Hagdan na Bayog - A Traditional Utility Ladder of Ilokanos



When I was young I can still fully remember the things that my late father has built. I can still remember the folding bed that he made (it is made of wood and bamboo), he also built numerous beds made of wood and bamboo, he also made numerous bamboo chairs, and of course, my late father also built our ancestral home which is made mostly of Apitong wood. You can see a cardboard scaled replica of our ancestral home by visiting this blog.

Believe it or not, I can still fully remember the exact details of the interior and exterior of our ancestral home after more than twenty years of not seeing it (it was already torn down more than twenty years ago).

Another useful piece of equipment that my father usually builds is a Bayog Bamboo Ladder. A ladder is quite a useful piece of equipment which I usually used in climbing when I was young.

So, when I decided to leave the corporate world and settle in the countryside I first made a Bayog Bamboo Ladder because I badly need it to do some house chores like cleaning our roof, maintaining the hotspot equipment that I installed on our roof. I also use a ladder to harvest some Papaya fruits and also in removing old leaves of our coconut trees all around the house.

Without further ado, here's how I made the Bayog Bamboo Ladder. This is also my first time building a Bayog Bamboo Ladder.

Building a Bayog Bamboo Ladder

First, I took a Bolo and I went to our Bayog Bamboo farm which is about one hundred meters away from our house. Since the way to the nearest Bayog Bamboo is dominated by wild plants with a height of more than twelve inches I have to wear protective rubber boots in case I encounter a snake. I also wore a pair of hand gloves to add more grip on the Bolo that I am going to use in cutting down the Bayog Bamboo.

Here is where I cut down the Bayog Bamboos that I am going to use in building the Bayog Bamboo ladder


A Rookie Mistake

Right at the bat, I made a rookie mistake. I only cut two Bayog Bamboos, I need three, so I quickly got back to our Bayog Bamboo farm and cut another one (which I was not able to take a photo of).

The two Bayog Bamboos that I am going to use as the two posts of the ladder. The other one that I cut was for the steps/rungs of the ladder


By the way, here are the tools that I used in building the Bayog Bamboo ladder.

A saw

A bolo

A hammer

Some nails

Back to building the Bayog Bamboo ladder...

I sawed the third Bayog Bamboo ladder to be used as steps/rungs of the ladder into equal sizes then I cut them into half horizontally.

The Bayog bamboo that I am going to use for steps/rungs

Another view of the steps/rungs of the Bayog Bamboo ladder

Next, I cut out the two sides of the steps/rungs so that the nails will have a deeper grip on the post.


Next, I put an "x" mark on all of the two sides of the steps/rungs so that the nails won't slip (I used to see my father putting X marks back then).


I also cut out canals on the posts for all the steps/rungs so that the steps/rungs will not easily slide down

Here's how it looks like after I put all the steps/rungs


I also put four diagonal sticks on the other side so that the ladder will not get skewed


And here's the final product...


I am a Computer Engineer, blogger, farmer, father, and husband. I love countryside living, nature, farming (rice/vegetables), and has two decades of experience as an I.T. professional

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