My friend JV has been asking me to go with them for a hike since this summer but I never gotten the time to actually do so. So when the labor day (US) came, I decided this would be the perfect time to do it. So I told him about it and he gathered up people who would want to come. Rex and Arnette wanted to come but since they’re both sickly they couldn’t, so they stayed home and just waited for our updates (we did meet up with them on the night of the second day to celebrate JV’s birthday though!). Willy sacrificed his Baler trip, to accommodate our request, and then JV’s brother’s friends came with us too. A total of 9 people signed up to go, and we were supposedly hiking on September 3, 2016 and then down on September 4, 2016 around the afternoon. Well, things didn’t go as planned, and I decided to blog all about it here 🙂 Enjoy the read! And thank you! ♥
I was supposedly going with Rex but he turned out sick the very day of the hike, so I just went ahead with Willy instead. I met up with him around 2-3 hours late than specified time due to troubles along the way and managed to arrive at 3PM at Pure Gold Commonwealth. I was told it was going to be a 3-4 hours ride to San Andres in Tanay and I knew I was going to pass out at some point lol. We rode his motorbike and onwards we drove towards Tanay, around 2-3 hours of travel, we stopped by a gas station and called JV up to tell him where we are and to ask him for directions. We found out, sadly, that we have passed the correct route and we have to come back. We asked around and found out that the baranggay we needed to go to is a 2 hours drive. Much to our dismay, we turned back and headed the correct way.
I apparently have no concern for danger, as I take photos to show friends in chat that I really am behind Willy and riding his motorbike. lol. I probably, shouldn’t do this again… xD
We managed to arrive at the baranggay 30 minutes later. Now I don’t know if Willy was driving too fast too furious, lol, or the directions and prediction by the people around the area are just waaaaaaaaay off. We got there with the sun already down and JV with his brother’s friends were waiting for us since 11 AM. I admit this was my fault, as I should’ve known better. Sorry guys. We didn’t go on with the evening hike as it was going to cost us 1,250 php per tour guide, and one tour guide only takes in 5 people at most, there were 9 of us, so that would be around 2,500 php because the tour guide will have to sleep with us up on the mountain. The morning hike is cheaper at 500 php only, so we decided to sleep it off near the baranggay hall. JV set up two tents for all of us and around 9PM after eating and talking a bit about things, we, well, JV, Willy and I, decided it was off to bed for the 3 of us, the kids (JV’s brother’s friends) were still playing truth or dare, and sharing ghost stories and being scared until 1-2 AM. I guess it’s different when you’re older and you have to prepare at 3 AM and cook food for everyone. Haha!
These are the two tents we slept in, I slept with my friends on the left one because the rest of the kids all decided to sleep in one tent, although I am not even sure if they slept in it. Hahaha.
JV and Willy scared me until 11 PM though, kept on pushing to the corner and telling me somebody will sleep in the middle, and whispering stuff saying, “They’re coming…” and then threatening to leave the tent. Lol. It was a provincial baranggay so you can imagine there’s no lights, and the only thing you can hear are either insects, night animals or basically your imagination running wild. I managed to get a proper sleep at 1AM, which wasn’t too bad. I know it’s kind of a first world problem, and I shouldn’t even be problematizing about it, but after giving birth to my Saoirse, it has been really difficult for me to sleep on hard ground, I can only sleep sideways or on a proper mattress. I wasn’t like this before, but I think something happened to my spinal cord when I was giving birth… my doctor did say I have Coccyx III, still I was hoping there was no trouble like this, but yeah, whatever, I’d still go through with it. At least I managed to sleep despite it all.
The moment my alarm went off, all 3 of us prepared to cook breakfast for the kids (lol). JV fixed up his butane burner, but gave up around an hour later and just had their land watcher (did I termed this correctly? sorry if I didn’t), cook the noodles and eggs for us. We ate for a while and then prepared to start the hike. We managed to start climbing around 6 AM. We registered on a sort of booth first, near the baranggay hall, and paid 40 php per person, and then we were given a tour guide. Kuya Dante, the man who watches the land that JV’s family owns, was to come with us because he was a tour guide before. It was a good thing he did, he was a great help to me until the very end of our trek!
