Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Yearender: LOGSAC’S TOP TEN IN 2009

Year 2009 is a bountiful year for the Local Government of Sta. Cruz Adventure Club (LOGSAC). Except for a terrible experience suffered by Julpanz and Papong at Tibolo on July 18, the rest of the experiences can be summed up into one word – SUCCESSFUL. Several individual achievements also formed part as our milestones. Here are the top ten main events and achievements that LOGSAC has reached in its two years of existence.

10. Mt. Matutum Amyak Maleh.Tailing the list of the club’s accomplishment in 2009 was the expedition to South Cotabato’s highest peak. March of every year is Mt. Matutum month, an initiative of the Local Government of Tupi, South Cotabato to save and protect Mt. Matutum as a major watershed of South Cotabato and Sarangani provinces. Two of LOGSAC’s pioneering members Jonas and Papong had joined this years’ edition of Amyak Maleh Matutum via Glandang Trail. The event was highlighted by a tree planting and clean up drive.

9. Sulop Outdoor Adventure Trip.
This event was spearheaded by the Apo Mountaineering and Outdoor Sports Society (AMOSS) last December 19-20, 2009 at Barangay Osmeña, Sulop, Davao del Sur. Basically it was coined to provide outreach program to the Tagacaolo tribe of the said place. Since AMOSS and LOGSAC share the same thrust, we eagerly joined the event and sponsored some medicines for the medical mission. On the second day, there was an adventure descent to their yellow river and Osmeña cave. However, there was more than to the trip than the usual outreach program and adventure tour for which I and TEAK leader Gabo only knew.

8. Operation Kontra Baha. An initiative of the Knights of Columbus Catalunan Grande Chapter, it is a flood mitigation project of the three major rivers in Davao City namely; Talomo, Matina-Pangi and Davao Rivers. LOGSAC’s participation came right from the very start of the planning phase, including the technical survey, post-data processing, stakeholders’ workshop and the actual tree planting from last week of October until November 23, 2009. On the succeeding date schedules, the club will still be joining the most important part of the project which is the parenting stage.

7. Pista sa Kinaiyahan.
No doubt about it, this is the event which LOGSAC should take part by hook or by crook. An annual event of the Local Government of Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur conducted every last week of April for conservation and rehabilitation of Mt. Apo Natural Park through activities like tree planting, clean up drives, boulder face challenge, waste recycling, skimboarding competition; among others. The main activities co-spearheaded by LOGSAC was the Boulder Face Challenge (a 24-hour extreme adventure challenge from Sta. Cruz beach lines to the skyline of Mt. Apo’s boulder face through disciplines of mountain biking, trekking, water tubing, road running and mind twister) and Duaw kay Apo Expedition.

6. MFSM Congress.
This is an event where mountaineers from all over Southern Mindanao are convened together for a common purpose of fellowship, camaraderie, advocacy and festivity. Organized by the Mountaineering Federation of Southern Mindanao (MFSM) and Department of Tourism XI, this year’s congress was held at Punta del Sol Resort, Island Garden City of Samal last May 30-31 and was participated by more or less 800 mountaineers. As an inevitable getaway, LOGSAC joined it and enjoyed the event with no limits. With us on the surface, the whole place was filled with cheers and laughter.

5. Mt. Apo Holy Week Monitoring.
Three LOGSACs used to overcome the hurdle of apprehending illegal climbers during the Lenten season of 2009 just to make sure that Mt. Apo would be free from everything bad. Papong, Jonas and Julpanz had established a base camp at Colan for the monitoring activity along with the Philippine Army and DENR. The result? We apprehended some 30 unregistered climbers and had it subjected for appropriate actions by the LGU. For the record, Mt. Apo has been abused by illegal climbers, and we cannot continue to tolerate this because the mountain is not a superhero. It also has its time to rest given with the many burdens it used to carry. That’s why we made sure that the carrying capacity should be imposed. That’s the very essence why a Lenten season monitoring should be done.

