Saturday, April 27, 2013

POEM #9: Nocturnal Hunting

It is night and below me
is a stream enveloped in darkness.

It had rained hours ago
the water swift but clear now to my naked eye.

My guide carried a kerosene lamp;
a scoop net held by the other hand;
I followed, wary and alert;
for snakes abound here waiting for prey.

I grasped my knife in its sheath;
the cold steel of the blade
reassures me though that it is alright.

Walking behind the guide with the bright lamp,
he made the night look like daylight;
boosting my confidence, aiding my sight.

A nudge from a foot
the shrimp leaped to its fate into the net.

After an hour or two
I counted an honest catch of twenty-two.

These became part of a midnight dinner
under a dark cloudy sky
by a camp made warm by a fire.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


PUERTO PRINCESA CITY is a place that had beckoned me for many years but the spark to start a quest there is just really absent in me until I get a nudge from an unexpected source. This trip not only will bring me to Palawan but it will have a Mrs. PinoyApache as my companion. Whoa, this is a very very late honeymoon that took 23 years to realize.

Well, it would have never been possible were it not for CEBU PACIFIC AIR’s continuing promos of dirt-scraping fares. In my own observation, CEBU PACIFIC AIR is now the leading catalyst in local travel and it inspires homegrown tourists to appreciate better their country with affordable fares and regular flight schedules. Tourism have really shot up by leaps and bounds ever since CEBU PACIFIC AIR snared a franchise as the country’s second air carrier. Who would not, when you could pay for as low as P2,378.88 good for two persons to and fro?

The tour package that my mysterious sponsor purchased for me and my wife would take us to the favorite spots around the city; island hopping at Honda Bay; and a boatride tour at the world-famous St. Paul Underground River. To recall, I have voted online for this subterranean waterway to be included as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site where, in 2011, it had gotten that honor.

The package includes free stay of four days and three nights at a small hotel; free breakfasts; free day meals of the second and third days; free airport transfers; free land-and-sea transport; and a very pleasant time with licensed tour guides. All these for a total of P11,300 which our benefactor had transacted online thru ISLAND PARADISE TOURS AND CONVENTION.

We leave Cebu for Palawan at 9:30 AM on February 8, 2013 and arrive at the Puerto Princesa Airport at 10:40 AM. We were met by a representative from our tour provider and whisked us away to ONE ROVERS PLACE – a moderately-priced hotel located near the Palawan Provincial Capitol. We were assigned to a two-bed suite with own toilet and bathroom plus cable TV service.

I have never been to Puerto Princesa before and, to get to know it better, I may have to taste their food. We walked to a nearby restaurant named TIO ROD’S RESTOBAR & LOUNGE and I found the place very airy and relaxing. We chose as our meal crabs washed with coconut cream, lechon kawali1 and vegetable curry. It is a fulfilling noontime meal where I get to pay P697 with which price is fair enough for such food cooked in a traditional manner.

At 1:30 PM, our tour guide arrived to pick us up. Inside of the passenger van were a family of four and another couple from Manila. They were, I learned, accommodated in different hotels but subscribing to a single tour agency like ours. Tessa the tour guide picked up an Italian couple from another hotel before she starts her tour-guiding job.

The route took us first to the baywalk area and Tessa narrated how this place came to be. We did not stop but proceeded to the Immaculate Conception Cathedral. Across it is the Plaza Cuartel. I start to take pictures of the church, especially its tall steeples, and its insides. This is where the mainly Roman Catholic population of Puerto Princesa go to attend religious service.

Then I cross the street and focus my camera at Plaza Cuartel. This Spanish garrison was used by the Japanese Imperial Army as a prison during World War II. Story had it that 143 American prisoners-of-war died here when they were torched with flame throwers and tossed hand grenades inside of the narrow tunnels. All told, eleven lived to tell of this gruesome massacre and a monument was erected to symbolize this dark episode of cruelty of the last war.

