Machete Making: Day #2


A quick photo report on machete making this morning at the blacksmith’s shop…

Yesterday we visited Pacquiao our local blacksmith in San Isidro here on Siargao Island. Today we went back with two more carabao horns for our drinking vessels and one for the handle of our first custom-made machete.

We found the blacksmith already hard at work tending an oling coconut charcoal fire in his forge.

river tours siargao san isidro

Every few minutes when the blade got blazing red hot he’d move it to his anvil with a pair of pliers and hammer away at it…

river tours siargao san isidro

and then return the blade to the fire again:


river tours siargao san isidro

He offered me the hammer and, of course, it’s much heavier than it appears. He’s obviously a pretty strong guy. Also did I mention the ambient temp is in the low-mid thirties today. This is hot and heavy work but he kept up a ready smile the whole time.

carabao horns wielding iron traditional island siargao san isidro

It looked like this repetitive process would go on for quite a while so I took off to source a nice piece of hardwood for the machete scabbard, which he will be making for us as well.

I already have the feeling we’ll be giving him some repeat business as he’s a great craftsman and a pleasure to be around. And so I had another quick browse through the wooden sample blades he has on display.

carabao horns wielding iron traditional island siargao san isidro

You can see three of the carabao horns in the above picture but the handle and drinking horns will have to wait until our blade is finished.


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