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Keep safe, Mountaineer

This post was written a day before Adrian Alba’s body was found.

I pray that if fellow mountaineer Adrian Alba didn’t make it through the rough conditions of nature these past days, may his remains at least be found. I am hoping for the best though, that he is safe somewhere.

I’m so good in huffing that I won’t miss this chance to let everyone know how disgusted I am with what’s happening in our little community. I seek no attention nor trying to be infamous but hey, it’s a person’s life that we’re talking about.

Photo by I Wish My Name was Marsha

Late afternoon of September 4, my birthday, a very disturbing news of a lad who was washed away by the strong currents of Wawa River caught our attention.

I have a few points I wanna discuss. We all knew that the weather last weekend was horrible. The leaders who organized the so-called Basic Mountaineering Course (BMC) for Adrian’s group could’ve rescheduled their activities or at least, if badly needed, transferred to a safer location. We should know when to stop defying nature.

And does BMC really include river trekking? I don’t think so. I clearly remember how the members of my now-group HAKAMS asked me not to buy any gear yet without attending the BMC because I need to know the basics of this new world I was about to enter. And for a river as big as Wawa, someone who’s sane wouldn’t dare to cross that river without any protection, a strong rope with a harness perhaps.

Photo by Yunnan Adventure

Also, as a known rule, hikers visiting a certain place must always report to the local government unit like barangay officials before commencing any activities. This is done to ensure support and help from the LGU if mishaps and such things happen. Why didn’t any registration transpire?

Do you think families and friends of the victims of any unfortunate events will appreciate you deactivating or deleting your fan page and denying your involvement with this tragedy will make them feel any better? It won’t hurt if they’ll be enlightened with what really happened. This is the only thing that can somehow ease the agony they’re going through.

Mountaineering was supposed to be fun. Mountaineers may belong to different groups with various objectives but we are just one big family with the love for outdoor activities. It really bums me out that this family is now being monopolized with politics and bragging: the more biggety, the better the mountaineer.

Photo by The Writer's Manifesto

Last January 2009, my friends and I scaled Mount Cristobal. If my memory serves me right, we were just seven in our group, very Lilliputian compared to this huge block we tumbled upon who lambasted us for destroying the trail. The rain that time and the already-steep hills of Cristobal made it impossible for us to descend by foot. We needed to slide down hence the denunciation we received. But wait, whatever happened to low-impact mountaineering with a gang of hikers of almost 40 people? I am talking about the group which also organized this knotty BMC.

My two cents. I do not intend to abash anyone nor any group. I only beseech that this be a lesson to all of us.

Photo by This is Providence

Kaiz is a stay-at-home mom and currently works as an Operations Specialist for a software engineering company based in the US.

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