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Blind Man Reaches Top of Mt. Apo, the Country’s Highest Peak

A blind man reaches the top of Mt. Apo, known as the country’s highest peak. His achievement amazed netizens who were surprised that this man, who couldn’t even see, was able to overcome the difficult trails to reach the mountain’s peak.

Blind Man Conquers Mt. Apo

Climbing a mountain is no easy feat, especially those that are known for their height and treacherous trails.

Mt. Apo is one of these mountains.

blind man
Photo credit: Kol Angel Pandoy

The mountain’s actual height differs, depending on the sources. But the marker on the top of the mountain puts it at 3,142.79 m (10,311.0 ft). Other sources put it at a height of 2,954 meters above sea level (9692 ft).

What the exact height might be, the mountain stands stately and remains the Philippines’ highest peak. Many avid climbers who have gone to several mountains in the country said that this is really one of the most difficult to climb.

blind man
Photo credit: Kol Angel Pandoy
blind man
Photo credit: Kol Angel Pandoy

Yet Bennie Cambang, a 39-year-old blind man, was able to reach its peak!

His story went viral after it was shared by his guide, Angel Pandoy, who was also quite impressed with what he was able to achieve.

blind man
Photo credit: Kol Angel Pandoy
blind man
Photo credit: Kol Angel Pandoy

As his guide, masasabi ko pong napakatapang niya and impressive,” Angel shared.

Napakaraming beses ko po siyang tinanong kong kaya niya, pero ang sagot niya depende kung saan sya mauubosan ng lakas at saka siya bababa, pero suprisingly naabot po niya ang tuktok ng Apo.

Tied to each for safety, the duo reached the peak through the Sta. Cruz Back Trail (Boulder Face).

blind man
Photo credit: Kol Angel Pandoy
blind man
Photo credit: Kol Angel Pandoy

Everyone also expressed amazement that this blind man was even barefoot when he climbed up the mountain, although this is probably something to his advantage. Since he’s blind, he has to rely on other body parts to “see” the world.

What are the Trails to Mt. Apo’s Peak?

blind man
Photo credit: Kol Angel Pandoy
blind man
Photo credit: Kol Angel Pandoy

According to Mt. Apo Adventures, there are four well-established trails to the top of the mountain:

  • The Sta. Cruz Back Trail (Boulder Face) or Sibulan-Mt. Apo Peak Trail is the shortest trail at 13.7 km, but it’s also a technical trail that passes through a jungle
  • The Ko-ong Kidapawan Trail covers around 19 km and passes through a jungle, river, and grassland before reaching the peak
  • The Kapatagan Trail in Digos, Davao del Sur, is adjacent to the Sibulan trail but is slightly longer by around 2 km and features some obstacles along the way
  • The Tamayong Trail is the longest and toughest, especially because it passes through Mt. Talomo Peak before heading to Mt. Apo


Student Graduates Summa cum Laude, Top 5 in Board Exams While Caring for Sick Dad

A student graduates summa cum laude and even ranked as top 5 in the board exams, all the while juggling time to care for his sick dad. Isn’t that impressive?

Student Graduates Cum Laude and Becomes Board Exam Topnotcher

When it comes to getting good grades, most people will tell you that you have to spend lots and lots of hours studying. You also have to focus on studying to ensure that you aren’t distracted by things that can stop you from achieving your goals.

However, there are people who still manage to excel in life despite being unable to focus on their studies because they have other responsibilities, including juggling time to work or taking care of sick family members.

Photo credit: PEP

That’s what happened to a young man named Jezriel James Maquiñana Jacob, 23, of Tinambac, Camarines Sur.

He finished his Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science from Adventist University of the Philippines, as summa cum laude last August 23, 2022.

Then, he ranked as the Top 5 of the March 2023 Medical Technologists Licensure Examination, getting a rating of 91.50%.

student graduates summa cum laude
Photo credit: PEP

Yet those achievements are made sweeter by the fact that he had juggled time to care for his father.

During my fourth year in college, my father was diagnosed with a cerebrovascular disease which caused him to depend on his daily activities on other people,” he shared.

Thankfully, because during that time, online lang yung class namin due to the pandemic, I was able to take care of my father.

Since he is also dreaming of becoming a doctor, caring for his dad wasn’t also a huge difficulty for Jezriel. Plus, he was mostly at home, anyway, because the classes were online at the time.

Still, he experienced challenges while preparing for the board exams.

Photo credit: PEP

He would spend the day caring for his dad, then find time to review during nighttime and at dawn. But the schedule and the physical demands of caring for his dad would soon take their toll on his body. He was tired most of the time.

