Environment-friendly Bicycles Help Poor Filipinos

October 23, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. entrepreneur [ahn-truh-pruh-NUR, -NOO R] (n.) – someone who manages a business
Example: The young entrepreneur started his business at age 25.

2. utilize [YOOT-l-ahyz] (v.) – to consume or to make use of something
Example: Farmers utilize axes in cutting bamboos.

3. rural [ROOR-uh l] (adj.) – having the characteristic of the countryside
Example: People from rural areas earn from agricultural work.

4. abundant [uh-BUHN-duh nt] (adj.) – in large amount
Example: Because of its abundant resources, the company will not run out of materials for production.

5. rigid [RIJ-id] (adj.) – firm or cannot be bent easily
Example: Bikes made of steel pipes are rigid enough for rough roads.


Read the text below.
A social entrepreneur in the Philippines is selling bicycles made of bamboo to help lessen poverty and save the environment.

Bryan Benitez McClelland [muh-kl-EH-luh nd], Filipino-American owner of the company called Bambikes, is a regular biker in the streets of Makati. His bamboo bikes cost about $1,700, but he gives much of the profit back to the country’s poor community.

Aside from giving bikers the smooth ride they are looking for, Bambikes is also McClelland’s way of helping Filipinos.

Bambikes provides jobs to many Filipinos in the rural area. In addition, the company is also able to help farmers as it buys the bamboos they grow in their backyards. With these opportunities, people in the rural area can make their own money for their future.

Bamboos grow rapidly and can be an abundant source of material for production. Given that the right species is chosen, this tall grass can be very rigid and can be as strong as steel. They also have the structure that can reduce vibration while the bike is moving.

McClelland also mentioned that using bamboo in making bicycles is environment-friendly. Bamboos can absorb tons of carbon dioxide, one of the most abundant pollutants on earth. The grass is also known to be very renewable, which gives advantage to the producers.

With all the positive aspects of using bamboo to create Bambikes, McClelland is confident that his business will be the start of a bamboo revolution in the country.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Would you be interested in buying the bikes made of bamboo? Why or why not?
·         Do you think these bikes are as safe as the one made with steel? Explain.

Discussion B

·         Do you think it is important to provide opportunities to people in the rural areas? Why do you think so?
·         If you were given the chance, would you start a business in a rural place? Why or why not?


October 23, 2013