Tuesday, August 14, 2012


ONLY THE BRAVE!” That was the theme of last year’s Philippine Independence Bushcraft Camp (PIBC) held for the first time on June 11-12 at the Babag Mountain Range, Cebu City. This pioneering outdoors event opened the eyes of the first participants to the fundamentals of bushcraft and survival taught by this blogger. Local outdoorsmen took the challenge of this unconventional outdoor interest to toil for two days at the jungle fastnesses of Camp Damazo.

Catching up on the heels of the first episode, the second year of the PIBC is lengthened to three days on June 10, 11 and 12, 2012. Camp Damazo is moved up further on higher ground while two more modules are added. Spiking up this year’s event is the theme of “Wits as Sharp as Knives!” whence a basic knife care and safety instruction shall be discussed and then the much-awaited but very special bushcraft tradition of “blade porn” will set out that will surely delight all the participants and camp staff.

Catching up interest of PIBC MMXII are this present generation of local backpackers belonging to various outdoors group; firefighters from different fire stations; Philippine National Red Cross volunteers; Camp Red bushcrafters; and two old-school mountaineers from Luzon. All labored the tricky route from the trailhead to the campsite on the first day and see for the first time one of the most remote but hidden jungles that the Babag Mountain Range had been keeping for a long time.

The second day is dedicated to introducing bushcraft and survival then teaching the basics of survival tool-making, knife care and safety, foraging, firecraft and outdoor cooking. A sub-module of everyday-carry preparation is expounded by Glenn Pestaño of PIBC MMXI. Aside from the blade porn, other highlights of the PIBC are spoon carving, fire starting, campfire yarns and story-telling and nocturnal hunting.

This blogger, who is the organizer and training director, is well-assisted by the following PIBC MMXI alums to run this year’s event, namely: Randell Savior (camp ramrod), Ernesto Salomon (camp fixer), Troy Limpangug (photography and documentation), James Cabajar (camp hand) and Charltone Bathan (camp hand). Another alum, Raymund Panganiban, provided graphics and design for PIBC t-shirts and official banner logo.

The third day is going to focus on the observance of Philippine Independence and serves as the vehicle to refresh love of country and flag. Dominikus Sepe led the oath of allegiance to flag and republic while Angel May Catayoc anchored the singing of the Philippine National Anthem; after which, all break camp and proceed to the Lanipao Rainforest Resort to tidy up on the fresh-water pools after being deprived of the comforts of a good bath for three days.

Aside from the PIBC certificates, participants and camp staff are treated to give-away items courtesy of the HABAGAT OUTDOOR EQUIPMENT. Other items given away were provided for by Glenn Pestaño, Mayo Leo Carillo, Camp Red, Tribu Dumagsa and the Warrior Pilgrimage Blog. This activity is followed by a healthy swapping of items and other blanket trading. The following collage of images best describe that is the PHILIPPINE INDEPENDENCE BUSHCRAFT CAMP 2012:


  1. PIBC MMXII exposed the participants that the idea of bushcraft and survival can complement very well with backpacking and mountain climbing.
  2. Bushcraft and survival is a very cheap hobby. Foreigners love to learn survival techniques in the tropics. We live in the tropics yet we would rather spend expensive gears and equipment designed for high altitude and alpine environment.
  3. PIBC MMXII demonstrated that this will be the best alternative in celebrating a Philippine Independence Day activity in the future as it is the only vehicle in the country that could provide additional wilderness-skills knowledge to the participants in a non-commercial way.
  4. We are used to following an event tailored for Westerners and we disregard the crafts that our ancestors taught us. All of us have the potential to practice wilderness skills but, somehow, we neglect its existence due to technology. These skills are available as traditional lore taught by our elders and all we have to do is remember.
  5. PIBC is an event which will nurture and develop future leaders.
  6. Warrior Pilgrimage, through Camp Red, have espoused the practice of these skills and it is an obligation to transfer these skills to those who would want to learn these.


  1. The PIBC should be replicated in all parts of the country where there are active communities of patriotic outdoorsmen and preppers.
  2. Bushcraft and survival skills should be taught to mountaineers, backpackers, hikers and other like-minded people to improve their chances of survival in disasters and accidents.
  3. Bushcraft camps should not be confined to Philippine Independence celebrations only but should also be part of a continuing education of other outdoors group members.
  4. Camp Red should have the PIBC as one of the prerequisites for full membership into their ranks.
  5. Warrior Pilgrimage is open to conduct basic bushcraft and survival training to all spectrum of society. It is now in the process of formulating the program of instructions for a fledgling national mountaineers’ organization.

Document done in Libre office 3.3
Images provided for by Troy Limpangug, Aaron James, Mark Estrella and Jay Z Jorge.

1 comment:

Zumi said...

Wow! This is a great experience. How I wish to participate in this kind of event someday and hopefully I could. I really enjoyed your blog and it seems that I was there in that outdoor activity.t Big thanks for this.