“I don’t know where I’m going; but I’m getting there.”
Aside from being able to reflect upon the current status of my life, going to the mountains and traveling to different parts of the Philippines has allowed me to meet different people from all walks of life. To recall, just this year, I was able to meet the mambabatok of Kalinga – Apo Whang Od, the very empowered Girl Rising activist Trisha Velarmino, phenomenal spoken poetry artist Juan Miguel Severo, and several bloggers in the locale whom I look up to like Pinoy Apache, Chasing Potatoes, Jewel Clicks, Adrenaline Romance, Kara of Traveling-Up, and many others.
But more than just meeting the seasoned travelers and hikers, I have come to meet people whose love for the mountains exudes than just the trails and the spectacular view set before them. I’ve met people whose hearts are filled not only with adventure, but as well as with kindness and genuine concern for the mountains and their inhabitants.
During our visit to Biliran’s Sambawan Island, I was enthralled to meet a group of mountaineers who climbed Tres Marias the same day that we had our canyoning activity at Sampao River and Ulan-ulan Falls. What made it more coincidental is that they were from Cebu and had been friends to some of the hikers I know. We didn’t have formal introductions as they were about to leave the island and had only introduced themselves as Sagoy – a familiar Visayan term which my mother used to call my brothers after getting dirty from a whole day of playing and vagabonding around the neighborhood. As for their case, they fondly called themselves as Sagoy – short for Saag nga Unggoy (Lost Monkeys). We didn’t have much interaction with them but thank goodness, Facebook became a channel for us to get to know more our niche.
Last November 13, I was more than privileged to be invited to join their scouting activity in Calibasan, Toledo for their outreach program to be held this December 10. Though I was quite adamant because my troops can’t come with me, the group was more than hospitable enough to accommodate a baggage like me. HAHA.
We met at Cebu South Bus Terminal, rode a bus bound for Toledo, ate breakfast at Barangay Minos, before going to Calibasan. Together with us was the assigned coordinator and teacher of Calibasan Elementary School – where the outreach program will be held. The very purpose of the scouting activity was to finalize the program and delegate tasks for the annual event.
Calibasan – derived from the Visayan term “libas” which means “herbs” – is a far flung barangay located on the mountainous area of Toledo City, Cebu. It is neighbored with Balamban’s Transcentral Highway and city mountain ranges. The aforementioned school has a total population of less than hundred with four teachers multi-grade teaching Grades 1 & 2, 3 & 4, and 5 & 6. These teachers have mastered the art of riding a horse in going to the school as it is kilometers away from the highway and barely accessible by motorcycle.
Though I have been frequently hiking the highlands of Cebu, going with them reminded me how noob I was. Note that most of them are trailrunners, so imagine me tailing behind the group, gasping for breath, and complaining deep inside (HAHA). And it is in these moments that I’ve realized what burden I have been – delaying the group and consuming most of their hiking resources.
But the thing is, Christmas dawned early to me. I never heard any of them complained about the delay; instead, they maximized their “waiting time” by playing basketball and taking numerous photographs of the beauty set before them. Moreover, having to witness them plan for the event allowed me to see boys transforming into grown and mature men, whose hearts so kind and generous that the world can fit in. And I tell you, they are thousand miles sensible compared to how I describe them here.
Indeed, Christmas is more than just giving financial aid and gifts to those who you think needs them. It’s more than just joining an activity for the sake of taking pictures and showing to the world how “generous” you are. In the end, the real essence of giving is not measured on the quantity of what has been given, but on the quality of what has been shared despite and in spite of.
To Sagoy Outdoor Club, my sincerest gratitude for the budol, trailrun, and company you have given. It was worth pursuing even if I had to go alone with all of you guys. HAHA.
Special thanks to Koko for the invite and Chabz for sharing his talent and making this striking logo for the blog.
Share the love. Share your blessings. And have a blessed Christmas ‘ya all!