This is Kooper. He’s embarking on an epic journey from the Philippines’ Southernmost city to the North! He speaks with Geekend Gladiators about how the idea for this journey (which he calls Sanlibong Yapak ) was formed, what he wishes to accomplish, his preparation as well as some exciting stories from the road so far.
Geekend Gladiators: What is Sanlibong Yapak (A Thousand Steps) and what pushed you to do it?
Kooper: Bali project ito ng mga biker friends ko pero originally wala pa yung Sanlibong Yapak mas na una yung idea ko na libutin ang pinas ng lakad lang tapos dahil sa kwentuhan nabuo yung concept for Sanlibong Yapak.
Now, what pushed me to do it? Sa isang simpleng inuman noong 2015 nag kakayayaan kasi mag hike at walking hanggang na isipan namin na lakarin kaya namin ang buong pinas? After that nag ipon na ko at nag resign sa trabaho. H0wever, the main idea on what reason is “Pinoy ka, alam mo ba kung ano meron sa Pinas?
GG: You mentioned about trying to discover the Philippines. What do you think you’ll find or learn during your journey?
(The common misconceptions about places here. Like how people say it’s chaotic in Mindanao. It’s really not. I’m not too sure about the ARMM /Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao though.)
GG: So where are you right now and what’s the start and end point to your journey? Additionally, how long do you think that’s going to take?
(I started in General Santos City. Right now, I’m in Bukidnon via Digos, Davao. The End point is Aparri, Cagayan Valley. The whole thing will probably take 6 months.)
GG: Man, that is quite the journey, So how did you prepare for all of this? Mentally, Physically. Probably even financially like resources and things like that.
Physically, before pa ma-conceptualize yung idea ng adventure na ito nung 2008 palang. Nag bi-bike na ako other than that since highschool mahilig na ko mag lakad-lakad tapos yung year to prepare para dito panay sali ko sa mga marathon especially yung mountain trails.
Financially? Simple math lang, 6 months edi days times 100 pesos hahaha Hindi naman kailangan ma-garbo ang gastos.
(Mentally, I base my preparedness on my perspective in life because how I look at it is that the World is a vast school and everyone is both your teacher and a fellow student. I see this as a thirst for knowledge as it were.
Physically, Even before we conceptualized the idea for this adventure, since 2008 I was riding my bike and in highschool been quite fond of just walking around. Also, in the year I took to prepare for this I joined a lot of different Mararthons especially those with mountain trails
Financially? Well it’s just simple math, really. 6 Months divided into Days times 100 pesos per day hahaha. There’s really no need for luxurious expenses)
GG: So your primary mode of transportation is just walking, correct? This might me a silly question but what happens if your need to traverse large bodies of water?
GG: If you don’t mind me asking, How are your parents/relatives taking all this in? and how do you keep in touch?
Kooper: They’re slightly worried. haha nag-memessage lang ako sa Facebook pag gusto ko haha
(They’re slightly worried haha I just message them on Facebook whenever I feel like it haha.)
GG: Is there anything else that you’d like to tell our readers and people out there?
Kooper: Ang Pilipinas ay hindi lang archipelago na binubuo ng mga isla. Binubuo din ito ng bawat Pilipinong nakatira doon sa mga islang yun. Kaya kung mag-travel man lang eh wag lang ung lugar ang pansinin.
(The Philippines isn’t just an archipelago made up of islands. It is made up of every Filipino that lives in those Islands. So if you’re travelling, don’t just focus on the places)
Support Kooper and his journey by Liking Sanlibong Yapak’s Facebook page here. Also check out Sanlibong Yapak’s Website here for more updates of where he is and how he’s doing. Last we heard he’s taking Pokemon Go walking jobs so be sure to ask him about that.