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Mt. Marami + ng Concerns

March 16-17, 2013 - together with Batang Hamog Mountaineers, we had a chance to visit Mt. Marami.  This climb wasn't planned enough because the original plan was Mt. Makiling-Traverse, but due to some issues, it wasn't pushed through.  So two days before our plotted dates, we changed it to Mt. Marami in Magallanes, Cavite.  Thanks to online blogs and websites that served as our basis for our over night itinerary.  Our group already reached a lot of summits around luzon, and aside from the trail garbage in Mt. Maculot, the other mountains were fine and we were thankful that the management of each mountains maintains the richness of the ecosystem.

Our Mt. Marami journey was actually a different experience.  We encountered a lot problems that everyone in our group are still debating about it, even it's two days ago, that's why I am writing this post.  I decided to post it "not against" the management or other people around the area of the mountain, but this post will serve as an open letter to both management, locals, and mountaineers as well.  This post is for the benefit of the people who are planning to enjoy the gorgeous Mt. Marami.

Here are some small things that I've noticed:
1.  The Guide and the Guide Fee - it was Saturday, March 16, 2013 at around 11:30AM when our group arrived in the local hall of baranggay Ramirez.  One brgy. councilor was there, maybe he was in-charge that day, when we asked him if how much is the guide fee, he answered "100 pesos per head at bawal ang walang guide dahil maraming liko-liko."  That was the second highest guide fee we encountered in our climb (second from Mt. Pulag) Take note: we were 12 people times 100, it's equal to 1,200 pesos for our group.

We were all shocked when we heard his statement, that's really expensive.  After hearing that statement, one of our member asked him "sinu ho ang makakasama namin kung sakaling kukuha kami?"  The brgy. councilor answered: "ako ang magguiguide sa inyo" - wait! and who will be the one to take care of the Barangay hall? Well - 1,200 pesos is a huge amount, no one will say NO!

Here's what we did:
After getting off the tricycle, there was a 16 years old guy who offered his service for us - as a guide.  So instead of getting the councilor as our guide and paying 1,200 pesos.  So our group and the young boy agreed to have 500 pesos for the guide fee and 50 pesos for the porter services using his horse.

Bad thing about we've did:
Since we got the service outside the barangay hall, the guide we got don't have any idea about his duties and responsibilities.  He kept telling us to hurry, "baka tayo maabutan ng gabi" according to him.  He was the first one on the trail, so we were just following him while he was riding a horse the whole time.  He didn't care if how's the other member of our group.  Take note, we have first timer on our group that time.

The Barangay Should do this:
Not all the mountaineers have work and can afford everything for a climb, so therefore I recommend to lessen the guide fee.  So, less fee more number of mountaineers can afford, so same profit for the barangay.  The barangay council should impose certain rule for all the residents in the area who want to be a guide.  The council should give each of the interested people about their individual reponsibilities to every group they might handle.

2. Unsecured place - our plan was to get into the summit on the first day, then commence to summit early in the morning of the second day, so everything was set properly.  Second day we (as in all of our members except our guide) commenced to summit.  There were some other groups who commenced to the summit earlier than us, so when we left the camp site, the other group just came back to their tents, so at least they can witness everything that can happen while we're not on out site.

When we came back from the summit and we're preparing for our breakcamp, one of our member can't find her stove.  According to her, she put the stove inside it's yellow box, then put inside the vestibule of her tent before leaving the camp site.  But when she checked her stove, it wasn't inside the box, but she's a hundred percent sure that she put it inside.  The stove wasn't there, but the box was still there, so that means, somebody was interested and took the stove while we're not on the camp site.  We all knew that it was our fault, but then because of the trust that we had to everybody, we lost something  - we can still buy a stove, but the trust was already lost to that site - AT LEAST WE LEARNED SOMETHING NEW!

All of us including the other group became close because of what happened - that's the essence of the brotherhood of mountaineering.  Honestly, we judged the other group on what happened, but we kept that issue as a joke while our senses were open to any proof.  One of our member noticed something unusual while we were descending the mountain.

I think there were four groups that time on the summit, the other group took the 2-children as guide.  According to our source, he noticed that those children keeps on checking around first before opening their backpack to get something.  We didn't knew if what's in their backpack, why they were behaving like that - it seems that they were hiding something inside it!

3. Money  Really Matters -  as what I've mentioned above, we took a tricycle going to barangay hall right?  The driver got our contact numbers if in case that we want to hire a jeepney going to Naic, Cavite.  To make the story short, he txted us so we replied!  The driver was the one we're talking about.  He said: " Gusto nyo po mam/sir maghire ng jeep? 50 pesos po per head, deretsong Naic, Cavite na"  So, since its much cheaper than doing a regular commute, so 50 pesos times 12 is equal to 600.  When we're about to leave the Barangay Hall, the driver told us that his one way is worth 700 pesos.  So, we again contributed, to get  the total of 700 pesos.  But, the driver wasn't contented on that amount, so he told us: "900 pesos isang byahe ko eh, kaya magsasakay pako kapg may pumara"  Everyone one of reacted on his statement: " e kuya magtatricycle nalang kami, pataas nang pataas singil mo eh"  then he was silent that time and begun starting the jeepney.

4. Garbage on the trail -  this mountain is really good, even the trail is open to sun light.  But I don't care about the sun's UV Rays, what I am bothering right now are those garbage on the trail, especially the part of trail near the bukal or spring.  The garbage was composed of empty cans - as in a lot were scattered there; plastics and some other things being used by the other hikers can also be found in some parts.

Entrance fee for Mt. Marami is 20 pesos per head, I don't know if where that budget is going to.  I hope that this post will serve as an awareness to every mountaineers who wants to visit this gorgeous mountain.  AGAIN: ANG BUNDOK AY KAYAMANAN at HINDI BASURAHAN!  I hope after reading this post, everyone of us well be aware about what's happening to our surroundings.

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