Conquer fear with ZAFMOS PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 22 March 2012 10:48

As a person who fears heights, I dread going up high places. But one time I was inspired by the inside story of the first Filipinos who conquered Mt. Everest (the tallest mountain in the world).  Beyond the fame and self-satisfaction, they related in the coffee book about their conquest: how they began, the hardship of getting financial support, and even moral support from some friends. How they passed the physical, emotional, psychological and even spiritual ordeals is really heartening. It speaks that nothing is impossible if one has a strong determination and strong willpower. It teaches also how human can work together in solving problems, glitches, and difficulties. And if we imbibe these values, it dwelled to me that we can be better achievers in the trek of our lives. We can conquer our fears.

These beliefs are also what I find in the members of the Zamboanga Fearless Mountaineering Society (ZAFMOS) that started way back in 2004 by 3 persons - founder Danilo Tuazon, media personality Ronnie Lledo and Joseph Nanquil. They now have ladies who share their same passion, Mercedes Lim, Clara Rivera, Carmi Algaso, Elsie Planer and her young daughter, Jessa. Together, they have climbed mountain peaks, camped in nature, trekked long roads, and even explored waterfalls as well as hidden caves.

Based in Zamboanga City, ZAFMOS adheres to the rules and regulations of the Mountaineering Federation of the Philippines,Inc.. Aside from its passion for mountaineering, its other primary goal is to educate the younger generation to appreciate and help conserve the last remaining forest and mountains from environmental destruction.

For the past 8 years, ZAFMOS experienced many disappointing and heart-breaking scenarios in the treks and major climbs they had. They saw denuded forests, fallen trees, illegal quarrying, trash-littered mountain trails and other destruction caused by irresponsible trekkers and dwellers in the area. Along the way, they encourage local residents to take care of their environment and to inform proper authorities of any illegal actions against nature. 

To date, ZAFMOS have conquered the majestic Mt. Apo (highest mountain in our country) in Davao,  the Mt. Dulang-Dulang (2nd highest) and Kitanglad both in Bukidnon, Mt. Kanlaon in Negros Occidental (the highest in Visayas), Mt. Matutum (highest in South Cotabato), and most recently, Mt.Talinis or Cuernos de Negros in Dumaguete. The group is now on its final stage of conquering Luzon’s highest and coldest peak in the country, Mt. Pulag in Benguet.  Two ZAFMOS Kids, John Paul Tuazon and Lorenzo Ramon Lledo will join them.

Mt. Pulag is known to have taken its toll on unprepared climbers considering its freezing temperature at night and the high altitude sickness that may overcome inexperienced climbers. Proper thermal gears, physical and mental preparations are the best protection against the mountain’s punishing coldness.  Among the long list of yet-to-climb peaks are Mt. Mayon (very active volcano) in Albay, Legazpi, Mt. Halcon in Mindoro, and Mt. Guiting-Guiting (most difficult climb) in Panay Island. They are eyeing Mt. Kinabalu, Malaysia, the highest in Southeast Asia as their first international climb.
ZAFMOS Pres. Lledo said their passion has not only brought them in many places but most importantly, it opened their eyes to the real conditions of the many mountains and forests of our country. It fuelled their fervent desire to educate people to preserve Mother Nature.

District 2 Congressman Erbie Fabian is one of the big champions of ZAFMOS. It is being promoted in this year’s Zambo-Olympics at the Joaquin Enriquez Grandstand this week.

by Dante Corteza



Last Updated on Thursday, 22 March 2012 10:58