We started off and I was thinking, you know, I can do this, it’s not going to be hard, and I would be on the top in no time. We were told the hike was going to be around 2 hours, and I was like, it would be easy, 2 hours isn’t too long. Yeah, that’s what’s going on my head while we were walking towards the actual hike. Ofcourse as a first time hiker, I didn’t know better. I should’ve known this was going to be one of the hardest things I’ll ever do in this lifetime, lol.
Here’s me, at the very end of the line, lol, slow as a snail, and not knowing what was going to happen to me in the next few hours.
After around 10 – 20 minutes of walking, I finally manage to feel how I needed exercise, and that I am getting too old for these things. Haha! Sitting infront of the computer for at least 40-60 hours per week, really, it doesn’t do good for your body and you only feel it when you start doing really active stuff. Kind of makes me want to cry, but you know, at least I got to experience something like this in this lifetime.
We passed by creeks, rice fields, really grassy areas and stops that has fresh water flowing somewhere. We refilled our tumblers every time we passed by these stops, until ofcourse, we were told that there wasn’t going to be any of those when we get to the high parts. We got to our first stop and I just had to tie my hair into a ponytail because trying to look good in photos isn’t the main issue anymore, lol, because the sweat dripping down my back, my face, all over my skin isn’t going to stop if I don’t help myself. So on the first stop, I decided to ask for an elastic band and fix my hair. We took several photos too, and I was already thinking that, you know, I have done so well and it’s going to be like that in the next few minutes, well, you know, I was very wrong.
We started the journey, UP at this point and honestly, I just started getting dizzy and wanting to vomit at some point. I was protecting my shoes from the water since I don’t like my socks getting wet, but you know, at some point, you’d stop caring. Cause if you keep on caring about how you look like or how your clothes look at this point of the game, you would totally miss out on a lot of things. I was slow I know, but I tried my best to keep on looking at how far I’ve come and thanking God I managed at least to get that far.
I stopped every few minutes, Kuya Dante and JV stayed with me most of the time, while the ones with better stamina, went up ahead of us with the other tour guide. I was really thankful because if no one was willing to stay with me, I don’t think I would’ve reached anything. Kuya Dante was the most patient, JV went ahead at some point, I was just really so slow. I wanted to be as fast as they are but my breathing was already heavy and my chest feels like it was going to burst. I know I am asthmatic and if I didn’t take stops as much as I did, I probably wouldn’t have gotten through all this and would’ve ended up in the hospital, which would’ve been a problem for the rest of the team. JV told me not to worry as we weren’t chasing any time and I can go my own pace as I want. I was thankful. It took the tension away because I was already stressing out that the rest are being held up by me.
We managed to catch up with them in the middle of the hike, we rested a bit and took photos 🙂
We started on the hike again and it was becoming even more difficult. I was warned by Kuya Dante ofcourse, that it would become steeper once we got to this point, but he told me I’ll be alright and I can do it. So I continued on. We managed a few more stops and then we found ourselves in the Duhat Duhatan area, it has lots of Duhat Trees here that’s why it’s called that. There were some hikers who camped there and were just waking up when we arrived. We rested a bit, took photos and I decided to freshen up a bit and post on Facebook. The area was high enough there was signal for 3G and to call people.
JV at this point was already feeling sleepy. It’s really hard getting old. Hahaha! I wasn’t feeling dizzy or wanting to vomit anymore, at this point and I enjoyed the cold breeze that was passing through. It was nice to know I managed to get at this point. Kuya Dante said some people can’t even get to this point and I can actually go back if I wanted to, once I reach Duhat Duhatan. Ofcourse I never contemplated on going back, because you know, I wasn’t going to quit on this. I have already begun, thus I wanted to see this through until the very end.
