The Habal-Habal is a motorcycle modified to seat more than two persons. It is in use in provinces in the Philippines where jeepneys and tricycles cannot stand the rough, steep terrain and narrow roads, such as the mountains of Mindanao. It is also called the "Skylab". According to some sources, this name is either taken from the space station, or a contraction of the phrase "sakay na, lab (get on, love)!".
Habal-Habal come in two forms. The simpler form is a motorcycle with an extended seat protruding over the back wheel. It usually accommodates four persons, including the driver, who moves forward over the gas tank for better balance. A fifth, smaller person, may also sit sidesaddle on the gas tank in front of the driver.
The more complex form of the Habal-Habal can seat up to thirteen persons as well as their baggages. It has extensions consisting of wooden planks placed across the back seat of the motorcycle to form the seats for the passengers. Baggages, ranging from vegetables and groceries to chickens and even goats, are lashed at strategic places.
- The skylab. Pinoy Pop Culture, by Gilda Cordero-Fernando and M.G. Chaves, Bench/Suyen Corp (2001).
- Habal-Habal, a public utility motorcycle Blog entry on Honda XRM Rider, Motoristang Pinoy.
- Some tips on how to survive a habal-habal trip Entry by Berniemack Arellano in his blog HabagatCentral.com.