The place was used to be called La Mesa Dam, it was during the summer of 1970 when we had our scouting activities in the watershed areas for the tree planting project of the Philippine National Bank, Department of Agriculture and The Boy Scout of the Philippines where Quezon City Boy Scout Council was tapped to provide its manpower and our school was selected to support its project.
Our troop went there and at the same time given trainings on scouting like first aid, jungle survival, swimming, knot tying and lashing, hiking and adventure trail. We had a totem pole on our entrance which is now the Drilon Orchidarium and a big army tent for all of us.
The Department of Agriculture was the one providing us the seedlings to be planted along the watershed of the dam and sacks of ipil seeds. I was lucky enough to have a helicopter ride provided by the army to sprinkle the seeds around the area. And I cannot forget those words instilled to us by then PNB President Nicolas Fernandez "I don't want an alibi, I want result" this words has been part of me until now.
It was until that fatefull day of 30 August 1970 where our comrade Scout Oscar M Alcaraz - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ERJHS_alumni/photos/album/1518025921/pic/1707831202/view?picmode=&mode=tn&order=ordinal&start=1&count=20&dir=asc (the first civilian to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Fort Bonifacio. Now line up with him some of our National Artist being the last was Levi Celerio) was drowned for saving the life of our Scoutmaster Tim Amper on the way back to our campsite after its tree planting visit was the last time I have been there for the past 39 years. There was a big difference from what it is used to be now.
The place was so green and you can really appreciate the beauty of nature with its fresh air and around its scenery. There were some amenities like boating, wall climbing, zipline, horseback riding, bicycle ride and it's original swimming pool since then. But there will be an additional swimming pool being constructed as seen on the first two pictures below.
The 117 steps upward (similar to Lourdes Grotto in ) where the water level of the dam can be viewed but picture taking is not allowed is one of the most visited place. I just reach the first landing stage and just took pictures around its greeny sceneries.
After lunch I was left alone on our picnic table and just listened to the iPOD some sentimental classical music and from there reminisced those and the most tragic day that happened.
While driving home something came in to my mind, why not gather all those scouts who participated on that tree planting project and had a reunion overnight camping? That is the result of my interview with one of the employee when I asked if they allowed an overnight camping and he answered me the minimum should be 30 pax to be allowed.
Also I had in mind of making an appointment with Ms Gina Lopez who is the overall in charge of the La Mesa Eco Park to make a proposal since I had those memoirs of Scout Alcaraz to make a trail named after him since their objective is to preserve the watershed through tree planting which we started four decades ago and to present her a project study by introducing some values of scouting like first aid, how to pitch a tent, knot tying, lashing and showing them how to cross the monkey bridge. But my question is how and its only a dream and just ended upon reaching our home.