You know what I’d really like to do the most right now? Climb up to the top of some high place like the pyramids. The highest place I can find. Where you can see forever. Stand on the very top, look all around the world, see all the scenery, and see with my own eyes what’s been lost from the world. ― Haruki Murakami
After being trapped for more than a year to a metaphorical fork in the road – now, I can finally say that am starting to rebuild the obscure horizon. To have a clear vision of the sunrise – a depiction of a new beginning. Indeed, life is a like a game of chess, you have to move in order to win.
Looking back, I was a man who would just prefer to sleep or just seat on the couch, eat, watch my favorite TV series throughout the day of every weekend; even book a flight/trip but won’t pursue – slices of time wasted, I guess. My life before was a routine, irresponsible and inconsistent and it even got worse last year. I know some might tell, homie it’s too late, you’re too old to realize that but no – as long as you exist you can always rectify the things you wanted to change in your life(but I know am still lazy though lol). Paradoxically, maybe all that we are, is what people expect us to be (quote from r.m.d). True at some degree but God gave us the wisdom and rationality to think differently – you can always elevate those angles and go beyond the bias. Thus, there’s always an avenue for betterment, to curate yourself to the best of you and it’s a continuous process of cultivating something out of the box.
Before 2016 has to begin, I’ve already planned ahead the things I wanted to do this year and really, one of which is traveling or embarking myself to a great adventure aside from ticking off an item in my 20s before 30 buckets. To enjoy my freedom while I am young, to see how far I can go, to introduce myself to so many things unknown, to take risks and assess my strengths and weaknesses and bring myself closer to my surroundings – those are the things I’ve been wanting to put in my memento. From my own philosophy on adventure, it’s not always about bringing your feet to the end of the course or destination but more of the things you discern and assimilate en route.
January 24, 2016 – Climbing Mt. Maculot
Climbing Mt. Maculot was my first adventure this year. And for someone who seeks an adventure like me, this mountain is a great start. Before the year 2015 ends, I already booked the package offered by Trail Adventure. It’s a mountain tour company that offers nature, culture and adventure for beginners and experienced ones. The good thing about the company is that, you hike together with a professional hiker(s) and you meet new people who share the same interests. Withal, this is just one of the thousand ways if you’re really looking out for something that will make your life prolific.
At a 706masl, you can reach the famous Rockies of the mountain by hiking more or less an hour but it still depends on your pace. On top of this rocky is a scenic view of Taal Lake and the pasture of Batangas.
February 7, 2016 – Scaling Mt. Batulao
This climb reminded me of my experience in Mt. Pico de Loro – it was a foggy, cool and muddy Sunday which made the hike more difficult. I would say Mt. Batulao is one of my favorites because of its landscapes that are very appealing most especially during cold season.
Fork to the summit is about 1-2 hours.
On the summit of Mt. Batulao at 811+ meter above sea level.
February 13, 2016 – Mountain Ranges of Cordillera
If you are really chasing mountains, I would recommend you go to Cordillera Administrative Region. CAR is a region in the island of Luzon. The regions is composed of 6 provinces including Benguet and Mt. Province which we had visited last month.
The main purpose of our trip was to go to Sagada not because I wanted to make “hugot” in Kiltepan but because ever since, I really wanted to go to some places I’ve never been to(despite of my very tight budget lol). I was just invited by my friend and we booked the package from BookWithUS . We also had sidetrips to Banaue, La Trinidad and Baguio.
While traversing the mountainous roads of Benguet to Sagada for more than a couple of hours it made me realize and put a discipline to remind myself of the many reasons I have to be thankful for. My experience in Cordillera was very humbling – the people who live there including the indigenous people like the Igorots are very passionate and hardworking; and they only got nothing but my praise and respect. Truly, it is not what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it(quote from Dale Carnegie). But on a deeper perspective, let’s go beyond its beauty and scrutinize everything – were they really happy? Were they really content and satisfied of their current living? For me, the point doesn’t end there, it’s more of a reflection of issues that truly matter – the plight of our farmers. Thus, this serves as a wake-up call to our beloved government (*insert sarcasm here*) to take necessary actions and help those who feed us. Furthermore, the government and locals should implement policies to protect our cultural heritages and wonders from detrimental tourism practices.
I can honestly say that Cordillera was one of my most remarkable trips not just because of the beauty it offers but more of the things I discovered in this place.
February 21, 2016 – Camalig: Quitinday Hills and Sumlang Lake
Last month I went back home in Albay to spend my weekends because for a very strange and personal reason (am not going to mention) – I really had to. Also, it would be really unfair to my dearest province if I wouldn’t include this in my blog – Gov. Joey Salceda might rebuke me lol. So that Sunday, we went to Camalig, Albay to explore its blooming tourist spots – the Quitinday Hills and Sumlang Lake.
With my younger brother and niece, we enjoyed the lake while witnessing the scenic view of Mayon Volcano. We also rode the balsa but I had a struggle paddling the kayak. So instead, we let the guide pull it lol. Right away, we took a hike in Quitinday Hills. Fork to summit is just about 10 minutes. On top, you will see a series of hills harmonizing the majestic scenery of Mayon. We really wanted to see the Quitinday falls but according to the tricycle driver, it will take an hour or more to reach it, so we decided not to go.
(sa sunod nalang ako maduman.).
March 6, 2016 – Montalban Trilogy: Mt. Binacayan, Mt. Haponang Banoi and Mt. Pamitinan
Together with my friends, we dared to hike 3 of the recognized mountains in Montalban, Rizal: Mt. Binacayan, Mt. Haponang Banoi and Mt. Pamitinan. We started to hike the first mountain at around 4:30am to wait the sunrise and hopefully, to witness a sea of clouds. We reached the summit of Binacayan at 5:30am. Our persistence to witness such kind of natural phenomena was really worth it.
We descended Binacayan at around 8am, ate our breakfast then took a rest to prepare ourselves for the next hike. The weather that day was scorching, plus the very steep trail made the hike really tiring. That was the first time to see my sweat flown all over my body. Honestly, I didn’t enjoy the climb to Banoi and Pamitinan due to enervation and all I wanted that time was to finish the trilogy and bring my feet on the last 2 peaks.
Conquering 3 mountains was not a joke but I was really amazed by those groups that made a pentalogy in a single day. To top it all, the trilogy we did was really a test of dedication, courage and endurance. And I am proud of the group and with myself that we were able to make it.
I was never a hiker nor imagine myself to become one someday. But I can’t deny the fact that am getting addicted to this pursuit and I want to continue.