Yes, Singapore is awesome. I just to say that immediately. *grin*. Truth be told, I’ve never been to any country outside the Philippines prior to this. Travel seem such a big state of unnecessary affairs. I think men in general think like that. Add the fact that I’ve also never wanted to leave the country. In seeming contrast to the diaspora of my countrymen looking for greener grass to pasture from abroad.
I was however looking to take some time off from work and spend those with my family. So when the opportunity came all I had to say was yes to all expense paid summer vacation to our Asian neighbors, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Singapore is a popular choice for Filipinos looking to try their luck abroad. A number of my college classmates and colleagues call Singapore their home away from home and all of them seem happy with their decision. It comes off as surreal when you think about it then realize that a 1st world country is just four hours away from the Philippines. About the same time for me to do the laundry on any given weekend.
And being a 1st world country, there had been times when I felt that I was turning my back on something good when I preferred to stay here in the Philippines. Some of my friends agree. While I am thankful for their vote of confidence I’ve always felt that my life, struggle and acclaims (if any) shall be made here in the Philippines.
I slept throughout most of the entire flight. I have this personal regimen to rest as much as I can when traveling or on a climb. In our descent, my first image of Singapore was it’s majestic seascape which appears from above as dots of gold and yellow from the light of the numerous ships. It’s the fifth busiest port of the world. I’ve never seen anything like it. And it was amazing.
A BMW for a taxi and that amazed me. I bet that’s not happening in Cebu in my lifetime. We took one from Changi Airport where Changi failed my expectations which were set by my mudding friend Lorenz who said it to be better or at par with the airport of Amsterdam. The walkalator was fun to ride on though. Later I would know that he could have been referring to Terminals 1 and 3. Philippine flights are billeted at T2, the least impressive of the three. Shabby begets shabby… maybe.
I also saw touchscreen monitors at the comfort room and their helpdesk which is an an efficient way for everyone to provide feedback to the airport employees. From the monitors you could rate them with an excellent option to downright failed.
Getting to Moni Gallery Hostel
En route to our hostel, I got to the see the Esplanade and the Singapore Flyer. Cars are right hand driven and drivers talk on their phones a lot even when driving! That did kind of scare me. It was dusk when we drove through but Singapore did manage to impress me with the number of aged trees which seemed apt for a country city concerned with the well-being of its citizens.
A couple of minutes later we arrived at Moni Gallery Hostel and took the family suite. Establishments don’t have security guards and instead utilize timed electronic locks with their doors. The owner of the place was kind enough to open for us in the middle of the night My thoughts about our accommodation, well, the bed was soft and cozy. The place was clean and inspiring. It did however feel a bit overpriced. But then again it is Singapore.
Day 0 was done. Tomorrow was going to be the big day.
Ngsurat ak hini kay kinmimingaw ako hit Patron ha Tacloban. Patron na naman ha Tacloban buwas. Maika pira na ini nga tuig na waray ako nakakauli. Bangin next year nala liwat, baga asya namanla tak nayayakan permi. Sayang kay marisyo kunta pag-uli hini na okasyon.
Ha pira katuig na waray ako nakakauili baga nagduduha duha gad udog ako kun maririsyohan la ghap ako kay han una dabest gud talaga an patron. Asay pa pagtikang hit klase ha June, timing liwat na ngtitikang na it mga preparasyon para ha fiesta. Usa ka bulan na mayda kalingawan ha siyudad. Damot mga tindahan, mga streamer, mga sale ha tindahan. Ha Rizal park damot mga dekorasyon. Malipayon gadla permi an bata. Festive mood kum baga.
Han akon pagkabata, an akon dri makakalimtan kay han kin dara ako ni Papa pagkita han Pintados o Sangyaw pa ba adto na panahon. Duha kami ni kuya. Dri ak nakakalimot kay nakakahinumdum ako hin guti, takay kay mayda pagud kami picture hadto, asya na nakakahinumdum ako. Naririsyohan ak hadto kay masamok man an mga tawo tapos mayda pintar pintar. Napapausa cguro ako kun kay ano an mga tawo na nahadlok na mapintaran ngkikita la gihap. An ngpaparade liwat, lipay man hira na mayda hira pintar. Napakiana cguro ako kun kay ano sugad. Mayda ako sul.ot hadto na kalo na kanan indian. Kita gad udog ha picture na ngeenjoy ako.
Han akon pagkaelementary, an akon la nahihinumduman kay han nguupod kami han akon mga patod ha pagkita han mga kalingawan kada sabado. Makuri kurihan paguli, ambot kin ano nam adto pakauli. An uso na telepono hadto kay an dial dial pa na circle. Dri ak nakakalimot kay namiling kami para makatawag ha balay. Nababaraka ada adto hi mama, asya kinpatawag anay cguro hi Ate kun tipauli na kami. Han ini na panahon na elementary pa ako, dri pa man gud ak hadto baga adventurous na lumakat hin ako la or upod an ak mga classmate. Balay – eskwelahan – balay la an ak ruta hadto.
