WHEN THIS year opened, I swore to myself to get involved in different worthwhile activities. I started running and even organized a fun run, traveled to several provinces and cities last summer, bought a new camera to take my photography to a new level, and just last week, went on a backpacking adventure with my new friends — The Team Bundol Mountaineers.
The Team Bundol Mountaineers is a group of neighborhood friends who happened to share the same passion for adventure. I noticed the group while browsing my Facebook wall. I scanned their photos and spotted a familiar place (our farm) in one of their photos. They went to amazingly beautiful places in the municipality that I never thought existed. I wondered if I could join them.
I asked them through Facebook and they gladly arranged a meeting so that I would be introduced to the group. I’m very glad they counted me in.
THE TEAM. Six of the members of Team Bundol Mountaineers.
Macky: The coordinator. He texts everyone for developments. His place has always been the venue for our meetings.
Ading: The Chef. He is always ready to do tasks in the kitchen.
Mickey: Heartthrob and Techie. He created and moderates the Facebook Group. Usually climbs with his babe, according to reports. Lol.
The brothers Mardy and Jay-R: The Big Brothers and resident artists.
Batman: The Guide and Rescuer.
Payat (not in the photo): The clown.
Several months passed and there wasn’t any movement. Although there were several invitational climbs, I wasn’t able to participate in those events because of school work until a few weeks ago, we agreed to organize a climb in time for the Munato Festival of Sarangani Province in November.
We planned to invite mountaineering groups and bring them to Kibac, a far-flung community in the outskirts of the municipality of Alabel. The group had been there, so they know the place. However, Kibak is too far. It would take mountaineers about seven hours of trekking. Batman suggested that we look for an alternative site and mentioned Atnayan Falls. None of us had been there, except Batman, so we decided to visit the place first. I remembered that August 29 and 30 had already been declared a national holiday, so I suggested that we go there on those dates.
Preparations had been made. Macky was the coordinator. He took charge of communicating with everyone and informing Barangay Captain of Pag-Asa, Lente Salway, of our trip. Mardy had our tarpaulin printed. Others played their roles, too. Before I knew it, the tents, the burner, butane cans, cooking utensils, and other camping essentials have already been prepared.
Two other groups, MAMA and Magu, joined our trek to Atnayan Falls. Like us, Magu, an organization composed of employees at the provincial capitol of Sarangani, also plans to organize an invitational climb in November. They came with us to also see the place. MAMA, on the other hand, are the experts in the area. They know the who’s who and the important considerations when trekking in the area.
We split into two groups. Magu went ahead of us because they were going down in the afternoon. We left at a later time because we had to wait for members of MAMA and some of us who went to get the letter of introduction from Brgy. Capt. Salway, which we will present to the local community leaders in New Canaan, where we planned to spend the night.
We left Poblacion, Alabel on motorcycles, and it was the start of our exciting adventure to Atnayan Falls.