Probably, the term Trike Patrol is something you have heard before. It refers to the model search in the Philippines that was initiated by an American website back in 2006. Their mode of finding female models for their episodes involved trikes, those motorcycle powered side carts that are used by commuters in and around smaller cities in the Philippines such as Angeles City or General Santos City. Using such trikes to find models for photography and scout interesting locations is somewhat of a great thing to do.
Hiring a trike driver for a couple of hours and ask him to drive you around landmarks of the city can be very interesting and mind opening. It provides a unique opportunity to observe daily life of Filipinos and their behaviour in busy situations. It’s eye opening how they avoid or confront stressful situations. Well, all of that minus the discomfort of potholes and bumper to bumper traffic with drivers sneaking their trikes past obstacles. On one side you see the innocent beauty of young students while the next person – an elder citizen fighting poverty and other inconveniences of fate such as hunger and sickness – dramatically shows how they might end up in 30 to 40 years. The Philippines are a poverty stricken country that offer little opportunities to people outside of the elites from Cebu and Makati City.
Many sleazy producers abuse this situation to pressure female models into performances they might not be proud of. It’s a threat to society, but one of the only chances for uneducated female photo models to capture the moment of stardom – in some way, temporarily, at least. There are isolated cases of models being able to become famous models, some of whom have been featured in magazines such as FHM and Penthouse. Those who appeared in short videos on Trike Patrol, however, never made it.
For aspiring photographers Trike Patrols are still a great ways to explore and find talent in the most natural way by going back to the roots. Enjoy the bumps on your head and bottom.