4. Adventure Island Launching.
On October 18, I represented my club to the Launching Program of the Dayang Beach Adventure Island along with some officers of MFSM and the Wind and Wave. It was ended a very good experience that I should include it here in this yearend story. For those who missed the place, it is part of the Talicud Island in IGACOS and it is simply irresistible. It is a must-see to all water adventure seekers and nature lovers. Adventure island offers the following: scuba diving, island tour, coral tour, beach volleyball, snorkeling, island trekking, wind surfing, rappelling, sunset cruise, sports fishing, aqua bike, spelunking, cave tour, bird watching, kite boarding and mountain biking.

3. Mt. Apo February Expedition . Rounding off the third place of this essay is the Mt. Apo February Expedition on February 25-28 which was conducted along with the Municipal Council for Tourism, Culture and the Arts and some guest mountaineers from Samahan ng Mountaineering Barkadas of Luzon. There were 49 members who joined the expedition. The climb was welcomed by a very burly rain showers that we weren’t able to follow the itinerary. It was the first time we had an emergency camp at 87 degrees of the boulders with no water source. What made the expedition electrifying was that we were clasp by extreme coldness along the trail and some of our companions were left at Tinikaran Holding Camp 2.

2. Mt. Apo Freedom Climb.
This is a tribute climb to our freedom fighters with a slogan Filipino Mountaineers stand United, conducted last June 11-16 at Mt. Apo. As free as its name, we did everything during this climb with so much autonomy. We drink a lot, got drunk a little. Laugh a lot, suffered stomach tantrums a little. Shout a lot, reprimanded a little. Took a rest a lot, trekked a little. That was just how we acted in a climb that was more of a pleasure than dissatisfaction. The climb was also graced by a boorish model whose unawareness was our delight. If you missed this climb, you missed our joint laughter when somebody used the mouthwash as a beverage.

1. Tudaya Falls Clean Up Drive. Simply put it there. Our clean up drive to Tudaya Falls tops the list of accomplishment of this young outdoor club. We have gathered approximately 100 kilograms of garbage from its basin and trail. The clean up was part of LOGSAC’s advocacy on environmental conservation and rehabilitation during its 2nd Founding Anniversary. There was also a community awareness campaign to the Bagobo-Tagabawa tribe of the place for them to be educated about the ill-effects of environmental degradation.

Monday, December 21, 2009


In a month that’s full of yuletide timetables, outdoor activities remain on top of my priority. And when AMOSS head honcho Dhayren approached me to be part of their 2nd Sulop Outdoor Adventure Trip, I confirmed my attendance without hesitation because I discovered that the participants were modesty-personified especially with the presence of a very humble guy Gabo (kinabut-anan); and the event itself was for a charitable cause. The event’s theme “Tabang sa Katawhan, Kinaiyahan Ampingan”, really captured my interest. Who could have refused it when in fact the real essence of Christmas is to offer? Moreover, the spot they identified for trekking was a deal…a yellow river and a stunning cave. Although for some reasons these names sound better than the place.

When we arrived at Barangay Osmeña, we were held close by the cold wind – definitely inspired by the Christmas breeze, the warm accommodation of the Tagacaolo lumads, the soothing aroma of native coffee, and the presence of equally-obsessed outdoor people (others call us mountain people). We joined the outreach program with AMOSS and other outdoor groups and afterwards I and Gabo suddenly found ourselves hugging our respective wives, his Nikon D40 and my Olympus E-500. You got it right fellas, our two shoulder-conveyed wives had captured plenty of youngster models.

Our evening experience was – as usual – graced by a GSM Blue (Gabo might have fallen in love with this drink). While dinner was delayed, we enjoyed the company of some girl comrades who used to rub elbows with us during the candid pictorials. So great that we never noticed the hunger in us. Indeed, girls are food.

We also had a terrible midnight experience. It was the only climb that my basketball talent was enhanced especially in boxing out opponents. I also learned some taekwondo tactics which later was transformed into an Ultimate Fighting Championship. And it happened in a midnight, take note. I just did not know who won the contest, must have been somebody who extended the fight in a 1-on-1 battle two days later.

