This month, I am particularly giving tribute to the men and women behind the umbrella organization that handles the mountaineering community in the Philippines. Since the time that I had been exposed to the outdoors, even before the time I had done the Basic Mountaineering Course, I already had a high regard with the outdoor enthusiasts and mountaineers way before me. As a kid of age 5 or 7, I had always been exposed to the woodlands. My late uncle and my father always made it a point that I walk around 3 kilometers or so going to our jump off point before trekking a 45-minute steep assault towards our ancestral home. And for a kid, it was a tiresome and grueling task. I, on my end, didn’t see it as tiresome. I felt it was enjoyable to have sightseeing of the different landforms, plants, and trees.
Fast forward 20 years present, I had been pursuing my passions into the outdoors. By hook or by crook, I am joining climbs not just to satiate my passion for the outdoors, but as avenue for me to find myself when I felt like I’ve been too consumed by deadlines, pressure [whether work or peer related] and also when I felt like I need to get back in focus.
Now for my first feature, I had the great opportunity to talk and became friends with Mam Yay Ortega, the President of Mountaineering Federation of the Philippines last April in Albay during the 4 day Annual National Congress at Daragang Magayon Festival. It was both uplifting and refreshing to get to know cool people during the event. 🙂
>Here are some fast facts for Mam Yay:
Pilar N. Ortega
> organization: UP OUTDOOR RECREATION GROUP and MFPI
> address: Grew up in Marikina City
> school/university graduated from:
Communication Research Major
At this point, I was able to ask here some important questions with her being on top of things for MFPI:
1. What were your inspirations in joining an outdoor club? What year were you officially a member?
1991. I wanted to experience nature and adventure.
2. What were your highlights as a member of UP Org?
-River trekking, backpack riding
-spontaneous, spur-of-the-moment climbs/ camping
-introduction to MFPI
-fun days (and nights) with ORGmates
3. Any downsides during major climbs?
As with any other outdoor enthusiast, I have experienced extreme fatigue that I could not walk anymore, being caught in heavy rain, having to camp in emergency camps, having to stay and extra day or two….etc. I am sure plenty of others have had tougher things to deal with than me. It’s all part of the adventure, though. I would not consider them downsides.
4. How important is attitude and interpersonal skills for you?
You can be the strongest and most skillful climber in the world but without positive attitude and friends to share the best adventures with..well it’s rather sad. There are those who are not so strong or skilled in trekking but are great to be in the outdoors with because they have positive energy and deal well with others no matter what.
5. Being the president of MFPI, how do you see the organization in the next 10 years?
Hopefully, the MFPI by then should be taking a more active role in national environmental concerns as well as a firmer presence in national and international mountaineering scene.
6. Any moments when you feel like giving up as a president?
Not really 😀
7. Any inspirational message to individuals like me who wanted to be a part of MFPI?
Keep on climbing and keep on learning. Learn from those who have been there.
Be safe. Be prepared.
Respect other climbers, respect locals and respect Mother Earth.
And remember it’s supposed to be fun. 🙂
So there! 🙂 Hope you got a glimpse of the life and thoughts of Mam Yay! 🙂