For those who love adventure and races, Ligiron may be one of the must-try activities for you. Considered as one of the Extreme Sports in the country, Ligiron already exists in the Philippines decades ago but it was only recently when a team of Negrense (people living in Negros) organized a racing event, which they call “Palumba, Paambak sa Ligiron”. Ligiron comes from the local word Ligid (Wheel) – it literally means “to use the Wheel”.
Held last June 9, 2013, people from Bongbong-Valencia (Negros Oriental) and nearby towns gather in “Camp Look Out” for a race of more than 20 Ligiron Riders.
Designed similar to a scooter, the Ligiron is a vehicle made from hardwood such as tugas, tisa, bamboo, mahogany and other tough wood found in the island of Negros. The rider sits and place his feet on the same plane and maneuver the four-wheeled vehicle using the scooter-like handles. Ligiron races always starts on top of a hill because the descending force is the only thing that keeps the Ligiron rolling. The wood used in the vehicle is bonded using rubber from used tires, nails and wood glue to keep it intact. Brakes are made of rubber but some choose to brake using their shoes or slippers by pressing it against the ground to maintain balance.
There have been no reported fatal accidents yet but minor injuries and scratches are present. Most of the contestants of the race do not wear helmets and padding, which adds “extreme” to the activity. Most of the racers wear jackets and jeans for protection.
The Ligiron represent not only Negros Oriental but also the entire Philippines. There are variations in design found in the mountainous areas of Cebu and Bohol and the Ifugaos in Luzon love to use these kinds of vehicles for transport as it saves them time and energy.
Organized by Nicky Dumapit and sponsored by Lipay ang Kalibutan Community, the first Ligiron race was a success. People in the town are hoping to make this an annual event and invite people from other islands in the Philippines.
It is really more fun in the Philippines as the country is the only one who has this kind of extreme sport. It is a race similar to downhill biking but you don’t know what will happen to you or the vehicle along the way as it is only hand-crafted.