Wednesday, May 10, 2017

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PasadaPH OFFICIAL REPORT: Mt. Purgatory - Mangisi Traverse Outreach Climb

The Philippines. Throughout it's land is rich in natural resources. Land and water that wonders all around the archipelago create a perfect picture of whats in stored for you in this country. Cultural diversity thrive towards its people. Diversity that extends even to those who can afford a brand new house in an instant and those who just get what's enough to live by their daily lives.

Team PasadaPH in cooperation with the Association of Bokod Adventure Eco Guides and DiwataNgBicolandia.com gave back their love for three of the communities in Bokod, Benguet.

Mt. Purgatory - Mangisi TraverseOutreach Climb
Bulo (Mangagew) Elementary School
Bakian Guiniawan Elementary School
Poodan Elementary School
December 17-18, 2016
Bokod, Benguet, Philippines

BACKGROUND
Outreach? What is an outreach? While Merriam defined outreach as the extending of services or assistance beyond current or usual limits, we would like to define outreach in two words - Giving Back. As the year 2016 gave us a fair share of struggles and failures, we have also received our share of success and triumphs. 

We've learned how to get along with our personal lives. We learned to stand firm and be positive with how blessed and strong we've become. Outside our busy work schedule, never ending school deadlines and other challenges to make ends meet, we choose to do certain activities to simply say - keep the sanity in our lives. Some choose to party till dawn, a movie marathon all night long and for some people who opt for a healthier option there’s going to the gym, or inclining into sports such as running or mountaineering.

Mountain Climbing or Mountaineering is one of the team's favorite sport. This sport may involve some strenuous activities like long hikes, rock scrambling and in some cases rappelling. Regardless of these, mountaineering disconnects us from the modern world. It lets us connect with nature. It widens our wisdom toward diversity and lets us appreciate life even more.

The Philippines, being an archipelago, is rich in natural resources. Turquoise waters and pristine beaches stretch to many parts of the country. Several mountain ranges also complete the whole picture.

The Cordillera Mountain range located on the main island of Luzon is a known mountain range in the Philippines. It is home to the highest mountain in the island and 3rd highest in the country. The Cordillera Mountain Range offers several
mountains for a mountaineer's best interest.

One of the options is the Mt. Purgatory - Mangisi Traverse. Rated 6/9 trail class 1-3 by the blogger Pinoy Mountaineer, this cordillera experience is considered as a major climb traversing unlimited pine forests and mossy forests of Bokod, Benguet.

This six-mountain traverse namely Mt. Mangagew, Mt. Pack, Mt. Purgatory, Mt. Bakian, Mt. Tangbaw and Mt. Komkompol offers a wide array of Flora and Fauna living in its ecosystem one will surely enjoy.

Furthermore, the hospitality and warm welcome of the locals living in the communities along the traverse is enough to complete the experience.

THE VISION

Team PasadaPH, through the initiative of Jerome Jamili, aims to give back to the communities in the simplest way possible this season of love and sharing.

Three community elementary schools along the Mt. Purgatory Mangisi Traverse was the target of the initiative. These elementary schools are Bakian Guiniawan Elementary School, Poodan Elementary School and Bulo Elementary School in Mangagew Community. Giving back much needed rainboots, raincoats and a few school supplies to more than a hundred Ibaloy school children.

THE COST

List of requested Items
Rain boots
Raincoats
Notebooks
Ball pens
Drawing Materials
*Water Colors
*Pencils

Based on initial costing made.
All these items will be provided to one child in an average amount of 230 pesos.
Therefore the amount will refer to as the PLEDGE.
The following is a quick reference showing the target cost
Bulo Elementary School 63 students
Bakian Elementary School 24 students
Poodan Elementary School 22 students
*Actual Number of Students 109
*Total with Buffer 110
PHP230 Supply cost x 110 students =PHP25,300 total amount to be raised

THE PLAN

The primary plan is distributed into two sections in order to raise the total amount.
Plan A.1
A target of 30 Mountaineers is needed for the actual traverse, doing equal distribution of workload all throughout the event for the team and for the outreach proper.
A forecasted maximum target budget of PHp 2200.00 is subjected per participant. This amount will cover the following
* Private Transportation (MNL-BOKOD-MNL)
* Pledge
* Registration and Certificate
* Guide and Porter Fees
* Kubo Accommodation in Mt. Bakian
* 3 Meals (Day 1 Dinner) (Day 2 Breakfast, Lunch) 
  230.00 Pledge Amount
      x 30 Participants
6900.00 Projected Plan A.1 total amount

An initial deposit amount of 230.00 is requested in order to reserve a slot. In the event that the depositor won't be able to join the actual climb, the deposited amount will then be converted as part of Plan A.2

A preclimb meeting will be set prior to the event date and will be announced later.

