On May 10 this year, a common drive will unite mountaineers and outdoor enthusiasts all over the Philippines – a drive to clean up the country’s many mountains. Of course, regular cleanup climbs are organized throughout the year. However, starting this year and through the efforts of Mr. Gideon Lasco (of pinoymountaineer.com fame) and other like-minded hikers, the 10th of May will now be dedicated not only to the upkeep of Philippine mountains, but also to promoting the preservation and protection of our forests, camping grounds, and trails.
The event, a nationwide activity, will not be spearheaded by Mr. Lasco. He is the primal proponent of the cause, but it will be up to different groups and climb organizers to gather participants and facilitate the different cleanup climbs in different areas. This is one thing that makes the cause special. It will be of the whole community, for the whole community, and by the whole community.
Popular hiking spots like Mts. Batulao, Maculot, Gulugod Baboy, and Pico de Loro are some areas where the most number of groups will be conducting cleanups. Lesser known mountains will not be overlooked, though, as many in the Philippines are fond of hiking and most mountains will have a good tidy-up. So far, over 50 mountains and close to 70 groups are listed on Pinoy Mountaineer’s register – and these are only the ones that are known. Comes May 1oth, many more will definitely head to the trails armed with gloves, garbage bags and the desire to make a lasting impression and a positive change.
I, myself, will be joining a cleanup climb on this day. Some hiker friends and I will be going with a group to Mt. Ugo to have our cleanup there. It will be my first time to climb Mt. Ugo. Close to 7,000 feet and offering a challenging yet scenic trail, Mt. Ugo is one of the major destinations in the Cordilleras and I am eager to climb and clean it.
This is set to be another fun learning experience and I am excited not only to have it, but also to write about it! In the meantime, I leave you with this:
“Let us love the mountains. Let no one desecrate their beauty by leaving anything behind. Instead, let every climb be a clean-up climb.”
– Gideon Lasco, Pinoy Mountaineer