Letter from Sir Nick of Talamitam

Yesterday I received an email from Sir Nicky Wijangco bearing this letter of appeal. I am posting this in PinoyMountaineer.com since this will doubtless be of interest to mountaineers. Take note that we are merely airing his side; PinoyMountaineer.com is neutral as far as such disputes are concerned.

Dear Fellow Mountaineers and Selected Friends,
At noon today, I logged in a complaint in the Nasugbu PNP blotter regarding a powerline wire-cutting incident last night at 7 in the evening. The incident was designed to sucker me into the open while trying to reattach the severed electrical wires that fed power to my hut. Instead, I asked the help of PNP Region 4 Director General Per Palad who immedietely sent a team to look into my predicament. Because of the police presence, the power lines were attached without incident. Leading up to this event, two of our dogs have already been poisoned and the survival of the third an iffy proposition. Last night’s harrassment was merely the latest of a yearlong string of incidents.
On April 16, 2008, I was summoned to appear before Nasugbu PNP Chief Maitim. There was no written charge of any kind but I decided to show up anyway- only to be lambasted by Teodoro “Brother” Ted Calimag and Barangay Kayrilao Chairman Jorge Gerpacio. I had done too good of a job preserving Mt. Talamitam which caused too many of you to come and your inevitable disposable income. Greed kicked in, and the takeover conspiracy was on!
On April 20, 2009, The Calimag brothers, led by Brother Ted, wanted to hack me to death in front of about two dozen PHINOE mountaineers.
On May 10, 2008, I decided to lump several events together that otherwise are spread out through several months. The river cleanup, tree planting and dental mission secured 300 volunteers, only to be scared off by a dozen policemen, 2 barangay chairmen and the big Calimag clan.
On December 28, 2008, I was visited by the Nasugbu PNP for allegedly extorting fees from you, my beloved mountaineers.
On February 17, 2009, I was brought to court by the Calimag clan for allegedly pointing a gun at them. The court dismissed the charge just this 10th of November, 2009.
On April 24, 2009, I was once again visited by the Nasugbu PNP for allegedly possessing a firearm. Member of the Sykes Mountaineering Group witnessed this incident.
On May 22, 2009, I was again harrassed for allegedly stealing a ton-and-a-half of used PLDT wires. The Las Pinas Adventure Group (LASPAG) witnesses this event.
On November 20, 2009, elements of the Nasugbu PNP rummaged through my hut on the strength of a court search warrant secured by Ted Calimag. The search proved negative for a supposed cache of firearms.
And then there was the wire-cutting incident a forthnight ago. Note that between incidents involving the police the had been at least two phycal contacts, numerous attempts to waylay my person; and numerous verbal threats at liquidation!
When I decided to espouse my environmental advocacy at Mt. Talamitam a dozen years ago, I had an inkling about the hardship and the risks I had to endure in my effort to conserve the ruggedly scenic area. What transpired on June 6, 2009 was so mindboggling that it convinced me that government and environment simply cannot mix in this country! On that day, a DENR Undersecretary with a bunch of regional synchopants in tow visited Talamitam. I presented photos of century-old trees poached from within the old forest. Not a single DENR personnel has taken pains to verify my photos to this day, and the rape of the forest goes on. More ghastly, they showed unanimous support for Ted Calimag (the very epitome of the pseudo-environmentalist).
I rest my case. Most of you are aware of the other unethical details. However, no harrassment or threat is going to make me back and leave Mother Nature unprotected! I will make a move soon to rectify this sordid conspiracy; and if the government agencies won’t help us, then, so help me God, with your help, we will! Pass this message on to the brothers.
Sir Nick of Talamitam

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36 Comments on "Letter from Sir Nick of Talamitam"

11 years 4 months ago

I personally climbed Talamitam and Matandang Gubat yesterday with Sir Nicky himself (for free!) and showed us the Dungon stumps in Matandang Gubat that was allowed by the "community" guides (pero iisang pamilya lang nakikinabang). One time, merong climber na nanakawan ng mamahaling tsinelas tapos nakita nila na suot ng isa sa mga "brothers". Atrocious! Dapat pabagsakin ang mga hinayupak na yan! Pinababayaan lang ng grupo na yan na malanta ang lahat ng mga seedlings jan na pinaghirapan ng mga tao dalin sa taas para sa mga reforestation program!!

