Seeking for Funds while Balangay docks at Ibajay (October 5, 2009)
By: Arturo Valdez
With great reluctance, I disembarked from the Balangay today
to fly back to Manila. We are running out of operating funds to cover expenses
for the Advance Team and the boat itself. We had built the boat, launched her
into the waters, and now we are sailing but we have a shoe-string operating
budget. Tao Corporation, our main sponsor has funded building the boat and
covered most of our expenses but I am constrained to keep running to them. They
have been very generous in providing support everytime we seek help. Now, I
have to follow up the commitments of other sponsors especially to cover our
sailing operating expenses.
Somehow, this is a repeat of our Mt Everest experience. Midway in our expedition, I had to go down and fly back to Manila to scrounge for funds to cover our expenses. The Philippine Team was perhaps the only one who broke the normal climbing rule among trekking companies - 'pay now, climb later' to 'climb now pay later.'
Coming up and down the mountain to look for funds was really tough for me physically because I am no 'spring chicken' anymore.
I have 5 working days to look for our upkeeps while in the city.
Meanwhile, the Balangay sailed early Monday Oct 5 for Ibajay, Aklan. Originally, Kalibo was the next sailing destination but the prevailing variable wind plus the distance made this goal more than a 12 hour sailing time. Midway is the town of Ibajay making it an ideal port/stop.
Ibajay Mayor Miraflores mobilized support during this impromptu stop-over and organized a symposium with the local public high school. She hosted a sumptuous dinner in the evening and the crew retired early to catch up rest for a longer trip to Kalibo the next day.