I received a short notice from my colleagues at work before the remarkable first-time-climb to Pico de Loro in Ternate, Cavite last Saturday. I wasn’t expecting for it as I am more of a beach person than of a hiker. At first it wasn’t really an invite. They were asking if they could borrow my tent again. That give me a hint that they are up for another adventure. As the word “tent” for me is synonymous to “adventure”. I work on weekends so I told them that I could lend them my tent which followed by a question, “Where are you going?”. They told me that they are going to Pico de Loro in Cavite. I have heard of the place and that give me excitement. I haven’t tried climbing yet and I want to give it a try! So I asked them if I could join them.
First Time In Many Things
Next thing I know I was packing my things again. Trying to fit in all the things that I think I could use for trekking. I am bringing my backpack to the office as I have work that night. The trip is on the day after. I have no plans of telling my boss that I will be absent the following day. I still have doubts if I would join the hiking because I normally don’t absent from my work. It’s gonna be my first time to be absent since I got hired last year. I previously filed a leave but they did not allow me because I wasn’t able to find a reliever who would fill in for me. So the rebellious side of me wanted to take revenge to my bosses as they couldn’t grant my request. I have been so kind to them when they requested for me to be in the office 3 or 4 hours earlier than my shift during the weekends and even came to work with only an hour of sleep and rendered more 13hours but could not return a little favor I’m asking them (I’ll stop ranting here).
We left the office at 8A.M. and met up with the others in Baclaran. We took a bus going to Ternate and got off at the terminal. I was still wearing jeans, long sleeves and my casual shoes I wore the night before at the office. I have no idea what to wear as this is my first ever climb. I wasn’t able to do my homework(research) about it because of the short notice.
We took a tricycle going to the DENR office before we started to trek. I had the chance to change my upper clothing before the climb but I was still wearing the same pants until we reached the camp site. Everyone in the group was ready with all the right gears and had packed just enough for the climb. I had “overpacked” if that’s the right term. I was struggling as we get to the first base camp and it was much harder as we get closer to the camp where we stayed overnight. Along the way, we met other hikers. Some are on their way home and others are on their way up to the mountain. Hikers have very unique attitude towards the other hikers. I find them very polite as they greet all the people they meet on their way and say things like “take care” or they would tell encouraging words such as “you can do it” or “you’re almost there”. We got a lot of these on our way to the top. We joked about it. To use this attitude when we get back to Manila, to greet everyone we bump along the busy streets of the metro. I just can’t imagine how crazy the idea was.
As we get closer to the camp site, the back and muscle pains were unbearable! We would take about 10-15 minutes of walk then rest. For a newbie on this climbing stuff, I had the terrible time coping up with the group but I wasn’t the worst. One of the girls had the hard time. She’s always the last person to get to the place where most of us would take a short breather.
Conquering The “Buwis-buhay” Beak!
We stayed on the camp overnight and climbed the summit the following day. Early morning of the following day, we got ourselves ready to climb the highest peak. It was hard as the way to the summit was very steep. The fog was covering the summit and the grass were wet that causes the ground to be slippery. The beak or the other summit is not visible that made our colleagues back out as we planned to climbed it. We waited for almost an hour until the sun came out. As the sun shine through the thick cloud that was covering the beak, we got courage to conquer it. At first it was just me and two other guys who had the courage to climb the beak. As soon as I reached the beak, the girls was so envious while witnessing how I conquer the summit of the beak. I was the first one to reach the “buwis-buhay” beak.
The Kid Who’d Climbed 7 Mountains
Going back down to the camp site we happen to meet three kids and their parents. Yes, Kids! One was about 6 years old (a girl & she’s the youngest), then a 7-year old boy and their older brother (I assume) who is 8 years old. I asked the 8-year old boy a few questions and I learned that he already climbed 7 mountains and that he started climbing at the age of three. I felt ashamed as this was my first ever climb. But the kid inspired me! So me and my friends are planning to get high with the mountains and not with anything illegal.