Blog, Principles

Serenity – This is my sole purpose when I first explored higher grounds. Searching for peace of mind in the middle of nowhere and a temporary escape from reality.Hannah

Sense of responsibility kicks in as we explore depth areas. Do we really need to experience series of natural disasters before we start caring for our nature? We know the cause of the problem but are we doing something? NO! That’s the truth but it’s never too late.

Start now and nurture nature on your own way; plant trees and stop throwing garbage anywhere. Even though there seems no hope for us to bring back the natural beauty of the earth however optimism is one of our vehicle to our destination. This is a long term goal and it could be past on to generation to generation. Optimism helps us think that in every negative aspect or happenings in the world, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel. In every action there’s an equal an opposite reaction. So, if we start doing things that we can do today for a better future, we can expect transformation.

Transformation will not only take place on mother nature but also from within us. Since change is the only constant thing in this world, let’s change for the better. Transform the world to what it should be and what we want it to be.

Nature often holds up a mirror so we can see more clearly the ongoing processes of growth, renewal, and transformation in our lives.ThinkExist

To realize this goal, we need commitment to ourselves and to the nature. Altruism will be practiced by each individual and together we will be able to reach our destination. The better place to live and people with good relationship with each other.

This is a very ambitious vision but with the right help and resources, we will be able to achieve it together.

Join us and be part of the change that we need. ROTA.

Blog, Events, Hiking, Principles

Significance of LNT to my Ordinary Days

Every event pursued is often has an objectives and goals. Even more, it is strictly guided with policies and principles not to affect anyplace, anybody or anywhere’s culture and norms.

One can possibly be a more responsible mountaineer if he or she isgolden shower tree aware of the “Leave No Trace” (LNT) principles.  On the other hand, can LNT be applied to ordinary daily routines?  Can LNT be helpful also to non-mountaineers and would it not affect those who are guided with ethics and rules contrary to LNT as basis for their daily goals and objectives? It might help or possibly not.  Having oriented with the said outdoor ethics during the Basic Mountaineering Course (BMC) attended at Pualas, Baungon Bukidnon last February 1-2, 2014, here are the seven principles I can likely relate to my ordinary daily routines;

  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare (know the regulations and special concerns for the area you will visit and prepare for extreme weather, hazards and emergencies).   Routine is a regular activity repeatedly done day by day or may even be called as program of activities within the day.  Is there a need to plan and prepare when things are already programmed?  Whether we like it or not, there always be intervening factors that affects every programmed activities.  Thus, planning ahead and getting prepared of all things is much better in case of any circumstances and short notices rather ending into disaster or trouble. Prepare for precautionary measures before it even gets worst.   Organize activities in a way that it also meets goals within the day.  It is the same as formulating policies and contingencies that is ought to be done whenever interventions or diversions occur.
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces (Established trails and campsite, rock, gravel, dry grasses, camping at least 200 feet from lakes and streams, altering a site is not necessary, concentrate on one existing trail).  In order not to affect or disturb other properties and surroundings, we must know our limits and restrictions.  Tasks must be performed within area of coverage or only in place delegated to you.  Similarly, one must observe ownership and privacy of anything.  Better than that, identify and select appropriate place where the activity is conducive and possibly result to efficient and relatively high outputs.  Focus on area which you find beneficial for everybody and that can be made suitable and sustainable workplace and shelter.  Nonetheless, maximize utilization of minimal space given and be able not to destruct more of the surroundings.
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly (Pack it in, pack it out; pack out all trash, leftover food and litter).  Even a toddler is taught where to dispose his/her garbage, how much more for a mature ones?  It is a matter of sanitary and even health procedure to keep away from illness and diseases thereupon promoting healthful living.   Relative to organizing, it is one way to keep things in proper sequence and enables efficient management to certain matters.   On the other hand, one must learn to keep any waste  properly as not to  litter and pollute the surroundings, learn the three R’s of the environment (reduce,  reuse, recycle).   Set out what is unimportant, keep only things that will likely helped for future use (reject rubbish stuff that depressingly affects the environment).
  4. Leave what you find (Preserve the past, examine but do not touch cultural/historic structures and artifacts, leave natural objects, avoid introducing non-native species).  SHolland lilyimilar to the quote ”What you see, what you hear, leave it here” is also one way of keeping something in place and out of trouble.  It is good to be keen observer but not to the extent of digging much deeper into some matters that seem to worsen or seemingly harsh intervening to someone’s behavior and practices or anything’s characteristics.  More so, introduction of innovations can also be helpful in aiming improvements but unlikely forcing them to adopt or embrace certain procedures as the way you want it.  Not all things are worth approving.  It is the same as making decision in consensus with both parties.  Also, refrain showing unacceptable behavior and norms to a place where it is not practiced, respect others culture and policies.  Likewise, do not touch anything that does not belong to you and do not intervene to any activities that are none of your concern.  One can suggest or recommend but not going beyond insisting or initiating.
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts (Keep fires small, enjoy a candle lantern for light, use sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand, burn all woods and coals to ash, put out campfires completely).    Create enough fire what the surrounding or a certain things need.  Lighting a fire is as good as providing light to see things clearly at the dark side.   Metaphorically, it is the same as cheering others to make things delightful.  Make sure of anything which is cheerful and not hurting nor offensive that may only drive out anger.   Do not create so much fire or intense conversations; rather stick to limits and show enough or exact entertainment.  Respond well to attitude of others and analyze the setting first before getting into actions or starting a fire.
  6. Respect wildlife (Observe wildlife from a distance, never feed animals, protect wildlife, avwild orchidoid wildlife during sensitive times).  This relates to the line that says “for your eyes only”.   Let us not drag or grab anything unless permitted.  Respect others’ habitat in as much that you are respected and accommodated.  In terms of characteristics, take into consideration that every individual is unique.  Thus, always interact politely with someone despite his/her disclosed behavior.  Carefully utter words and come into gentle strokes that will not ruin someone’s ego tending to contribute violent reactions.  Be conscious on someone’s sensitivity.
  7. Be considerate of other visitors (protect the quality of tpink florettesheir experience, Be courteous, yield to other users on the trail, step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock, let nature sounds prevail, avoid loud voices and noises).  In the same way with respecting others, be reminded of the ethic of reciprocity “Do not do unto others, what you do not want others do unto you”.  Thus, be down to earth often times so others will courteously treat you.   Present procedures that finds beneficial for either parties or even much better giving way or offer most of it to others than grabbing much for one.   Furthermore, do not talk often or at all times and absolutely give time to listen, listen to others opinion and proposals.

