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A Memorable Trip to K'lobak with HABI Volunteers and Doc Cagape

Our trip to Sitio K'lobak a small community of the B'laan tribe in Malapatan, Sarangani Province happened last Monday, February 25, 2013 and I am glad to have been invited by no less than the Bayaning Pilipino awardee Dr. Roel Cagape
River trekked, climbed the mountains, rode a horse at K'lobak
I first met Doc Roel and his group of volunteers called HABI or Hearts & Brains Inc. during our trip to Tuanadatu in Maitum and since then I became interested in knowing what they do and learn more about their advocacy. In K'lobak, Doc Roel and HABI has built an "e-health center" that caters to the medical needs of the community such as medicines, first-aid medications and medical advices with the help of SMS.

Our trip started with a less than an hour drive from General Santos City to the Municipality of Malapatan on board a landrover of the Sarangani provincial government then followed by more than 3 hours of crossing rivers and big rocks and another almost 2 hours of trekking up the mountains before the group reached K'lobak. With us were children and locals from K'lobak who left very early from the mountains just to fetch us and carry our belongings, the supplies of medicines for the e-health center and medical mission, noodles and boxes of canned goods for the feeding program and 100 seedlings of Durian for tree planting we brought with us from General Santos City.

The  hardworking HABI volunteers with Doc Roel Cagape
The trip to K'lobak with Doc Roel and the hardworking volunteers of HABI was very tiring yet memorable and very meaningful. It was so far the farthest and longest trekking that I've experienced and it's all worth it.

More of my photos below.

Durian seedlings for tree planting
Kids from K'lobak with their share of seedlings
They have to again cross the rivers, pass through huge rocks and climb the mountains  back to K'lobak carrying with them seedlings.
Had our lunch at the riverside
May the seedlings they are carrying with them helplessly grow big  and reward them with fruits that will nourish their bodies and protect their community from landslides.
Sitio Crossing Malinao. Our river trekking of 3 hours ended in this small community by the riverside, we took a short rest and later on climbed up the mountains in the photo where Sitio K'lobak is located.
And then.. I have to ride a horse. Before we left crossing Malinao I already vomited, I started feeling dizzy and headaches after taking a rest and when we are just about to start the climb to K'lobak. Doc Roel offered to me that I should stay in crossing Malinao until I feel better, but I insisted to go with them. More of my first experience riding a horse on a separate post :)
Going back to our homes.
All for our less fortunate countrymen in far-off places.
Doc Cagape and his volunteer nurses had been doing these for years, climbing mountains, reaching out to remote villages, educating and giving hopes.
As soon as the group arrived at K'lobak (I arrived more than an hour earlier because I rode a horse), the people gathered at the e-health center to meet with Doc Cagape, all excited to what he and the volunteers had brought for them. 

After taking a short rest, the volunteers immediately prepared the medical supplies for the e-health center and cooked food (with the help of the locals) for the feeding program for that night.
Kids lined-up for a delicious and healthy treat.
Tasted something new today. Corned beef, sausage and noodles. I learned that the staple food in K'lobak is camote (sweet potato) and corn. There were kids suffering from Kwashiorkor and some from malnutrition.

The next day, we woke up early and was greeted by the cool and fresh air, the view from our location was breathtaking, a portion of Sarangani Bay and General Santos City can be viewed from K'lobak. Some of the locals also gathered early at the e-health center where we spent the night, they helped in cooking our breakfast and the foods for the feeding program that morning.

Children lined-up again for another healthy treat. There were a lot of kids in the area. I think there are more children compared to adults in K'lobak which is composed of about 50 families.
They looked so healthy but these children are actually suffering from malnutrition.
That morning families were gathered for picture -taking with their durian seedlings, each child were given  one (1) seedling each for them to grow and care for with the help of their parents.  How I wish I will be able to see 100 durian trees bearing fruits when I come back to K'lobak.
Medical Mission. The group then conducted the medical mission. Residents were able to avail of free check-up from Doc Roel, they were also given medications and kids availed of  free vitamins.

Wound dressing. HABI Volunteers are medical/nursing professionals and they are NOT paid in doing this.
This child suffers from burn injury and was given first-aid medications by one of the HABI volunteers.
Children were given vitamins that day.

Our group left K'lobak at around 10:00 o'clock in the morning that day taking again the same route going down from the mountains, with same scorching heat from the sun, river trekked, passed through huge rocks and all with a happy hearts.

I am now a HABI volunteer and I am proud that I am now part of this great advocacy. 

You too can help in the cause of Hearts & Brains Inc. there are still a lot of our kababayans in remote villages in needs especially of medical attention, you can send your donation to their bank account with the Development Bank of the Philippines, Gen. Santos City branch with account name HABI MALIN, account number 0925-031956-530, serial number 722585.

HABI MALIN stands for Hearts and Brains Inc. Medical Assistance to the Least, the Indigents & the Neglected. 

You can also contact Doc Roel Cagape through his email: rozca63@yahoo.com ask him how you can help and for inquiries.

Help us in helping others. :)
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