Monday, January 31, 2011

DULANG-DULANG CLIMB 2011: A Revelation

Like any usual mountain climbing, our climb to Mt. Dulang-Dulang last January 28-29, 2011 has offered a quite satisfactory experience. Our first major climb of the year was relished with excitement amidst fun and hardship. There were 3 of us from LOGSAC (Papong and Irvhin were my companion, as usual). Gabo of TEAK also joined the climb along with the MOTHER THERESA OF MOUNTAINEERING.

At 2,938 masl (Official Measurement courteasy of Wikipedia), Mt. Dulang-Dulang (also known as D2) is the second highest mountain in the Philippines located within the Kitanglad range of Bukidnon province. It boosts of its rich biodiversity as it is considered home to several flora and fauna, including the famous Monkey-eating-Eagle. It has a wide vicinity of forest environment with extraordinary moss formations in all its boughs carpeting the entire forest landscape, very magnificent forest atmosphere.

D2’s temperature is also very cold we could already feel it even if we’re just right at the jump off area in Bul-ogan, a small village predominantly occupied by the Tala-andig tribe folks (here we were greeted by tribal leader Datu Malumay, although we weren’t able to witness the ritual because we were running out of time). The lowest temperature recorded at the summit of D2 during our climb was 9 degrees Celsius, a trace comparable to that of Mt. Apo and Mt. Pulag.

There was rain on the first day of our trekking. D2’s trail, although considered by some as a technical mountain, is very established. We never had hard time striding our feet. The terrain, however, was quite steep especially from the river point going to Manny’s Garden where we spent the rest of the night. Water source is also not a problem at D2. Right from Bul-ogan, all stopovers have potable water source except the summit area.

If there was one thing notable during our climb, it was the affirmation that D2 is really the second highest in the Philippines. Based on Gabo’s GPS measurement (the same instrument used during the Mt. Pulag climb), D2 is far higher than Pulag by more than 13 meters (I unintentionally forget his Pulag record as of this writing). However, this contention has to be conferred first with the proper authorities so that in the future all the confusions will be aptly taken for the benefit of the Philippine mountaineering community.

All in all, our climb to D2 was very successful.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

OPERATION TABANG: Our humble way of helping flood victims

Last week’s flash flood at Barangay Darong, Sta. Cruz had beckoned our group to work in unison to provide whatever helps to all the victims. As a common maxim to quote, “because we care, we share” is indeed heartening as our members afforded hands as a manifestation of unconditional service and sympathy. For the record, the January 17 tragedy tolled 3 dead and several others homeless.

In the evening of January 17; Tolits, Pawiks, Kiba, Pagong and Domas – also originally members of local rescue group SAVERS – practically provided first hand rescue services along with the Philippine National Police and Philippine Army (39th IB). Meanwhile, Grace and Irish went to work on the inter-agency coordination at the command center and in the Local Government Office (MSWDO).

The group also took part in the relief and rehabilitation phase. Tolits, Pawiks, Chicay, Kiba, Grace and Irish were mainstays at the Almendras Elementary School which served as the evacuation center. They assisted in distributing relief goods and foods to the evacuees. Dra. Raygene then led in providing medical services to sick victims.

Meanwhile, Doray and Faridah spearheaded relief dispersal at sitio Lomlom by convening all aids from the Sangguniang Kabataan of Barangay Bato. Faridah by the way is also one of the casualties of the flood as their ancestral house was also ruined. Moreover, Trecelyn facilitated a collection of instant food items and used clothing for distribution to the evacuation center.

Over at Darong Elementary School, Dan and Jonas helped rehabilitate the school by unloading the accumulated silt in all classrooms in the form of “Bayanihan” on January 20-24. After the flood, classes in this institution are indefinitely suspended because several structures were damaged.

These efforts might be just pinch of what was really provided overall, but somehow it manifested the club’s desire to spread a culture of charity.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


As usual, death and mayhem did not visit the well-off executives and politicians in the recent flash floods and landslide incidents that wrecked havoc all over the Philippines. It visited the poor and innocent rural dwellers who tried to eke out a living to subsist in their respective battles of life. It visited the blameless and deprived civilians who were unmindful of the real end of the present flooding impasse.

For the record, the Philippine archipelago has embraced the coming of heavy torrent in the very early part of 2011, fashioning yet another major-major headache to concerned authorities especially to President Noynoy Aquino. As of this writing, the disaster already claimed the lives of ten (10) people and dislodged more or less 260,000 citizens in Mindanao area (Region X and XI), not to mention the damaged agricultural lands, collapsed electrical lines and destroyed infrastructures like roads, bridges, churches and schools.

The same also happened in the Bicol region and Southern Leyte where houses in the depressed areas were crashed down killing several children and leaving other residents missing until now. The calamities also caused these affected areas to indefinitely suspend classes.

While PAG-ASA predicts that more and more rains will be pouring in the next few days, it is also expected that more and more damaged will be experienced; be it residential, agricultural, commercial and the likes. The peak season of the so-called La Niña will be from January to February of this year, according to PAG-ASA.

Undeniably, Floods are caused by a variety of factors, both natural and man-made. Some obvious causes of floods are heavy rains, melting snow and ice, and frequent storms within a short time duration. The common practice of humans to build homes and towns near rivers and other bodies of water (i.e., within natural floodplains) has contributed to the disastrous consequences of floods. In fact, floods have historically killed more people than any other form of natural disaster.

However, this corner picks massive illegal logging as the main culprit of the present flooding dilemma. Forest cover in the Philippines has decreased by 56 percent in the postwar period. For the past 50 years, the Philippines has lost 2.4 acres of hardwood forests every minute, leaving only 21 percent forest cover. That’s how fast deforestation happens in our beloved country. And deforestation is attributed mainly because several leaders in this country are cuddling illegal loggers, if not owning huge illegal logging businesses.

Whatever will happen in the coming years, hopefully death and mayhem will no longer be visiting the innocents and poor people. Hopefully it will rest stopover to the focal reasons why it happened. Hopefully it will visit the rich and powerful.