It is easy to lose sight of the extraordinary in the daily. As kids we viewed the world with wonder an amazement, only to lose it somewhere in our adult lives. We stop gazing at the clouds and make images out of it, we no longer feel the awe at the sight of a rainbow and more importantly, we lose the excitement of the promise of tomorrow.
There are a few of us, however, who continually find the zest in life. Those few ordinary and yet extraordinary individuals who deserve much more than our notice, but our gratitude for never giving up on the search for meaning.
As a high school friend, my fondest memories of Rix was when we would use to sketch. We were not really the artist we probably thought ourselves to be, should we look back, but it brought a sense of commonality which branched out to many other things. I am truly blessed to have gained the friendship of this person, who amidst the many years, differing experiences, varied challenges and many other changes in the transition of life, had continued to be a true friend.
I would like to think, that as many of us, if not most, we leave school with a sense of purpose, a desire to make something of ourselves, to leave a mark. We start out with careers filled with exuberance and energy only to be cheated either by what we were told the world was going to be or by society.
We had infrequent meets, Rix and I, since leaving high school. Though, we had kept in touch and social media had helped us be updated of each other and the crew, we can never really get to know the dept of the metamorphosis that happen as the people we knew, stay the same, yet not entirely. Many times, I had almost thrown the white towel, but still there are some, very few perhaps, like this friend, that continue to brave the cold and unforgiving nature of the world to those wo do allow life to make the most of our existence.
It was late of 2018 when we started to finally get to spend more time with each other and bounce ideas, mature ideas, ideas tempered by the wisdom of experience. I was focusing on my journey to the Masonic craft, while, he shared he was cultivating his own passion project.
Personally, ideas excite me, so I was inclined to ask and from then, what started to be good friendship evolved into an inspiring moment, that to this day I look back to with such fondness.
I did not realize the my friend was making waves in the trekking, climbing and mountaineering community. That dresses as a ninja, referencing Ninjas in the popular anime Naruto, he would participate in trail runs and treks. Then, my admiration just continued to be amped, as I he had shared his experiences, realization, growing philosophy and ability to complete a trail run barefoot.
“People will never care, unless they are aware”-Rixc (The Lakad Ninja)
I had always believed that inspiration is not something one just captures, that unlike hope, it does not spring eternal from within–that is meant to be shared, understood and felt. So, it was on this perspective that I had gathered some of the inspiring ideas this friend has and hope to share to whoever can resonate, nurture and share.
Who is Rix, what does he believe in, why does he do what it is that he does and how does he keep on amidst a unique set of goals contrary to the trend of the times?
- Rix had been a blood donor for several years now and has had received acknowledgment for this from Red Cross.
- I actually would recall of a time when we were out to get some drinks and he had to decline, as he was going to donate blood. While we had never been aligned on the concept of blood donation and transfusion, i had always felt mildly evil as he succeeds to generate growing positive responses from our friends
- On his way to establishing his reputation as “The Lakad Ninja”, he had participated and finished two 160 kilometers ultramarathons
- For an individual working in the same corporate environment as I do, it almost legendary how one can accomplish this given the constraints, the wide array of distractions and the easy to succumb temptations of laziness
- He believes that History and Nature are two of the most important pieces of human life threated with decay as society advances, so he goes on these trail incursions, trekking circuits and mountaineering ventures to secure a piece of history, record the powerful healing effects of nature to the soul and pass it on to posterity
It was December of 2019, perhaps, when he had shared his ultimate goal. Truthfully, as I was digging some of the divine mysteries of life, I was ignorant of what greater cause could be found in mountaineering. It seemed rather a hobby than a crusade. My friend, then, shared a piece of wisdom, that I shall never forget. That sometimes, the greater mysteries strike us without any need for digging, that they are as clear as day, prevalent as the sun and yet we manage to ignore as mundane.
Stay Healthy, know our History, love our Country and protect Mother Nature.-Rixc (The Lakad Ninja)
To this day, I have yet to be sure, if it was the vision, the belief or his determination to prioritize his goals above anything else that amazes me. He had created a YouTube page Lakad Ninja to document his excursions to the far-flung mountainous areas of Cebu City, Philippines to research its History, its People and its Soul.
He is currently on his way to charting the 80 barangays, these are the smallest units of community in the Philippines, to frolic with locals, dig their history, uncover their myths, understand their fear and live their life.
To me, there can be nothing truly more inspiring than one person, believing that, it does not really take much for a person to find a purpose and be truly consumed by it.