With just 3 months to go for the board exams, he finally asked help. Thankfully, his family understood his situation and his sibling helped out in caring for their dad.

But he still had to juggle time to care for his dad, though no longer 24/7.

Amazingly, despite the challenges he faced, he managed to still excel and rank as #5!

While he still hopes to become a doctor someday, he’s putting that aside for now so he can earn money to help support his ailing dad.

Best Pre-Med Courses to Take

There are many different scientific fields that you can consider for your pre-med (full degree course before taking medicine). Some examples are science-related courses such as:

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Jeepney Driver Offered Free Rides for One Day after Son Becomes Engineer

A jeepney driver offered free rides for one day after his son became a licensed engineer.

His story went viral after it was shared by a nursing student who became one of his passengers that day.

Jeepney Driver Offered Free Rides to Celebrate Son’s Success

Parents remain the proudest people when it comes to their children – and it’s really sweet to hear stories of proud parents announcing their children’s success to the world.

When Joseph Salcedo passed the February 2023 Mechanical Board Exams, his dad (Papa Rey) was so proud of his accomplishment that he offered free rides to all his passengers that day.

A jeepney driver, Papa Rey had promised to give out a free rides if his son passes the licensure exams.

He reportedly made this promise at their church.

According to the new engineer, his dad had initially planned on just giving out free rides for one trip or round. But his dad felt so proud of having an engineer son that he decided to treat all his passengers to the free ride for the entire day!

Mark Cynric Baldesco Beriña, a nursing student, was among Papa Rey’s lucky passengers.

jeepney driver offered free rides
Photo credit: Mark Cynric Baldesco Beriña / The Summit Express

According to Beriña, he had no idea about the free ride until he was about to pay for the fare. Papa Rey happily told him that he didn’t have to pay, proudly announcing his son’s success.

Although he was just one of the passengers, Beriña said that he also felt proud of Papa Rey and his son’s success as he congratulated them both.

Meanwhile, Papa Rey’s son was amused and also quite happy over what his father had done to celebrate his achievement. Because they don’t own the jeep, he said that he offered to pay for his dad’s “boundary” that day.

But here’s more good news: the jeepney owner was also so happy that Papa Rey’s son is now an engineer – and didn’t let him pay the boundary as well. Cool, isn’t it?

What’s a “Boundary” in Philippine Transport?

In the Philippines, public transport vehicle owners charge a “boundary” or a fixed amount of money that their drivers need to pay as rent for the vehicle.

Often, the drivers get to take home any amount they earn above the boundary, though they also have to pay the full boundary amount even if they didn’t earn enough for the day.

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Former Street Sweeper Sends Five Kids to College, Finds Fortune by Selling Tableya

A former street sweeper finds good fortune and sends her five kids to college by selling tableya – and she has become an inspiration to many.

Today, all her five kids have finished their studies, and their home is now a favorite tourist destination. Wow!

Former Street Sweeper Finds Good Fortune in Tableya

People are born with different challenges and fortunes in life. It is said that even if you’re born poor, you can turn your life around and change your destiny.

That’s what Elsa Polot, a mother of five in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, managed to achieve as she found good fortune through hard work.

Back in 1994, Polot worked as a street sweeper. It’s a blue-collar job with low pay. Her husband didn’t earn much as a tricycle driver.

former street sweeper
Photo credit: CDN Digital

With five kids to support, Polot decided to find other ways to earn extra income. That’s when she started roasting cocoa beans to make tableya. It’s a tablet-like traditional Filipino food product (“tableya” means “tablet”) made of ground cocoa beans.

To make ends meet, she spent time preparing these products and selling them to her neighbors. She also sold her products on the streets of their city.

Photo credit: Cebu Daily News

Thanks to her determination and hard work, Polot was able to send all her five children to college.

Kids Upgrade the Family Business

All her hard work didn’t go to waste. Not only are her children professionals, they’re also helping upgrade the business.

Dalareich, a Computer Engineering graduate, also studied in Belgium where she learned the latest technology in tableya processing. She also bought machines to improve their production.

Photo credit: CDN Digital

Amazingly, the family’s tableya products are now being exported to Japan, Australia, and Sweden.

From simply making tableya, the family business has upgraded into a chocolate factory!

Chocolate “Shoes”; Photo credit: CDN Digital
Photo credit: CDN Digital

Today, not only are they producing chocolate, their home has also become a tourist spot known as the “Chocolate House.”

Uses of Tableya

  • “Tsokolate” (syrupy chocolate to match with puto maya)
  • Hot or cold cocoa beverage
  • Chocolate shake
  • Chocolate cookies
  • Chocolate products
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