If you think your road to school or work is difficult because you are often stuck in traffic, well, consider yourself still lucky that you live in a place where the roads are concrete and there are cars/vehicles for you to ride – because there are many others across the country who are suffering from more serious dilemmas than traffic jams and rude drivers.
Just take for example the students and teachers of Oro Elementary School in Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte in Mindanao, southern Philippines.
Every single day, at least 30 of the school’s 130 students hike up the mountain not just on regular trails but also crawling on the steep cliffs while holding on to nothing but tree roots! A single mistake could send them plummeting several feet below – and could lead to a domino effect that could affect the other climbers also taking the same route!
One of the teachers featured in the Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho video below, Aida Proceso, almost lost her daughter Aibe to an accident while they were climbing the steep slopes. But although the locals do have the option to hire a habal-habal (passenger motorcycle) to carry them to school, the fare of Php50 (about $1) per person is already quite heavy on their pocket.
The Education Program Supervisor of the Department of Education (DepEd) in Dapitan, Vicente Jose Suarez II, recommends that a flight of stairs be installed on the steep cliff but without the necessary funds to build a sturdy structure, this just might not be realized in the near future.
We could only imagine what these kids and teachers go through during rainy days when the mountain trails and the tree roots become too slippery…