Urban backpacking challenge for Danao City’s youth

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

THE Philippines’ first and only dedicated adventure education center—Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.-Kool Adventure Camp (Rafi-KAC) organized the first Danao City Youth Summit-Urban Backpacking Challenge at Cebu Technological University-Danao City Campus (CTU-Danao) last June.

At the end of the two-day activity, each team was expected to carry out three-month community projects and advocacies as their counterpart program promoting and reconstructing a better Danao.

The summit was participated in by 116 young leaders from the different barangays, supreme student governments, out-of-school youths and other youth groups through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).


One of the program’s goals was to let the youth leaders increase pride of their own hometown by exploring the city.

“It’s a land expedition instead on the mountain, [and] basically the main thought is on the historical focus,” said Leomil Urpiana, senior facilitator of Rafi-KAC.

The expedition’s backpacking checkpoints were some of Danao’s historically and economically significant places, namely: Durano Industrial Complex; Ramon Durano Foundation; the Pottery Communities; Teahouse (old Durano residence) and Danao Rotunda (end of old train railway from Cebu); Danao Poblacion, which includes Rizal Plaza, Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Church, the Sands (old Durano residence), and PNP station (old municipal hall); and Cebu Mitsumi Incorporated.

Each of the checkpoint area included a travel card with challenges that needed to be accomplished by the participants before they could continue to the next checkpoint, until they accomplished all challenges and got back to the base camp (Danao campus).

“Makaingon ko sa akong kaugalingon nga dato gyud di-ay ang Danao when it comes to heritage and business,” said Jay Villacorta, 20, of the Danao City Performing Arts.

The summit also aimed to create a learning environment that is conducive for personal growth and healthy interaction among peers.

“It [program] was adventure-filled; it taught us ways on how to approach and manage things and how to solve problems,” shared Maria Novela Lauro, 14, Sabang National High School Supreme Student Government officer.

The urban expedition was for youth leaders to discover and rediscover the rich past of their hometown and be potential designers of what kind of Danao they want in the future.

The summit was held in collaboration with the Danao City Government, Danao City-Tourism Council Care program led by City Councilor Ivy Durano-Meca, and Mayor Ramon “Nito” Durano III who gave the closing remarks.

KAC is one of the programs under the leadership and citizenship focus area of Rafi, in which future leaders are nurtured to prepare them to take an active role in affecting change. Rafi’s other focus areas are Integrated development, micro-finance and entrepreneurship, culture and Heritage, and education. (Abigail Gee M. Lastimosa)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 21, 2014.


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