11 Waterfalls in 1

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“Away, away, from men and towns,
To the wild wood and the downs, —
To the silent wilderness,
Where the soul need not repress
Its music.”
Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) – “To Jane, The Invitation,” c.1820

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The climb included hiking, scrambling, traversing, and even rock climbing!!

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We climbed up 11 stages of a single waterfall and found beauty few people have ever laid eyes on.

 

You Can Help Typhoon Victims: GOAT DISPERSAL PROJECT

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Just days before Christmas 2015, Typhoon Nona struck Banton Island, Philippines leaving behind complete devastation. Coconut trees uprooted, houses in ruins, no power or water. In some communities only two houses were left standing in the wake of this storm. An estimated $3,053,600 USD of destruction was sustained including the demolition of agricultural crops and livestock essential for food and livelihoods.

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I recently visited some of these communities now 2 months after Typhoon Nona and the damage is still omnipresent. Families are trying to rebuild, but it takes a coconut tree 10 years after planting to bear fruit, meaning that what was formerly these families’ primary source of income will not be viable again until 2026. These families are in need of a solution NOW!

Help me raise money to provide one goat to each family impacted by Typhoon Nona on these islands. SEE MY PROJECT

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The primary aim of this project is to restore food security and a means of income to indigenous peoples of Romblon who sustained partial or complete damage from Typhoon Nona. The grant will fund the purchase of one goat per affected indigenous family in 3 barangays. Each family which receives a goat will be required to return one female goat after the first birthing allowing the program to expand to additional barangays and two other islands also affected by this typhoon.

In addition to receiving a goat, each family will receive one follow-up visit by an experienced goat farmer following the receipt of the goat to ensure health of the animal is maintained and answer any additional questions which arise from the family after an initial period of care.

This visit is also designed to assist and advise families on the nature of goat farming business so that each goat will be both a source of food and income. Contact information will be provided for a veterinarian should the families have a medical emergency for their goat. This veterinarian has offered to perform basic services free of charge for this program.

In the second round of goat dispersal, both the original goat farmer and one member of the original recipient group of IP families will advise the second round of recipients. By the third and future rounds of goat dispersal, all advising needs for new families will be conducted through the recipient family leaders. The municipal community has contributed to this project by completing a destruction assessment and identifying those families in need. Members of the National Commission on Indigenous People will act as the distribution and implementation labor force for this project.

It costs approximately $70 USD to purchase and deliver a goat to one family. Help us reach our goal! DONATE

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Note: If you donate $70 or more please send an email to bycesj@g.cofc.edu and you can name your goat. I will send you an email back when the project is completed with a photo of your goat and its new family. Thanks!

How to get to Odiongan?

When I travel to Odiongan, Romblon the 2Go boat (see below) is my preferred method of travel (the photo above shows the Montenegro shipping line boat, not quite as nice and comfortable as 2Go but more likely to be on time). The 2Go boat features beds to sleep and store your things, a restaurant, a sitting deck, and even videoke! The trip from Batangas to Odiongan takes 7.5hrs, but I usually find myself waiting at the pier for the boat to leave for several additional hours because of delays, thus embarking to Tablas Island is a full day travel affair.

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The 2Go boat. And if you travel on a holiday the boat and staff will be appropriately decorated!

But perhaps this travel investment is a qualifier for the reward of arrival: Romblon is a small, island province, rated the most peaceful in the Philippines and in my opinion the most beautiful because so much is left still undeveloped and pristine! We have waterfalls, caves, coral reefs, large rice field valleys, mountain climbing and biking, a huge public market, fish ponds, mangrove forests, scuba diving, snorkeling, sea turtles and so much more!

As of last year it is also possible to take a flight to Tablas Island from Manila. If you are short on time or prefer a one hour trip to a 7 hour one the extra expense will save you a lot of hassle, but for those of you elbowing through the nonlinear crowd waiting to board or disembark from 2Go realize that this journey is truly part of the reward, because you now understand what middle class locals must do anytime they wish to leave the island. Poorer locals may never even leave the island at all by boat or plane.

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The crowd waiting to board the Montenegro. Montenegro is the other shipping line in addition to 2Go which offers trips from Batangas to Odiongan.

And somewhere on your boat trip is at least one child who has never ridden on such a large boat before in their life and this ride is actually the greatest source of adventure.