History, Sociology and Ecology. Is it back to school already?
Nah. It’s Bambike Ecotours!
How did I know about this Ecotour?
I went to Manila with a few “to-do’s” on my list; to cut it short, I came unprepared. On my wee hours there, I would read blogs, read online shop and resort reviews or so, ask my Manila-based friends for something interesting around the Metro. And as suggested by a newly found friend from there, I was presented to a kind of tour that I have never known nor considered the idea before, the Bambike Ecotours. I was so intrigued that it led me to visit their website. The first thing that caught my attention was their Sunset Tour; I loved the idea of watching the sunset while having a drink. I messaged them right away and the good thing is, they are 100% responsive to my queries and concerns.
Bambike is a socio-ecological enterprise based in the Philippines that hand-makes bamboo bicycles with fair-trade labor and sustainable building practices. Their bamboo bike builders (aka Bambuilders) come from Gawad Kalinga, a Philippine based community development organization for the poor, working to bring an end to poverty. Bambike’s mission extends to helping out people and the planet, dedicated to social and environmental stewardship. Their goal is to do better business and to make the greenest bikes on the planet. Founder Bryan Benitez McClelland came up with the idea in 2007 when he was still a volunteer for Gawad Kalinga but, it wasn’t until 2010 that he officially started the business
The tour was scheduled at 4pm so before that, I had all my time visiting some museums like the Mind Museum in Taguig and the National Museum of Natural History in Ermita. I was wearing that same outfit for the whole day including for this tour because I did not know that we will be cycling the whole place for two and a half hours. But, neither from my short tight skirt nor my mirrorless camera hindered me to enjoy the tour.
We cycled around the oldest parts of Intramuros with their handcrafted bikes made by their “Bambuilders”. I was also shocked because 80% of the people there were foreigners; making me feel like I’m out of the country. Their tour guides or “Bambassadors” as what they call them were knowledgeable; they give an authentic perspective of the colonial life there and they speak in English fluently so they are really a big bonus to our tourists .
My one day tour around the walls of Intramuros was memorable.
- It allowed me to revisit the historical past that has contributed to our today.
- To increase awareness about our individual social responsibility. And lastly,
- To start a movement against environmental exploitation.
Learning never stops with Bambike Ecotours, indeed! As much as I wanted to put in detail everything that the bambassadors have shared about the places that we have visited, I want you more to experience it yourself; it made the tour more interesting and worth the time.