When great climb comes just like the one we had in Sulop, the first thing therefore that we consider is the experience. Forget the guys, forget the biographies…just experience, and I’m sure we have lots of reasons to smile and lots of memories to ponder.#

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

TWO SUMMITS IN A WEEK (Matutum – Apo Crossover)

Here are two great experiences in a span of one week when I surmounted two major mountains in Mindanao, Mt. Matutum in South Cotabato and Mt. Apo in Davao, particularly via Sta. Cruz Trail, Davao del Sur:

FEELING THE MATUTUM EXTREMITY. With a height of 7,500 feet above sea level, Mount Matutum is the highest peak in South Cotabato area. It can be scaled via the municipalities of Tupi and Polomolok. It has established campsites but its peak don’t have water source, thereby adding the challenge to the already-daring track of this semi-cone-shaped paradise.

I climbed this mountain last November 29-30 via Glandang Trail, Tupi, South Cotabato with Gabo and Ms. Angie Tan of AMCI. Our expedition was steered by Randy, a porter-guide in Glandang who looked older than his age and eventually became a mere spectator of our intoxicated insanity. Yup you got it right, Gabo and I usually become emotionally insane when we got drunk, and that’s basically the reason why a minor climb has become a major experience.

UNUSUAL MT. APO CLIMB. Climbing Mt. Apo is a routine for me. However, with a new company from Tampakan municipality and SMI Mountaineering group who climbed this mountain last December 5-7, the routine has transformed into extraordinary. For one thing, it was the only climb that we weren’t interrupted by rains. For most of the times we climb this premiere trekking destination in the country, we were always cuddled by raindrops. However, when we had this pre-Christmas assault, we discovered one great friend – a very clear sky.

For another, it was the only climb that the temperature range reached the freezing point we could not sleep due to so much coldness. In the early morning of the third day, we were graced by a very nice sunrise; we took several photo shots at the highest peak side then back to the campsite and before we knew it, snow formations were at the top of our tents, the first ever that I witnessed in this tropical kingdom.

For another still, it was the only Apo climb that I missed the company of a bosom buddy Papong. I could not exactly remember climbing Mt. Apo without my LOGSAC twin, although his absence was not really felt. Guys like Bryan, Gabo and Yangee were more than mountain allies, they were mountain waiters who provided high altitude cuisines for our survival.

For the last thing, it was the only climb that we were not slowed down by alcohol. A bottle of Tanduay in the first night was more than enough, and a night in the summit allowed us to consume just a jug of GSM Blue.

In the succeeding climbs, however, I don’t think these unusual experiences would happen again.#

Monday, November 16, 2009

Week-ender 2: Kaputian-Peñaplata Escapade (the next huge experience after watching Manny Pacquaio fight)

After a rewarding highland adventure last Halloween, I decided to go homeboy for the next two weekends. While coping up with the usual boring weekdays in the office, there came over me a sudden urge to step out of the borderline I used to draw two weeks ago. And with the temptation of a comrade to spend weekend in an island, I suddenly found myself staying overnight on November 14 at Kaputian Beach Park, a small island resort mostly flocked by weekenders like me.

Indeed, the trip was beyond the usual. Not even the loss of a digital camera could stop me from going there (thanks to Cheryl, I had so much pictorial session). As usual, my company was a blue-chip material in his battle for survival….somebody I used to call half-human half-machine…Gabo and his partner. Equally surprising was the presence of an Augielicious lass, a replica of beauty and fragileness. With her in the sidelight, we instantly got tremendous reasons to charge our camera batteries and got our reserved memory cards emptied. The next big thing after drinking and laughing was pictorials, pictorials and pictorials.

There was really a sort of the so-called emptiness about the venue. We had no player to produce our own brand of music, the food was not really delectable and the place itself is not really gorgeous. What made the escapade beautiful was the fact that there were four people in the place. It somehow filled that miserable emptiness.

After an overnight stay, our next stop the next day was at Hagimit Falls, or Hagimit River for that matter. It is a flagship project of community-based eco-tourism. It is managed by the community living within the area and the government’s role is purely to provide policies and rules which will eventually create favorable climate for eco-tourism. The place speaks for nature, cooperativism and profitability.