Plan A.2
If a pledger should choose not to join the actual climb, He/She may still participate by depositing the pledge amount of 230.00 pesos to any of the following bank accounts. 

A target of 80 participants is necessary to fully cover the remaining amount.
Therefore
   230.00 Pledge Amount
       x 80 Pledges
18400.00 Projected Plan A.2 total amount

PLAN SUMMARY

18400.00 Plan A.2
6900.00 Plan A.1
25,300.00 Projected Total Amount


THE APPLICATION

DAY 0 DECEMBER 16
Three hours behind schedule due to a coding restriction in one of the arranged shuttle service and a delay in one of the supplies claimed that day, the 3 vehicle convoy took off from McDonald’s Eton Centris, Quezon City at around 10:30pm. It's nice to see new and old faces from previous events at the usual meet and greet; and because of the long wait, everyone seem to be warmed up and getting along with each other well. A brief pre-climb meeting also commenced before the team took off for Baguio City.



DAY 1 DECEMBER 17
Arriving a little past 1 in the morning, the City of Pines is the team's last stop for final supplies including breakfast and lunch food for day 1, thanks to the 24-hour food outlets along Session Road. The team then proceeded to Bokod, Benguet at 2am. Despite the 3-hour delay, the team was able to catch up with most of the lost time arriving at the jump off point at 5:15amfrom it's 4am target.

At the jump off point, the fresh chilly morning breeze sweeping through the pine trees is more than enough to wake everyone's senses. The perfect hiking weather was also enough to communicate to everyone that we're close to nature and that we are welcome in this part of the region.

While the team leaders finalized arrangements for the schools, some of the team members grabbed a quick breakfast. We just hoped that these are enough to give everyone strength for the long day.

After a quick briefing at the jump off point, the first half of the team commenced with the climb. The second team followed 30minutes after.

BULO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL - Mangagew
64 target students (65 actual students present during the event)
64 pcs rainboots
64 pcs school supply packs
1 (money envelope PHp 300.00)


Led by Diane Magante, team A's program leader for Bulo Elementary School, the team commenced with the first outreach program. After a short prayer, the team proceeded with the distribution of supplies. The team was able to play and get to know the students after the distribution.

Please note that Initial program plans include feeding for the Bulo elementary school students, however, due to the last minute notice of the unavailability of some ingredients for the desired Champorado the feeding was not applied in the Bulo Elementary School outreach.

CONTINUING WITH THE TRAILS...
The teams passed by the mountain marker for Mt. Mangagew. Estimated Elevation at this point is at 1705MASL.

The second water source is the proposed location for lunch, at this point team A was able to catch up with team B. Both teams arrived in the location at 10am and since it's a little early for lunch, both teams decided to continue and have lunch in a different location.

The team arrived at the last waiting shed for lunch at 11:30am for lunch. After lunch some took the opportunity to rest and nap before entering the mossy forests.  We entered Mt. Pack's mossy forest at around 12:30pm. At this pace, the target time to be at the summit of Mt. Pack is 1:30pm.

Due to the elevation, clouds cover the mountain. The weather seem to change right as we entered the mossy forest. Cold, wet and gloomy ambiance covered the whole trail. Dry red trails immediately became brown puddles and mud. The smooth mountain breeze became cold chilly light howls of wind. The dews accumulated in the leaves drop as the wind blows giving you the perception of rain. It was a scene imminent from a brewing storm. It was a challenge to some but these are just some of the things that complete the experience.

Majority of the team arrived at the summit of Mt. Pack earlier than 1:30pm before continuing on to Mt. Purgatory. Standing at 2290masl, Mt. Pack is the second highest point in the traverse. It is sometimes called Mt. Banskila by some locals.

This prominent landmark in the traverse is known to be the camp ground and relay station for General Pack during the American war.

