written by Bianca Silva
As you know from your hikes with Trail Adventours we pride ourselves on not just touring beautiful places, but also in giving back to the local folks and communities who keep these places beautiful. Over the last few months, we’ve been working closely with local officials at yet another beautiful place. We’re now the first company to open up a tour to the incredible Mt. Kalawitan.
This remote mountain, capped with miles of virgin mossy forest and two meter thick pine trees, has only been opened up in the last year to outsiders. The new Sabangan Guide School association has had to clear deer traps and thick jungle to make the hike possible to their sacred ancestral mountain. Alas, a typhoon last November damaged their Apa base camp and destroyed their organic greenhouse.
Trailadventours came to the rescue! We donated 5000 pesos for the restoration work. Yet, as we began planning the restoration, we found a colossal stash of trash tucked under Apa’s main hut– hundreds of bottles dating back thirty years had accumulated at the historic camp, which has been used over the decades by local hunters, Japanese Soldiers, Rebels, Filipino soldiers, rice farmers and intrepid hikers. The bottles were an ugly blemish at the beautiful location, but, also, an opportunity.
Over three days, a team came together to fix up Apa. The local councilor, Ernesto Bondad, Trail Adventours partner, Bianca Silva, Scottish backpacker Erik Jelinek, local guides Roger, Raymondo Dudds, Reggie and Gypsy and, recycling artist Russell Maier. Together we camped out for three days to build the greenhouse and to clean out the bottles. Once cleaned, Russell guided the transformation of the bottles into tables, stools, glasses and lanterns to serve visitors of the camp site. The greenhouse was erected in the traditional style of a rice rest hut and organic lettuce was planted inside. Visitors will be enjoying the organic fruits (vegetables really) of our labors, for a long time to come.
We’re proud to not just bring you to these beautiful places, but to keep them beautiful.
Hikes to Mt. Kaliwitan
began this past weekend.