Adventures in Mining
As a first project, [Aya] Charles and I went off to our first journey as HR colleagues to our mining areas. After a few negotiations with our boss and setting up a gameplan (so to speak) for our project, our trip/visit was finally approved.
I scheduled our trip to coincide with the celebration at one mine site (so that food was bountiful… SNEAKY! LOL). So early morning of September 7, we were on our way to Tagum City (our transfer point for our more “off-road” transportation). So I’m going to share a few photos I took along the way.
Our first stop (our host for our overnight stay) was at our processing plant. We got there around 11:00AM. So me and Aya started going through the motions of our workplan. We started out with our orientation, then cascade, a few Q&A moments until we stopped to take our lunch. Since we were celebrating as well, our host had their share of the lechon (roasted pig).
After lunch, we continued where we left off. Then after all that needed to be discussed, we went into a grand tour of the area and it was great to be able to piece together each persons’ functions into the big picture. It made our project more clear. Since we were staying for the night at the plant, we took the liberty in heading out (accompanied by one of the big bosses) to one mine site which we passed on the way up. We didn’t stray too long though since roads were very treacherous and the night was slowly creeping in. Our designated driver would be having a challenging uphill drive if we stayed out too late.
So after returning to our host area, my partner and I went to go exploring around the plant and get the pulse of things as well as go to the departments we didn’t get to go to earlier. Then dinner came, and Aya and I were gearing for a late night discussion and review preparation. Aside from that, I also had to prepare a few contracts for new hires. The mountain atmosphere blanketed us with a steady lull of inactivity. And the cold mountain breeze was very soothing especially for me – a city slicker. The cold water was a little too much for me to bear though. Imagine ICE COLD. And that was just from the TAP! I dreading thinking how I’d be able to take a bath the next day since we had to leave early to go to our next site! Sheesh!
I survived though. Thankfully, they offered to heat up water for me to mix with the ICE COLD water. I just had to speed up taking a bath to get it over with. We left Wendy (since we traveled with one of our office mates who also had an “assignment” to work on at the plant) for the day and told her we’d have her picked up when we reach our last site. It was quite refreshing not to have her tag along. At least we’d get to focus on our agenda with the sites we visit.
Aya and I decided to divide and conquer our work activities to finish off early. Glad we did since our second area had much to cover and a lot of them were raising their concerns too. Lunchtime came and I got to have a taste of the extract from a sea urchin. I forgot what it was called but if I remember right, the local term was “swaki“. A protein-rich serving.
Then finally, a few minutes after having lunch, we proceeded to our final area. The baby of all mines. So the same deal, divide and conquer to be able to finish in just a few hours. We were looking forward to entering the tunnel too. I’ve gone spelunking once a few years back, but this one was different. And what’s cool is that (as per the Mining Operations Manager), I’m the first female who has ever been in the deepest mining tunnel (I forgot how many kilometers below level though).
The main line. One of the foundations of the tunnel.
Water droplets within the cave. Too bad my camera couldn’t take great shots. But if you were there, you’d be amazed by how these droplets are just hanging there. And with just the right amount of light hitting them, they seem like precious stones peeking through the depths of the earth.
Yup! Odd person out! And loving it! LOL!
This baby buggy was just fabricated but it packs a wallop in traveling to and from the tunnel. And it travels around the mountain roads as well!
This last photo is one of the amazing things I’ve seen inside a cave. Birds. Not just one, but a few couple scattered near the entrance of the cave. The locals call it “Sayaw-sayaw“. Sorry I couldn’t find it’s more familiar term though. If you guys have any idea, It’ll be much appreciated.
It was raining when we finally emerged from the tunnel and since our hosts didn’t find it safe for us to travel still (in retrospect I think it had something to do with security measures as well… to mislead would-be “disturbances”). So we had dinner at LV, and after our meal we were clear to go.
The return trip was quite long. Good thing there were no more transfer of transportation but our travel using our “Beijing” was long and tiring. Five to six hours sitting inside a bumpy revamped military jeep would make you sore in a few places in your body. But thankfully, the trip back was uneventful (sans the bumpy ride). And the travel to Tagum City then Davao was pretty boring (had to stay awake though to keep the driver company).
All in all, it was a one-of-a-kind work experience. I would love to travel back there again. We got to achieve our goal in gathering needed data to continue our review, at least now the names I list down each has a face that goes with it, orientations and cascades conducted were received well, and we’ve established good rapport with the people that I rarely see in the City.
The best part? Hearing great comments and appreciation that our visit boosted employee morale.
Now on to the nitty-gritty part. But decision’s not up to me on that part. I just hope our proposal gets accepted!
Hope you guys enjoyed reading (and looking at the pictures).