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….