You know how the story goes. A friend has a friend, who has another friend who’s into this marvelous hobby that you’ve been dying to start for a long time. Fate permitted you to being in contact with them, and that’s just the beginning of an epic adventure for summer.
We climbed Mt. Daguldol, San Juan, Batangas last April 14-15. Due to my carelessness, I did not pre-exercise and even had a total lack of sleep the night before. That may have caused major mishaps. I’d like to enumerate my firsts in this adventure to give you a kinda accurate depiction on how hyped and inexperienced I am. It was my:
first trip in a loaded jeep with people I hardly even know but enough to trust my life to/
first time to use wifi in a jeep/
first official time to use the makeshift walking cane from Indonesia and other climbing gear/
first time to carry a gallon of drinking water to an elevation of +672 meters (or first time to carry any living essential to an elevation of +672 meters)/
first time to hear the entirety of the Hunger Games alongside real time interaction with the environment/
first time to ever hear the names of the characters of the Hunger Games/
first time to lie on the ground, drenched in a pool of sweat, asking for mercy from the heavens/
first time to hallucinate the Blair Witch Project/
first time to hire a porter *cue in “I get so weak at the knees, I can hardly speak”*/
first uphill climb for 5 or more hours/
first time to lose X number of kilograms/
first night hike/
first time to loudly sing 90s boy band songs on top of a mountain at the wee hours/
first time to sleep in a tent/
first time to reach Mt. Daguldol’s summit *cue in marching band music*/
first time to slip on the way down
second time to slip on the way down
third time to slip… oh alright, I’m clumsy./
first time to love solid, flat, ground/
first time to replenish X number of lost kilograms with Y number of calories from the crash junk food diet/
first time to ever pass by a beach in order to climb a mountain and vice versa/
first time sleeping on a hammock with strangers all around/
first time to sneak into a resort’s showers hahaha/
hopefully not the last sincere conversation with a friend/
first time to shout in jubilation as I Ieapt to bed.
It was such a rewarding and memorable experience. It was an achievement, a testament of how I can achieve things (although with half-baked preparation). Truly unforgettable was the spirit of life atop, where modesty, survival, and camaraderie mix very well.
HOLY COW! I SURVIVED!!
Pictures by Charriz Rioflorido
Want to try Mt. Daguldol? Read Pinoy Mountaineer’s Guide to Mt. Daguldol for more details.