HomeThe Journal of Historyvol. 61 no. 1 (2015)

Carriages, Coachmen, Workshops, and Permits: A Preliminary Review of Selected Components of Nineteenth Century Manila’s Transportation System

Marco Stefan B. Lagman



In both historical studies and written accounts, Manila during the 1800s was often described as a place bustling with people and activities. Such descriptions of Manila, particularly its urban areas, imply a high level of movement of both people and goods that required different types of transport modes, occupations, and government regulations. Through a partial review of material found in selected documents at the National Archives of the Philippines, such as the Carruajes, Carros y Caballos, Vecindarios, and Contribucίon Industrial, this preliminary research provides an initial examination of the different road and water-based transport vehicles that served to satisfy the trip demands of Manila’s populace, the occupations and activities (e.g. vehicle construction and repair) that allowed for such transport services to exist, and the regulations that the state imposed on the transport sector. It is hoped that this study would encourage other researchers to further explore this particular aspect of nineteenth century Philippine social history which, at present, has been given scant attention.