Sunday, May 4, 2014

There and Back Again

I thought of taking a breather after a war-like environment in the office for practically all days of April as the month was one hell of physical, mental and emotional calisthenics. From a busy planning, coordination meetings, registration process and actual implementation of the Mt. Apo Boulder Face Challenge to the hectic Lenten season climb where bundle of climbers visited Sta. Cruz trail; there can be no other option to relax except to climb Mt. Apo after all those busy schedules.

And I did just that. With my colleagues in LOGSAC Hardi and Glenn Mark, in-laws Kingking and Jinggoy and neophytes Rocky, Kurt, Rian and Ryner; we climbed Mt. Apo via Sibulan Trail on April 29 and 30 and I considered it as one of my most memorable climbs ever to this mountain that has already been part of my personal identity.

In a span of two days, we completed the route from Baruring to the summit and back. We camped at Tinikaran Campsite 2 in the evening (my first camping in Camp 2 after 10 years). Tinikaran Campsite 2 could actually be a good overnight option if only it has a good water source as it is only a little over 10 minutes hike to LOGSAC gully (mouth of the boulders). While at camp 2, I instantly remembered my first climb to Mt. Apo in 2004 where I also camped in the place, it was indeed very relaxing to reminisce the first time I set foot in the country’s highest peak. It was already 10 years since I became a mountaineer.

Being a 10-year veteran mountaineer, I could not count how many times already I climbed Mt. Apo, how many times I surmounted this peak with so many different personalities I guided with their own experiences already being considered life-changing. Being here for ten years, I could hardly recall how many times this mountain gave me opportunities to gain new friends from all over the world.

Being here for almost one-third of my life, I could not figure out how my life would be without this mountain which eventually helped shaped my personality similar to his might and height. With Mt. Apo in me throughout those years, I have once become a person standing tall at 10,316+ feet above sea level.

As I celebrate my ten years in mountaineering, I am deeply gratified by the kindness that Mt. Apo has given me and to the rest of humanity. Thank you to the grandfather of all Philippine mountains for always there, for always giving me better perspectives when I shoot you with my camera. Thank you for being so affectionate that no matter how THEY abused you, you still never show your cruelty to mankind. Thank you because you always open your wide arms to catch the rain so that all of us will have water to drink. Thank you because with your stability, all of us in the lowlands are happy creations. 

Above all, thank you because with you around, we can always climb and enjoy you whenever we need to. 

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