It has been just a little over a week since my last post, but it felt like ages to me, most of it due so many things happening all at the same time. I still have yet to wrap my head around each of those milestones and moments, but I’m thankful for all of them nonetheless.
Since September, I have been interviewing with a company half of my family is currently working for. There was almost a month’s interval for each of the interviews (HR, Provincial Managers and Division Head) and it all ended last month when I got the go signal from their HR department to do and pass all the necessary pre-employment exams and requirements. I still can’t believe it. Sometimes, I’m so scared to take this leap so bad, I want to back out, but there are times that I think about finally getting out of my comfort zone so I can grow out of my crumbly shell.
I haven’t been this busy since my grandmother’s hospital admission, wake and burial back in Feb-March, so I could tell my body has yet to adjust to finally getting back on track. I have to keep mum on this as I might jinx it and because it still scares me just thinking about what this new career path holds for me.
On the other hand, we’ve also managed to conquer 2 tactical and challenging mountains exactly one week apart. The first one being Mt. Pamitinan in Rizal a week ago and and Mt. Pulag in Benguet yesterday.
I still can’t believe how I managed to do so, but with great company, a strong mindset and permission and guidance from God, both climbs have been made possible.
More on these wild adventures and milestones later on. For now, I leave you these majestic views from above.
Christmas is only 44 days away, and the year is swiftly coming to an end, yet I haven’t even crossed out half of the stuff on my list of trips and events to write about. Boy, I better get everything done soon and by soon, I mean NOW! 😛
So going back to where I left off 4 months ago, here’s the second part of our exciting, but not so challenging, and thus enjoyable 😛 day hike to Mt. Manalmon back in May. Here’s the first part. ⛰⛰⛰
No, I’m not being cocky at all. It was definitely a walk-in-the-park and I can even vouch for those who don’t work out on a regular basis. Easy peasy is what it was.
Although I couldn’t say the same for my cousin, whose blood pressure, I assumed shot up as early as the first ascent. We had to stop a few times so he could recuperate and re-hydrate.
After the first ascent, we reached a clearing (in terms of plants & trees), just a few meters from the marker at the foot of the mountain.
We stopped again so we could catch our breath or should I say, take some selfies. The drying grass helped make for a good background on our photos and the wide patch of land served as a rest stop for various groups before the second ascent.
We then proceeded to climb the mountain itself in more or less an hour after we left the jump off point. This was probably the more challenging part of the climb. Though more amateur friendly, it’s still a mountain, so obviously there are no paved staircases and metal railings to hang on to on the way up. It can still be perilous so you’d need to watch every step and to hang on to branches and vines to support yourself. You see, that’s the beauty of having a guide, he told us exactly where to anchor our feet and which vines/branches to grab a hold of.
Here are some shots taken by my sister who was ahead of us…
Resting after the steep climb, while the sister went up ahead…
Here we were finally reaching one of its many summits!!
Reaching the first summit was more than amazing. The first mountain I ever climbed was Kalbaryo within Mt. Banahaw back in high school and for a moment, I was taken back to how good it really felt to immerse in the great outdoors.
I’ve this extreme fear of heights. I get weak in the knees just walking along mall balconies, but being on top of a mountain feels so much different from that. I guess the surreal feeling tricks your mind into thinking that you cannot fall over the edge, not with beautiful views in sight. Just saying that makes me seem high because that’s exactly what it felt like, literally and figuratively. It was euphoric. I guess nature can really give you that feeling, huh? This is most probably why everyone goes mountaineering these days. Just writing about it now makes me giddy. Definitely can’t wait til our next hike. Keeping fingers crossed.
Apparently as seen on the following photos, the first summit was where we stayed the longest, because it had bigger room to accommodate several groups. At the time, I think there were 4 groups of 5-10 climbers when we reached the first one.
We also maximized the time to take as many selfies and groufies as we can in one spot, and to re-hydrate and freshen up. Fortunately, the sun kind of shied away too when we reached the top, so we didn’t have to hurry to go to the next stop.
Some of these photos below were taken by our guide and we’re all very impressed, I must say. His compositions were spot on! Way to go, Kuya Joseph!
