Ifugao (Philippine for “people of the hill) in Banaue has long preferred the wooden scooter as a means of transportation and still using even today as a cheaper alternative to gas-powered motorcycles and scooters. The men-folk had to walk up the surrounding hills almost every day to gather firewood and tend to their rice crops, and carrying the load back down was an exhausting task that took them hours to complete. People started making light scooters almost entirely out of wood, and pushed them uphill whenever they had something to transport back to their village.
At the top, they would simply strap the load on both sides of the vehicle and let gravity take them back down in a matter of minutes. Powered only by the force of gravity, the home-made scooters reach speeds of 50 kmph, meaning one wrong move could cost racers their lives.
Every year, during the Imbayah Festival, Banaue’s woodcarving artisans showcase their most intricate wooden scooters in a traditional race that attracts visitors from all around the world.
No gas, No electricity. Its Gravity powered bikes. Isn’t it brilliant?
Did you go to the Imbayah Festival? Tell us about your experience watching these awesome wooden bikes!