Highlands and Islands.
These words characterized the core vision of the celebration. Everything to celebrate life in the mountains and in the seas are evident in this celebration. Visayas Mountain Festival started as an awakening to the consciousness of the responsible mountaineers here in the Visayas on the issues concerning our beloved playgrounds. Visayas Mountain Festival, or VMF, is a celebration of LIFE in all forms. It venerated our sacred playgrounds where we find peace and solitude in the process of the discovering our very selves. These happened back in May 1-3, 2015.
VMF is spearheaded by the Mountaineering Federation of the Philippines Visayas Chapter with unified efforts of the following mountaineering clubs since its beginnings:
University of San Carlos Mountaineers (USC-M), CAMP [Cebu Assailants of Mountain Peaks] Cebu, Cebu Outdoor Adventure Team (COAT), and Cebu Mountaineering Society (CeMS), BOAT (Bohol Outdoor Adventure Team) from Bohol, NULOC (Nature Unlimited Leyte Outdoor Club) from Leyte, CPU MS (Central Philippine University Mountaineering Society) from Iloilo, IMC (Iloilo Mountaineering Club) from Iloilo.
Here is a blast from the past of how VMF came to be:
- 8th VMF at CREMDEC, Transcentral Highway, Brgy. Taptap, Cebu City, CEBU (2011 March 31 – April 3)
- 7th VMF at Nueva Valencia and Jordan, GUIMARAS (2010 May 20 – 28)
- 6th VMF at Municipality of Mabinay, NEGROS ORIENTAL (2009 March 25 – 29)
- 5th VMF at Danao Adventure Park, Brgy. Mangtangtang, Danao,BOHOL (2008 March 6 – 9)
- 4th VMF at Mount Nangtud in Barbaza and Mount Madja-as Culasi, ANTIQUE (2007 March 2– 6)
- 3rd VMF at Patag, Silay City, NEGROS OCCIDENTAL (2006 March 1 – 5)
- 2nd VMF at Baybay, LEYTE (2005 February 23 – 27)
- 1st VMF at Mt Talinis, Valencia, NEGROS ORIENTAL (2004)
This may be an extensive history already but the PASSION AND LOVE for the GREAT OUTDOORS still burns fervently. From 2011 to 2014, VMF was somehow still in existence though little documentation was provided. This year, I was fortunate to be working closely with the organizing team, Bohol Outdoor Adventure Team for pulling up an event as big as this.
I personally am able to join the planned trekking activity. At the arrival, we pitched our tents and created our own camps amid the bermuda grass in Danao Adventure Park. It was spacious enough to fit at least 4 tents from our contingent from HABAGAT Outdoor Equipment. We were all employees who were privileged to immerse ourselves with the great outdoors. And true enough, we already had fun. Though we have different point of views and backgrounds even to the point of arguing what will be cooked first on our provisions, still, we were able to survive the camp without a unscathed.
Here’s also the general itinerary for all the participants. Whether your main event will be Trekking, Paddling, Caving or perhaps joined the Basic Mountaineering Course, here are the salient points on the festival that you should take to heart.
12th Visayas Mountain Festival
Danao Eco-Park, Danao, Bohol
April 30-May 1-3, 2015
General Event Itinerary
APRIL 30, 2015 ( Thursday)
Arrival and Registration
Municipality of Tubigon
1:00 P.M.- ETD: 1st Free pick up of Guests, Staff and Participants from Tubigon Port to Danao DanaoAdventure Park
3:30 P.M.- ETD: Pick Up of Kayaking Participants from Tubigon Port to Bien Unido
4:30 P.M.- ETD: 2nd Free pick up of Guests, Staff and Participants from Tubigon Port to Danao Eco-Park
All free transportation are redirected to Tubigon Port. Cebu Participants are encouraged to take Tubigon as their port of Entry in Bohol. Participants coming in Tagbilaran City are encouraged to travel to Tubigon to avail of the free transportation going to Danao.
Event Proper (Day 1)
MAY 1, 2015 (Friday)
A.M.– Simultaneous start-off of Major Activities i.e. BMC, Caving, Trekking, Sea Kayaking
P.M.– Simultaneous start-off of Major Activities i.e. BMC, Caving, Trekking, Sea Kayaking
– Outdoor Cooking
– Outdoor Talk
MAY 2, 2015 ( Saturday)A.M.- Day 2 of Major Activities i.e. BMC, Caving, Trekking, Sea Kayaking and Mountain Biking
P.M.– Day 2 of Major Activities i.e. BMC, Caving, Trekking, Sea Kayaking and Mountain Biking
– Hosted Dinner
– Evening Socials
Last Day (Day 3)
MAY 3, 2015 ( Sunday)
Before lunch or After Lunch- free ride back to Tubigon Port and Tagbilaran City.
-HOME SWEET HOME-
During the 1st day of the Trekking, I felt excited for seeing Bohol’s mountains but was technically shocked to see the devastation in all forms. Kaingin, or the process of “slash and burn” was really the main cause of death for the land foliage. It was sad and frustrating to see that the mountains are reduced to a blackened piece of land. We were passing by countless rolling hills and at the end of the day, had to manage a slippery trail of 90-degree inclination down to the river. After that, we were hosted by the barangay captain some snacks which we did not expect. Talk about genuine hospitality from the locals.
Day 2 had seen the bouldering hours, painstakingly fighting back the urge to go switchbacks and just continue with the hike. Bouldering has always been my Waterloo, and a tad too many times when I almost gave up but then, I mustered enough strength to continue it amid painful knees and legs. As we did the geomorphic trek, the highlight was the layered volcanic rocks and soil that hold the very foundation of Danao. The Dagohoy Hill also was something to check out. This is where the tomb of Francisco Dagohoy once lay but due to the damage caused by Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan, it was somehow destroyed and the locals just transferred the remains.
We did had a lot of fun and made lots of acquaintances and friends. It was just fitting to recount that the more awareness and being educated on the ways of Nature, we can then fully comprehend the ways how it will be preserved, maintained and conserved.
Till the next Visayas Mountain Festival! 🙂 Surely, the adventure will rise to a whole new level then! 🙂
Check out our snaps 🙂