Here’s a pretty cool scooter race in Banaue. When was the last time you did something as fun as this? Maybe we should all join the race next year, no? What do you think? Thanks, to Art Tibaldo for alerting us on this video.
Related story from the Inquirer after the jump.
Yabadabadoo industry in Ifugao booming
By EV Espiritu, Elmer Kristian Dauigoy / Inquirer
BANAUE, Ifugao—Every three years in this town that is famous for the rice terraces, men in G-strings race down the road using homemade wooden scooters.
The race, part of the Imbayah (Merrymaking) Festival here, has drawn fans who have witnessed a fleet of scooters speeding down the terraces.
Unknown to many here, the race also serves as a marketing showcase for these scooters.
After the race, tourists negotiate to buy the scooters, some priced as high as P15,000.
The scooters have become a “midnight-madness” spectacle because their underground retail is one of the few profitable businesses in the agriculture-dominated Ifugao economy.
Aside from the terraces, a perennial tourist draw, most Ifugao eke out a living selling woodcarvings as well as woven G-strings and hats topped with feathers or foliage to simulate age and ritual authenticity.
The race has been profitable, says Rafael Buccahan, 31, who makes wooden scooters.
The scooters began selling for P500 in 2005 when photos published in newspapers caught the attention of many visitors.
Buccahan says the scooters used to help his older relatives ferry food stock or vegetables around town.
The first scooter was made of ordinary firewood and twine. It belonged to a local town mayor in the 1960s.
Rubber tires had not been available then so the mayor carved the wheels from wood. The wooden wheels were greased from the sap of a local shrub.