12 years 10 months ago

Agree ako sa nasabi ni Helium20. Di mo masisi na ma-turn-off ang mga umaakyat. Nalalagay din sa alanganin kung paano ka makikibagay sa magkabilang grupo na namimilit na sila ang tama at ang kabila ay mali. Nung nagsisimula pa lang yang escalation ng gulo mga end 2007 to early 2008, iisa ang bukambibig ng magkabilang panig…kung sino ang dapat mangolekta ng Green/Entrance Fee. Pera pera yan, sa totoo lang. Sa huli na naman lumabas yang pangangalaga kuno nila sa environment, kasi napag-uusapan na sila, kailangan magpa-pogi kaya nilagyan ng environment angle. Pero puno't dulo, koleksyon ng pera ang habol nila.

13 years 11 months ago

kmi po ay grupo ng bgo po n moutaineers tga sta. tersita bats po kmi.my blak kc po kmi akyatin ang mt . talamitam ngaun arw ng kalayaan(june 12) kso po hndi nmen alm ang pgpnta dun?pnu po ba pg mngggaling kmi ng bats city sn po ba kmi baba sa nasugbu??pg smkay kmi ng bus d2? sna po ay m2lungan nyo po kmi….salamat po!!!e2 po ang no ko 09103145489

14 years 3 months ago

My partner and I have been climbing batulao for a decade now and recently decided to check out Talamitam.. Turning right from the highway, we were greeted with a sign nailed to a tree addressing the "mountaineers". I tried to take a picture of it but the pointed looks of the people standing around stopped me.

To summarize, it said that Nick Wijangco is no longer authorized to collect any fees from mountaineers and that this was agreed upon by the Barangay and that they have assigned someone else for the registration.

With this as their welcome banner, we already knew there was trouble brewing. Out of curiosity we drove on until the road was too rough for the car. And got to talk to the locals. We pretty much got the "feel" of the guy that now collects the fees. We also met Nick. (and my "taklesa" reaction was Your name was on that tree!)

In Mt. Batulao's case, Mang Johnny has been given that responsibility and you can see him hauling the trash from campsites when the weekends are done. He has planted Talisay trees too to give shade. He has buko on camp one and built a latrine for mountaineers and will gladly provide water for flush if you ever need it.

I remember last year, we climbed there with our kids and it rained, (we have not even reached camp 1 yet and have not paid the fee) the locals (neighbors of mang johnny- the villanueva kids) let us sleep in their kubo for no fee. They gave their lamp with gas and made sure we were OK.

In Talamitam, I am highly doubtful if the caretaker will go that extra mile for a moutaineer.. without getting anything in return.

Well, I'm not writing this to convince anyone or to take sides, but to all who have doubts about the Talamitam controversy, my suggestion is: visit the place and you'll know who the crooked one is. It is pretty obvious who cares for the place and who cares for your pocket money.

Once you've been there and met them, then you can come back to this page and write your honest opinion.- jdb

14 years 3 months ago

So what's the good for talamitam? Suma-side ka din naman eh. Pwede ba kay Mader Earth na lang tau sumide?

Haven't been to mt. talamitam pero ano ba dapat nating gawin mga kapatid? Mag-organize tau ng climb? Tree-planting? Mag-rarally ba sa tuktok? Magsasama ba tau ng journalists at mediamen para maparating 'to sa lahat ng mountaineers, environmentalists, and iba pang concerned groups sa buong pilipinas? Di ba tau ma-baback hoe at mamassacre pag ginawa natin yun? Kelangan ba muna nating ilapit sa lokal na pamahalaan to bago tau sumugod mga kapatid? Suggest na ng dapat gawin.. Open muna tau sa suhestyon, saka na muna kritisismo. Apir!