Significantly, anyone can be guided with the seven principles as there can be no harm being channeled for a better outcome.  These principles are much helpful in guiding our daily routines to start up and end up the day with delight in serving others and the way others had served us (LCRM)###.

Principles, Stories

Lights, Camera, Action!

Fifty-seven thousand, six- hundred minutes ago, I was on a mission. I gamely walked into real action figures that would surely put Hollywood stars to shame. Even the absence of media fan fare could not dim the stellar brightness of every cast in this unheard episode about ordinary people.

But before I go any further, let me be clear on this: I write from memory and like any good mem’ries, the real deal is always better. Imagine…Scene one: Twenty-two people with twenty-three packs, six sacks of rice, three sacks of salt, five boxes of different goods, a sack of used clothing plus two extra bags filled to the brim, three plastic bags of mixed veggies crammed into a Hilux pickup. I remembered looking at Bumblebee [the Hilux] for brevity, at us, our belongings and back to Bumblebee again. I knew from the size of our entourage it’ll take two trips to reach our destination. But I was wrong! In the deepening dusk, in a display of muscle action–the men began stacking our valuables one on top of the other; covered it with tarp stopping only when it resembled a semi-giant ant hill on Bumblebee’s rear end. With twelve people crowding the truck’s bed, three on its roof, two on the passenger’s seat, the driver, one person on Bumblebee’s right front hood, and three persons took to riding a motorcyle, we left Valencia to our jump off which was in Barangay Buko, Quezon Bukidnon.

Halfway through, we made a stopover at ate Eleonor Lucedra’s home. I did not know her personally. I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting her too, even in any existing social networks. It was first meeting for both of us and the rest. With the exception of this one person who was the instigator of the unfolded scene right before you. I was told their paths crossed here in fb. Ate Eleonor answered his savvy move when he posted on their group’s wall, “Looking for donors, will u help?”, or something to that effect. She responded in action with cooked biko in this huge frying pan which we dug with relished, while the sack of salt, boxes of dried Miki, 1/2 kilo cooking oil joined Bumblebee’s growing ant hill. As quickly we came just as quickly we left. With a brief exchange of goodbyes and prayer, we sped to the swelling night.

When I said sped, we were going as fast as Bumblebee can go under the circumstances. Straining him would not be ideal. The simple concept was explained to me by no less than its owner/mechanic/driver. The explanation was impressive. I nodded my head in all the right pauses in our conversation, giving the unmistakable impression that it made sense to me. It sounded gibberish, though. I made a mental note to Google it! Mass of truck plus load, how will that affect its normal speed? Physics!? Daan ko pa, mobalik ug mobalik jud sa NLOM (a.k.a. Newton’s laws of motion).

