Monday, May 11, 2009


FOR SO MANY years, I have climbed the highest mountains of my life. I have been to places where few eyes have seen and to niches where only eagles dare. I would love to feed my ego by just being there and impel my adrenaline rush to soaring heights. This same ego would love to bask in the limelight by the mere acquisition of mountain gears and equipment, knowing all would be a repository of pleasant conversations.

Yet, for all it's worth, there was something amiss despite all those heroic photographs found in my silverfish-infested album and in the end I find it so superficial and almost worthless. Nada! I was looking instead for that something which have evaded me for so long.

Of course, they were there in the communities and on the trails we passed by during our mountaineering sorties and, sometimes, we choose to ignore them hoping we will forget their existence as days go by. But it won't simply leave away for they are always THERE. They are our brothers these underprivileged children we found living among the valleys and hillocks of our playgrounds.

Yes, they are the half-naked children that ogle at our bright-colored and expensive clothes behind half-opened windows and cracks of their rag-tag huts everytime we passed by. And from their facial expressions you could elicit the kind of life they live, their acceptance of their fate without the blessings of metropolitan comfort and conveniences we so often have ignored as nothing but ordinary.

A lot of them have not seen the insides of a classroom or known the intricacies of pronouncing a vowel. For those who do have to walk an hour to a half-day to study and their chances of learning are dimmed by the more pressing necessity of surviving and supporting their families foraging for food and farming. Only a very very few would find the ladder of success the very hard way.

I have seen these and I have finally faced the end of my search: whether as an adrenaline-loving climber or as a responsible and humane individual. I opted for the latter. I will give as long as I have the heart to give, this inspired by Mother Teresa's “if giving is not allowed...give anyway” line. I now climb mainly for a cause and I'm here to stay for good. Yes, there is so much more you can do besides carrying a heavy pack up a steep incline and take pictures.

I started the last half of 2008 my very own kind of social action here in Cebu City's own backyard. The opening of a new trail from Napo in Sapangdaku to Mount Babag on August 17 led me to Manwel Roble, my very first recipient of these charity climbs I'm organizing. Manwel, automatically would receive some token from Boy Toledo, Ernie Salomon and me each time we climb Mt. Babag on a day trek. More, if there are others coming with us. He would act as our official mountain guide. For info, we climb Mt. Babag twice or thrice monthly.

Most of our kind will pass by a place only once and would shudder at the thought of going back for reasons ranging from a less-challenging and boring terrain or of an unforgettable and frightening experience. Driven by our desire to make the most of our weekend free time and in between a lull in our monthly club-sponsored climbs, we exult at the chance of sweating it out and, at the same time, to touch lives brought about by sharing charity to the less privileged.

Exercise and charity do blend together and each one goad the other and it produce a perfect combination that erases the most boring trail into one that is well received after waiting restlessly for a week. Lightness borne of a good deed then springs from the heart and into your footfalls making the most difficult climb effortless and a longing to repeat the process over and over again in the shortest time available even walking on the same monotonous trails.

Someone used to say that we pass by this world but once. Yup, I have one short life to spend in this lifetime and will make the most of it by touching many lives as possible with some good deed. It would have been easier if these lives I touched are just around the block, but, no, I do it the hard way among the mountain folk. Sacrificing time and giving a hard effort to help the poor is as good as a pilgrimage to the Holy Land or kissing the hand of the Holy Pope. It is a sacred undertaking that is well received upstairs.

Practice climbing with a kind and loving heart. Share...

Document done in OpenOffice 2.1


Bradpetehoops said...

You're so good, thanks also for thy wonderful comment.

CPA Board Exam said...

WOW...Nice post...Continue your journey with love and respect to all the tribe that you meet along the way,,:)

PinoyApache said...

Thank inspire me more with your kind comment.

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