Thursday, December 11, 2014


I HAVE WANTED TO do another nocturnal hunting session in Argao for the Camp Red Bushcraft and Survival Guild.  The area is just perfect for training on this matter but, due to some external complications, I have no other recourse but to shelve this project.  I decide to transfer this activity to Lilo-an instead.  

We converge at our meeting place in Mandaue City after lunchtime on April 12, 2014.  It is a rainy day but, I pray, this will not last.  Coming for this occasion are Jhurds, Glenn, Dominic, Justine, Faith, Jerome and Nelson.  Majority of the guys ride on Jerome’s KIA Rio while Jhurds, Dom and me decide to commute to Lilo-an on a north-bound public jitney.

Aljew is our gracious host for this occasion.  After a light breakfast of special bread baked from the ovens of Titay’s Bakery paired with coffee, we proceed to our campsite.  We need not walk far for it is along the shoreline of Lilo-an.  Christopher guide us all there.  I assess the area and I choose an unused lot which used to be a beach resort.

It is 16:00 and soon it will be dark.  There is a drizzle and strong gusts of wind spurred on by a slow moving typhoon that weakened into a low pressure area.  I did not expect this kind of weather at this time.  Everyone make do of the situation and according to the available materials found and foraged in the area.  It is a test of how people will think and adapt.  

Jhurds use a wooden tripod to prop a wooden ridge to a frangipani tree (Local name: kalatsutse) for his laminated nylon sheet as his shelter.  Nelson used a detached door as his bed space and place it beside a low concrete wall.  The wall will act as windbreaker as well as a possible bulwark for his shelter should it rain.  Jerome set his black taffeta sheet in a crawl space of an improvised table underneath a Malabar almond tree (Local: talisay).  

Dom tied his hammock inside an abandoned bunkhouse while Glenn used the same structure for his bedding.  Justine and Faith shared one free-standing tent.  Me?  I just sleep outdoors.  My bed is a detached door placed over a makeshift ladder propped over one log.  Another detached screen door is left as a windbreaker.  My Apexus taffeta sheet is on standby should it rain.  I will just have to wrap myself with it.

After I have secured my bed, I go on the business of foraging wood for our fire.  Finding dry wood is not a problem since there are a lot of scraps of lumber as well as dry kindling.  Starting a fire is a problem though as strong gusts of wind snuff everything out we dished.  Jhurds help me in starting the fire and we are able to produce one and kept it protected by using the low concrete wall as a windbreaker.

We first cook rice – two pots – on a tripod and, as Christopher returned from the public market, we grill pork meat over another fire that Jerome and Nelson had given life.  The weather is still uncooperative.  Huge waves spurred on by strong gusts of wind make the sea cloudy with silt.  Low tide was noticed at around 16:00 but it is now 18:00 and the promise of foraging on the seashore is discouraging.

We focus on our dinner instead and I know there are hungry stomachs among us.  Grilled pork answered that yearning and, as everyone settled around the fire, a bottle of local brandy begins to take shape and make its presence felt.  Slowly, the tide turned and it goes high and deep enough to take a dip.  A cloudy full moon illuminates the seascape and I take my chance to immerse in the warm water at 21:00.  Glenn join me.

Aljew arrive from a party and join the campfire crowd.  Allan Aguipo also came.  A second bottle replaces the first and more conversations are fed into the circle.  I begin to feel tipsy.  As the clock approach the first few hours of the next day, I retreat to my bed, intending to wake up at 04:30 and set my alarm.  The alarm came and passed unnoticed.  

I wake up when my eyelids felt light in the sky.  It is 05:30 and I missed the nocturnal hunting!  Christopher, Jhurds, Allan, Jerome and Nelson were on to it and they caught different sea shells and a few tiger fish (Local: buga-ong) which they all cook in one pot as soup.  Lying on top of an iron grill are Indian mackerel (Local: anduhaw), cooked above coal embers.

We eat our breakfast as the tide begins to turn again into high water.  The grilled mackerel meat is fresh while the soup is sweet.  After the meal, we celebrate our being here by starting the blade porn.  The blade porn is a bushcraft tradition which Camp Red had adapted, wherein it showcases the knives and hatchets of each individual and, by itself, spurs on intelligent conversations and jolly camaraderie exemplified by our skill with the catapults.

Breaking of camp proceed thereafter as we get on to the business of packing our things back into our bags.  We walk to our host’s residence and stay for a while to be feted with lunch, cold beer and watch live the rematch of Manny Pacquiao against Tim Bradley.  Our Filipino champion controlled the match convincingly and lopsidedly as he gets the nod of all the three judges. 

As the euphoria of Pacquiao’s win died down, Aljew decide to do a little exploration on a hidden enclave on the hills of Lilo-an.  We were all invited and a red pickup was used in reaching the area, which pass by an empty ammunition dump dug from a hillside by the Japanese forces during World War 2.  We walk when the truck could not proceed.  

A creek ran through the place.  There is a small waterfall that splash to a pond and a man is taking a bath on top of the rock.  We proceed on upstream and pass by a natural spring.  Water spew out from a piece of bamboo and drop in driblets to a plastic gallon.  Up ahead, a good 500 meters away, is a dried-up high waterfall.  Any place along the creek is a good site for a bushcraft camp by its proximity to a water source and lots of bamboo.

We go back to town and said our goodbyes to Aljew and Christopher.  It is already 16:00 and we have a long ways to go.  We commute back to Mandaue City and then to our respective homes.  I got home at 19:00 and I am tired.

Document done in LibreOffice 3.3 Writer

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