I am one happy kid. I was taught to ride a bike when I was so little, and I had those memories where I used to rent a bike within the CCP grounds with my cousins to have a little tour within the area. (this always happens whenever we planned to go to Star City and the tickets were all sold out lols! XD)
well that was years ago, and I haven’t rode a bike since then. Thankfully, I had a chance to ride again, but now within the walled city of Intramuros using the bamboo bikes from Bambikes.
The bamboo bike
Bambikes (or bamboo bikes) are created mostly by bamboo and abaca by the bambike makers from Gawad kalinga. The aim for making this one-of-a-kind bike is to sustain the reforestation of the bamboo nursery, while creating sustainable jobs for the poor.
The bamboo plant is known for its durability, flexibility and strength. And to ensure that the bamboo bikes will last for a very long time, the bamboo being used to create these ecobikes are crafted for weeks before being used and released in the market.
me and my fellow bloggers were invited to see their store in Plaza San Luis, and while waiting we checked on their beautifully crafted bikes…
We are all in awe at how amazing their bikes were. It was so beautiful, but a bit pricey. But since part of the sales of the ecobikes and tour will be given at the Gawad Kalinga, I think it’s worth the price.
Spare parts are also being sold here, and so are some refreshments that is needed for the tour.
We were then introduced to Brian, who guides us during our tour to the historic Intramuros. He explained to us how the bikes were made, the aim for this ecotour, his advocacy to help the poor (through Gawad Kalinga) and our itinerary on this fun ride. He’s gonna be our tour guide btw, along with his aide who’s always on our back to ensure our safety while we’re on a roll. 😛
(Brian is half Pinoy and American, and he reminds me a lot of my younger cousin who’s in Chicago right now, such a cutie no? :P)
well anyway, let’s proceed to the tour!
Biking along the walls
I like everything about the Bambike ecotours – we went on different places around the city walls that is never been seen (or included) in every Intramuros tour using our bamboo bikes, that we even had a ride with our bikes at the top of the walls itself! Bryan explained to us that bikes are not allowed within the walls, and it’s a priveledge for us to have these experience.
to ensure of our safety while on the tour, we were given a chance to choose the bikes that we wanted and had it on test drive while we’re still on Plaza San Luis. it’s been ages since I last rode a bike, and good thing that the bike is easy to use but it’s kinda heavy for me.
we went on different places, including:
the San Agustin Church,
Cuartel De Sta. Lucia,
Baluarte De San Diego,
to the hidden Japanese cannon in Muralla,
and to the Puerta Real Gardens, where we hang out for a while and explore the hidden sanctuary inside the city walls.
then we went to the Escuella Taller, where sculptors and architects went to learn how to create intricate church artwork and designs.
after that, we went on a ride going up in the walls at the Baluarte De Dilao.
since this is an ecotour, the trees and the plants sprawling around the area are also explained.
and we all went outside to have a glimpse of the bronze statue of Queen Isabel at the Puerta De Isabel.
We crossed the road full of jeepneys and went inside the Baluarte De Herrerias, where we were greeted by cars, lined fire trees and a view of the Pasig River. the trees gave us some sort of protection against the scorching afternoon sun.
after our quick break, we went inside those walls chill down and ride. it is said to be a former hiding place for their weapons and bombs, if im not mistaken.
we crossed the road again and passed by Colegio de Sta. Rosa and Manila Cathedral,
and had another round of battle with the PUJs while we’re on our way to the Fort Santiago.
once there, we had a brief lesson on the types of bamboos growing around the area.
went straight to the main gate…
and proceed to the now air-conditioned Rizal Shrine…
where most of the memorabilias about the country’s national hero is being seen.
it was a great way to re-learn about our country’s rich history and the significance of the walled city of Intramuros. and thanks to our tour guide Bryan and his guide, we learned a lot and we all enjoyed the event. and despite the passing of the cars and jeepneys along the way, we feel so safe and secure, thanks to them both and the guards around Intramuros area.
the tour that includes the use of the bike and headgear, refreshments and a 2-3hr epic ride going in and around Intramuros.
It’s a different kind of tour, and to tell you the truth I have so much to tell about Bambike Ecotours. I recommend it for everyone to enjoy to have this enchanting experience! 🙂
Plaza San Luis Complex, Real St. corner General Luna St., Intramuros, Manila 1002 PH
Phone: +63 (2) 5258289