Moveable Innovation: Disrupting Society Through Art

Past and present merge to create the future of Filipino transportation.

This is an excerpt from Lifestyle Asia’s June 2023 Issue.

Going about life as it is can be mundane. Riding the same car, passing by the same roads, and seeing the same scenery, life becomes one whole repetitive routine. Each passing day becomes grayer and grayer because of a routine lifestyle. Amidst the humdrum of life, a pop of color seeps into the washed-out streets of Manila. An innovation that mixes archetypal Filipino culture and ingenuity, a combination of the iconic Filipino kalesa and modern transportation—the Siklesa is a fresh and new take on Filipino culture and transportation.

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An innovation that began from a simple car-ride conversation, the Siklesa was a result of love and epiphanies. The idea of a modernized kalesa came from a sweet chat between a loving grandson and his grandmother. Lorenzo Vega, the chief executive officer of Siklesa, shared that his grandmother, Carmencita Reyes, showed him a sketch of a modernized kalesa. 

Siklesa Modern Kalesa
Photo courtesy of Siklesa

Little did his grandma know that what she showed her grandson would be the future of transportation. “She saw it as something I wanted to ride for an event, and when I saw it, I thought to myself, my god, this is spectacular, this is phenomenal,” Vega reiterated. He described the moment like a scene in a movie—where everything flashed before his eyes. 

Siklesa Modern Kalesa
Photo courtesy of Siklesa

Vision and Visionary

Turning a simple sketch and idea into an innovative piece of art, Vega took inspiration from the success story of Macintosh—by using something Xerox invented and turning it into the first defining feature of the Macintosh. Vega emphasized the thought of turning an idea into something that would reach greater heights. For him, the Siklesa is more than an idea. Siklesa is a platform for him to gather other great minds and put together a vision.

Siklesa Modern Kalesa
Siklesa in Batangas/Photo courtesy of Siklesa
Lorenzo Vega of Siklesa Modern Kalesa
Lorenzo Vega/Photo courtesy of Lorenzo Vega

Vega and the Siklesa have one thing in common: both evoke change. One disturbs society through his art, the other pushes the boundaries of Filipino culture and innovation. Both creator and invention break down the separation between art and society. “Put it [art] not in the right hands, but in everybody’s hands,” Vega preached. 

Read more by purchasing a copy of the Lifestyle Asia June 2023 magazine via or select newsstands in National Bookstore and Fully Booked. Subscribe to the E-Magazine via Readly, Magzter, and Press Reader.

Banner photo by SIklesa.

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