Three years ago I was in a taxi bound for a bus station in Manila, the driver asked me “Why do you climb mountains?” I was caught off-guard by his question. I briefly thought of an answer to his question and answered “I love to climb. It offers something different than what I usually experience here in Manila. It’s not about reaching the top of the mountain, it’s all about experience. You should try it.”
The driver responded “I have a family and I don’t have the luxury of time and money to do what you do. I see it as (1) a waste of time, (2) a waste of money and (3) a waste of resources. When you get back here you don’t get anything from it.” He has a good point! His answer was logical. Since I have nothing good to say I decided to keep my mouth shut.
“Bahala ka diyan. Hindi mo maiintindihan hangga’t hindi mo sinusubukan.” (say softly and pretend to be thinking in your head)
He does not know what I see when I travel. He does not understand what I feel and experience when I travel.
Who here travels? (ask the audience)
I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. 🙂
[COOL THINGS I FOUND OUT WHILE TRAVELLING]
Who wants to see a picture? [pause] Visit my blog. 😀
We climbed Mount Pulag last April of 2006 via the Ambaguio Trail. It’s a three day hike starting from Nueva Vizcaya and ending at Benguet. We hiked 12-14 hours each day for the first 2 days and at the third day we hiked about 3 hours before we could ride on our hired jeepney. It offered superb view of the Cordillera. You’ll see a lot of big Pine Trees and Oak Trees that you could not connect both of your hands while hugging it.
But what really struck me was a part of the trail in Nueva Vizcaya that was full of saw dust and chipped-off wood, about 3 inches thick. (Act like a flight attendant) Front, back, left and right it was covered in light brown soft carpet. It was illegal logging right in front of my eyes. I was sad and enraged but I kept myself calm and tried to look for good things out of the bad. That was when I decided to be [pause] a Hamster.
Have you seen a hamster cage in a pet shop? Try to put yourself inside their cage. That’s how it felt. 🙂
What do you know about Sagada? (Get 3 people to answer quick. Usual answer will be Sumaguing Cave, Hanging Coffins, Bomod-ok Falls, Marlboro Country, etc.)
But did you know that it’s cool to be from Sagada? Not only do you breathe clean air and get to visit these wonderful adventure spots everyday but also when you’re a Sagadian, you don’t have to pay for your wedding. When a Sagadian marries, each family in the village are called and they all contribute money, food and clothing just for your wedding. Even the ones abroad are notified and they contribute. The biggest total contribution I’ve heard is that they reached more than a hundred thousand pesos, not included the donation for food and clothing. It was Bayanihan in its finest form.
This is what you will learn if you just stop, sit, listen and learn to the locals of different places here in the Philippines. Here are some more…
[BAD THINGS I FOUND OUT WHILE TRAVELLING]
Although the famous Banaue Rice Terraces are still intact today. Did you know that the average age of the farmers planting and maintaining the Rice Terraces are getting older? They now fear that there will be no next generation to maintain it. It’s because the younger generation find being a farmer to be a very low class in society and pursued the “higher-class” work of programming, business analyst, call center and many more jobs in the city. This is true throughout Batad, Hungduan, Sagada and other places in the Cordillera. Also true how Filipinos view guideship and fishing.
Did you know that the Filipino Tourists are the Most Destructive Tourists here in the Philippines?
If you ask the guides and caretakers of different mountains and beaches all over the Philippines what is their biggest problem when guiding. They will answer you Filipinos, they just throw and leave their trash, they play music on loud speakers sing loudly at videokes as if there were no one else there, they vandalize even the sacred places of the locals and walk topless inside a local community.
There was this woman in Batad, Ifugao living in a native house, she was really affected with what another Filipino tourist said to her a few years ago. “Talaga po bang nakatira kayo sa Bahay ng Baboy?” We had to console her and assure her that she wasn’t living in a house for pigs and that her house was cool and very unique unlike the concrete houses we have here in Manila.
If only that Filipino Tourist shut her mouth, then that woman from Batad would not look down on herself.
Today, if a taxi driver asks me why should he travel?
My answer would be…
- Everytime you ride a taxi, jeep or bus, you know that a child of a driver will have a fare to go to school.
- Everytime your family dines in a restaurant or carinderya, you know that not only your family eats but also the family of a waiter, waitress, cook and cashier will have food to eat.
- Everytime you buy from a sari-sari store, you will make a small store flourish.
- Everytime you pick up a small garbage and throw it in the trash, you create a cleaner environment.
- Everytime you hire guides, you introduce another source of income other than kaingin farming.
- Everytime you hire boats, you introduce another source of income other than dynamite fishing.
- Everytime you climb mountains or dive in our seas, you become a watchful eye to illegal loggers and poachers in the mountains and seas.
- Everytime you experience a bad service, you have an opportunity to give your comments and suggestions so that they can improve on their service and be more than world class.
- Everytime you stay quiet when you don’t have anything good to say, you will make the the world become still and unchanged.
- Everytime you tell our fishermen, farmers and guides that they play a big role in the economy of the Philippines, you will make them feel important.
- Everytime you shake a hand of a tindero/tindera and say thank you to them, you will make them feel sincerely appreciated.
- Everytime you follow the law, you help the police by giving them more time and concentration to capture the robbers and killers.
- Everytime you call a lodging and its fully booked, you create an opportunity for another lodging to be built and hire people.
- Everytime a lodging is built, a carpenter will have an opportunity to build his home.
- Everytime you travel in the Philippines, you change the Philippines… little by little. The farther you go, the farther your reach.
The first part of Proverbs 27:17 says “Iron sharpens Iron.” Why don’t we Filipinos sharpen Filipinos?
This speech was prepared for my second speech in Meralco & Friends Toastmasters Club with the goal toÂ Organize my Speech.