Making Every Step Count: Climb for a Cause in Bukidnon

Three days. Two mountains. One chance to do a little good.

The challenge: Three-day traverse from Mt. Dulang-Dulang to Mt. Kitanglad in Bukidnon on March 2012. These are the second and fourth highest mountains in the Philippines with a combined elevation of 19,150 feet above sea level.

The goal: Help underprivileged children in Bukidnon through two organizations that are doing good work in local communities.

Kitanglad Integrated NGOs (KIN) is a grassroots organization focused on indigenous peoples’ welfare and environmental protection. One of their activities is the Educational Assistance Program for tribal children, which helps out elementary, high school and college students. They also implement Alternative Learning Systems for out-of-school youths and parents who weren’t able to attend or finish school. Recycling Equals Educational Development (REED) Foundation is another org that works with children in Bukidnon. They provide school and hygiene supplies to kids in remote areas.

The task: Raise at least P19,150, matching one peso for every foot of elevation.

All the money will be channeled through KIN and REED Foundation. For KIN, this will enable them to provide assistance for the students’ graduation and end-of-school-year requirements and maybe have some left for the new school year in June. For REED Foundation, this will help them buy soap, toothpaste, slippers and other basic supplies for the children.

The climber: A clumsy 26-year-old mountaineer wannabe with a terrible sense of direction a.k.a. me.

How you can help: You may donate directly to KIN’s bank account.

Bank of the Philippine Islands-Malaybalay Branch

Account name: Kitanglad Integrated NGOs

Account No. 2065-0712-77

It would also be great if you could spread the word and pass this on to your friends, colleagues, social networks and other people who may be interested in helping out. For questions, comments and requests for further information, you may send an email at nagbabasangpinoy[at] or contact me at 0917-349-8243.

Thank you so much!

That’s the short version. You can stop here. But if you’re interested in additional details a.k.a. the long, rambling story, please read on below.

I learned about KIN and REED Foundation through Sir Ben Maputi, an experienced mountaineering guide in Malaybalay City in Bukidnon. I was also able to get in touch with Sir Bonz Panganiban, a Bukidnon-based blogger, who recommended KIN as well. Ms. Easterluna Canoy, KIN’s executive director, gave information on their organization’s projects while Sir Ben, who also works with REED, provided details on the foundation’s activities. The groups don’t have any major sponsors so they are mostly dependent on friends and volunteers, and subsist on donations and year-by-year commitments.

I climb mountains for the heck of it. It’s a fun, slightly loony, somewhat masochistic and admittedly self-indulgent exercise. This time, I’m hoping to get something other than bragging rights, nice photos and severe body pains. If I’m going to run the risk of hypothermia and breaking any or all of my 206 bones, I might as well do it for something more worthwhile.

On March 8, 2012, I’m going to Bukidnon to attempt a D2-Kitanglad traverse. I was able to reach the summit of Mt. Dulang-Dulang in October 2011, which was a monumental feat for a lifelong wimp like me. The traverse will be more challenging though with a difficulty level of 8/9 (a regular D2 climb is rated 6/9).

The climb expenses are quite steep, amounting to at least P4,000. Major costs include fees for the guide (P1,500), porter (P1,500) and tribal ritual (P1,000). I’m lowering this by looking for a climbing group I could join, asking around for interested climbers who will split the cost with me, and training to endure the full weight of my backpack for eight hours of uphill hiking so I won’t need a porter. With these savings, I can give the equivalent of the climbing costs to the fundraising activity. I will also try to lower my other expenses (i.e. camp out in my tent while in Malaybalay to save on accommodation costs) so I could add more to my pledged amount.

I initially brought up the fundraising idea among my friends but it’d be awesome if you guys can participate in this as well. I honestly don’t know if we can meet the target given that this is just a small undertaking but whatever amount we can raise, even if it falls short of the goal, will already be a big help to the recipients.

You can deposit your donations directly to KIN’s bank account. If you want your contribution to be counted in this activity, then please let me know how much you donated and if it’s okay to publish your name here when I post updates. You can also use an alias or remain anonymous. If you’d rather keep your donation private, however, that’s alright, too. You don’t need to inform me about it. The important thing is to get the funds to them.

People who know me personally have the option of coursing their donations through me. I promise to provide full accounting of every cent I’ll receive. I’m a bit uncomfortable though with asking people who don’t know me to just hand me their money. That requires a certain level of trust I’m in no place to demand from people I haven’t even met yet. If you can’t course your donation through the bank account posted above for whatever reason, please let me know and we’ll work something out. As I mentioned, all the funds will go to the two organizations. No part of it will be used for travel or climb-related expenses.

I generally don’t encourage in-kind donations since I’ll be traveling from Manila to Cagayan De Oro and then Bukidnon alone with no baggage allowance on my flight. My upper body strength is not that impressive as to haul boxes of slippers and soaps by myself. And shipping costs or baggage allowance fees might end up being more expensive than the actual value of the donations so it also won’t be cost-effective. Slippers, schools supplies and the like which would be given to kids can just be bought locally in Bukidnon. It’s easier as far logistics goes and the purchases would contribute in a small way to the local economy. If you have ideas though on cost-effective ways to get in-kind donations to the beneficiaries, just send me a message and maybe we can make arrangements on this.

If by any chance you want to come with me for the climb, that would be even more awesome. Let’s go!

Thank you again and I really hope you’ll get to be a part of this, my long and rambling story notwithstanding.


21 thoughts on “Making Every Step Count: Climb for a Cause in Bukidnon

  1. Journeys and Travels

    This is a noble cause. I had been to Bukidnon last weekend and I am rather impressed. I went to Lake Apo and Malaybalay. It was all priceless. I wished you all the best in this endeavor of yours and hope to see you on the road.

  2. Christine

    “I climb mountains for the heck of it. It’s a fun, slightly loony, somewhat masochistic and admittedly self-indulgent exercise.” – hahaha! I can soooo relate! It’s exactly what I feel! 🙂 Natuwa ako nung nabasa ko yun. It’s something I would say.

    1. nagbabasang pinoy Post author

      Hehe yun lang talaga eh. Naghahanap ng sakit ng katawan pero masaya na rin. Kapag laspag na laspag na ako sa trail lagi kong sinasabi di ko na ‘to uulitin. Pero aakyat ulit. 😀

    1. nagbabasang pinoy Post author

      Sa end of July Sir balik ako ng Bukidnon. Baka Mt. Kalatungan naman ang gagawing pahirap sa sarili. Hehe. May binabanggit din na cave si Sir Ben na maganda raw. Trek daw papunta tapos may rappel pa yata. May waterfalls daw sa loob. Tara! 😀


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