While checking out some stuff at the local Coleman store in Alabang Town Center, i came across a poster inviting people to join a camping adventure in Caliraya Lake. I immediately stormed the store attendant for info, in the end i have to call the Coleman office to get the info i need.
Luckily i know the place were the camping will be held. It was my favorite camp and recreation site in Caliraya. To know more about Caliraya, visit the site of Surf Kamp.
Originally scheduled on May 17 to 18, but due to bad weather and a typhoon neaby the organizer has to cancell the event at the last hour. May 24 came the day with good weather, we then headed for the lake at the Cavinte, Laguna area. Most took the bus from the Focus Global office in Mandaluyong. My family came by car due to the kids and camping gears.
Prior to camp day there was an orientation meeting at the Coleman office in Mandaluyong. This was also the time that the participants were grouped into teams. I joined the blue team whose members were mountaineers except for me and Robert, while the rest Gigi, Aarone, Reggie and Christine were all experienced mountaineers who had more than 10 climbs in their belts.
Along the way.
I meet Robert with his family at Shell gas station at 8AM then went on convoy. Driving along the curvy mountain road to Caliraya Lake is always fun. We arrived 11AM, a few minutes after the bus arrived at the camp site.
Pitching the tent.
The moment we arrived everybody was so excited to pitch their tent that we all scattered over the camp site looking for the best spot. I brought my Coleman Lyra dome tent that allows four adult to sleep in comfort. I choose a spot near a mango tree, the kids immediately help pitch the tent. The spot was choosen for the shade the tree brings. However, i did not notice that big nasty ants were abondant in my tent area. I had to move the tent before night fall or face ant bites and holes in the tent. So we move the tent without bringing it down, we moved it “bayanihan” style were all four fellow camper took one corner each and lifted the tent to a new location near my team.
After having our packed lunch it was game time. First, we went to the Japanese Garden for the much needed LNT (leave no trace) lecture. After about one and a half hour we are back in the camp site for the competition. Naturaly our team won (blue team), yabang!. Maybe it was because we did much preparation like a short practice on the three-legged walk and probably also that my teammates were mountaineers. The three-legged walk was performed together with Gigi wherein one of our legs was tied togther forming as one.
The game was like a relay wherein after a game the teammate has to pass/tap the next member to continue the next game but with a different challenge. It started with the “find the sound” then came the “boat race” in the lake to take the match stick in one of the poles several meters away then it ended in “light the fire starter stick” (i forgot the rest of the game in between).
Everybody had fun. The most exciting and challenging part of the game was the inflatable boat race. Having a 2 person Colossus i was able to guide our team on how to properly inflate and seal the valves fast. Some teams had their boat leaking while rowing..ha…ha. In the games we used the Coleman 4 person Navigator boats.
After the games.
After the games i was eagerly waiting for the sunset. This will be my first time to shoot the sunset in Caliraya despite my numerous trips here, i do not know why maybe because i was busy packing the camp gears in most of the camping i had. As soon as the sky turned orange-red, i immediately dropped everything and headed for the best spot along the lake to shoot.
It was a wet Saturday night. Rain came with wind, it was a cold and wet evening. Cooking dinner was done inside a nipa shelter. Stove and kerosene lamp were provided by Coleman (and also the tents), one set each for every team. Good that my teammates are mountaineers, they basically know how to cook at this conditions. So we had sumptous dinner of grilled pork and grilled eggplant with “bagoong”, sauteed kangkong and banana for dessert. My kids and wife had their dinner inside our tent, it was impossible for them to get out without getting drenched. Though this is not advisable to eat inside a tent, but what can you do…just make sure that you do not leave any food traces on the floor as this will invite insects that will make holes in your nylon floor.
Bon fire was started even under a light rain but nobody dared sit around the fire but it was a welcome light to a dark surrounding. With the rain still pounding our roof after dinner and running out of things to do and enjoy….pretty soon we were in our respective tents sound asleep.
I was planning to do a night shoot but with the rain still around i did not risk damaging my camera, to sleep i go..
We woke up with a fairly good weather. After coffee and breakfast It was time to enjoy the lake. Coleman had all the inflatables and life jackets prepared. After breakfast everybody was on the edge of the lake waiting for their turn to ride the boats.
Time to say goodbye to new found friends.
After so much fun, it was time to say goodbye to new found friends. Before noon everybody was busy packing their camping gears.
My kids enjoyed it very much. I think everybody had fun. When do we see each other again? Calling Kim of Coleman, when is the next adventure?…….tatawagan na lang daw kayo