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.
A normal drive from the site to my weekend farm only takes 10 to 15 minutes.
Since the truck had to move slowly, travel time was about 35 minutes.
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.
They were also very gracious to let us trim some of the overhanging branches so we can pass thru.
We finally made it along a turn, thru an open-clearing, without any injury or damage to property.
The short drive took us from the access road and across the rows coffee trees.
The truck stopped at the end of the access road adjacent to the plot.
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.
A few came with machete and slashed coffee, banana, pineapple, vines and grass to prepare the area.
After clearing, the bamboo house was brought down from the truck.
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.
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.
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.
And there it was! The house was finally sitting at the highest point of my weekend farm.
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.