History and Culture

LOOK: Ifugao's Wooden Scooter Knows No (Speed) Limit!

Ifugao

Rafael Reynante
Rafael Reynante | Jul 03, 2015

The Ifugao have lived in the Banaue and surrounding areas for generations, and have lived the same lifestyle for hundreds of years: gathering firewood, hunting and raising animals, and planting and harvesting their crops.

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However, the advent of new technology and information, particularly in the field of engineering and machinery have changed the way the Ifugao get around, and believe us, they get around pretty fast.

 

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During the Ifugao’s Imbayah Festival held every three years, visitors from all over the Philippines and the world flock to see the amazing race that happens along the zigzagging roads going from the mountains to the town of Banaue below.

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The Ifugao ride on homemade scooters made of intricately-carved wood, wearing nothing but their ethnic bahag. The wooden scooter was originally made in order to transport harvested crops and chopped firewood down the mountains more quickly, but since everyone has began making their own scooters, the mayor decided to include the race in the activities during the very first Imbayah Festival in 1979. It has been reported that some can reach speeds of up to 50 kph, with nothing but gravity propelling their scooters!

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That’s right: no gas, no electricity. Just old-fashioned gravity mixed with that trademark Filipino ingenuity to get the job done!

 

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Did you go to the Imbayah Festival held last April? Tell us about your experience watching these awesome wooden bikes!

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