EDITORS DESK: Welcome to May! Our cover story this month is coming from the Philippines, where where DBP Admin and awesome raft guide Lecref Anapim hails. Sit back and enjoy the interview with DBPMagazineonline staff write Michael Potter!
Lecref Anapim, a raft guide from Cagayan De Pro, Philippines, is a relatively new addition to the DBP family, being induced as a Dirtbag admin must last year. He hit DBP wide open, sending us great videos and pictures of his rafting trips on a regular basis. We liked this rubber pushing pro right from the start. We actually liked him so much that he is going to open up this month’s cover page for you. For all of those Wallace Queens out there, we just want to clarify, yes….. Lecref is single and looking. He also has a music band and loves to play guitar and sing.
Q. Lecref, when did you start paddling?
A. I think I started rafting in 2007.
Q. What enticed you to get into the crazy world of whitewater?
A. My friends got me interested originally. At that time I was also a member of an environmental organization with my college. I was exposed to many outdoor activities which influenced my direction towards whitewater. I’d rather be outdoors than in an office any day.
Q. How long have you been a raft guide?
A. I’m working on ten years in the rafting businesses. I started guiding for 1st Rafting Adventure around 2007. I switched companies somewhere around 2011 and came here to Kagayan Bugsay Corporation, where I guide everything from long lunch trips to short, straight through trips, depending on what the customer wants.
Q. Lecref, what do you think is special about you job? What do you like personally, and what do you like to share with your customers?
A. This job is very special to me because it is unique. I can share my knowledge of rivers, knowledge about river safety and dealing with rapids, and the importance of rivers on our planet and how to protect our rivers. This is a very healthy job. It is good for my fitness, and at the same time very educational for the customers. I’m very happy to share my guiding experience with other people. Its great to meet so many new people and share my ideas with them. Every day I spend rafting is a training day for me.
Q. You have sent us a lot of really cool pictures and videos of you. Is there any trip that have guided that stands out above the others?
A. I don’t compete with other guides or companies for bragging rights. I simply try to give my guests the very best river experience that I can provide. I think that my customers understand that. Beyond that, the first trip that I guided solo was meant for me. I learned so much that day. Now I own every trip that I guide. All of my trips belong to me.
Q. Randi Casino has mentioned that there are several sections of river in the Philippines that have not been paddled yet. What can you tell me about this?
A. To our knowledge there are several sections here that have not been conquered by a boat. The reasons why range from money for equipment and travel to the difficulty of the section itself.
Q. Has the rafting changed in the ten years that you have been a guide?
A. There have been a lot of changes here in the Philippines, especially with the booming of social media, internet, and other modern technology. I think that these changes in communication have created more available knowledge and new ideas. More people know about this rafting destination now than ever before. This internet boom is also how I found Dirtbag Paddlers.
Q. How has the equipment changed over the years?
A. Our equipment is much better than before, especially our rafts. The internet has made it much easier for the rafting companies to access, buy, and ship new equipment to our country.
Q. How do you think that the commercial rafting industry could improve in the Philippines?
A. I think it could improve the standard equipment, safety, and guide training. We could always improve the facilities and conservation efforts for generations to come, which would increase the marketing of our destination on the international scene so that people would know what the Philippines has to offer, especially the Cagayan De Pro River.
It’s just a humble rafting destination but it has many unique features. I feel that it is OK to modernize society as long as it doesn’t affect our rivers and other environment.
Q. What makes Cagayan De Oro so special?
A. It is special because it flows the whole year round. It has unique scenery. The people who visit are unique within themselves. The people here are so friendly and outgoing. This is Southeast Asia, so the climate is always warm. It’s an exotic place for visitors. Everyone who comes here can feel the difference when they leave.
Also there are no dams here. Whitewater sports are so young in our area. Those of us that understand the importance of that will join together in the fight for no dams on our river.
Q. Are you seeing whitewater sports increase in your area?
A. It grows slowly, very slowly. There are only a few here that take it seriously, not just for money, but for the love of the job, the sport, the river.
Q. With social media increasing in the Philippines, I’m sure that you see more videos of other countries and rivers. Is there any other river that you hope to paddle someday?
A. Wow! So many! I’m dreaming of someday running the Colorado River, the mighty Zambezi river, and Nepal river. Any and every river that I have the chance. Hopefully all the rivers of my country. Of course I’d also like to come to Tennessee and paddle the Ocoee river.
Q. What advise would you give new paddlers coming into the whitewater scene?
A. Love your job, your sport, listen to those with experience. Above all don’t forget to breathe when you have the chance. Always remember that the key to success here is don’t forget to breathe.
Thanks for your time Lecref. Hopefully I will get to visit later year or early 2018. Stay safe my friend.