Moving a tiny house made of bamboo

I was very excited to witness a house, literally, moved!

I know that this activity will not require any sophisticated equipment. It will rely on pure manpower (…and a truck).

For centuries, Filipinos have moved houses made of wood or bamboo through a method (or perhaps more of an experience) which is called “bayanihan“. Bayanihan happens when a person asks the help from a group of people (or even a whole community) to literally carry their house made of bamboo or wood and transfer it to a new location.

Last Sunday, I got to experience this!

I arrived at the site of purchase where the tiny bamboo house was already placed on top of a truck.

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A normal drive from the site to my weekend farm only takes 10 to 15 minutes.

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Since the truck had to move slowly, travel time was about 35 minutes.

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We arrived at the entrance to the access road to my weekend farm with a few road blocks. The electric wires by the entrance had very low clearance. I was very lucky that a few neighbors were present at that time! They told me that the truck can enter by just pushing the electric wires since those were not yet live.

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They were also very gracious to let us trim some of the overhanging branches so we can pass thru.

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We finally made it along a turn, thru an open-clearing, without any injury or damage to property.

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The short drive took us from the access road and across the rows coffee trees.

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The truck stopped at the end of the access road adjacent to the plot.

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The bamboo house will be installed at the highest point of the plot. This was around 30 meters far from where the truck stopped. The area is overgrown, so I requested help in clearing the area.

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A few came with machete and slashed coffee, banana, pineapple, vines and grass to prepare the area.

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After clearing, the bamboo house was brought down from the truck.

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…and it was just pushed-off the back of the truck.
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It was a very rough start with very slow progress. The underside of the house got snagged by branches or got stuck on mud many times. I tried to join, thinking that I can help out. However more than strength, they had a rhythm. I placed my excitement aside and allowed them to carry-out this undertaking based on their plan.

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What seemed to be a dire undertaking actually became a very fun activity. Everyone who pitched in joked about how hard this was, yet everyone was so jovial! It was a very motivating activity… all they wanted after this was a bottle of rum.

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When the house reached its final destination on top of the hill, the cement footings were placed to prolong the house’s life against termites and deterioration from contact with soil.

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And there it was! The house was finally sitting at the highest point of my weekend farm.

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The term “bayanihan” has its root-word from “bayani” which translates to hero. Although I had to pay for my hut, and maybe pay a little extra for the installation, it was just exhilirating to see something like this still exist.

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