MANILA, Philippines – Amid the consecutive oil price hikes, people in Banaue seem to be unrattled as they have wooden scooters that do not require gasoline.
It has already been normal to see Ifugao people riding a wooden scooter.
Most people in the town use them instead of riding a jeep or a tricycle. They also serve as bicycles to many kids.
This is the reason why the wooden scooter race is among the most awaited event during the town’s Imbayah Festival.
"Pinili ko ‘yong mabibigat na kahoy para mabilis pababa,” said Noah Daligen, who won a scooter race.
Aside from the contest, other games played during the festival are marathon, tug-o-war, and volleyball, wherein the contestants are only wearing their loincloth or “bahag.”
“I am 55 years old, okay lang at kaya pang tumakbo,” said marathon contest winner Modesto Chalanag.
Moreover, the Ifugaos also have a game which symbolizes their way of settling rows concerning land ownership.
“In the ancient times, this is used to settle land conflict, at kung sino ang magtatagumpay sa kanya mapupunta ang lupa,” Banaue Councilor Rober Binalet explained.
This year, the Ifugaos commemorateed the 10th Ibayah Festival.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News, Banaue Mayor Jerry Dalipog said this is their way to celebrate their bountiful harvest.
“Imbayah Festival means a rich and noble father is transferring his stature and nobility to his son who is married,” Dalipog futher explained. – Report from Ron Molina, ABS-CBN News North Luzon