The tour transferred to the souvenirs market and we had our time looking for items that we don’t find in our dear Cebu. We both agreed to the cashew by-products and go on our separate ways to hunt our own things we think we do need. For me it is the cashew wine and a small bamboo rainmaker while my wife chose cashew nuts and candies and some local fashion accessories for herself and for her daughters.

After 30 minutes of shopping, the van proceed to the loom weavers of Binuatan Weaving Center where the weavers operate wooden hand looms. Materials used for weaving into table runners, bags, rugs and other items are indigenous grasses and the center supply these materials for Calvin Klein and a manufacturer who provide Cordura® fabric for bags.

Next stop is the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center which is home to the Philippine sea and fresh-water crocodiles – captured, rescued or bred. It is a museum and a zoo in itself that aims to educate people about conservation and taking value of wildlife. Among the residents are the Palawan bearcat, the Philippine toucan, pythons, monitor lizards, serpent eagles, Philippine mynah, the bearded boar and other creatures. Sadly, my camera battery failed and I suck it when it was most needed.

When we were done with the crocodile farm, the tour took us to the ranch of the late Senator Ramon Mitra and then to Baker’s Hill where different concoctions of the hopia2 are baked and sold to Palaweños and visitors. The tour ended at 5:00 PM and my wife and I were returned to our hotel.

We later toured the city on foot at 7:00 PM to partake of dinner but found most shops already closed for the day. We settled for HAP CHAN RESTAURANT where I eat beef brisket noodles while the wife indulged on fruit shake. The visit costs us just P150 and we walk back to our hotel and discovered many good restaurants and bars on the other side of the street.

The next day – February 9 – we were ready for the next tour. Our guide for this day is Grace. We left our hotel after breakfast at TIO ROD’S and pass by another hotel to take in four elderly couples. The route would be to Honda Bay and we arrive at the wharf to wait for our designated boat, which is numbered at 78.

We left the mainland for Pambato Reef. The boat docked at a jetty and we stream to the boardwalks to stare at the pictures of the common fishes that inhabit the reef and then gawk at the the surrounding waters. A lot of foreign tourists and locals arrived on many boat and all splashed into the sea to swim and snorkel along the floating markers.

We left the reef when the jetty becomes too crowded and we transferred to an island which Grace fondly call as “Lu-Li” - short for “lulubog lilitaw” - and which meant that this island vanishes during high tide and appears during low tide. Since it is still low tide, we were afforded of dry land and fine sand.

I swam to a floating hut and an elderly balikbayan3 swam after me carrying crackers. He started to feed the fishes. First there was a school of small fish, then medium ones and then bigger fishes. I swam back to the shore when many tourists found out what we were doing. Once on dry land, I joined my wife for a stroll towards a small forest of mangroves.

We went back when I saw that tide water crept slowly on the the flat sand. Grace herded us back towards the boat to hop on to another island in the middle of Honda Bay. Cowrie Island is vegetated with a line of tall Malabar almond trees giving shade to a row of cabanas and in the center are coconut trees, a massage spa and a bar. There were already many visitors and I opt to take pictures before splashing into its inviting water.

Around the bay are many mountain ranges seen from afar and it summon my exploring spirit which I took challenge of by studying its terrain features for possible routes in the future. I aim to come back to Palawan someday. Meanwhile, Cowrie Island offer me the chance to remove stress and worry and, with my wife, I am transported back to feelings when I first met her. Now I am getting romantic. Meals please!

Grace prepared our food by herself and we have grilled chicken drumsticks, steamed shrimps, grilled lipti4 and eggplant salad as our lunch. We ate all with gusto and that made conversations amongst us visitors a bit more fluid. I get to know this couple who are retired teachers now based in San Diego. They made possible the Filipino language to be taught as a major language in public schools of California and more Americans of Filipino ancestry came to know their roots better.

Our wonderful time in Cowrie Island and Honda Bay are beginning to end and we returned back to the Santa Lourdes Wharf. I gave my paracord whistle-bracelet to a young boatman as my appreciation of his industry and willingness to learn something apart from steering a small boat. Grace sees to it that we reach our hotel safely and we did have a lot of time in the late afternoon which we spend watching cable TV in our room.

