Philippine Travel: Friendship Kayak Will Go 3,300 Km In 100 Days Across The Philippines From Sarangani To Pagudpud
Toby Martin – my batchmate in Upsilon Sigma Phi and fellow adventurer – just recently introduced me to Friendship Kayak, which is an expedition team led by Singaporean kayaker Khoo Swee Chiow whose current expedition challenge is to traverse the entire Philippine Archipelago on a kayak.
Needless to say, this feat has never been done before, and Khoo Swee Chiow along with Filipinos Buzzy Budlong and Arnel Gabutero, will be undertaking this expedition to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Philippine-Singapore diplomatic relations. They will have a support team of Singaporeans and Filipinos (friends of the two expeditionists), who will haul provisions and handle certain logistics during their stops.
Khoo Swee Chiow has climbed Mt. Everest twice, reached the South Pole and the North Pole and holds 2 Guinness World Records, one for the longest scuba dive done in a controlled environment, staying underwater for 220 hours. Khoo Swee Chiow is also the first South East Asian to complete the 7 summits – Kilamanjaro (Africa), Everest (Asia), Mt. Aconcagua (South America), Denali (North America), Elbrus (Europe), Carstenz Pyramid (Oceania), Kosciuszko (Oceania) and Vinson Massif (Antartica). When he’s not doing expeditions or adventures, Khoo Swee Chiow is a motivational speaker and adventure consultant.
Meanwhile, Filipino Buzzy Budlong may not have such an impressive resume as his kayaking partner, Buzzy holds his own as a veteran sea kayaker and white water rafting guide. He finished culinary arts, and mixes his love of cooking and love of the outdoors with an outdoors shop and Mexican cafe in Bohol, where he is currently based.
Arnel Gabutero will be joining the expedition as they paddle around Mindanao, but I’m not certain if he will still be part of the expedition as it heads out to Pagudpud in Ilocos Norte.
The Friendship Kayak expedition has already started, and took to the shores of the Philippines on August 31st. Khoo Swee Chiow maintains a blog on his website where you can read all the documentation of what they endure. They even have an on-line tracker, so you can see where exactly they are at any given moment during the expedition.
I’m excited to see the wonderful pictures of the Philippines that the Friendship Kayak expedition will be coming up with as they kayak from Sarangani all the way up to the tip of the Philippine archipelago at Pagudupud in Ilocos Norte. I still haven’t really gotten word on where the last stop will be. Certainly, I would like to be there to congratulate the two of them and the entire crew of Friendship Kayak for their inspirational adventure.
Anyway, Friendship Kayak has some sponsors that will help them through this expedition, but from what Toby Martin said in his e-mail, the team still lacks some resources to complete the journey. Based on what I read in the Firendship Kayak blog, I believe they underestimated the costs of the handling and release of their cargo, which included the huge kayaks among other things.
Toby Martin is helping the coordination efforts of Friendship Kayak, and I’m putting out a shout-out here for those who might be able to help them out for their expedition – like maybe a safe harbor to rest, and maybe some local delicacies to replenish – should they pass through your neighborhood.