It was all because of a poem penned by Sir Ben Domingo which he shared during the Region 02 Press Conference in 2007 that sparked my interest.
The poem was entitled “Mutya ng Kordilyera” where he compared the highest mountain in Luzon to a voluptous woman.
It was written in Filipino and though I could not remember the words, I could remember the emotions I felt as I listened to that manly voice laced with burning passion for mountaineering, respect for mother nature and love for country.
Yes, the poem was full of patriotism.
The photos he took sealed it and I think it was those images that made me dream of reaching the summit of Mt. Pulag, to see the wonder of the sunrise and steal a photo with the mountain.
My First Love, My First Climb
In 2012, that wish became a reality.
I went solo because I didn’t knew any friend or acquiantance who climb mountains. Most of them raised an eyebrow and asked “anong meron sa bundok?”. Those guys would opt to bum out on some beach and watch girls in bikinis.
I, too, didn’t know the answer to that question. It was narcisstic motivation that drove me. I just want a picture on top of that summit, see myself in one frame with that sunrise. I didn’t know the basic so I read all the blogs I can find but still went ill prepared.
You don’t read about mountains, you experience it.
That was the first lesson a mountain thought me. There are many but I would leave that for you to discover or you must have already.
Mountain climbing can be done through organizers who really have a passion for mountains. Lucky for me, it was Yabag Mountaineering who had facilitated my first climb.
And through the years they had somehow became the familiar faces of my Mt. Pulag climbs. Maybe it is my attachment to the couple and their team or the service that made me opt to climb with them, whatever it is, I stopped asking.
It was a restless night. It was one of the longest walk I’ve ever made. I felt the pain on my leg with every step I took while my lungs constrict to adopt to the sudden change of elevation.
The cold temperature of the previous night had unbalanced my system and the stomach pain which medicine couldn’t appease increased as I near the summit. I would later learn that a cup of hot water could get it back to normal.
The sun started its ascent as I stood on mini Mt. Pulag, a smaller hill just below the highest one. The panorama almost brought me to my knees and as I watched the first rays of the sun touch the highest peak, I felt buoyant. My soul is no longer attached to my body. I felt that kind of happiness that went beyond words.
Minutes later, I reached the summit while the sea of clouds hung above the mountain tops in the distance. As I stood there alone, lost in my own thoughts, I now know the answer to “anong meron sa bundok?”
I discovered something about myself.#