We capped our second day in Puerto Princesa with a dinner at KA LUI. The small restaurant is full of diners but, fortunately, a table was reserved for us, courtesy of our benefactor. I choose their main menu which consists of fish steak, steamed prawn with roe paste and rolled-fish curry. Appetizer is seaweed; dessert are sweetened mixed fruits; and drinks were two whole green coconuts. For a price of P635, I consider it very fair since snaring a seat at this restaurant is quite difficult as it has a lot of following.

The third day – February 10 – is the birthday of my better half. The tour to the Underground River is a perfect destination. After another hurried breakfast at TIO ROD’S, we seat ourselves inside the passenger van. Assigned tour guide this time is Roman. We were joined by two couples and two ladies from Manila who are billeted in other hotels.

The subterranean waterway is located 77 kilometers away from the city proper and Roman informed us that we will stop first at an out-of-the-way souvenir shop and at Ugong Cave. The shop sells a lot of fighting sticks of different designs and length in ebony wood and rattan vine but I settle instead for a wooden crocodile to appease my little Gabriel about my sudden absence at home. Anyway, this shop will be my source if ever people badger me about fighting sticks.

We follow the itinerary Roman gave us and we visit Ugong Rock where a cave tour is offered plus a zip-line option if ever we find retracing our route through the cave exhausting and hair raising. Ugong Rock Adventures is a cooperative ran by local residents. This endeavor got support from the Department of Tourism, the ABS-CBN Foundation and the city government of Puerto Princesa and is staffed by matronly guides and able rope riggers.

The rock is made of karst and limestone and the cave entrance is wide enough until it becomes a narrow channel where, in some cases, a tight squeeze. The name Ugong comes from the sound emitted by the cave caused by some rocks which resonate when struck with falling stones or by drips of water. I knocked on one rock formation and it gives off a glass-like sound.

All the same, me and my wife followed our guides and we stooped and sidestepped rocks and passages and ascended steep paths aided by ropes until we passed through to the other end. By then, the route takes onto a series of steep ladders where it led to more caverns and to the top. There is a platform provided to accommodate the more daring visitors who would want to try the cable lines which would bring one to the ground in seconds.

I have never been a big fan of zip-lines because I consider it rather tame. I have tried the crude prototypes in the late ‘80s and we call these contraptions “slide for life” as it does not have safety features and you virtually hang by your arms then release your grip and jump when you are about twelve feet from the ground. You either run or roll when you hit ground else snap a bone if you land carelessly. But it was fun then.

My wife faced a dead end at the top and she dread to retrace the steep path back to the cave entrance 165 feet below and she has no other recourse but to steel herself and try her first ever zip-line ride at 51 years old. I have also no other recourse also but to follow suit my spouse. So both of us came after the other in a stream of 21 seconds from peak to ground.

Winded of the effort, we discard helmet, harness, carabiner and gloves to find relief inside the vehicle where the drinking water is. Roman the guide rallied the rest of his clients inside the van and we proceed to Sabang but we made a quick stop at Elephant Cave for a quick photo ops. Another set of tourists followed our hint and disembarked. We quickly returned and focused on the last leg.

We arrived at 11:00 AM at Sabang where a wharf that service the boats that will take tourists to the underground river and back are always full. The sea is rough caused by the northeast wind and the Coast Guard do not allow sea travel with full passengers. Too few boats and too many visitors. Roman jostled among other guides for two boats so he could divide the eight of us into each which meant that there would be ample room between four of us in one boat.

We arrive at the Puerto Princesa Underground River National Park and registered ourselves. There were already a lot of visitors waiting for their turn to ride boats for a cruise inside the underground stream. I begin to worry about the carrying capacity of the park, the river and the boats itself due to too many people. Extreme high times of usage should be avoided by park administrators and tour providers to prevent the park and the river from overuse and, to a certain extent, water mishaps.

