The Virtues of Bamboo

Bamboo. It’s been around us all our lives. It’s something we have so much of that we don’t even think about it anymore. But, after reading architect Rosario Encarnacion-Tan’s book “100 Things about Building with Bamboo,” it turns out bamboo is something we should begin thinking very seriously about. It’s precisely because we have so much bamboo that we have to think more about it. It’s an abundant, everyday resource so underutilized we haven’t even begun to realize the possibilities of. Tan’s book is a great bamboo primer. Bamboo is sustainable. Several species —123, to be exact, out of a total of 550 worldwide species—grow profusely in our tropical Philippine landscape. Although it has to be manually transplanted, bamboo regenerates so quickly that it seems to multiply before our eyes. It is environmentally friendly, grows easily even in subsoil or sandy soil, and is good for reforestation or erosion control.

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