Cebu Outdoor Adventure Team: reaching and crossing the boundaries [BATCH 2014]

when i hear the word outdoor enthusiast, it always crossed my mind that the person indeed has the passion and flair for the outdoors. this person has that burning fervor to explore and seek what is beyond the distant horizon and discover what Mother Nature has to offer.

more often that not, there are people who brand themselves outdoor enthusiasts but never really got in depth in the truest sense of the title. in such cases, there are still those very few people who strive to differentiate themselves and give justice to the title “outdoor enthusiast”. now, let me quote my friend and whom i considered one of my mentors, Scarlet Su-Villamor for some terms we need to understand that she was able to define with the help of wiki and the world wide web so that we would be on the same page for those who are not really familiar.

Outdoor enthusiast is a person who enjoys sports and activities in nature and wilderness — wikipedia.org

Passion is a term applied to a very strong feeling about a person or a thing — wikipedia.org

so many would be wondering what I meant with this. with fate, i was reconnected with the group that i should have joined a few years back when i was still younger and hungered for the outdoor way of life. i remember back in college when my close friends Ish, April and Jep [bless his soul…] joined Cebu Outdoor Adventure Team Inc or COAT in short through our other friend Aldin. just to give a brief background of COAT, The Cebu Outdoor Adventure Team (COAT) is an organization dedicated to explore, preserve and enhance Cebu and its neighboring island natural resources.Founded and organized in May 2000 – our team consists of students, professionals, young and old alike, all with a strong commitment and love for nature and the environment. [credits to http://coat.webng.com/mainpage.html]

now to make the long story short, my other friend [Aaron] who reintroduced me to backpacking paved the way for me to better know the fore runners of COAT now. it was during a meeting with the Mountaineering Federation of the Phils Visayas chapter for Typhoon Yolanda Relief Ops that I was able to really get to know them. at first meeting, i noticed one common denominator — camaraderie. It was a fun and knowledgeable meeting that resulted to more coordination meetings for the very event of the relief ops. after that, other series of activities followed like being able to join COAT’s annual Christmas Party event held at Recuerdo Beach, Catmon-Daan, Cebu. it was one heckava weekend where i was able to know each and everyone and i was able to be included in the “family”. i really had a blast that weekend. it was during that time that i opened up the fact that i wanted to really join COAT after a long time of dilly-dallying my decision. i made growing, lasting friendships with everyone. we then again joined forces to give joy to the little children of Sitio Agup, Gaas, Balamban. it was after christmas when we decided to give back and pay forward what we have received as blessings for the year. we also wanted the children to feel that we value them and we ourselves wanted to feel like how it was to be a child again, even for a day. the outreach also incorporated a feeding program for the kids totaling 160, and we also gave school supplies to equip them for the upcoming school year. not only that, MFPI together with COAT and other member clubs also spearheaded the rehabilitation if their damaged chapel and classroom during the calamities that struck the area. after the outreach, we gathered for the MFPI Visayas Christmas Party at Sir Ramon Vidal’s place at Balamban to recharge and refuel after the tiring but fulfilling activity during the day. it was during that night that i was able to bond with the group and somehow shared some great moments with them. 🙂

at last, my most awaited moment came which is the Membership Orientation Meeting held last Feb 22 2014 at Ned Nanay’s Grill near CDU Hospital. i was reacquainted with the other members of the club as well as newbies like me. i consider myself starting back to ground zero that moment when i decided to join the group. although i had a little background on backpacking since i was able to join a Basic Mountaineering Course handled by one of the instructors trained under MFPI, i still consider myself blessed to be surrounded by people whom i share the same passion and love for the greater outdoors. this may sound cliche to some but i mean serious business here 🙂

these are some of the bullet points ive taken during the orientation and these will serve as my guidelines for me to advance to the next level of the application process. i know with God’s grace and with the help of the team whom i considered as my family, i will be able to go thru this. 🙂

pre requisites for this year:
> 2 training treks [usually done in the mountain ranges of Babag]
> 1 overnight trek/camp
> 1 eco trek consisting of either river or mountain clean up
> 1 Basic Mountaineering Course overnight [area to be advised]
> 1 Major Climb outside Cebu
> community outreach programs

one thing that really stuck in my head was the statement by ate Scarlet that we, as applicants should be molded and guided in accordance to their set standards of knowledge, skills and other attributes like ATTITUDE. these things should go hand in hand with every step we take in conquering our very selves and attaining self actualization. in each endeavor we do, there will always be a pitfall, and it will be up for us to stand up and rise above the challenge and be the best person we can be to our families, friends and to the group.

MFPI Visayas Typhoon Yolanda Relief Ops team 🙂
Cebu Outdoor Adventure Team with colleagues from CeMS and USCM at Sitio Agup, Gaas, Balamban for the MFPI Visayas Year End Outreach 🙂

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