Machete Making on Siargao: The Completed Project
Our machete making project with Pacquiao, the village blacksmith in San Isidro here on Siargao Island, was completed and delivered yesterday. We think he did a great job and are pleased with his work. Let’s take a look!
A few days ago we visited Pacquiao’s forge again to arrange for the handle and scabbard and found him splitting the carabao horn with a saw:
Next job was to size the machete blade to the handle:
Here you can see the parts of the machete on a slab of tiga (also known as iron wood) that we brought to the blacksmith as he’d also be making the scabbard:
The following day we got a house call from Pacquiao along with the work in progress:
Over some cups of morning coffee we also looked for inspiration at some internet pictures of the drinking horns he’ll be making for us when the machete is complete and took some notes on finishing the current project:
Here’s a close-up of the carabao horn handle which hadn’t received its tiga wood ‘stopper’ yet:
The following day we received the finished machete and scabbard which you can see here with a cacao pod for scale:
The cacao pod certainly sliced open easily enough with our sharp new machete.
(Yes it’s almost time to make the chocolate again. For those currently on Siargao and who have been asking: our new batch of native cacao tablets should be ready in the next few days.)
You can see the initials ‘F.P.’ on the machete blade. It turns out Pacquiao isn’t a nickname he adopted after the famous Philippine boxer but the actual surname of our village blacksmith, Felix Pacquiao.
He’s also carved ‘USA’ and a star as well as a geometric design into the scabbard. We hadn’t exactly arranged for that but think it adds some character. The design is appreciated Pacquiao!
And a final shot of the reverse side of the scabbard holding our new carabao horn handle machete:
It was a great experience meeting a true craftsman right here in San Isidro on Siargao Island, getting to know him, and watching his machete making in progress. If I sell enough of the native chocolate this week I think I’ll head right back to Pacquiao’s blacksmith shop and order that kris I’ve had my eye on!