Becoming parents doesn’t mean giving up the exciting life that outdoor adventure brings. Yes, we are expected to provide quality living and loving homes to our children but there is no need to be entrapped in the standard life of domesticity that most families settle for. We can still continue living our “outdoor lives” whilst providing the best for our kids.
These parents I will feature below are doing things a little differently. They take travelling with their kids on a higher level, both literally and figuratively – they are climbing mountains with their kiddos! They are part of the Filipino mountaineer families!
These parents started to bring their little one when she was just 1 year old and 2 months. They believe that through mountaineering, their kid will be able to not just see but also feel the beauty of nature at an early age. They want their child to enjoy the nature’s grandeur before it’s too late (when all of the best places are already exploited and thrashed).
As for how they prepare for the climb the mother said “Ako bilang isang ina na nag-aasikaso ng mga kailangan inuuna ko lagi yung mga alam kong kapag nangyare ang isang bagay na di inaasahan eh handa na. Kagaya ng pang ginaw, gamot, first aid kit, lahat ng alam kong kinakailangan at hahanapin niya.”
“I should teach my son to appreciate nature” says Mrs. Borres
In Borres family, it was the Husband Ten who climbs mountains. He encouraged his wife to join his passion when they met in 2009. Since they both enjoyed it, the love for mountains and nature is now being passed on to their child, Oasys who definitely enjoyed his first climb in Manabu Peak. “I want Oasys to be more appreciative and be more adventurous. I want him to be different from the millennials who was just fond of playing gadgets (not bashing/against babies/toddlers playing gadgets)”, Mrs. Borres added.
Mountaineering is an opportunity for people to be closer to nature; regardless of their age. Our kids should be able to see beyond concrete walls and everyday traffic.
Pam is a fellow blogger (check her adventure stories (about nature, family, and money) here – http://heymissadventures.com/) who also climbs with her little Asha. When asked why she brings Asha with her atop mountains, her reply was a resounding “Why not?!”
Her exact words: “We (my family) love climbing/hiking/camping/traveling with our kid because I don’t see why not. It’s a great way to have digital detox and exercise and (have) fresh air for both parents and kids — and it (climbing/travelling) allows them to see the beauty of the world beyond the concrete jungles of the city.”
Shayne and her partner really love climbing mountains with their two kids. They are excited and proud of the fact that they are climbing with their family instead of with friends. It gives them sense of fulfillment. Shayne agrees that bringing kids can be more hassle or more tiring but she also assures that seeing the kids enjoying the view and actively trekking the rugged trials are enough consolations. “Nakakawala ng pagod,” her exact words.
“When climbing, my kids help us to cook and pitch the tent. Whenever we reach the summit, una kong ginagawa is to take pictures and videos. Every moment that I capture will remind us how happy we are kapag magkakasama kami. It (climbing) is a great way to bond kasi dun na me-measure yung patience and teamwork ng isa’t-isa para sa successful ending ng isang journey. How amazing these kids are that sometimes sila pa yung nagyayaya samin na umakyat. So despite our busy schedule, we always set dates para sa family. We prefer hiking than going somewhere else na mas expensive because we really find fulfillment sa pag-akyat.”
According to Lisly Mae (the Mother) mountain climbing is their family’s passion. She and her husband are one of the Filipino mountaineer families who have been climbing mountains even when they were still singles. They find the activity not only good but great!
“We want to include our kids in our adventures so they can be closer to us. That is our kind of bonding.”
Lisly and her husband believe that when kids are more exposed to nature they become more environmentally conscious, making them more responsible and nature-loving citizens of the world. “Magiging kakaiba ang mga experiences nila kumpara sa mga paglalaro sa gadgets lang or mga online games lang ang inaatupag. Mas maganda pa rin ang pagpunta sa mga less-traveled roads, pag-amoy sa preskong hangin, the immense view – mga ganong bagay. Sa mountain climbing, yung physical strength mo nahahasa din, so it will help my kids be physically fit kahit papano. Andami talagang reasons but ang pinakaimportante lang talaga is the bonding ng family na walang katulad.” – Lisly Mae Callino -Dorado
Gretchen is the master word weaver of the travel site – http://www.filipinaexplorer.com/. She, together with her husband, also climb mountains with their little one. She explained her reasons of climbing with their daughter in a genuine mobile temperament. Read the next two paragraphs below:
“I’d like to believe – based on what I see in my daughter – that there are changes that happen deep inside children during and after hikes. She may not remember all the details, but those changes contribute to how she grows up and adapts in the coming days. I like it that she can happily walk for over an hour; that she loves mingling with locals and kids whatever the ethnicity or social stature. That she now has a greater sense of appreciation and curiosity for nature. All of those are hard to teach when she’s always kept indoors. I found the best way to do that is to really make her experience nature raw and first hand.”
“But what I love the most about bringing her to the mountains is that it becomes a shared journey for us. There are lessons to be learned in mountains more than physical endurance. Humility, fortitude, accepting one’s limits and persevering to go beyond them – especially for us women who are sometimes seen as incapable of fending for ourselves or of going beyond our comfort zone. My wish is that when she looks back at all these journeys, she will be able to decide for herself the extent of where she can go and to chase her dreams no matter insurmountable or whatever the society says.”
Lalay (The Light of the Home) wants us to meet their lovely children Coco (3 years old) and Dia (5 months old).
The photo above was taken in Mt. Talamitam during their Mother’s comeback hike. She’s been on a climb hiatus for 3 years and when she got back to climbing mountains she brought her kids! This family wants to tell us all that climbing is their family’s ultimate form of bonding. Both parents agree that nothing can make them stick together like epoxy better than trekking. There’s no better way to bond than spending time together in a trail clad with ferns and tress or in a bare land. Climbing (they said) is a great opportunity for parents to better know their kids and vice versa.
The Dabas believe that the experiences that their daughter Skye will have on the mountains will shape her to become a thoughtful, well-balanced citizen, who is capable of taking on and taking care of the world. They are part of Filipino mountaineer families who believe that climbing mountains is one of the best ways to teach our children to be independent as it teaches someone complete lack of discomfort when surrounded by all the chaos and confusion of an unfamiliar place.
Jim and Missy firmly believe that nature has a great role in the cognitive development of their child. Being one with nature awakens the perpetual sense of wonder. We all must have the chance to see enough of what the world has to offer and to discover and accept the fact that the world holds wonders and possibilities that no one can fully see or experience.
For the Dabas, life is just too darn short not to climb.
Awakening our children’s sense of adventure does not make us short of becoming the best parents in the universe; it actually includes us in “the best parents in the universe” category!
Does your family also enjoy climbing mountains together? Please share us your stories or send us your photos so we can upload it on our Facebook Page! Be part of this awesome circle of climbing families!