IT WAS a night of fun, great music, food, renewed friendship and citation, as Mountaineering Federation of Southern Mindanao (MFSM) recently had its annual membership gathering at Punta del Sol Resort at Samal Island last January 13 to 14 this year.
"Every two years, natatapos yung term sa napiling president, so bago mag-end yung term, we give recognition to the members and officers," said Danilo Bacus, project director of the group.
Through the years, the group now has 32 members that came from different parts of Mindanao.
"Southern Mindanao lang sana, kaso may ibang groups outside SouthMin na gustong sumali. Dahil dumami kami, nag-decide ang DOT (Department of Tourism) na i-level up yung name ng group to Mindanao Mountaineering Community," Bacus said.
He added that their group aims to teach mountaineering groups about responsible mountaineering, the basics of trekking, and surviving the mountains.
During the get-together, few individuals were given citations as best tour guide, leader, support group and many others.
Bacus lamented that it is also the first time that they gave the Most Outstanding Mountain Guide Award (2015-2017).
"Sa una kasi submission, pero iilan lang ang nag-susubmit. So kami na officers yung nanguna to check the activities ng tour guides natin na members. For this year, the recipients of the said citations are Engr. Albert Gabriel, Anjo Dorado, Michael Jabines, ArmanPagaran, Eric Garcia, Ronnie Torlao, Terrence Galindo and Arnold Mendoza," he said.
"We strengthen talaga the campaign na legit yung mountain guides. Sa Facebook, we can see ang daming travel and tours offering trekking sa bukid, but their guides are not accredited. The accredited mountain guides knows how to handle the safety ng participants and they are well-trained on that," he said.
Aside from giving trainings, MFSM also holds tree planting activities, coastal and mountain clean-up, community services to far flung areas.
The awards night was also attended by some guests, such as Dr. Roy Ponce of OCF-DO, Nonoy Roderick C. Parcon and Edna Parcon of DsPecs, Argie Ryan Asaria of Dreamweavers Lake Sebu, PDRRMO Team Davao del Sur headed by Christopher Tan, Prezee De of Tourism Comval, Julius R. Paner of Tourism Sta. Cruz, Sirikit Fab of Event Blast n' Styling, Lilibeth Deiparine of UPDG and MRRD, and Jonallier Mana-ay Perez.
With the success of their recent activity, Bacus would like to extend his gratitude to all the mountaineering groups who consider MFSM as their second home and to those individuals and groups who supported financially and logistics for the meaningful MFSM Mindanao Congress.
Their sponsors are Libby Boatman Gabutero and Kuya Arnel, Sir Jim Llames of PRA, Johnnie Ray Alcantara of Rocksite Outdoor Gear, Bebot Villas of Bothammock, Loreto Bolo Jr. of Forest Outdoors, Mark Aucan of Descender, Joerge Ty of Higher Ground, Emma Policarpio and Sir Oyet of Oyet Awards Craft, The Boatman, House of Lord Anthony, Rocksite Outdoors, Trail Outdoors, Forest Outdoors, Dota, Mountain Gear & Amihan, Mulatto Apparel, Boulders 87, Suntek Enterprises, MOB Productions Ads, Philippine Retirement Authority, Ripwave Outdoors, Wahig Outdoors, Camp Apo Outdoors, Deboho Davao, Reponte's Meat Specialties, Descender Davao, ESD30 , Higher Ground Gear & Apparel, Lady Joana Toreno of Malmoc, Richard Dilla of Trimmoc, Joy Bocanegra& Family, SunStar Davao, Onyol Prints, Blast Events & Styling, Black Tribes Trekkers.
During the celebration, the guests were also entertained by local bands, like D' Holy Weed, Tortang Talong and Music Mix Duo.