Feature: Bamboo Zip Bike: The newest attraction at Ugong Rock

A bike with a frame made out of bamboois now the newest attraction at Ugong Rock in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. Called the Bamboo Zip Bike, the adventure is a fun combination of bike and zipline that will surely give the 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 plant 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 Brgy. 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 limestoneformation that stands 75-feet high. Ugong Rock prides itself as an ecotourism spot and a front runner 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 (IPs) in Palawan along with the ABS-CBN LingkodKapamilya Foundation. Ugong Rock MPC is 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.

Through the Department of Science and Technology's flagship program Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP), the Ugong Rock MPC was able to start the pioneering project delivering sustainable livelihoods 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, werehand 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

The SETUP assistance has allowed them expand their tourism activities from famous spelunking and zip line adventures and now to include a unique bamboo bicycle experience. An estimate of 100 to 200 tourists come to Ugong Rock daily which means more and more customers are enjoying the activities they offer. To accommodate to more guests, Ugong Rock is planning to add more bamboo bikes soon.

Ang plano po talaga sa bamboo zip bike na ito, dadagdagan po talaga ito. Sa ngayon dalawa palang ang unit dito. Nasa plano po na dagdagan pa ito ng dalawa pang unit para magingapat Mr. Ortega said.

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.

You can ride the bamboo zip bike for only Php 500.00. This includes a souvenir photo of you on the bike to remind you of the experience. Ugong Rock's Bamboo Zip bike supports sustainable tourism in Palawan and is the beginning of growing a green economy for the province. Every visit will not only satisfy your adventure gene but will also be able to help the local community.

Source: Philippines News Agency