Good thing, when our capable driver changed gears, it signaled the end of our little chit chat. I left him to his driving (which thanks to him is physics in disguised by the way!) and he left me to my thoughts. With eyes shut, I mentally went over the names of random men and women whose principal involvement directly contributed to the goods strapped securely behind Bumblebee. You see, they were the ones who reached out of their own pocket and said,” Here’s something I wanted to share. It’s not much, but I hoped it’ll help.” Mother Theresa did say and I quote, “It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” For every peso they gave, was an act of love; so cheers to the following people who were our “producers” in crime–but in a good way: Ms. Karen Lee Macaso & Jing2 GalendezMr. Bong Labadan, Jr Villanueva, Mivi Myvi, Earl Ryan Janubski, Marissa Jadap, Mr. Dennis Patalinghug, Mr. & Mrs. Loyne Pueblos, Analyn Timbal, the Lucedra family, and our Anonymous donors. 

I was jolted wide awake when we had to cross over a river [that was so much fun!] and had to maneuver over a steep slope or grade. However amazing our driver was, we were not able to get pass it. By this time, some rock hit and broke Bumblebee’s radiator. “If anything can go wrong, it will,” Murphy’s law. Ug si Bumblebee pa ang na sampolan ani! I felt bad. The truck was with us since day one. It was on our first trip to Kapihan, Quezon Bukidnon, earlier this year. His a familiar face [yes, I know the truck’s an inanimate object but when he spent mileage with you like he did to us, you’ll think twice calling Bumblebee, an It]. We descended from the truck and the men pushed Bumblebee to a more even, less sloping ground. We took our belongings, the ant hill was taken down and the repacking began.

I took my pack, put on my headlamp and searched for bread. Somebody passed the bread to me (bless him) which I also passed along to the Sulad students who were there to help out by transporting the goods to their school. In the midst of the controlled chaos and adrenaline rush, everything just fell into place. I saw three groups working side by side. I saw three groups whose path intertwined for that moment to take place. I attributed the whole “moment taking place” idea was God’s. Not that He wanted the Sulad students to suffer with the lack of food so that’ll He could play the superhero. Far from it! If He chose to end the food shortage at the Sulad Comprehensive School with one word, He can and will. But in His infinite wisdom He chose finite humans with flaws to be His hands and feet. If I was asked a year ago, “Do you see yourself climbing for miles end in the middle of the night to bring food to hungry kids?” NO. Never. “Do you see yourself asking money for people you do not know?” Hmmm…Maybe. I don’t know. It depends upon the situation? “Will you be willing to give your time, money, and effort for kids you hardly know and can never repay you?”  I think I can but how much am I willing to sacrifice, that I do not know.

But then, there I was in the dead of the night, rubbing elbows with ordinary people who broke free from their comfort zones, and would have thought differently had it not been for God’s invitation. They learned to speak, to ask, to sacrifice not for themselves but for others. And by so doing, even for a short while in some small measure became better persons.

What was true to ROTA was also true to the other group, D’ Hangz. They’ve been exposed to outreach activities for the longest time and intimately knew how it was to step out of their comfort zones. They pressed on not in the least bit hindered by the weight of the supplies they bore on their backs. I dubbed them the “walking pantries”. They took to the habit of carrying our food supplies, in whatever quantity and in any weight. And like Bumblebee, they delivered. On the surface it seemed like male bravado and “garbo”, but up close it’s an overdrive of mental attitude. They knew that for every climb, the will must be stronger than the dragging weight on their backs. This time was no different.

Then I looked at the eager hands and excited faces of our younger companions. They had been waiting for hours. The long wait and hunger did nothing to dampen their spirit. They were told to go down and wait. And that we were coming. An hour stretched to two, then three. Then it rolled into four. Not until approximately seven hours slipped by, did we show up. Were they able to pass the Marshmallow test of faith? With flying colors! Those kids stuck it out. Hang on, unwavering. That’s faith, what else? “It is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things unseen.” It may not be dramatic as the parting of the Red Sea but nonetheless the lesson to me was just as powerful. To believe we were coming while the situation proved unlikely by the minute, and doggedly persist; that is faith in a nutshell.

As I stood waiting for us to go on our way, I smiled in the quite knowledge that I was in the presence of real action figures.

Note: Outreach was done November 12, 2011 with D’Hangz and New Rota members.

– Kofinitum