After a while, we decided we needed to let go of our spot as more groups were coming up, so off we went to……….. take more selfies! 😛
Here are some longshots of the incredible scenes we saw from above. Those ants meeting under a tree sure look good in those shirts.
The second and final summits were both on the other side of the mountain and had more beautiful views of what I believe is the Madlum river snaking its way in between these mountains.
The final ascent was quite steep so we had to Spiderman-crawl to the top. My sister recorded the whole thing on video, unfortunately I messed up the music volume while editing, so you’re gonna have to put your speakers on full blast for this one.
The third and final summit had less room obviously, so we had to do all our shenanigans very quickly as the queue of climbers was also getting longer.
This tree was on the edge of the mountain and even though my cousin looked really happy here, he was actually very nervous as I was when I took the photo.
Yes, we also danced our hearts out on the summit. Bucketlist thing. LOL. This must be why someone from the group behind us was so pissed at us.
There you go. That was definitely one of the many highlights and blessings of this year for me. Of course, it could not have been possible without His blessing so like all of the mountains that we’ll be conquering this year and the years ahead, this was and always will be for His glory.
I want to say though that this is the last part of this travel series, but then I realized there’s still so much to write about. We also tried the extremely challenging Monkey River Crossing and Spelunking, both of which I think deserve a separate entry.
Because I dozed off in the middle of writing this last night, I’m posting it just now. It’s still Sunday somewhere across the globe anyway!
C u r r e n t l y . . .
R E A D I N GGideon Lasco‘s “Day Hikes and Nature Walks from Manila“. I couldn’t stop thinking about this book ever since I saw it on Sir (or should I say, Doc) Gideon’s instagram account (actually, I might have seen it on someone else’s ig account). Anyway, he’s the man behind Pinoy Mountaineer, which I find the most helpful and most organized site, where one can see uber detailed guides to climbing most if not all of PH mountains. They even indicate which ones are limatik, lipa and rattan free and which ones are not! My brother and sister, being the more experienced climbers among us, insisted that we go to ROX today where my sister bought the book!
W R I T I N G a more personal entry on my Journey app. If you haven’t heard of it yet, try it! It’s a free Chrome and Android app with a very simple and neat interface where you can pour your hearts out without having to worry about privacy. I’ve been writing on my journal too, but typing really saves so much more time! haha
L I S T E N I N G to the sound of our electric fans and to the light buzzing sound of my sister’s air-con unit.
T H I N K I N G of convincing my father to put up a small design business once he retires (just like what their brand managers suggested). Of course, I’d be very much happy to help out. It would be a dream come true for me–being your own boss (I mean, having your dad as your boss eerrrr), doing what we both love doing! I mean, c’mon I would love to study over and over again if it’s going to be all about art & design!
S M E L L I N G nothing last night, but banana fritters this morning!
W I S H I N G for more free/sponsored workshops on photography, graphic design, or anything artsy fartsy and more DAYHIKES and probably a PULAG climb this year!
W E A R I N G my lime green GH shorts and my “spread the love” shirt
L O V I N G this android game, “Good Pizza” and this old school game turned android game, “Bomberman 2016“. Also loving the apps, “Vocabulary Builder“, “Our Daily Bread“, “Bitmoji” (from where I got the bitmoji above! Love dressing up mine btw!), the new calligraphy and handwriting fonts I downloaded and these collages I made for my friend’s birthday yesterday. I’ve delayed making this for about a week, but the good thing is, I did manage to make 2 in time for her birthday!
W A N T I N G to finish our trip itinerary and to have our visas processed this week! Please pray for us!
N E E D I N G some peace of mind still, and a whole lot of inspiration!
F E E L I N G blessed that we got to spend time together as a whole family again! My brother went home for the weekend before he goes to a conference tomorrow and leaves for Boracay on Tuesday. While it’s obvious how fleeting time was for us, I’m happy we went to Church as a complete family again, held hands, hugged, had lunch, got stuck in traffic before finally having dinner at one of our favorite restos, Cafe Lidia. It makes me want to say that truly, the best things in life are free and the gift of family is one of God’s greatest.