Our experience at Hagimit was very light, not until we were bluffed by a scripted false alarm by our two woman companions. We thought it would boil down to a serious scenario, alas, I and Gabo were instant “Innocence Day” victims. Hopefully that would offset the December 28 date.

The very essential part of the trip was the images we heaped to the already-full computer memories, the minimal drinking spree and the success of some fabricated white lies to the persons left in the homeplace and in the house.#

Sunday, November 15, 2009

LOGSAC joins Operation Kontra Baha

Davao City – Three rivers of Davao City are addressees of the Operation Kontra Baha, a flood mitigation program of the Knights of Columbus Catalunan Grande Chapter, Davao City in coordination with different government agencies and private sectors. The three rivers are Talomo, Matina Pangi and Davao River.

Recognizing the importance of the program, the Mountaineering Federation of Southern Mindanao has joined the activity during the pre-implementation and implementation phases; as well as the parenting stage which is considered as the most important component of the project. Tree planting schedules are October 24, November 14 and November 21.

Being one of our thrusts to act locally in giving share to the already humiliated Mother Earth, the Local Government of Sta. Cruz (LOGSAC) has participated the activity.

(PS: Parenting Component of the Program is the monitoring and evaluation period whereby creating a scheme that will determine the survival rate of the planted seedlings. If mortality rate is discovered, replanting of dead hills will be immediately replenished until full recovery and the desired rate of survival will be achieved.)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mt. Apo Halloween Spree ’09 – An Awakening

Instead of insisting myself for a usual traffic quandary in cemeteries during Halloween, I joined a huge group composed of mountaineers from Manila to celebrate All Saints Day and All Souls Day at Mount Apo. The Halloween Spree was part of LOGSAC’s calendar to conduct monitoring an October Season Climb, especially since Mt. Apo nowadays has been visited by illegal climbers (those who climb directly without seeking permit from local government authorities). As one of our thrusts, apprehending illegal climbers is no joke. Aside from being illegal, there are climbers who are insensitive to nature. Instead of being an environmental advocate, other climbers tend to be nature rapists, handing cruelty to our fragile environment. Others tend to be more of a liability to our mountains. Moreover, there are climbers who are excellent in mountaineering theories but the truth is they just climb, sit there, litter and trek down without even saying to the mountain “thank you”. This year’s Halloween experience allowed me to meet with a lot of nonsense souls and unfriendly saints.

Before we catered the Halloween climb of Philippine National Mountaineering Society and Ayala Mountaineering Club, Inc., (I actually joined the latter) we made sure all things would be in their proper perspectives. We sponsored a clean-up drive, checked the water sources, prepared all campsites and religiously prepared our manpower (local guides and porters). Sad thing was that 3 days after the clean-up, we saw again bunch of garbage dispersed in the summit campsite. Indeed, some – if not all – climbers are the most untidy and arrogant creatures on earth.

However, apart from the horrible Mt. Apo setting, our climb with AMCI was very successful. We were blessed with good weather and the itinerary was strictly observed. Cheers to Sir Manny, the powerful president of AMCI who made sure his group would not be part of the liabilities, matsalam sir Man. Hopefully this would be an eye-opener to all mountaineers. It’s about time let’s put our words into action. Majority of our mountains in the Philippines suffer severe environmental osteoporosis and we could not wait for worst things to come. Let us all prove to be worthy of the nature’s superior treatment. After all, nature also has its own cruel way with human and it manifested in what happened to some parts of our country. Let us all be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

P.S. Halloween Spree Delegation was composed of the following: AMCI-67, PNMS-18, LOGSAC-3, MCTCA-1, SAVERS-11….

Monday, October 26, 2009


Talicud island is a fraction of the Island Garden City of Samal noted for its fine white sand, crystal clear water and sumptuous sea foods. When we joined the launching of Adventure Island by the Wind and Wave and Dayang Beach Resort on October 18, we enjoyed everything with impunity. Being a member of the Mountaineering Federation of Southern Mindanao (MFSM), I gained 1 slot for the trip. It was actually a familiarization tour of that newly-established resort and island adventure destination, so we were all freed of the supposed lavish obligations.

