Volunteer group Trapkada travels for fun – and for a cause
Why do you travel?
Most of us would say to have a quick break from the humdrum of our daily lives or disconnect from the pressure of being available by phone and email 24/7, or have the freedom to do whatever we want.
It’s almost always about escaping reality. But Trapkada, a volunteer group composed mostly of young professionals from Metro Manila and nearby provinces, aims to redefine the purpose of traveling by doing the exact opposite – taking you to reality.
Travel with a purpose barkada or Trapkada aims to combine travel and leisure by visiting isolated communities in the Philippines to provide donations such as medicine, school supplies, and groceries.
They also assign speakers from the group to promote social values such as strong religious faith, respect for authority, and obedience to parents.
“It is our duty as kuyas and ates to teach and inspire children. Every event, we come up with topics and ask co-volunteers to lead a group of kids to elaborate more on the topic,” said Abbey Dela Cruz, one of Trapkada’s volunteers.
Trapkada works with barangay units and private businesses to improve the quality of their outreach programs.
It all started with Kristoff Suillan, a nature-lover who shared this idea with equally adventurous friends. Together, they organized their very first Trapkada event in Bangaan Elementary School in Mountain Province where they donated clothes and fed 70 children.
While their main goal is to help communities, they see to it that they still get to have fun. A factor they consider in choosing the community that they’re going to help is that the place must be near a beach, waterfalls or a mountain where they can still satisfy their craving for a good nature activity.
"I have always known that immersing yourself in a place and its people makes traveling more meaningful, but let’s admit it – not all of our friends we travel with share the same perspective as us. And sometimes they prioritize enjoyment over learning. Trapkada is a reminder that if you have an objective and your heart is in the right place, everything is possible,” said Inah Solacito, also a Trapkada volunteer.
Since 2017, they have visited a total of 6 communities in Luzon including the Ifugaos, Dumagats, Aetas, and Mangyans. They plan to reach more people in need by conducting at least 3 programs a year.
Their latest outreach program was held in Jomalig Island, Quezon, where they were able to help 300 children in Sitio Talisoy.
“Whenever we visit a place, people would always thank us for the blessings they’ve received. But you know what, it’s the Trapkada who can’t thank them enough by taking us to reality. They reconnected us to the things we’ve been missing: peace, contentment and genuine laughter. It's amazing that we get to learn true richness from people who have so little,” said Abbey.
Trapkada aims to be a registered non government organization (NGO) and has a scholarship program for every area that they visit. The plans aren't fully mapped out yet but these are part of their goals as a group.
The group is solely funded by voluntary contributions. Help them reach more communities by donating or joining their group by sending a message to their official Facebook group. – Rappler.com
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