Sunday, September 16, 2012

NAPO TO BABAG TALES LIII: An Outreach Mission and a Firecraft Workshop


THE DATE IS SET for July 15, 2012. The place will be the Roble homestead. The mission: To send to the children of Kahugan gifts of notebooks, writing pads, pencils, crayons, pencil sharpeners, erasers, envelopes and used textbooks. This is the main event and it precedes a firecraft workshop of Camp Red.

These gifts were generated during the Who Put the “N” in Nature concert for a cause at Handuraw Events Cafe on June 1, 2012 which were jointly organized by the Outdoorsman’s Hub and the Redtrekkers. To recall, that event was a resounding success as donors and the minions of free outdoorsmen came to give this cause their unreserved support.

Everyone arrive at the parking lot of the Our Lady of Guadalupe Church – the gateway to the Babag Mountain Range – to volunteer themselves to carry the gifts to the children; accepting the hardships of a heavy load over an ascending terrain just to put joy on every children’s heart. The line is long; the additional loads printed itself deep on the dirt trail where shoes have trod. The day is hot but their disposition is light.

Upon arrival at 11:00 AM, everyone settled on the benches to start the activity. All unloaded their loads of gifts they carried from Guadalupe via Napo. A table shielded by a taffeta tarp becomes the platform for the gifts. Randell Savior, JB “Badburner” Albano and Dominikus Sepe directed in the segregation of the books from the notebooks and the rest of the educational supplies with the help of the lady volunteers.

Meanwhile, Ernie Salomon gets busy with the cooking while the rest practice their skill in cooking milled corn. The menu will be taro leaf stems cooked in coconut milk; pork adobao; pork soup with bamboo sprouts; and raw cucumber with tomatoes in vinegar. Meals most probably could be found in gourmet restaurants yet these are just ordinary when Camp Red goes on an outing.

After the meal, the children arrive; some of them with their parents. An impromptu program is started as the gifts were lumped into sets for the benefit of children of the Kahugan highlands. The Badburner take the center as emcee whereby he pass the earthen stage, respectively to this blogger, to Rans Cabigas, to Boy Toledo and to Randell; to acknowledge and give thanks to the volunteers and to the anonymous donors.

Invocation is by 6-year old Josel Roble; the Philippine National Anthem is sung by everyone – children and volunteers alike – from the beat of a child; and then the children recited the oath of allegiance to flag and country. Then the program steers into showcasing the individual talents of the children through singing to the delight and entertainment of all.

Visiting mountaineer from Luzon, Mark Alvin Estrella, came to lend a hand and document this activity for purposes that this may show awareness of the value of generosity and charity. Hopefully, this gets replicated in other parts of the country where there are kind-hearted outdoorsmen. The following are the collage of images that document the above activity:


...and these are the people who go out of their way to make this event memorable to the eyes of the children of Kahugan and their parents:


ON THE OTHER HAND, Camp Red had another activity aside from the outreach program which they co-hosted with the Outdoorsman’s Hub, Tribu Dumagsa Mountaineers, Redtrekkers and other free-lance groups which do not own yet official organization names. This is the Grassroots Bushcraft Teaching Series organized by this writer under the Warrior Pilgrimage blog.

This is supposed to be a whole day affair but it surrendered time and space to the charity climb for the common good of all. This writer started the firecraft demo at 3:00 PM when the first activity is about to end. Actually, this is a workshop kind of event since this writer intends to show to Camp Red members and to those who were there the different methods of starting a fire through friction, to understand its principles and to learn the materials needed to accomplish these.

On the order of difficulty and simplicity, the first method shown is the Hand Drill. This consists of a spindle made of soft wood which is turned by the hands and a fire base made of hard wood. The second method is the Bow Drill. This time it uses a green and flexible branch as a bow with a shoelace as the bow string to do the work of spinning the spindle instead of the hands while a pressure block held by the other hand on the top of the spindle is pressed downward to increase pressure.


The third method is the Bamboo Saw. Dry bamboo is used at each other to create friction, heat and, hopefully, an ember. There are two styles: the moving and the inert. Fire tinder used for the three methods are the soft fibers of the silk-cotton tree fruit (sp. Ceiba pentandra; local name doldol). Glenn Abapo demonstrated the efficacy of a balled silk-cotton fiber in catching a spark from a firesteel and the swift process of combustion by which it consumed itself.

After an hour of effort, the participants fail to catch an ember into the waiting fire tinder although Nyor Pino was able to produce smoke from the heat of a fire saw. Eli Bryn Tambiga blister his palms doing the hand drill with a piece of string tied to his thumbs and notched over the top of spindle. Anyway, the seeds of knowledge have been planted and soon this may bloom in their own backyard of self-education by which bushcraft is founded upon. I hope to see bushcraft being taught to all and become part of day-to-day living.

We say goodbye to the Roble family and we leave at 4:15 PM for Lower Kahugan Spring then at Napo. Some volunteers have already left earlier bound for Babag Ridge and they were quite elated. I see smiles on their faces and their hearts are on fire. We all have the same feeling. We arrive at Napo at around 5:00 PM and transfer to Guadalupe.


Those with Camp Red stay for a while at the Redtrekkers’ favorite watering hole – the Red Hours Convenience Store. This writer, Boy T, Ernie, Randell, Marjorie Savior, Ella Savior, Shildy Savior, Glenn Tampus, the Badburner, Mayo Leo Carillo, Anthony Pepetua, Kulas Damaso and Dax Bayotas opt to cool down and celebrate the success of the outreach event and the firecraft workshop. Dax produce a hooka and we have a good “smoke on the water” night.


Document done in LibreOffice 3.3 Writer
Some photos courtesy of Mark Estrella, Glenn Abapo

2 comments:

ali g hassan said...

Thanks a lot for this nice work about christmas gifts for mom from daughter. I am her lovely daughter

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