Along with Jhune, Ayee, Lloyd and half-human half-machine Gabo; we took pleasure of the foods, girls, and rides. We started with a jaunt of ATV (All Terrain Vehicle), then facilitated the Kayaking lecture and actual paddling. We also tried the swift wave chain with a speed boat, water ski, banana boat and wakeboard….In an instance, we were hooked. Adventure island further offers the following: scuba diving, island tour, coral tour, beach volleyball, snorkeling, island trekking, wind surfing, rappelling, sunset cruise, sports fishing, aqua bike, spelunking, cave tour, bird watching, kite boarding and mountain biking.

Lunch was superb, as well, with a ration that included steamed prawn and crabs. The most mouthwatering commodity during the trip, however, was the presence of three gorgeous ladies dubbed as “Ms. Wind and Wave” who chose to be with mountaineers as their company rather than with the white-collar personalities.

In a nutshell, the trip was a tremendous and unforgettable getaway.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Just in time, members of LOGSAC have expressed sympathies to our brothers and sisters in Luzon by giving out relief goods for the victims of tropical storm “Ondoy” and typhoon “Pepeng”. Such assistance was channeled through the Mountaineering Federation of Southern Mindanao, an umbrella organization of all mountaineering clubs in Southern Mindanao. The club’s generosity has generated plenty of used clothing and dry foods. These might be just a pinch of what we have, but somehow it will be an expression of compassion.

For a very long time, Mindanao has been a typhoon-free region, that’s why mountaineers here are fortunate to enjoy undertaking mountaineering and outdoor activities unlike Luzon. The least, therefore, that we could do to help the victims of the Luzon disaster is to share.

Moreover, Ondoy and Pepeng are two great examples of how devastating it will be if nature strikes back to us. Nature might have showed so much kindness to human but I guess it already put on viewed the other side of the coin. Nature, just like any other things, has its own cruel way of dealing with human and it clearly patented in Ondoy and Pepeng. We don’t know how long the nature will stop its cruelty to us. We cannot just hope for it to stop, we cannot just stay here and continue sending relief goods to the victims. We cannot just say we are safe here in Mindanao.

All things are put in their proper perspective for a reason. Ondoy and Pepeng were sent for us to be awakened. We cannot continue to take so much from the nature. It’s enough maybe that we have taken a lot.

It’s now the highest time to give back what is due for the nature.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Our trip to Bislig Surigao del Sur last August 21-22 was delighted with a community immersion, giving little gifts to the inhabitants there, but generating huge smiles from their faces.

We had our first stop at sitio Sote, a small village inhabited by the Kamayo tribe. It is also said to be the breeding ground of the extinct Philippine Eagle. They had worst experience during their struggle against the investment of PICOP (Paper Industry Company of the Philippines). We conducted medical mission, relief goods distribution, operation alay gupitand child feeding. It was indeed a great activity. The little smiles of the village kids and oldies had bloated our hearts to weightless proportion. First day side trip was river trekking to Libas Falls.

On the second day, we proceeded to the almost-paradise Tinuy-an Falls - a curtain-shaped waterfalls cascading the Tinuy-an river.

P.S.: Sitio Sote and Tinuy-an are forested area. With the present settlement around and with the influx of tourists coming in, these sitios are in danger of environmental damage.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sometimes, bad luck just comes around unnoticed

On July 18, 2009; Julpanz and Papong got hit in their respective faces by an unidentified robber at Tibolo while attending wedding ceremony of a close friend. Julpanz obtained bruises at the left portion of his head and face while Papong endured the split of his left ear which gained him 9 stitches. The suspect was said to be under the influence of liquor during the incidence who went straight to the house where the victims slept. It happened at about 3:30 in the morning.

For now, Papong is back to his usual funny self while Julpanz, according to the x-ray result, gained negative consequences in the internal and external head parts.

One note of caution: Beware of bad people around, you might felt complacent about them knowing they’re good as you think, but they also thought the other way around. To endure in the midst of crisis, bad people are ready to kill just to earn a living. So sad, indeed.

