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A UP History professor has successfully made a running prototype of the “Bangkarwayan,” a car made of indigenous materials like bamboo and banig, and runs on electricity.
Professor Benjamin Mangubat calls it “the technology of the future.”
Aside from being economic and environment-friendly, the Bangkarwayan is also a portrait of true Filipino design.
With a body made of bamboo and a retractable roof made of banig woven matting, the car runs on an electric dynamo. It also features a built-in horn, speedometer, emblem and hubcaps made from bilao circular basketry.
The professor also considered car safety. He filled a part of the car with different types of balls to acts as a shock absorber.
One of the main setbacks of the car is meager array of solar panels. However, Mangubat thought of this and had a back-up energy source prepared. A windmill is installed to gather wind energy for the engine.
“Pollution free ito, eh. Pangalawa, wala tayong dependence sa oil. We are producing our energy. This is the technology of the future,” Mangubat said.
Inspired by the national hero
The birth of the Bangkarwayan was inspired by a philosophy by Gat. Jose Rizal, who was also an inventor during his time.
According to Mangubat, books and cleverness are still no match for thorough and exhaustive workmanship.
Instead of gathering engineers who might just be the perfect men for the car-making job, Mangubat recruited an aircon technician, and electrician, and a carpenter on the Bangkarwayan team.
According to the team, it was a hard undertaking involving a series of trial and error, but at the end of the day, they were all proud to have produced an invention that is not only innovative, but also eye-catching.
Right now, the professor and his team are waiting for a flood in Manila to test the car's floating device and the car's maneuvering on water.
Needed support for improvement
The people who already witnessed the power of the Bangkarwayan could not deny that it was an attention-seeking piece.
But more than the novelty of the item, they are also eager to see the invention on its prime working state because of its environment-friendliness and Filipino design.
“Dapat yan masuportahan ng gobyerno. Ma-develop pa nang mas maayos.”
Right now, Mangubat and his team have not yet dared to drive the Bangkarwayan on major roads and expressways.
The professor is hopeful that from this prototype, the environment-friendly car would soon be working on a perfect engine and design that is both innovative and very Filipino. — TJD, GMA News