Our turn may be an hour or less away so I busy myself, to kill time, taking pictures of the lagoon, the limestone cliffs, the sand, the stranded flotsam, the huge trees, the river outlet to the sea and, of course, my model – Mrs. PinoyApache. I am using my new KODAK EasyShare M23 Camera for this trip, with which item is a gift from another kind benefactor.

When our time came to board our boat, the boatman carefully studied the seating arrangement of the boat. We were nine good-sized persons in the boat, cluding the boatman, and his instinct and knowledge is justified for the boat edge is just three inches above the water. Besides, a poorly balanced boat is difficult to steer, especially going upstream with a paddle.

Slowly, the boat lurched forward through the lagoon, the cave entrance and into the dim waterway itself. Each boat has a single torch powered by a 12-volt car battery. The boatman act as the river guide and, as he paddled and steered the boat through calm but dark waters, he explained to all the names of the different rock formations and the minerals which composed it. We passed by thick columns, dripstone curtains, huge chambers and high ceilings roosted by bats and swifts alike.

Along the way, we passed other boats going the other way and, some hundred meters behind, another boat. The channel is wide enough to accommodate two boats passing each other and the tour length is only 1.5 kilometers long. I asked why is that when the river is supposed to be eight kilometers long? The boatman said that the park only allow people to get inside the whole length of the underground river with a special permit for a scientific purpose.

As the boat made a U-turn at one of the big chambers, my worry about the boat getting capsized is shredded in half and it diminishes as we approach the cave entrance which turned out to be dramatic by my perception. By the time we are out into naked light and terra firma, I heaved a sigh of relief and follow the path to the Ranger Station.

Along the way, I see a bull Philippine macaque being the object of the visitors’ attention and their cameras and then another one. I explore a little of the park and I saw a huge monitor lizard unmoving but very wary. The reptile took careful attention of my movement and turn its head when I maneuver at its flank. It raised its head higher when I walked away from it.

The surf have not abated even though it is now low tide and we board the boat back to Sabang Wharf. When all have taken refreshments, our passenger van took us back to Puerto Princesa and it is a 90-minute drive. We arrived with hours to spare and we decide to visit the souvenirs market where my wife bought more fashion accessories. Getting wiser, we spend dinner at a roadside common-man’s eatery and eat braised pork, calamares5 and taro leaves to our heart’s content where we pay only P115.

We woke up early to take our last breakfast on February 11 but, this time, with more relish and lots of time. We visit the Palawan Provincial Capitol and a convenience store for more of the hopia. Our flight back to Cebu would be at 10:30 AM and we are getting ready for this.

Palawan is indeed the country’s last frontier. I have observed that there are still a lot of open spaces and I believe the city and provincial governments should be very strict in land use and zoning. It is a good thing to preserve whatever existing natural resources in order to attract more tourists to give business opportunities for small stakeholders and to maintain its status as a premier eco-tourism destination in the country.

The Puerto Princesa slogan of “Clean as you go” is a very apt statement where concern for the environment should start from the very self then spreading out to small communities, businesses and local government units. It instills self-discipline and responsibility of your actions. The more positive your actions be, the better will people begin to understand the wisdom behind all this and Palawan will move forward by this phrase.

We arrived in Cebu and settled down to our usual chores but the memory of Palawan and Puerto Princesa City lingers. The itch to return there is strong and only time will tell when. My thanks to our silent donor for giving us the opportunity to visit the place and I see instead a wide field for my future plans. I hope it will be realized so soon, God willing.

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1Crispy fried pork.
2Moon cakes. Baked pastry with fillings either of mung beans, purple yam, ground pork, soy beans or pineapple.
3A returning countryman, usually of dual citizenship.
4Plectorhincus pictus – a reef fish.
5Fried squid rings

Thursday, April 11, 2013


MY CONTINUING ADVOCACY regarding the introduction, the spreading of information, the development or the carrying of the Everyday Carry (or EDC) Kit to all persons, regardless of their social status or profession, begun its full swing when I conducted an EDC for Security Guards in an Urban Survival Situation Seminar at Sky Rise 1 and Sky Rise 2 on November 24, 2012. Both buildings are located at Asiatown IT Park, Cebu City.

