Braving the bamboo walk away-A A +A
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
HOW would you like to walk on a bamboo pathway 30 feet above the ground, on the way to a bamboo platform attached (securely, to be sure) near the top of a bamboo grove some 25 feet away? And if you wish, you could move to another bamboo grove via a longer bamboo pathway, to another bamboo platform, this time some 60 feet above the ground.
This is the thrill offered by Roberto Diacoma in what he whimsically calls his Bamboo Park which, of course, sways with the wind and, during an earthquake, shakes with the ground.
Berto, a furniture designer, recounts that he was in Hong Kong two years ago and saw Tarzan’s tree house in Disneyland which he dismissed as “artificial.” He told himself he could do better, and it won’t be artificial.
Back home, looking at the bamboo grove from his veranda, the idea of his bamboo park was born. The first platform—roofed—is about two meters by four meters, securely lashed to the bamboos, near their top. This one has a sofa at its rear. The second platform, also roofed, is smaller, about two meters by two meters. The walkway to this one is securely attached, using cross bearings for greater stability.
The park has been there for about two years. The dream tree house has not yet materialized, but already, from the rear of the first platform, there are two bamboo poles attached to a nearby tree so that the tree house will materialize soon.
The whole “park” is actually safe—so safe that this is where Berto entertains his guests during the Santo Niño fiesta.
There are railings in the walkway and the platforms to keep one from falling. And yes, to “brave” the walk, people simply have to remember that bamboos, like the Filipinos, are resilient and do not snap into two, but bend with the wind so there is no danger of the “park” breaking apart. For those with acrophobia (fear of heights), though, this thrill is just not for them.
To get to the park, go up to Cebu’s Hills. The place is a few meters after the Malubog zipline. There is no sign board. Just ask the people playing pool nearby for directions and you’ll get there!
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 06, 2013.