The team's tail arrived at the Mt. Purgatory marker at around 3PM. Mt. Purgatory stands at 2080masl. It is believed that this is the coldest part in this section of the mountain range, thus getting its name Purgatory. The cold strong wind was so intense that some of the team members just took some photos then continued along with the trails.

Mt. Bakian is the last of this day's section of the traverse. Two Local igorot huts are prepared for each teams. The team sweeper arrived at the location at around 5pm. Most of the team members are already prepared for the night's socials.

A local cook named Kulingay prepared dinner for the whole team. The ibaloy's version of Tinola. Dinner arrived early at the main hut at around 7pm. With hesitation to go to the other hut because of the cold weather, the team braved the chillfy winds and went to the main hut for dinner. Sautéed Native chicken simmerred in ginger, organic spices and authentic chicken stock was perfect in this weather. It was a quick dinner but enjoyed by everyone. Socials continued afterwards and lights we're all off at 10pm.

DAY 2 DECEMBER 18
Day 2 started out early for the whole team as everyone is expecting another long day. Breakfast was prepared for us as early as 6 in the morning. Everyone enjoyed
hotdogs, native longganisa and sunny side ups prepared by the locals.

Right after our heavy breakfast, some prepared to pack their things, some simply enjoyed the cool breeze in this small mountain community, taking pictures, reminiscing yesterday's experience and just enjoying the passing clouds in the area. It was a great weather after all to be in the cordilleras.

BAKIAN GUINIAWAN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
24 target students (23 actual students present during the event)
24 pcs rainboots
24 pcs school supply packs

Part of the team that is assigned to manage the second school proceeded with the outreach. The school is just a few meters away from where we stayed so we decided to just leave our things in the huts.

When we got there, we were surprised to see everyone in this small community, children parents, and the teachers. Their warm genuine smiles and never ending assistance really shows that we're welcome in this community.

Led by Robert Urongan, we started the program with a short prayer followed by an introduction of the group and its mission. The outreach proper followed afterwards. As the kids lined up, some of the team members played around with some of them, talked to the locals and just enjoyed the feeling of belongingness.

After the distribution, we we're informed that the locals have prepared a simple surprise dance number for us. We we're delighted and excited to see the performance. Following to the beat of the famous song "Dayang Dayang" the locals including some of the children performed their dance number; inspired by the igorot and local dance steps they danced around in circles.

The team couldn't help it and everyone just joined the dance. It was really fun moment for everyone. A sign of a good start of the day. After the dance number, we now proceeded with the feeding. With the help of Kulingay, Native Champorado was prepared for the kids. The children lined up with warm smiles and we started to distribute what we have to everyone in the community till the last drop. It was too late that we learned that, the said native Champorado really tastes good and that’s the time everyone started to crave for one.

A short thank you message was given to the team by the local parents and teachers association. We we're really thankful for our experience in this community and we intend to comeback soon.




















After securing our bags, we then continued along with the trails to our next destination with smiles on our faces. MT. Komkompol, the highest point in this traverse is next in the itinerary.

MT. TANGBAW, MT. KOMKOMPOL
After a short 20minute trekking from Mt. Bakian, we arrived in its neighboring community, Mt. Tangbaw. Since Mt. Komkompol is technically out of the way and should require the mountaineers to backtrail everyone decided to leave the fullpacks in the community. Some of the mountaineers that have been to this mountain several times decided to stay in the community to guide the bags. They proceeded with the trek to Mt. Komkompol with the help of our local guides.

POODAN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
22 target students (22 actual students present during the event)
22 pcs rainboots
22 pcs school supply packs

It was another 30-45 minutes trek along the cool pine trails until we reached the final target school. When we arrived, we're surprised to see that the teachers and the students have prepared a program for the outreach. A banner was also there with the name of the team. Everyone really appreciated the preparation and there's actually more!

The program proper was led by one of the local teachers. After a short prayer, the team was introduced to the locals and we we're given the opportunity to speak and introduce ourselves to the crowd again but this time in a more formal setting. We we're not prepared for a speech but lo and behold the words just came out of our hearts and mouths.

We proceeded to the giving of our gifts right after the speech to catch the time for lunch. Right after the gift giving. We thought the program was about to end until the
teachers told us that the students from the different levels have prepared a surprise for team! 