Previously, those who benefited from this very specialized instructions were participants of the yearly Philippine Independence Bushcraft Camp (PIBC). The PIBC is held every June after it started in 2011. PIBC is an outdoors gathering vis-a-vis seminar that introduce people about bushcraft and survival where EDC is one of the subjects taught.

Generally speaking, the idea about EDC is limited to those who have embraced prepping as a serious hobby. Most of them are based in Metro Manila and they converge and discuss about it in social networking sites like Facebook. In Cebu, however, bushcraft and survival is our pastime and we are just few and all belonged to the Camp Red Bushcraft & Survival Guild. Bushcraft – also known as wilderness skills – is an interest not yet fully grasped by the greater populace; not even by mainstream outdoor clubs.

EDC, on the other hand, is some kind of kit that you would carry or bring everyday from home to office (or to a pre-defined destination/environment) and vice versa. This is, in itself, a more generous version of the very limited survival kit. The ideal EDC Kit is something that which could provide you first aid treatment, instant replenishment, immediate survival and even a field expedient repair of broken equipment whenever the “saucer” hits the fan.

Actually, selecting items which would become part of your EDC Kit is an experiment in itself, a trial-and-error undertaking, which, ultimately, decide the best combination for your kit. The contents of an EDC Kit need not be expensive and all you need is resourcefulness and lots and lots of imagination. I would erase the misconception that the carrying of the EDC Kit are confined only to middle class preppers and the well-educated hobbyists.

It is by this notion that had emboldened me to introduce the habit of starting, maintaining and carrying an EDC Kit to anyone, be he rich or pauper. Of course, after the the successful experiment with the bushmen of Camp Red, I proceed to expand this specialty to private security workers.

It needs a lot of skill and intrepidity should you steer to involve the common man in a classroom environment especially teaching a very complex subject like the EDC. The terms or the whole handout itself if translated in its Cebuano equivalent are simply daunting and you have to improvise and it lengthens the discussion a bit. But, as they say, the first time is the hardest time.

On February 4, 2013, I am again engaged in another EDC seminar for security professionals assigned with the Philippine Amusement Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) and, this time, it is held at the Casino Filipino Theatre, Waterfront International Hotel and Casino, Cebu City. Twenty-six male and female private security agency guards attended this indoors lecture and demo. A representative of PAGCOR Security Department joined his subordinates for this occasion.

This lecture is not just about the EDC Kit but it is also a venue to teach simple items such as the garrison belt and the lanyard into useful tools; converting the flashlight and handcuffs into effective tactical weapons; increasing the effective range of the baton and the stun gun; the proper way to stop bleeding; improving their present first-aid kit; and the importance of a triangular handkerchief.

Furthermore, the participants are enlightened about certain items which sometimes are part of an EDC Kit but, actually, are either lethal weapons or forbidden gadgets that are made to look like harmless things. These questionable items are designed to fool security and are mixed with attractive things to make it look ordinary. To be an effective security personnel, you must constantly watch out for these things and it is where this seminar is very relevant.

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Saturday, April 6, 2013


This article is also featured at iSTORYA.NET.

THE WHOLE PHILIPPINE mountaineering community had been in a state of agitation lately ever since the news of the planned construction of more than 16,000 trail steps that will be undertaken by the City of Kidapawan leading to the summit of Mount Apo was hatched. The main purpose of the project is to facilitate tourism in the area; to discourage the establishment of new and unsanctioned trails; strengthen conservation and preservation; bring economic gain in the local tourism industry; and position Kidapawan as a major tourism hub in the entire Central Mindanao. It was presented to the Kidapawan City Tourism Council and to the media recently by the city government’s Investment and Tourism Promotions Office and would cost P2.5 million. 

