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….