Tuesday, April 8, 2014



1.     What professional development topics interest you?  What are your plans for professional growth?

Business!  If I could make something worthwhile about bushcraft and survival then I could concentrate more on this.     

2.     Describe the teaching techniques or strategies that are most effective for you.

Students taking notes or the teacher walking the talk.

3.     Describe a time when a lesson was not going well.  What did you do about it?

I know when a lesson is not going well when I ran out of ideas to explain certain aspects.  I let others participate instead and let them express their own knowledge and know-how and that saves me an awkward situation.

4.     How have you influenced Wil Rhys-Davies to follow your strategic vision for the organization (Camp Red)?  How did he influence you?

Bought him two bottles of beer.  Seriously, Rhys-Davies is a very intelligent dork and a well-traveled pirate.  He and Thomas Moore influenced me to shift to bushcraft and survival when they learned that the Philippines, most notably Cebu, have a dearth of people who can teach primitive-living crafts in a non-commercial manner.  Although both learned from the Aetas, they wanted to learn more skills from other parts of this country.  It was a timely meeting since I, at that time, wanted to enjoy the outdoors better instead of just climbing peaks and hiking trails.  I believed, I have outgrown my relevance to mainstream outdoor activities and needed something to shift my paradigm.  On the other hand, Rhys-Davies is trying to steal me away from Camp Red and confine all my teachings with Snakehawk Wilderness School only.  I just let myself go with the flow but I will never abandon Camp Red and I would sneak in to conduct free activities with them anytime.

5.     What was the most significant change you brought about in an organization?

Make it different from the rest.  Provide members some sort of a badge of honor; an identity that is truly their own.  Conduct consistent outdoors seminars and activities on different topics which were not taught before.

6.     Is there a specific leadership style that you’re using?  If yes, what is it?  If you’re using multiple styles, please enumerate and tell me the advantage of those for you.

I do not really have a specific template of leadership style and prefer not to know any of it or speak about it.  It is just second nature to me or my being a senior citizen has to do with it. 

7.     Describe an outstanding leader.  What makes you one?

An outstanding leader is one who would create dynamism among his community which then creates opportunities for other individuals to excel and take off from where he/she started.  I do not think that I am an outstanding leader although I believe I am some kind of leader but not outstanding.

8.     How do you define bushcraft?

Bushcraft is a definition coined by Mors Kochanski about surviving and living in the backwoods.  It is just another term to either mean survivalcraft, primitive-living techniques or wilderness skills.  As far as I know, bushcraft is survival in the wilderness on a long term; a way of life which our indigenous brothers are masters of.  

9.     What is Camp Red (aside from the information that can be found in the Internet)?  What inspired you to form Camp Red?

Camp Red is really an alternative vehicle to enjoy the outdoors using bushcraft and survival as the means.  It is a guild of artisans and craftsmen and a repository of woodlore and traditional crafts.    

10.  How did you learn your wilderness skills?

Mostly, it was from my late grandfather; the rest, from experiential education. 

11.  What are your plans for Philippine bushcraft?

When I started the Philippine Independence Bushcraft Camp in 2011, I aim to make it as an annual event.  The purpose of the PIBC is to divert people from the sickness of mass climbs done every June 12th and to teach the uninitiated about the rudiments of bushcraft and survival.  It is just confined to a certain fixed date with Cebu as the host but I am open to do it elsewhere and not necessarily replicating the event in itself just like I did to individual members of a new mountaineering federation in Luzon last October 2012.  Likewise, I also organized another bushcraft camp which is different in structure from the PIBC and will be a forerunner of an international event soon.  I want to place the Philippines in the world map as a bushcraft and survival destination.

12.  What do you see in the bushcrafters of today?

Presently, bushcraft practiced by non-indigenous Philippine population are confined only to true-blue hobbyists who are really very few in number and I consider them as precious jewels.  These few individuals may or may not be the core of Philippine bushcraft but I see this number gaining every year, thanks in part to the advent of social networking sites.  

13.  Is bushcraft a lost art or a dying art?

Neither.  It is inherent in us native peoples yet we refused to acknowledge it because we now rely so much on technology and grew on the trappings of Western-style education and methods that make it irrelevant yet Westerners wanted to learn more of it which becomes an irony in itself.  The timely setting up of the PIBC allowed that bushcraft is indeed a skill that needs to be re-learned by this present generation.

14.  How do you see bushcraft in the Philippines 10 to 15 years?  Will it prosper like mountaineering?

Bushcraft has been here for so long before mountaineering became an interest started by Europe’s nobility and landed gentry in the 19th century.  Prehistoric people had been practicing survival skills side by side with mountaineering (when it was not yet known by this term), during migration or flight.  Bushcraft will move on its own pace in the Philippines according to the sum/quality of their activities.      

15.  What do you think about LNT (Leave No Trace)?  In your opinion, where would LNT and bushcraft meet?

The spirit behind the 7 Principles of LNT is good and should be taught to anybody who wanted to enjoy the outdoors, even us bushcrafters.  Sadly, some mountaineering clubs and individuals interpret it verbatim and even make LNT as a rule instead of as a guide, which was not what was in the minds of the originators had intended it to be.  Besides that, what is applicable in temperate zones will sound hyperbolic in the tropics and quite absurd when you are on survival mode.  It is not LNT that bushcrafters have an aversion to but the very people who interpret it.


Cross said...

Bushcraft will never hit mainstream. That is because it is not something so remote in this country that it will spark some renewed interest, like it does to most westerners. We can walk to a nearby barrio and pretty much the way of life is bushcrafty already. Us, practitioners, are in it as a result of a conscious effort, we know we have to preserve the ways, lest we drift in subhuman technological normalcy. That in my opinion is what separates us, tropical bushmen from the rest. We already live it, and yet we decide to STILL learn it.

Bushcraft not hitting it big time, (like trail running these days), makes it favorable for us, i guess, than having ourselves surrounded with buffoons, posers hipsters and know-it-all, silver spoon-fed metro dwelling Gucci knife aficionados.

Like they say, we keep it in the family.

PinoyApache said...

Thank you for the visit and a heady comment. Good to know a fellow bushman from Luzon. A lot of people there are indeed "buffoons, posers hipsters and know-it-all, silver spoon-fed metro dwelling Gucci knife aficionados". You can see them everyday in Facebook.