An advocacy movement in the Internet opposing this project was immediately started by mountaineers belonging to the Mountaineering Federation of Southern Mindanao, led by Art Daniel Bacus, when it discovered that the whole idea is morally wrong and so found support from their brethren in Luzon and in the Visayas. Aside from mountaineers, environmental advocates and citizens with right frames of mind joined in this fray with which a signature campaign now found its way among the malls and public places.

A parallel fund-raising drive was started in Davao City to provide the needed monetary resource for an information drive to counter this planned desecration of the country’s highest point. For info, Mt. Apo is sacred land to the indigenous Bagobo, Matigsalug, Talaandig and Manobo peoples which all referred the peak as Apo Sandawa. Lake Venado and the forests along the enclaves of the Mt. Apo National Park are traditional hunting grounds for these tribal peoples and no local government entity should have dominion on ancestral lands claimed by these people. Besides that, Mt. Apo is a protected area and no structural development should be undertaken which would violate the law proclaiming it as a national park and, as it is, may destroy the natural essence of the mountain.

Here in Cebu, our very own outdoors community start its very peaceful protest action at the IT Park last March 23, 2013 at 8:00 PM. It coincided with an Earth Hour program but separate and produce its own distinct crowd. All wore black T-shirts with the print “No Stairway to Mt. Apo” to show disapproval and displeasure about that planned stairway construction. Organizing this event are Chad Bacolod of the Mountain Climbers Alliance of the Philippines, couple Randell and Marjorie Savior of Tribu Dumagsa Mountaineers, Bonny Ann Gicale of the Outdoorsman’s Hub and Leo Linog of Star FM. This writer came to observe and document that activity. Ultimately, I affixed my signature opposing this project for a good reason.

On this same ground, this writer started a thread about this entitledMt. Apo Crisis in the Politics and Current Events Section last March 26, 2013 to find consensus among members of the online Cebuano community. As of this writing, the majority of comments had already been posted opposing this folly of an idea with only one in favor. It is an opinion poll which, altogether, represents the macrocosm of the sentiment of the Cebuanos. You don’t need to be a mountaineer or be an environmentalist to distinguish which ideas are commendable for Mt. Apo and which are not despite the rosy picture given by the adherents of this Hagdan Ni Apo project.

Nineteen years ago to this day (April 2, 1994), I stood on the crown of Mt. Apo. It was then a crowning moment for myself as a local mountain climber and, at the same time, a nadir of my being one. While I exult in my physical prowess and my success, I could not help it that I was an unwilling participant in one of the ugliest scenes of a mass climbing activity in history. There were no stairs yet so many people negotiated the rough and ascending terrain on their own resolve and power and, in the process, leaving so many garbage along the trail and on the campsite. Worse, tree branches were indiscriminately cut to adorn and corral campsites while stunted trees near the summit were uprooted by bonsai dealers and traditional healers and I could do nothing. I did write about this incident in 2008 to summarize my views, my experiences and my dismays and release a long-overdue frustration.

I would suggest that Mt. Apo be left as it is and access should be regulated strictly and no more than fifteen people should be allowed to use the park in a single day or through the duration of their stay. Mass-climbing activities should not be allowed and park usage fee should be increased. The national government should allocate more funding to oversee Mt. Apo and deputize able-bodied tribesmen as park wardens. Mt. Apo should not be used as a cash cow to enrich the coffers of a certain local government unit. For your info, there are many such LGUs sharing municipal boundaries there. Instead, what money comes through park use should directly go to the park administrators and distribute a considerable percentage of these to the tribal councils in any form or scheme. Environmental signage should be installed along the trailhead, watering stops and campsites to remind people to be a responsible park visitor.

You don’t need a stair to climb a mountain. If you are fit you could do it. If you are not, then discipline yourself to be fit and climb your mountain else do not climb at all. Don’t change the mountain to accommodate you. Let the mountain change your mindset. Better still, know the mountain better instead of just climbing it.