Han akon paghighschool, katatapos han klase, bisan aadto ha Bliss an amon skwelahan ada kay diritso dayon ngadto ha downtown. Libot anay ha Gaisano makausa tapos tikadto na ha may Eye Referral liwat para tumambay. Asya man liwat ini basta mga highschool pala, bisan waray mga kwarta, basta kaupod la it mga barkada, OK na. Basta makakita la hin mga chicks tapos marisyohan ha mga kiritaon, OK na.
Pagcollege, aw duroy na mas marisyo. Asay pa kay nararasahan naman han pait ha beer. Tapos an iba nasigarilyo. An iba nguuyab uyab na. Duroy na mas marisyo. An kwarta baga OK naman gihap asay pa kay ha downtown naman naskwela. An pagkakaiba la tlaga kay baga nagtitika mature na, waray na an mga trip na pambata. Kaurugan na trip kay namamati hin sounds ha Balyaun Tower han mayda pa adto na panahon or didto ha RTR Plaza. Iba tlaga han mayda pa Balyuan Tower, baga iconic man adto. Didto gihap ak nakaharok han ako crush.
Ini nga panahon katapos han akon paggraduate, asya it baga blanko kay aadi man kita natrabaho ha Cebu. It makapoy la basta nauli na tapos nagbabarko kay damo hin duro it nabiyahe, maiha na biyahe, kapoy. So hassle gud tlaga. Pero kun eroplano, waray problema. Baga kala hin kumarigo, 30 minutes ada ka dayon ha Tacloban. Mas mahal la liwat kun diri promo fare. Nakauli gad ako nakausa, an akon pamilya an akon upod para pgenjoy. Nangita la kami ha bazaar katapo nangaon ha restaurant. Waray na ako ngkita han parade kay baga asya manla ito permi. Katapos kay reunion han akon mga classmate ha HS.
Naderi gad ghap ako na dri ak makaenjoy hit patron hini na panahon tak kinabuhi. Iba man gud liwat basta imo kindakoan. Bangin ha akon pa pagkalagas ak makaenjoy, aw dri iton maupay. Ayla, malooy an Diyos, bangin next year makauli na ako.
So we just climbed MT. APO via the Kapatagan – Kidawapan trail a few weeks back, the second major climb for MALAKAT Outdoors this 2013 among our usual climb sorties. I wrote a partial climb log here and I might publish the rest of it here. We’ll see how it goes.
The whole climb was surreal between the sweet summit attempt, the bitter fist of the raging angry wind hammering our faces and the looooong way back.
The video is less painful. Hope you like it.
Mt APO Boulder Challenge
The views from Osmena Peak are as picturesque as any and being the highest point in the Cebu Province makes it a hotbed for campers and trekkers all year round. The trail is well established and the peak can be reached within 45 minutes of leisurely ascents and a cool breeze through your face.
It’s an easy climb.
In Mantalongon Market, where the jump-off to the peak commences, the warm welcome of the children will break you to a smile. To some of the visitors they are plainly children who serve as pathfinders or provide water provisions where in truth they offer something more, kinship. Kinship borne out of the night outs amidst food and laughter throughout your visits. They will bring out the child in you and they in turn will be mesmerized at how urban you are.
But if you are paying close attention, you will know why they are in the mountains with you.
For the mountaineering club MALAKAT Outdoors, the call to social responsibility is an easy one. The club raised funds from colleagues, family members and friends to give out school supplies in time with the opening of the school year. 1&1 Internet Philippines, where MALAKAT is recognized as an official club, championed the needs of 50 children who needed the supplies most.
The rest of the funds went to another 50 children, snacks and portage.
So last June 8, 2013, 35 members and participants from the club in coordination with the staff of Mantalongon Elementary School treated the children to a day of smiles and fun activity. Melvin Delima, in charge of activity proper, gave a brief background of the club and entertained both children and adults with games to a resounding sound of fun and laughter. The handing of the school supplies came next promptly followed by snacks and other treats.
It was a bright and sunny day for everyone even when it was actually raining.
MALAKAT Outdoors reaffirms that this is only the start. With continued support, the club will carry on what they started as the children from the highlands of Mantalongon will always have a soft spot in their hearts.
(Renerio A. de Dios Jr/Photos by Kim Bolongaita)
School Year 2013-2014 opens this June 3 and for the less fortunate children of the highlands, this means another year of scrimping on paper, borrowing pens, and no notebooks to write on. It’s a sad story. But we can help.
This June 8 & 9, we are going to donate pens, papers, and bags to these children. You can help too. Here’s how:
- Climb Osmena Peak in a daytrek, or spend a night at the vaunted Osmena Peak (the highest point of Cebu.), or join us at our traverse to Kawasan Falls, Badian. Not keen on trekking? Join the charity event. Registration fee only at Php50.00
- Monetary donations. We will be distributing envelopes per team within the week. Any amount is appreciated.
- Donations. Notebooks, papers, pencils and bags. Those will make the children happy.
You can make a difference. Help us, help them.
- Registration form is with the 16th flr guard.
- Registration Fee: Php50.00 (we will approach you for the payment)
- Deadline of Registration: June 5, 2013 (Wednesday)