Thursday, April 14, 2005

Wednesday the 13th

There is nothing significant about the date. It is not payday nor it is the dreaded Friday the 13th.

It was just a regular PALMC meet at the Training Center in Padre Faura presided by the President Banny Hermanos graced by Chairman John Fortes. But what a loaded package was revealed in a jam-packed room with over 60 associates, initiates and members in attendance to hear what’s in store for the season.

The (Cordillera) Bontoc Circuit Trail for 21-27 April was opened by EL Banny for enlistment. This Circuit Trail is the fulfillment of the Banny’s dream to structure this mountain area into a backpackers’ loop similar to what they have in South America and in Europe. With the support of the club and office of the governor of Mt. Province, this inaugural event will first be traced in an organized fashion by PALMC via two routes starting at the center at Siblaw-Talaw, Barlig, diverting North and South to Lingay and Mangid and converging again at Sadanga and Sabangan accessible via Halsema Highway towards the end.

Much work was placed behind this event with no less than the Mt. Province Governor and his Mayors involved. The most recent output was the pre-work last 20-23 January where a motley group trekked the Sandangan-Sagada route.

As an added caveat to the April Circuit, the governor put up the Siblaw-Talaw Barlig Trek as a prelude and warm up to the North and South diversions. To culminate the 5-day actual trek, those with the luxury of time can cool down via a leisurely hike from Ampacao to Sagada. All these for an estimated budget of P 2,500.

The Chairman, John Fortes, fresh from his participation in the 26th MFPI Congress in Malindang Ozamiz made known the successful hosting of Conquest Adventure Team and Malindang Mountaineering Alliance. He mentioned two highlights. First, our adopted club Pinakbet won the bid to host the next federation congress after a neck and neck votation with a Mindanao club. Pinakbet offered the Club’s paradise Kilung as the venue for the activity. Second, he mentioned the thwarting of an initiative to secede Mindanao into a separate federation, details of which you will have to personally get from the attendees.

Ding Cailipan, one of the pioneers who has given up his high paying position in a geothermal company devoting much of his free time organizing climbs like the Morong Bataan initiation this month and grand Kinabalu project in September fine tuned his programs. He shared the slides of the recent Morong trek with those who stayed behind. The list to those traveling to Malaysia increasing by the minute while the cost is inversely going down.

On the side, pre announcement of the Coron Palawan adventure for 13-17 May was made. For a more noble cause, the 14-15 May Camp Bulilit was also presented for drafting.

Truly, a loaded night that we almost forgot it was the birthday of our involved President Banny Hermanos. By past 10, those who remained were drawn to Ibarra for the usual post meeting talks. Historic circuit, great attendance, Kinabalu for the nth time, Coron Palawan once again, Camp Bulilit and the President’s birthday. Really, nothing really significant on that day.

-Chito 14 April 2005

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