KUCHING: The Borneo Post Adventure Team (BAT) kicked off its statewide expedition yesterday filled with excitement and high hopes as its members prepared for the challenges ahead.
Comprising The Borneo Post journalists Peter Sibon, Wilfred Pilo, feature writer Joanna Yap and photographer Chimon Upon, the foursome would be embarking on a 22 day- fun-filled educational excursion that would take them to every nook and cranny of all the lovely areas, towns and districts in the state.
Flagged off by The Borneo Post general operations manager Phyllis Wong here yesterday morning, BAT left The Borneo Post office at Crown Towers, Jalan Pending for Sri Aman, which will be its first stop.
The expedition, from Feb 21 till March 14 would see the team travel to the likes of Kapit, Mukah, Limbang and all the way to Lawas apart from stops at some major as well as secondary towns. When met before the flag-off, members of the team even contemplated traveling to Labuan and Kota Kinabalu from if their schedule permits.
“The main objective of this trip is to highlight any peculiarities of small towns visited while gaining access to more readers. This is to ensure that The Borneo Post remains the most popular and best selling local English daily here.
“In addition, we are concentrating on areas that have never been written about and also to highlight certain areas from a different view. For example, when we talk about places such as Niah and Lambir, too often we only read about the attractions but never an article that describes the journey of getting there,” said Peter who is the team leader when met at the sending-off.
He added that BAT would also cover new heavy industry areas like Samalaju in Bintulu, among others. Upon the successful completion of the trip, he hoped that the paper would consider featuring a travel and journey section.
Touching on the challenges they would face, Peter mentioned: “Missing our families and the temptation of going home as soon as possible would be the main culprits.”
Wilfred, however jokingly said that flying his kite at a beach in Kabong and to see a dugong in Kuala Lawas would be the things he most look forward to.
On a serious note, he said: “The main objective of this trip is to see the social, economic and political developments in all the small towns and districts during the course of our trip. We will concentrate on writing the peculiarities of each town while gathering as much human interest stories.
“We would venture to all the never-mentioned-before areas such as Sg Tengang, Pusa, Kabong, Roban, Bekenu, Sibuti and Kuala Lawas.”
The team’s main driver Chimon, when met, was all excited as the trip provides him the unique opportunity to learn and experience new places in the state.
“I always wanted to go on an expedition to see the whole of Sarawak. It is always interesting to see new places. However the main challenge despite the hectic schedule is the limited rest time. Being the driver, I must also be on the lookout for beautiful photo sceneries.
“Taking good photo moments and delivering quality videos would be my main priority.” Sharing the same sentiment with Chimon, Joanna stated that traversing the whole of Sarawak was something she always wanted to do and that visiting most of the secondary towns and small districts would be a first for her.
“I will definitely make the most of this trip capturing each moment, taking as many pictures, getting to know the people and their cultures. I’ll focus on any interesting subject I can find,” she continued.
From Sri Aman, BAT would head to Betong today, Sarikei (Feb 25), Sibu (Feb 27), Kapit (March 1), Mukah (March 3), Miri (March 5), Limbang (March 7), Lawas (March 9) and Bintulu; (March 11) spending at least two days at every major stop. However, the team’s itinerary might be changed depending on circumstances.
The Labuan-Kota Kinabalu trip however would only be decided after the Limbang stop. Isuzu provided a D-Max pick-up truck for the trip.