Kalilangan: The Land of the GREAT Adventure

Training on Assessment ( 8-29-12)
For someone who was born in the city, going to a remote place to see the verdant mountains and to find time to reflect is very purposeful to us. It's a new experience and we usually call it GREAT ADVENTURE!

After the training yesterday for the Humanitarian Action Plan Assessment we geared up ourselves for today's what we called "The Great Adventure" to Brgy. Kalilangan, Iligan City -  a very far away place from the city where only motorbikes can reach. And, so as we keep this story moving, let's all say,  "KALILANGAN! HERE WE COME!".
Team Kalilangan Composition:
Chrismalyn Pasco (ERDAC; Team Leader))
Jade Pondang (PRC)
Jonalyn Tamyat (ECOWEB)
Rolando Abejo (RMP-NMR)
FGD - Men/Boys
Niel Gonzales ( RASFI)
Francis Alain Ebardo (HOM)
FGD- Women/Girls
Connie Derro ( ECOWEB)
Jonie Jane Pesons(ERDAC)

So let's take a view through google map on how far it is from the main city of Iligan . By the looks itself, we are going to bypass mountain ranges in order to reach the area. It's going to be a very challenging ride filled with surprises and excitement.
Date Created: Dec. 1, 1987
Area: 3,500 ha.Distance (from the city):19 km

First Stop: UN OCHA

We gathered as early as 7 am at UN OCHA office for some orientation and final briefing before going to the field/area. Checking on the forms at hand to be used for the assessment and we also brought some food for the locals in Kalilangan. For the record, it's a very tasty Malaysian Rice ( c/o Niel of course) and a box of noodles provided by the Red Cross in Iligan CIty (c/o Jade).Now, finally, team Kalilangan is COMPLETE and ready to GO! :)

Second Stop:Brgy. Mandulog

We rode a car until Brgy. Mandulog where the motorbikes were waiting for the NGO partners who will also be going to other barangays like Brgy. Lanipao and Brgy. Dulag. Everyone seems to be very excited for the run and their smiles shows their happiness because of the opportunity  to be able to work with enthusiastic individuals who has great heart for the people of Iligan.

Third Stop: Bamboo Raft 
After few minutes, we reached the raft that is used to cross the Mandulog river. The bridge was destroyed during Sendong and people living on the other side finds it hard to transport their goods to the city for selling. Also the children who goes to school couldn't reach school when a heavy rain pours because of the rise in the water level. There is a metal wire where the raft is connected to prevent it from being drawn by the river's current. Four men are also pushing it so that it will be able to move to the other side. Are you up for this kind of adventure?

Fourth Stop: The Rough and full of Suspense Road

 After crossing the river, we have to travel to a very narrow road wherein on the right is a very high cliff and on the left is the solid side of the mountains we are trying to bypass in order to reach Kalilangan. The real challenge is just starting and with full excitement as we ride our motorbikes, we all say  - woohooo!

Fifth Stop: Stop, Walk and Ride in a Roller Coaster journey
As we draw nearer , there were trench-and-little-river-like formations on the road that it becomes hard to maneuver. We have to stop and go down for a walk and then ride again. Down-sloping was fun but the Up-slope was very tough and so does, we need to do the Stop-Walk-Ride dance move. We don't have to mind being under the scourging heat of the sun because indeed VOLUNTEERING - It's more fun in the PHILIPPINES! :)

Finally we reached Kalilangan for more than two hours from the City. We conducted the assessment and had some fun time together with the locals. 

Seventh Stop: Expose.Explore. Experience. Kalilangan
Basic Education School for Grades 1-4

We had a tour around the area and found this very old school. Road accessibility is very crucial for it does not only give them opportunity to buy and sell products in the City but also to have further education and access to basic and emergency health care services. Locals desire for a additional facilities, teachers and furthering of the service up to grades five and six and if possible secondary school.
Barangay Health Center
The old barangay health center that needs repair. Being a far flung area, health workers finds it hard to visit Kalilangan but those assigned to these areas does their best to provide healthcare services at least once every two weeks or less. 

Eight Stop: Lunch treat of Brgy. Captain
We ate in one of the locals house for lunch and I say it's very delicious. I forgot to ask the name of the dish but its very tasty. There were slices of fish mixed with yellow colored coconut strips. If I'll be back in Kalilangan, I would like to savor its taste again. :) It filled my empty stomach ( I actually forgot to have breakfast).

Finally Going back to ILIGAN:
Its even tougher going back because the up-slopes are higher. More stop-walk-ride dance moves to finish, but, VOLUNTEERING! It's more fun IN THE PHILIPPINES! We wear our smiles even though we almost fell into the cliff. Almost ran out of air grasp because we have to walk through the up-slopes and those trench-and-little-river-like formations on the road. It was a great adventure for us. The challenges we faced and the things we have to accomplish.

Looking into its Scenery:
Looking at the skies and the view of the mountains around the place awed and stunned me for minutes. The beautiful scenery different from what you see in Urban areas. Seeing their livestock like horse which is used for transportation of their harvests. The two-hour travels pays off with such beauty and grandeur!

We went back to UN OCHA office to encode the data we have gathered during the assessment (Arrived around 4 PM). These information will be shared to the local government and will be endorsed for evaluation if it will qualify for the Humanitarian Action Plan for 2013.

It must have been a GREAT Adventure indeed to be able to survive riding a motorbike, crossing the river through the bamboo raft, traveling to a very narrow road near the cliff and finally seeing a very exquisite and mesmerizing view of nature. But for the locals who lives in Kalilangan, the road we traveled is a necessary risk they have to take in order to get medicines to care for their sick, to go to school and be educated and to sell their goods to buy some clothes or basic commodities. My travel reminded me of LANTAD, MISSAMIS ORIENTAL  wherein they also experienced almost the same difficulties. But these developments doesn't happen overnight and it takes greater cooperation between the Locals, the Government and those who are gifted with the resources who truly cares about sharing to those people in  great need. For us it's a GREAT ADVENTURE But for them, its a GREAT VENTURE.

Videos taken during the travel:

Stop-Walk-Ride Move as we go back to Iligan City.

Going back to Iligan City (Motorbike ride)

Going to Kalilangan through the road near the cliff.

Beautiful Scenery  in Kalilangan.

Crossing Mandulog River through The raft

The trench-and-river-like road in going to Kalilangan

The up-slope and down-slope of our journey.

Visit Iligan City Official Page

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+ Comments + 1 Comments

October 20, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Grabe ang pagpunta dyan ah, I admire your dedication!

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