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Monday, April 1, 2013


THERE IS A NEED to convene the Camp Red Bushcraft and Survival Guild today, January 27, 2013, to start a tradition. Every start of a year should be the time for every member to renew, strengthen and reaffirm his association with Camp Red. It could either be paying membership dues, participation in a club election or just by being there – attendance wise. That is why it is called a charter meeting

The place of meeting is at the Red Hours Convenience Store, located in M. Velez Street, Capitol Site, Cebu City. Red Hours is our place of choice when we are engaged in a post-activity discussion, some brainstorming, a little merriment or by simply releasing stress – alone or with company. After the guild priorities, an everyday carry (or EDC) kit parley soon follow.

The time is 1:00 PM and I arrive there first. A guest, Shio Cortes, came after me. He just want to meet me and the rest of the pack. He is a UN volunteer assigned in the Democratic Republic of Congo but he is on vacation right now and took advantage of free time before going back to his overseas posting in a few days.

Member applicants Kulas Damaso and Nyor Pino came after the other and then Camp Red stalwart Glenn Pestaño arrived. Kulas is with his motorcycle with a Jackie Chan autograph. Cold glasses of beer are filled for each individual. Then comes Ernie Salomon, Jhurds Neo and Randell Savior who just came from an outdoors seminar. Mayo Leo Carillo, JB Albano and Dominikus Sepe completed the circle.

Before leaving, Shio, showed his EDC kit and I saw fuel tablets, a tin folding burner, some anti-malaria pills, water purifying tablets, emergency scalpels and other wonderful things that we could not source locally. He promised to be back by May as he seemed interested in what we are doing as the only outdoor group in this country focusing mainly on bushcraft and survival.

The meeting turned to phase two with Glenn anchoring the flow of the activity. He put on a mini-knife porn with all the blades he carried and laid it all bare on the table. His EDC kit is most extensive as it is sub-divided – with individual pouches – into the survival kit, the first-aid kit, the replenishment kit and the repair kit.

Aside those, he had with him his micro-EDC kit attached to a climbing carabiner. The blades, the gadgets and his replenishment kit were the envy of everyone. All make light of this moment by reaching in their sticky fingers for Glenn’s chocolates and pulverizing it down inside everyone’s mouth.

JB, for his part, showed his very austere EDC; Jhurds his micro-EDC kit which includes a peppermint spray hanging by a carabiner; Nyor with his own kit placed in a small pouch; Dom imitating JB; Ernie with his own inside a waist pack that included a tiny alcohol burner and an emergency flash charger; and Randell splaying his first-aid kit.

Standing out were those of Glenn’s. Everything in his EDC, to include his micro-EDC, is a must-have for everyone and his is the benchmark of what an EDC kit is all about. I could mention a few items but the list is endless really. The only thing that Glenn – and everyone else – failed to have is the list of the items printed or written on a paper which, incidentally, Kulas had although he doesn’t have an EDC.

Meanwhile, my own EDC kit consists of two sections: the survival kit and the first-aid kit. My replenishment items are already integrated into the survival kit which consist of high-protein emergency food and beverage. My survival and first-aid kits are segregated by individual mesh bags and both are stored inside an Ortlieb heavy-duty dry bag.

I am quite satisfied with the turn of events and, I think, Camp Red is now a stalwart when it comes to EDC on this side of town although some Facebook-based groups are beginning to sprout like Filipino Survival and Pinoy Preppers which both espouse about EDC kits. What distinguishes Camp Red from the rest is we are more oriented in the back-country, the wilderness and the real world.

But the most important thing is that more and more people are beginning to understand about the EDC kit. I help to spread this sub-interest – you may call it a hobby – by actually conducting EDC seminars designed for security professionals. Soon, I may be able to include other professionals and the schoolkids.

In the end, this habit of carrying daily a survival or first-aid kit would eventually give you the needed elbow room to decide your existence and of others in a real-world SHTF situation.

Document done in LibreOffice 3.3 Writer