We trudged on and although there were more slippery, steep and high parts that was too difficult for me to go through, a lot of people started helping me out. Several of the boys from JV’s brother’s friends walked on my pace and helped me through the hike. We got to the part where it wasn’t too high and you can just walk without encountering difficulties and I actually did manage to walk in front. The team applauded me for that, but then that didn’t last very long. Haha! I took pictures along the way because I was really happy I was at least walking with the rest of the team at some point.
The hike became steep again, so I was pushed to the back again, this time, with only Kuya Dante with me. We were reaching the top at this point, so they were all super excited to reach it as soon as possible.
We managed to reach the top and took a ton of photos to remember it by. There was still a Summit to go to with a sort of flag, but JV and I weren’t up for it anymore. Haha! The girls stayed with us, while the boys, with Willy in tow, decided to go reach the top of the Summit. I was sure Willy will go, he’s not the type to quit. JV and I didn’t feel the slightest jealous, lol, Willy can represent us, it’ll be fine. Haha!!!
Sovereign’s Big Three 🙂 ♥
We decided to eat on top of the mountain, while enjoying the breeze and the bit of sun. We were planning to go to Kay-Ibon Falls after, as we’re all planning to get wet there and take a bath on the cave after the falls. So we ate a bit, took more photos and then decided to leave. Just as we were all going down though, the rain started pouring, really hard. Since JV, Carlo (one of JV’s brother’s friends) and Kuya Dante had backpacks with them (JV carried mine to help me through the hike), they all had to wear raincoats. And I, in all my fully clothed glory, was soaked in the rain. For a while it was funny, as I always dreamt of getting drenched in the rain with my dance crew members, but it was really a steep way down and I was sliding everywhere, so it wasn’t as amusing as I thought it would be. JV had me zip up my jacket so he can hold it and I wouldn’t slide around. The trek down to the Falls was really difficult, and long. It took us around 1 hour I think, before we reached the falls.
We rested here a bit, all drenched and tired. No one wanted to go through swimming around because one of the girls got leeched 😦 It was expected since it was raining and the water was raging down from the mountain, all dirt, all probable water thriving insect or animal with it. She got it from crossing the creek about 10 minutes away from the Falls. We decided to just take photos and then go back to the baranggay to get the much needed bath and go home.
We walked to the highway and rode a tricycle, which costs 160 php by the way, 40 php per person, and only 4 people can ride it. We had to leave 3 people, since there were 11 of us, and we just told them we’d fetch them right after we dress up and finish fixing our stuff. They agreed. We took a bath for like an hour or two, and then headed home. I basically slept through out the ride as I was super tired. My arms started to ache, this I think was because I was pulled several times throughout the hike. I slid by the falls too, while JV was right infront of me and not holding on to my jacket. It was a bad fall so I wasn’t surprised with the amount of bruises I had on my skin. My legs hurt a lot too.
I had a grand time however, it was one of the best times of my life. I never thought I’d be given a chance to go on hiking. The hike was only 2 hours supposedly, but because I was so slow, it took us 4-5 hours before we reached the top. I am so glad that most of the kids are patient and my friends didn’t leave my side through out all of this. Also, to Kuya Dante, who spoke bisaya fluently and was keeping me company, telling me stories, and keeping me sane through out the whole hike. I wouldn’t be climbing another mountain soon, but what an experience that was! Thank you all, for your patience and understanding. I wouldn’t have reached the top, got down and lived to tell the tale if it wasn’t for all of you 🙂 ♥
Picture Credits. Jhay-r Kaiser (Willy), Iya Luistro Pascua and Myself 🙂
#AMDG #THEMOSTEPICSEPTEMBEREVER #THESOVEREIGNCREW #BIGTHREEGOALS #MTBATOLUSONG #KAYIBONFALLS #SUMMIT