May 24, 2024

■  Text & photos: Ryan Dale Mangusan

I went unprepared. No morning walks nor exercises.

I never had the intention to join the “Trek with a mission” organized by the Regional Advisory Group for Police Transformation and Development (RAGTPD) until I attended the final coordination meeting as a member of RAGPTD a week before the trek to Tacadang, Kibungan, Benguet on March 22.

The motivation was from the more than 400 participants and the breathtaking view of the “Rocky Wall of Beauties” as shown in a video presented to the RAGPTD members.

Police Colonel Benson Macli-ing also joined the trek convinced me that it was just an easy walk. It was the first “scam”, anyway.

With one week to prepare, I still did not do anything – even to have a checklist of what to bring.

More so that cousin, Mia Fokno, who was more excited for the trek messaged me that she got me two liters Pocari Sweat and energy bars.

So, I really had nothing to think of but those trekking poles. Thank goodness, journalist friend Harley Palangchao, has referred me to his friend, James Tellias, a seasoned trekker and ultra-marathoner who provided us the trekking poles.

James joined us in the trek and was the first civilian participant to arrive at Es-esa S. Alolos Elementary School where the participants converged for a program.

A medical and dental mission led by the health and medical units of the Police Regional Office-Cordillera was also held at the school grounds.

During the hike, there were 339 present of the 414 registrants. We met people, made friends, joined them, laughed and got exhausted together.

It was generally fun despite having six to seven cramps attacks. You have nowhere to go but finish the trek.

Reaching the school ground in Tacadang was a relief. I finished in seven hours and 26 minutes.

It was a challenging yet wonderful activity by PRO-Cor spearheaded by the Regional Police Strategy Management Unit in partnership with the RAGPTD and the Benguet Police Provincial Office.