Friendship in the mountaineering community or having mountaineer friends knows no bounds. There are those individuals that we became friends by the simple exchange of a chat via FB. There are also those we meet along the trail and some others are gained through common friends and other networks, mountaineers who also have day jobs and other lives aside from the ones spent in the mountains. Whether you are from the same province or not, still, the fondness being created by sharing the same experiences and learning from each other is one of a kind. I had learned a lot from them with the real time communication channels available these days.
I had met a lot of mountaineers and outdoor enthusiasts via the virtual world of Facebook as well as meeting up with them through climbs and other social gatherings. I am greatly honored to feature one particular mountaineer who is a independent career woman as well as a nurturing mother to a baby mountaineer, Wyatt Maktrav. She is Kaila Sharlene Bedural, commonly known as Ma’am Sha in the mountaineering community. Here is a sneak peak of her life and her thoughts as she reared Wyatt to be an active baby that scaled most of the mountains in our country and never gets tired of climbing.
Name: Kaila Sharlene de los Reyes – Bedural
Hometown: Quiapo, Manila
Current Address: San Pedro, Laguna
School: Lyceum of Alabang
Course: Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering (ongoing)
Current Work: Freelance SEO Specialist / Web Developer
What were your inspirations in joining an outdoor club? What year were you officially a member? What year did you finish BMC?
- I’m not actually a member of any outdoor club. I preferred being a freelance climber for no particular reason. Honestly, I haven’t attended any BMC seminars yet. However, I obtained myself a copy of BMC handbook and lectures so I was able to read and learn from it. I’m not saying that BMC is not important. I, myself, wanted to attend BMC and learn more. I just can’t find some time now being a working-student-mother.
What were your highlights as a member of the club?
- Since I am not a member of any club, I can’t answer this question. But in general, I considered climbing with my husband and baby as the main highlight of our mountaineering experience. Climbing with our baby Wyatt Maktrav is a whole lot different and challenging than the usual climb with some random people. It’s no longer about how fast we’ve reached the summit or how many peaks we’ve climbed in one day. It’s now about letting our child experience the outdoors and appreciate the beauty of our nature.
Any downsides during major climbs?
- During our Mt. Talomo-Apo climb, known as the Mindanao Mega Traverse, we experienced a super heavy rain that made the trail like waterfalls, zero visibility, scary thunder and lightning struck the ground that was very near to us. We were shivering in the damp foggy cold. What surprised us the most was the other side of Mt. Apo (the boulders) was sunny and there’s no trace of rain the day after.
How important is attitude and interpersonal skills for you?
- Attitude and interpersonal skills are extremely important because these characteristics that you possess will define who you are as a human being. Therefore, it is vital to develop a positive attitude not only during the climb, but wherever you go.
Being in the outdoor community, how do you see the community in the next 10 years?
- In the current situation of the mountaineering community here in the Philippines, there are lots of climbers who are vandalizing and leaving their trash in the mountains. I’m afraid that in 10 years’ time, our mountains will no longer be beautiful and serene. I hope that it will be prevented with the help of some environmental advocates who don’t give up on educating climbers with the do’s and don’ts.
Any moments when you feel like giving up?
- In terms of climbing, yes. There was a point that I feel like giving up. But then my mind was telling me that I started for a reason, so why give up? What was it that made me start this crazy adventure in the first place? Sometimes, you will be in a situation where there’s no turning back. Once you’re there, the only choice you have is to go on. It’s just a matter of time, patience and determination.
Any inspirational message to individuals like me who are into the outdoors and who are willing to learn more?
- Let me answer this question with a quote by Ax Nelson:
“One cannot climb at all unless he has sufficient urge to do so. Danger must be met (indeed it must be used) to an extent beyond that incurred to normal life. That is one reason men climb; for only in response to challenge does one man becomes his best.”
On the issue of porters and environmental fees, what is your opinion on this?
- I’m not against about the idea of getting a porter on major and multi-day climbs. Let’s admit the fact that we need them. During the climb, porters and guides are like family so we shouldn’t abuse them. As for the environmental fees, ask for a receipt if paying to DENR or barangays.
Having said it, I find it an inspiration to follow her footsteps in the outdoors. Since I am an outdoor enthusiast myself, I had yearned for the time that I will be able to tread those trails as well, either with friends or going solo. Her steadfast will and determination to explore is just amazing. Kudos Ma’am Sha! 🙂 See you soon on the trails! I have been very fortunate to know someone as humble and kind hearted as you.
Here are some of her photos during climbs: