/100 | 3 shots (AEB)
- 3 Images, aligned, converted and tone mapped in Photomatix
- Cleaned in Photoshop CS4
Anyway, thanks for your time!