The Pinoy company KAWAYANTECH was formed in 2009, when a group by alumni members of the University of the Philippines Mountaineers (U.P. Mountaineers/UPM), participated in a workshop and produced its first bamboo bike as taught by Craig Calfee, the world renowned and respected bike builder.
The group says "they are all about bamboo and its amazing characteristics" and that their vision is "to promote a lifestyle of health and sustainability using bamboo as an alternative and appropriate, community-based technology with practical applications."
Kawayan Tech also works with communities and organizations. Their workers are part of Gawad Kalinga communities. The group also tries to provide opportunities to those who need it most and as such tries to support and forge partnerships with different groups and organizations.
Here's some portions of a great article by Hecky Villanueva about KAWAYANTECH:
In recent times, designers, engineers, and social entrepreneurs have shown the versatility of bamboo in a diverse range of uses and items. It is now used as a component material in car parts, computer equipment, musical instruments, as a building and even bridge construction material, ecosystem re...habilitation, tourist site, pulp and paper production, furniture, handicrafts, food, medicinal purposes, and for tools, among others. As Michael Block of Green Living Tips wrote, you can eat, wear, and build with bamboo. The Philippine Department of Science and Technology (DOST) notes that Thomas Edison supposedly used a carbonized bamboo filament in his experiments in developing the light bulb. Alexander Graham Bell also used bamboo for his first phonograph needle. Patricia Mayville-Cox calls it the new cotton.
Interest is high because of bamboo’s characteristics. It is a grass of the family Poaceae, subfamily Bambusoideae, and tribe Bambuseae. Bamboo has around 92 genera and at least 1,000 species. It is present practically all over the world. In the Philippines, where it is generally called “kawayan,” there are 62 bamboo species grown, 21 species of which are endemic to the country. Ten are commercially-important species. Bamboo is present and/or grown in an area covering an estimated 39,200 to 52,700 ha. (Rojo 1999). Thus, bamboo is a renewable resource, grows fast, is durable, has natural beauty, is easy to maintain, and has many commercial applications including as a replacement of wood. It captures carbon dioxide.
There are exciting developments vis-à-vis bamboo and biking. In this era of volatile oil prices and global warming, biking is getting a second look as a healthy and cheap alternative vehicle. In recent years, innovative designers have taken to bamboo as the material for bike frames. Craig Calfee of Calfee Design has designed and tested a bamboo bike and concludes that they are just as good, if not better than the usual high-tech materials used. His high-performance bamboo bike frames sell in the $2600 range.
Calfee is not only a bike businessman, but someone who believes in the potential of the bike to help societies. He partnered up with the Earth Institute at Columbia University to develop a bamboo bike program in Ghana. The potential to scale up and replicate is significant.
Inspired by Calfee, Bruno Meres, an engineer and industrial designer based in Bratislava, Slovakia, designed his own bamboo bike. His innovation is a woven bamboo bike frame. After one year of intense use, the bike is in good shape. He also noted that bamboo makes the bike ride less jarring.
Bamboo should be a leading material in the Philippines and Filipinos should be experts in bamboo application. After all, it is part and parcel of our culture, history, and environment. We’ve used it for housing, furniture, ritual, games, food, medicine, tools, etc. Heck, we even have one of the most spectacular bamboo organs in the world, the Las Piñas Bamboo organ. Gerry Brioso referred us to the bamboo jeep in Bangued, Abra, where government worker Chris Adriatico built a bamboo jeep as early as 1992. Local officials also use a bamboo vehicle, seen below, in official activities to promote bamboo use in the province. It is kitschy, but it is an attention getter.
Bamboo is high tech and green tech. Bamboo technology and products are a sustainable social entrepreneurial enterprise for Filipinos.
Last July 6-11, 2009, Craig Calfee visited the Philippines and conducted a one week training workshop to select interested parties in the Yap Farm, Municipality of San Jose, Province of Tarlac. Kawayan Tech/Kawayan Tek, a newly formed group by alumni members of the University of the Philippines Mountaineers (U.P. Mountaineers/UPM), participated in the workshop and produced its first bamboo bike as taught by Craig Calfee. This is actually the second bamboo bike built by the group (visual artist Eng Chan was the lead builder). The first was built using Filipino ingenuity."
The vision of Kawayan Tech, Philippines is to promote a lifestyle of health and sustainability using bamboo as an alternative and appropriate, community-based technology with practical applications.
1. Leverage bamboo technology as a means of promoting sharing, caring, social justice, community solidarity and mobilization, and partnerships with different sectors of society.
2. Promote sustainable human development through bamboo technology.
3. Promote and develop bamboo as an indigenous technology.
4. Promote bamboo planting, reforestation species, and bamboo nurseries.
5. Initiate social entrepreneurship enterprises around bamboo technology.
6. Develop partnerships with individuals, groups, and the government in the hope of transforming their outlook on bamboo, the environment, and development.
7. Make the Philippines a regional if not global leader in bamboo technology and products.
KawayanTech, Philipines seeks to:
1. Design, develop, market bamboo products, technologies, and services;
2. Develop indigenous forms of bikes and other alternative means of transport such as a bamboo bike and bamboo skateboard as social entrepreneurship initiatives with expansion and replication goals;
3. Establish a clearinghouse on research and development on bamboo technology in the Philippines;
4. Develop in partnerships with individuals, groups, and organizations, bamboo nurseries and production facilities for bamboo products;
5. Market locally and abroad bamboo products;
6. Provide consultancy services on bamboo technologies;
7. Other activities related to bamboo propagation and technology; and,
8. Influence policy making on transportation and investment in indigenous modes of and technologies on transportation.
For more information, contact:
John Climaco (climacoJ@yahoo.com), Eng Chan (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Boy Siojo (email@example.com) or visit www.kawayantech.com