Several dance numbers we're presented to us. Some has their favorites and I personally have a favorite. One student also stood out as everyone’s favorite dancer.

Again, the team was really surprised the touched by the gift of love the locals presented that day. A simple lunch was prepared for the students. Spaghetti was given to everyone and to our surprise; again, we had more than enough to feed not just the students but also the teachers and some of the locals.


DAYS END. 
After several minutes, the realization that our work is done started to sink in. And hunger also started to strike which also calls that its time for lunch. 

The locals prepared our lunch and the Team enjoyed boodle fight style of lunch under the shade, enjoying local chicken adobo and some organic steamed vegetables. A simple but very meaningful reward after everyone's hard work. 

We stayed for another hour after lunch to rest and bond with the locals until we finally decided to proceed with the trek back to the jump off point. 

It was another 3hours of scenic walks along pine forests and pine mountain trails. After more than 55kms from where we started the day before, the team arrived at the Bokod Municipal Hall Bldg at around 5pm. Everyone started to enjoy their most awaited shower afterwards.


VICTORY MEAL
Pre-post Climb We left the Bokod Municipal Hall a little past 6:30pm. Everyone was tired but fulfilled. It will be another two hours before we get to Baguio City for our victory dinner. 

It was past 8pm when we arrived in Baguio City. While waiting for the food during the victory dinner at Good Taste Restaurant, everyone was so eager to upload and update their social media accounts. We interrupted for a few minutes to grab the opportunity to thank everyone. We also took the chance to distribute our personalized climb certificates. And finally to do some announcements and talk about the climb. 

Apparently, two of our team members took the courage to go join the climb as their first major climb. Another one made the event as his first ever mountain experience. A big congratulations to Ruby Ann and Jheann and most especially to Marlon for the courage. 

The last part of the announcements was in fact for four who celebrated their birthdays during the event, John, Vandher, Alexis and of course our very own Jerome. 

The sumptuous victory meal arrived a few moments later and everyone was so full that we still had some left overs to take home. 

After dinner, we decided to prepare for the long way back to manila. The three vehicles arrived at different times, the earliest arriving at 3am Monday. It was really tiring but good thing that the participants were able to sleep on the way back. 






POST CLIMB 
This event was really a heartwarming experience for everyone. We wanted this event to be as simple as possible but due to the never ending efforts exerted not only by the participants, the generous donors, the constant communication with the locals and suppliers including efforts gratified by our volunteers we we're able to provide for more than what we have expected to more than our target individuals. 

The team from the start was warm enough to work freely with each other. No hang ups and just focusing on our goals to explore beyond our backgrounds, to enrich our personal wisdom and exceed our personal capabilities, to promote camaraderie, to enjoy the wonders of nature, and most of all to share our love, joy and blessings not only to our team mates, but also to the locals who heartwarmingly welcomed us from the very beginning.


Lastly as a token of appreciation all who have taken part in this event will get a small token of appreciation from the team. A bag tag will be distributed to all participants and donors. 

May you be a Pasada Mountaineer, a Volunteer, Donor, Supplier or Bokod, Benguet local; words are not enough to say how thankful we are for you being part of this event. May this team be blessed more today and in the years to come. 


Pansala salamat kami ni amin ja pansuporta tan tulong jo son si-ka mi




"There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own personal problems. Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared is doubled." (AU)




Mt. Purgatory - Mangisi Outreach Climb 2016 
List of mountaineers  
1. Mark Daryl M. Santana 
2. Jerome Estrada Jamili 
3. Robert Urongan 
4. Alwin James Arrieta 
5. Maria Diana O. Magante 
6. Val Christian Andag 
7. Michael Franks Pammit 
8. Sarah Tariman 
9. William F. Vasquez 
10. Nino G. Dimapilis 
11. Karl Mikel M. Pregon 
12. Hudson C. Custodio Jr. 
13. Stephanie Louise D. De Jesus 
14. Ligaya D. Malafo 
15. Ron Marasigan 
16. Alexis Q. De Guzman 
17. Red Bunda 
18. Ruby Ann Lavilla 
19. Jhean Verzosa 
20. Marlon Vibar 
21. Paolo Angelo Mesina 
22. Evandher Cagayat 
23. John Sotto 
24. Joel T. Ferrer

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