Monday, October 27, 2008

2008 MOCHA Awardee for Mindanao

Im back from Manila and to the blogworld. And above all else that i am about to post from my Manila trip, i would like to dedicate this come back post to my ever beloved organization to which i devote my entire career life.

The Surigao Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) just won the 2008 Most Outstanding Chamber Award for Mindanao, a prestigious award for business organizations conferred by no less than the Philippines' business giants and handed by the President of the Republic of the Philippines.

Working with other chambers nationwide, especially to the ones who have won it, i used to dream that someday we will have the recognition too. And last week i grabbed in my hands the plaque that engraved our organization as one of the best in the country. Finally. Though it appears in blue glass, i looked at it as gold. Lol.

Thanks to our very dynamic and innovative president who in 1-term time have made a remarkable difference since SCCI's debut in 1985 with his father, Dr. Josefino Miranda, as charter president. For my 6 years stay and for the 3 past presidents that i have gone, it just took a Johann Jake Miranda to bring recognition to the organization. Getting him to the SCCI brought him to various positions and capacities that stretches his knowledge as an advocate of change. He truly can move mountains. And in moving mountains, my helping hands should be engaged too. That's why for the past months and days, i seldom post entries.. my helping hands are off to implement projects and activities. Lol.

Acknowledgment also goes to our partner LGU (Surigao City) and our Civil Society Organization counterpart REACH Foundation. Also to the Mindanao Business Council, the Chambers of Commerce in Caraga, GEM-USAID, The Asia Foundation, and some others who have contributed to what SCCI is now.
I was just right to love the organization which even though unpopular to many but i never disown. If i was proud before, now nobody can be more prouder than i am.. the cog of the wheel.
And the 34th Philippines Business Conference that we have attended last week deserves our red carpet walk.. and pose...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Spelunking Silop Cave

Equipped with a paraffin lamp commonly known as petromax, one of the barangay councilor accompanied us in our spelunking (FYI, for only Php150 for his service since they have not organized their Tour Guiding Team yet). The beginning of our hike from the barangay proper was adventure-filled. The weather was rainy so we have to traverse the muddy and sticky path going to the cave, trek the slippery woods and stepped on sharp limestone rocks barefooted.

Along the way huge limestone rocks greeted us; signifying that we have approached the cave site consists of 4 chambers with 12 different entrances. We skipped the first cave which was inhabited by flocks of fruit bats and proceeded to the second one just in its nearby. The way down was so steep. Nevertheless, the harder the thing to do, the hyper it gets.

The cave retained its raw features that for me made it amazing. I found my expectations for a cave there. Not overdeveloped, no grafittis. And everything seems to progress the work of nature. Witness to it the presence of the non-attacking type of cave snakes around and feeling at home in the cave. While there were dead calcites around, there were also some that are about to grow. And though there was no fantastic formations that developed, looking at what appears to be curtains of thin stalactites walling the chambers and some serving as chandeliers was an amazing sight.

From the chain of columns in the cave, we went next to the Bat Room. No, it wasn’t misspelled. It really is a bat room –a dome shaped hollow chamber with a cylindrical ceiling with fruit bats hanging on it and tons of its guano filling the ground. Adventure would not be complete if I didn’t do something crazy. So I stepped on the guano and I found out it was sticky. Tasting it would be the last craziest thing that I'm gonna do, though.

And of course, the photo ops isn't crazy... so there, strike!

Silop Cave is located and named after its host place, Barangay Silop, 9.7 kilometers from the City of Surigao (some 15 minutes ride). Their local mode of transportation is through a tricycle faring at P10.00. Habal-habal is also available at a negotiated rate.