• BAMBOO ZIP BIKE: NEWEST ATTRACTION AT UGONG ROCK

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    A bike with a frame made out of bamboo is now the newest attraction at Ugong Rock in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. Called the Bamboo Zip Bike, the adventure is a combination of bike and zipline that will surely give tourists, both local and foreign, the thrill and the possibility to enjoy nature.

    The Bamboo Zip Bike Adventure allows thrill-seeking visitors to explore the breath taking scenery in Ugong Rock using a bike made out of the bamboo on a 250- meter long high-wire suspended at about 90 feet from the ground. Along with two more traditional ziplines, the bamboo zipbike adventure is now one of the most popular activities in the city. It is usually included in tour packages offered by various travel agencies and has made headlines as the first tourist spot offering an environmental-friendly cycling adventure.

    Ugong Rock, found in Barangay Tagabinet, Puerto Princesa City is one of the go-to places of tourists and is known for its spelunking and zipline adventures. It has taken its name from the reverberating sounds or “ugong” produced by stalactites found within the caves of the limestone formation that stands 75-feet high. Ugong Rock prides itself as an ecotourism spot and a frontrunner in sustainable tourism in the province.

    The place is run by the Ugong Rock Multipurpose Cooperative (Ugong Rock MPC), an organized group of indigenous people in Palawan along with the ABS-CBN LingkodKapamilya Foundation. Ugong Rock MPC was formed through the community-based Sustainable Tourism Program of the Puerto Princesa City Tourism Office. Currently, they have 45 members, all working for the improvement and sustainability of the eco-tourism site.

    The bamboo zip bike adventure was introduced to the public in October 2016. It was inspired by the first-ever zip bike launched in Bohol, Philippines but comes with a twist. Ugong Rock MPC provided a new kind of adventure and experience to its clientele while staying true to their commitment of being an environment steward by using a bike made out of an abundant local raw material, the bamboo plant, in its newest attraction.

    Assisted by the DOST
    Through the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) flagship program Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP), the Ugong Rock MPC was able to start the pioneering project delivering sustainable livelihood and opportunities to the people in their community. They were able to acquire zip bike facilities such as bike lanes, cable wires, harness, and handmade bamboo bikes. With the assistance from KawayanTech in San Jose, Tarlac, bamboo bike frames with two support cords, for safety, were hand made for the bamboo zip bike adventure setup.

    KawayanTech is a company whose vision is to “promote a lifestyle of health and sustainability using bamboo as an alternative and appropriate community-based technology with practical applications.”

    “Nakatulong po ng malaki ang tulong ng DOST lalo na ang programang SETUP na nagbigay sa amin ng pagkakataon na magkaroon ng pinapangarap naming bamboo zip bike. Dahil dito nadagdagan ang kabuhayan namin at nagkatrabaho ang aming mga kasamahan. Nadagdagan ang kita ng community [The DOST helped us a lot under its SETUP that gave us our dream – the bamboo zip bike. Because of the project, we were able to provide additional livelihood to our members that added to the income of the community],” said Romel Ortega, President of Ugong MPC.

    An estimated 100 to 200 tourists come to Ugong Rock daily. To accommodate to more guests, Ugong Rock is planning to add more bamboo bikes soon.

    In addition to providing the tourists an unforgettable experience, Ugong Rock focuses on developing activities that raise environmental awareness and promotes sustainable management of natural resources.

    Riding the bamboo zip bike costs P500 and this includes a souvenir photo of riding the bike.

    For more information about the Bamboo Zip bike and Ugong Rock, contact DOST Provincial Science and Technology Center- Palawan (DOST PSTC- Palawan) at (048) 433-0489 or through dostpalawan@gmail.com.

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