More than a decade ago I heard in the news that Sarao Motors Inc. were closing its doors to the automotive industry. I mulled at this event since I was used to seeing colorful jeepneys plying the whole of the metropolis, intrigued by the many robotic horses crowding its hood and by the many flags adorning its front and rear. An invite from a friend had me a bit surprised that this family-owned business did not actually rest for good. They are thriving in the heart of Las Piñas City. After our historic visit to the famous Bamboo Organ, we dropped by at Sarao Motors which was just one jeepney ride away.
It all started with Mr. Leonardo Sarao, an entrepreneur and a former calesa driver, which explains the many horses you see as designs in their Jeepneys. A quiet reminder of his humble beginnings. The business is now being managed by his children, some are residing here in the Philippines and some are already in abroad.
|I am sure this place is abuzz come weekdays|
Sarao Motors Inc. makes custom-built Jeepneys, owner-type jeeps and other vehicles serving different institutions. Cost may begin from Php 315,000 depending on the type of vehicle sought. The Jeepney is in deed one reminder of the great American culture still living in our midst up to this day.
|Yellow and red|
Sarao Motors in Las Piñas is open to tourists and customers alike. To actually see local men building jeeps from scratch, it is advisable to visit the site on weekdays. If you prefer a silent, self-led tour, weekends are the best.
I am glad that I visited this original Las Piñas gem. Already part of our Filipino pop culture, I cannot imagine a day without these reliable mode of transportation disappearing completely from our local streets.