An Aborigine Tribe in the Philippines Skillfully Makes and Carves Their Own Bikes Using Only Wood From Trees

The 21st century has definitely been the age of innovation, with technology advancing at a phenomenal rate. Undoubtedly, the technological breakthroughs have drastically revolutionized people’s day-to-day lives. Nearly everything is now a reality which we would have never thought possible back in the 90’s.

Meanwhile in the Philippines, a special tribe has found innovation as the answer to making modern things such as bicycles into customary in various creative ways imaginable.

The aborigine tribe known as the Igolot-Garonne shows off their excellent wood-carving skills. With the huge ornate homemade bicycles carved by their tribesmen, they can participate in their very own road races. The front of the two-wheeled vehicle is noticeably designed with an animal theme from the head of a horse, dragon, lion, etc.

Photographer Richard Haw captured the moment when the unconventional “motorcycle” gang pulled into the town of Batad in the Philippines.

Mr. Haw who works for a games company said: “I was walking to my truck in the town when we were treated to the spectacle and it just so happens that I had my camera on hand and snapped the cowboy inspired scooter zooming downhill. Owning a motorcycle is considered a status symbol for people of a humble background. Since most of them do not really earn enough to afford the real thing they would just make imitations of scooters by whatever means they have.”

Reaching speeds of up to 25mph as they raced each other downhill, riders do not wear any protective gear and only don their traditional highlander g-string called a bahag and a dyed red robe which distinguishes the tribe they belong to.

Mr. Haw who currently lives in Tokyo, Japan, added: “I have not heard of any fatalities or accidents while people have been using the bikes, but looking at their legs you can see deep scars and I can imagine that it might have come from this.”

These men slow down by stepping on a wooden pedal which puts pressure on a piece of thick recycled tire. Enough friction is generated to slow the scooter down and their feet do the rest.

Mr. Haw whose wife Elaine is also a part-Igorot said: “When they race though the town, it is a chance to show off their scooters which is a source of pride for the carver.”