5 December 1999, a motley group of climbers was invited by then MFPI President Butch Sebastian to craft a Vision Mission for the Mountaineering Federation of the Philippines Incorporated (MFPI).
Seven years ago, the vision was defined against the backdrop of what were then in the popular mindsets of the climbers:
-With a desire to climb complemented by a commitment to the preservation of the mountain eco-system
-With a sense of adventure tempered by a due regard for safety
-Whose enjoyment of the climb is bounded by a healthy respect and sensitivity for fellow mountaineers and the local communities they encounter.
We saw then a Philippine mountaineering community aware of both their right and duty to be responsible mountaineers leading to the statement of the mission-to promote responsible mountaineering by setting standards for climbing behavior ensuring:
-Our commitment to the preservation of mountain eco-system
-Development of skills necessary for safe enjoyment of climbing
-A healthy respect for fellow mountaineers and local communities
Over the past years, we saw the climbing community engaged in activities which were not directly taken into consideration then. Among them were:
-Number of climbers has grown in leaps and bounds re-classing the recreation from an extreme activity to a mainstream one which media gamely picked up.
-Competitive adventure sports which were not in fashion before gained acceptance and participation from the climbing community. Climbers provided a pool of winnable participants in either local, regional or international races.
-Expanding sights not only in tropical climbs but alpine as well.
-Opening up to the possibility that the Pinoy given the training and logistical support can climb the roof of the world.
Mission Vision practitioners say that a hard and fast rule to process check its relevance is to challenge whether the vision has been achieved, the stakeholders still share the missions’ sentiments, end result is doable taking in account a tangible goal, an execution plan, a visionary leader and more importantly is a shared purpose.
Consider that in spite of major developments, climbers still have a high regard for safety although un-quantified, there is still a consciousness to preserve the mountain eco-system although it appears not to high in priority and even with the differences in views amongst clubs, members, climbers and the manner to run the federation, there is still a considerable respect for the diversity of opinion. There are those though who clamor for wider representation. Some vouch for a stronger lobbying presence, geographical division and of late international accreditation. While there was a mention on skills, one noted the absence of physical fitness in the framework.
Is it time to re-visit the Vision Mission? Popular sentiment of the stakeholder which is composed of the member clubs, the individual members, incumbent officers, suppliers, communities we affect and the support groups we tap can give tell-tale indicators. All of them have stakes to protect. Each one has its own priority. Indifference, apathy, resignation at one and involvement, commitment, contribution at the extreme end offer hints is to whether the sentiments are still shared. Are the stakeholders getting more or less involved with the mission?
What I know is as we root for the first Filipino climber or the first Filipino climber or the first Filipino team to step foot on the peak of Mt. Everest, the climbing landscape has been changing immeasurably. Maybe so, it is time. Unless the community now has turned its affiliation somewhere else and just leave the MFPI to where it is.
What’s in your mind matters. What do you think?
2 May 2006