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Author Topic: Black Pencil Project - Project Aral Trek - Camiguin, Babuyan Islands  (Read 5359 times)

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Offline Mon Corpuz

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I'm reposting my thread posted earlier. I just had it proofread after meeting Guinihon Team tonight.

Allow me to make a long introduction about this particular Project Aral Trek why its very important to me in-spite of the potential risks.

I first learned about Camiguin when my PiPho Org Club visited Palaui Islands last December 2008. Then I even got more excited when I met former WWF volunteer Rolly Magpayo. His images and anecdotes of humpacks, dolphins started to haunt me, that I yearned to visit the islands, disregarding some news articles of ill-fated sea voyages to this beautiful, almost paradise islands of Babuyan Group.

During our visit last April, it was all good - weather, sea conditions, everything. I remembered shooting sunsets with Rolly each day for the past 7 days that we were stuck in the islands. Rolly and I did a couple of interviews and one site visit for Black Pencil Project advocacy. Just like any other province, poverty is everywhere in the island. Aside from their yearly giant visitors (humpbacks), Camiguin was pretty much normal to me. I remember speaking to teacher Lilia Escalante one morning; I asked her how many pupils does a normal primary school have. She said there were about 20-30, at a rough estimate, we figured there could be more or less 500 pupils in elementary from the 6 schools sporadically situated in the island of Camiguin Norte. (Black Pencil Project targets only remote and indigent communities.)

There's one thing I also recalled about the place; weather is king in Camiguin.

Our voyage back revealed the other side of Camiguin, something I never thought could really happen. A small fishing vessel awaited us and I can say from bare sight that it's already jump-packed. I remember the coast guards on duty ordered to unload sack-loads of empty bottles, one cow and 3 pigs, supposedly to be traded to Aparri. Merely minutes after, the ship encountered an engine trouble. The ship captain aborted the trip and decided to go back. Good thing, we're just a few kilometers away from the island.

Safe travel is scarce in this place. What can you expect? There's no decent pier, no public market, no paved road, there's no electricity.

Two weeks after our trip, a group of Letran Professors on their way back to Aparri encountered a sea mishap. Their boat capsized, leaving their lives at the mercy of the sea. Miraculously, all (13) of them survived and managed to swam back to the Cagayan shores after 5 hours.

As soon as I got back to Manila, I worked on the papers and documentation. Luckily, we got the whole island covered - all 500 pupils will receive 3 study kits (a pencil, pad paper, notebook, sharpener). These translates to 1,500 Project Aral Kits that needed to be transported from Manila to Sta. Ana then ferried from San Vicente Port to Camiguin Norte, Babuyan Islands. It would be a logistics nightmare on our end as our informal group (Black Pencil Project) has very limited resources - and we have on-going treks happening every weekend of June.

Thanks to Fr. Jomar Sibug O.P. of Lyceum of Camiguin.

Few weeks before our scheduled trip, Father Jomar Sibug OP, together with Meo Remalante of Letran, and AG Saño met with Rolly Magpayo and me regarding a collective Camiguin endeavor. Sir Meo's group launched a program called Send A Child campaign with Lyceum of Camiguin.

Father Jomar Sibug O.P on the other hand was in Manila collating a little bit of everything from school supplies to slippers, bags, raincoats and books needed much by Camiguin for the coming school year. All of these were donated by private individuals and various organizations, an outpouring result of his interview with Mike Enriquez radio show at DZBB. He brought ahead about 22 balikbayan boxes to Sta. Ana, Cagayan.

On June 26 afternoon, Rolly, Me, AG together with friends Gary Buenavista and Viviene Galos went to a mission - to bring the rest of school supplies; 15 boxes Project Aral Kits, and 8 boxes of assorted school supplies brought by AG, Rolly had 50 colorful backpacks from Lucida c/o Kapuso Foundation.

In Sta. Ana, we were received by Father Bernardino Agarpao OFM of St. Anthony Convent. After a sumptuous breakfast, we were brought by the priest to San Vicente Port where a chartered boat (courtesy of Father Jomar Sibug OP) was waiting for us. Eric Mariano was the ship captain. I remembered him as he was the one who brought us safely back to Aparri last April. I remember receiving a call from Father Agarpao in the middle of the ocean, confirming our safe voyage to Camiguin.

9AM. Chartered boat carrying 35 boxes of school supplies leaves San Vicente Port, Sta. Ana, Cagayan.



1PM. Team Camiguin reached Balatubat shore, Camiguin Norte, Babuyan Islands.




/m
« Last Edit: June 30, 2009, 11:56:42 PM by Mon Corpuz »

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Offline Mon Corpuz

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Re: Black Pencil Project - Project Aral Trek - Camiguin, Babuyan Islands
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2009, 12:06:19 AM »
Here's the sea crossing from Sta. Ana to Camiguin.

.

This is a frame from a video. You can watch it on Vimeo.

Offline Mon Corpuz

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Re: Black Pencil Project - Project Aral Trek - Camiguin, Babuyan Islands
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2009, 12:07:43 AM »
Few images enroute to Camiguin.

So near yet so far. Camiguin can be seen from Sta. Ana on a bright clear day. The travel time is 3-4 hours by boat.



Most valuable cargo. Boxes carefully tacked by our boat crews was reassuring as we sail through the very gentle sea water that day.



Success. Boat crews began to unload the cargo together with our backpacks and camera bags



Special Delivery. A make-shift service raft kept the boxes of school supplies dry as we moved them ashore. I can see Father Jomar's excitement to see us safe and sound.





