Temperatures are rising and I bet the lot of you are planning either a beach escape or flying to somewhere cooler. If you prefer to stay within city limits, there’s actually a couple of fun things you can do — and going on a Bambike tour is one of them.
What is a Bambike tour?
It’s basically a tour around the ancient walled city of Manila (Intramuros) on a bamboo bike. Depending on how much time you’d like to allot, you can choose from a full 2-hour tour (Php 1200 per pax), Express Tour (Php 600 per pax), or you can just rent the bike and go exploring on your own (Php 200/per hour).
I’ve always wanted to do this but you know, life would always get in the way. With Pepe Gaka visiting Manila, we finally had the chance to experience this popular attraction and a way for me to showcase the oldest district and historic core of Manila.
Here are 3 reasons why Bambiking should be on your list of things to do this summer:
1. Brush up on your Philippine history
Sure, we know that our country was under Spanish rule for 300 years, Jose Rizal (our dear national hero) wrote two books that sparked the revolution, and Filipinos were deemed stupid and were called “Indios.”
But did you know that Rizal was only 4’11” tall? Or that Ateneo and UST were first located within the walled city? Our perky tour guide, Russell, was brimming with information making the tour both enjoyable and intriguing. FYI, tour guides are certified and are required to take continuous education to make sure they are sharing only legit facts.
2. Support the social enterprise that gives jobs to residents of Victoria, Tarlac
Why bamboo? Well, this material is known to be hardy and steel-like, plus it’s abundant in the Philippines. Each bike is meticulously handmade by skilled craftsmen (dubbed the Bambuilders) and takes 4 months to build. Every purchase or rental of a Bambike supports the residents of Victoria, Tarlac giving them jobs and livelihood.
3. It’s the greenest ride in the Philippines
No fumes, no frills. Purchase a bike and help ease pollution (noise, air, even visual pollution because these bikes are pretty!) while getting fit at the same time.
There are various styles to choose from: mountain bikes. dirtbikes, to the more feminine ones like mine above complete with basket and bell. As of writing, my Dad is inquiring on how to purchase one to add to his bike collection.
And the best reason of all is because it’s in Intramuros! Driving on cobbled walks, feeling WW II bullet holes in walls, passing by the grand Real Gate (Royal Gate) used by the Governor-General, climbing the defensive wall and seeing a magnificent view of the oldest golf course in the Philippines, these are reasons enough to come visit.
To check out the itinerary and book your own Bambike ecotour, visit http://bambike.com/. And tell me all about it, will ya? I plan to come back with my Dad next month for another stellar experience.