Trekking could be so much fun when done for a cause.
And so my friend and I dared to visit a road less travelled amidst the industrious and famous places in Tagaytay City, Philippines .
From its cool and high areas, we had a long way going down. We were carrying books, toys, boxes of chalks, assorted magazines and reference materials for the library of a public elementary school. Well, this was the main reason why we were trekking and going down–to donate things that could be useful both for the students and teachers of that school.
We didn’t know that a place like that in Tagaytay still existed.
Tagaytay was, and still is, famous for its lush and famous spots such as the People’s Park in the Sky, Sky Fun Amusement Park, Picnic Grove and Taal Volcano. So who would have thought that there were people who still preferred to live just like in the old days, to live a very simple and ordinary life? They’d prefer planting and growing vegetables and fruits. And they were contented just by listening to the radio because not all of them had TV or internet connection. Their children studied in an elementary school of their area, and most of these kids no longer studied high school.
The public high school was located above them. There were two roads to choose from–a cemented road used by motorcycle riders only, and a forest-like track used by people there in going up and down the mountain. They’d find it hard to go up during the rainy season, so many of the kids no longer wanted to study after graduating in primary school.
My brother discovered the place, which was a private property of all people living down there. He and his friends were the first to bring varied donations for the school and I followed suit with my friends.
Why resort to trekking and donating when they didn’t even seem to feel the need to take further studies?
Well, we asked ourselves that too. Why did we want to bring donations? It was more of our own personal fulfillment, really. We’d like to express our gratitude to them for teaching us some important lessons in life. We also took the opportunity to inform them about the importance of having an education.
The trekking itself was very much exciting.
Our trail was sometimes dusty, oftentimes slippery, very much rough and rocky, you name it! And despite the scorching sun, there were awesome sceneries which helped us survive the long, adventurous trek. There were areas where only three sounds could be heard—the chirping of birds, our shrieking voices every time we slipped or fell, and our laughter!
It was also exhilarating to bring down our donations. There were lots of body aches afterwards. However, that was nothing compared to the joy we felt because we were able to help the students and teachers of the school down there. This worthwhile moment in our lives would always be something all of us can eagerly share with others.
We had so much admiration and respect for all the teachers of the school.
The principal herself took a risk each day going up and down that road. The teachers were also humble, kind and definitely dedicated to their chosen profession. It was such a pleasure to visit and give them our donations.
Our trekking became more fun when we finally had to unwind.
The friendly people of the area accompanied us to a beautiful falls. We were so happy to finally relax our long walk. The area was awesome! It was cool and serene. We definitely enjoyed our bonding time before going home.
When we finally had to leave, I looked up and saw how far we needed to walk again to be able to reach the top of the mountain and the main road. It was such a challenge but it was all worth it.
We learned many lessons as we walked for many hours to accomplish our outreach.
We learned that by giving part of ourselves through donations, we gained a more fulfilled and happy life. We also learned how to deal with hardships as the trekking presented challenges and body pains. Aside from this, we learned to appreciate the kindness of people. We enjoyed the gratitude they showed us. Most of all, we learned to respect the simple life those people embraced.
We wouldn’t mind trekking and treading this way again one day soon. Being in this road less travelled was such a rewarding adventure we’d surely remember all our lives.