Unsuspecting. Kids await from the shade of a repaired ship, curious about our group and our group's purpose.



/m

Offline veras_eyes

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Re: Black Pencil Project - Project Aral Trek - Camiguin, Babuyan Islands
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2009, 12:52:07 AM »
congratulations BPP!  because of your heart, God blessed you with a wonderful weather!   :)

Offline Mon Corpuz

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Re: Black Pencil Project - Project Aral Trek - Camiguin, Babuyan Islands
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2009, 06:42:38 AM »
congratulations BPP!  because of your heart, God blessed you with a wonderful weather!   :)

Thanks so much ma'am vera, we're more than happy to know that we can be of service to others po.

/mon

Offline Mon Corpuz

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Re: Black Pencil Project - Project Aral Trek - Camiguin, Babuyan Islands
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2009, 08:10:51 AM »
Still on Day 1, (Saturday) The team wasted no time and proceeded immediately to account the contents of 35 boxes. It was very humbling experience to be surrounded by boxes of school items from pencils, notebooks, crayons, slippers, bags, etc.



Aside from the study kits received from BPP-NBSF Project Aral Program, Fr. Jomar on the other hand, gathered an insurmountable amount of pledges and support from private individuals and various organizations, as a result of his radio guesting to Mike Enriquez radio program in radio DZBB when he visited Manila few weeks before the trip. Rolly brought about 100 of colorful backpacks from Lucida courtesy of GMA Kapuso Foundation.



Inquisitive kids started to gather around the Lyceum premises as we unpacked the contents of each of the boxes. Just like them, we, too beamed joyful smiles as we get to discover familiar little things, rekindling our childhood memories in the grade schools.

(L-R: Vien, Mon, Dr. Eliot (a resident volunteer Doctor), Fr. Jomar, and Rolly)

/m

Offline keithan

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Re: Black Pencil Project - Project Aral Trek - Camiguin, Babuyan Islands
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2009, 08:33:59 AM »
Still on Day 1, (Saturday) The team wasted no time and proceeded immediately to account the contents of 35 boxes. It was very humbling experience to be surrounded by boxes of school items from pencils, notebooks, crayons, slippers, bags, etc.

/m
Wow! Slippers and bags now included?!  :o Now THAT will surely make the kids want to go to school even more.  :)
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is a fool. -Proverbs 12:1

Offline Mon Corpuz

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Re: Black Pencil Project - Project Aral Trek - Camiguin, Babuyan Islands
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2009, 08:58:04 AM »
Wow! Slippers and bags now included?!  :o Now THAT will surely make the kids want to go to school even more.  :)

Keith, the bags came from Fr. Sibug and Rolly courtesy of Lucida. BPP was just one of the various organizations who contributed school supplies.

All in all, there were 35 boxes, 15 were Project Aral Packs.

/mon

Offline edwink

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Re: Black Pencil Project - Project Aral Trek - Camiguin, Babuyan Islands
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2009, 11:42:46 AM »
Mon, congrats again! I wish I joined you guys. Next time, sama nako. =)
Travel only with thy equals or thy betters; if there are none, travel alone. -The Dhammapada
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Offline SoJAPANICE

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Re: Black Pencil Project - Project Aral Trek - Camiguin, Babuyan Islands
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2009, 11:48:08 AM »
congrats mon and also to the people who are part of the project! bravo
IT'S THE COWBOY NOT THE INDIAN...

Offline keithan

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Re: Black Pencil Project - Project Aral Trek - Camiguin, Babuyan Islands
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2009, 01:11:34 PM »
Keith, the bags came from Fr. Sibug and Rolly courtesy of Lucida. BPP was just one of the various organizations who contributed school supplies.

All in all, there were 35 boxes, 15 were Project Aral Packs.

/mon
I see. Then to that, let me extend my respect and admiration for them. I could already feel the appreciation the kids have for what you guys have done/accomplished here from where I'm sitting. Pati ako, parang gusto ko na ring mag-"thank you". ^_^
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is a fool. -Proverbs 12:1

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Re: Black Pencil Project - Project Aral Trek - Camiguin, Babuyan Islands
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2009, 09:41:18 AM »
Congats Mon, Rolly and the rest of the BPP team for a successful project. Glad you have a safe and peaceful journey, sana makasama ako sa inyo minsan. :)

Offline Mon Corpuz

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Re: Black Pencil Project - Project Aral Trek - Camiguin, Babuyan Islands
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2009, 02:38:43 PM »
All these, for the love of photography.

It was through our desire to photograph the unexplored sceneries of the less travelled, off-beaten paths that we get to appreciate more familiar images, comparable to the serenity of sunrise and sunsets landscape photographers endear so much.

Selphy Clinic. Delighted kids lined up to have their portraits taken by Team Camiguin. (Rolly, Garry, Vien, AG and Mon)







Special thanks to Canon Marketing Philippines and John Chua for the Selphy Clinic.

/mon

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Re: Black Pencil Project - Project Aral Trek - Camiguin, Babuyan Islands
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2009, 08:50:09 AM »
well done Mon... galing! next time na bumalik ka dyan sana makasama na ako. kapag talaga maganda ang hangarin mo, gagawa ng paraan ang Diyos para maging safe & meaningful ang trip ninyo.
Pencil's up!
"Life is a boomerang..."

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Re: Black Pencil Project - Project Aral Trek - Camiguin, Babuyan Islands
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2009, 09:01:28 AM »
eiy guys,

good luck on your trip tonight...

@@Xander and Tin behave huh... :) heheheh..

Safe trip.. dami pa kayu trabaho pag balik nyu..

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