Monday, June 29, 2009


The second MOUNT APO SEPTEMBER CLIMB is set on September 17-20, 2009 via Sibulan-Kidapawan traverse trails. As usual, spearheading this expedition will be the following: LOGSAC, TEAK, Sta. Cruz MCTCA, Municipal Government of Sta. Cruz, Mountaineering Federation of Southern Mindanao and SAVERS Rescue Group.

Registration Fee is pegged at 2,300 pesos inclusive of the following: Back and Fourth Transportation from Davao City to jump off point, Registration and Exit Fee, Activity I.D., Souvenir T-shirt, Certificate of Climb, Zip Line rides at Camp Sabros and 1 Night Hotel Accommodation at Davao City with free Breakfast.

Slots are limited, first booking first serve. For inquiries and reservations, please contact GABO (09193142117) or JULIUS (09208567991).

Sunday, June 21, 2009


In the heart of sitio Kidaran, Barangay Tibolo, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur nestles the Bagobo-Tagabawa Cultural Village project. It is a project on culture and tourism showcasing the culture and traditions of the Bagobo tribe. Features highlighting the scenery while dipping their hot native coffee and experiencing the area's cool ambiance includes sight-seeing Mt. Apo in all its glory and overlooking the entire Davao Gulf area......

Monday, June 15, 2009

Freedom Climb 2009 – Mt. Apo Sibulan-Kidapawan Traverse

I’m glad we have made a worthy participation to the first ever Annual Freedom Climb slated on June 11-14, 2009 to Mount Apo via Sibulan-Kidapawan traverse trail. Thanks to the Philippine National Mountaineering Society (PNMS) who spearheaded this unified mountaineering effort.

Our expedition was actually beyond the normal, although we have completed the schedules reflected in our itinerary. Composed of 5 guests from Bicol, 1 guest from Manila and 3 guests from Palawan plus 5 Mindanao compatriots (Gabo, Julpanz, Papong, Kiba and Shei), we have made the first side trip to Camp Sabros in the first day and had our flag-raising ceremony at the summit on the 13th, as well as the distribution of certificates on the 14th which we did in Lake Venado. We were 14 members then, but the memories came very wild that we weren’t able to recognize the interruption of rains, muds and all others.

My club LOGSAC, along with Gabo-led TEAK had remarkably left an ink spot to each and every individual who joined the expedition. We have all put some reasons why Andres Bonifacio should be happy during the climb. The singing of the national anthem was more than the usual singing, it was even a pure internalization of the song. Where on earth can you find singers whose bodies were covered with unfriendly fogs, chilling with the coldest wind in Mindanao while mowing the lyrics “ibon mang may layang lumipad”?

Freedom Climb, indeed. When we reached Mt. Apo summit, we could not help but emptied ourselves with physical, psychological and emotional restrictions. We were all wild as we got drunk. Our ideals about the world were tremendous, not even Barack Obama could withstand. And of course, who could stop us from conversing and debating about who is the best lead vocalist the world has ever produced (For me it’s a tossup between Francis M and Ely Buendia of Eraserheads). Occasionally, we had some contention about whose going to bed the lone lady we used to hand carry….but that never stopped our short but chronic insanity. Indeed, we were having our Freedom Climb.

We were Freedom Climbers then, and we call ourselves weekend patriots. Amidst all controversies hemming in all sides of our beloved Philippines such as the outbreak of A(H1N1), the Katrina-Hayden Kho Sex Video Scandal and the latest Constitutional Assembly initiative, we stood out as one great entity capable of turning the tables around for the good of our country. Kudos Freedom Climbers.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Here's some of the photos taken during the Mountaineering Federation of Southern Mindanao (MFSM) Congress held last May 30-31, 2009 at Punta Del Sol Resort, Island Garden City of Samal.
Notes: LOGSAC won 3rd place in the inter-club volleybal competition and 2nd place in the Kayak Competiton (along with AMECC).

Walang katapusang sawsawan sa tubig

Jamming with Popong Landero

Faridah joining the Scuba Diving Activity