A Celebration of Bamboo
Bambike Celebrates National Heritage Month 2023
Have you heard about the Bamboo Hypothesis? It is a phenomenon proposed by archaeologist Adam Brumm; discussing the unique case of Southeast Asia and the limited presence of stone tools throughout prehistory. Not going too deep into archaeological jargon, Professor Brumm suggests that there was not much need to develop stone tool technology in the region because of the abundance of easier-to-use and just as reliable organic materials – namely bamboo. Bamboo is deeply rooted in the heritage of Filipino identity. As archaeological research suggests, it extends much further back that history can trace.
The most iconic example is perhaps in the architecture of the “bahay kubo”; traditional houses made of bamboo and nipa – albeit overused for the point, but no less iconic. Beyond utilitarian roles, one of the most remarkable uses of the material is in art and expression. Ambahan is a style of poetry by the Hanunoo Mangyan of Mindoro province. The characters are intricately etched on to bamboo objects with the tip of a knife. Musical practices of Kalinga province are brought to life by bamboo such as with the hypnotizing rhythms of “tongatong” ensembles. The Maranao would use bamboo jaw harps to perform intimate music amongst loved ones.
There is no doubt that this plant grows abundantly in the soul of Filipino heritage.
We have already lived and learned so much from bamboo in the past, yet this remarkable plant still keeps on giving. From prehistory to the 21st century it has remained relevant to Filipino culture, but from our experience there is still much potential to unlock by exploring bamboo technology. We make more than just bamboo bikes. We strive to prove that bamboo is not “just” a humble building material. All of us at Bambike believe that we can cultivate an even greener future though cultural and environmental heritage, elevated with engineering and innovation.