following my bliss
my arms outstretched in the tingling
Process of transformation,
and soon tough legs,
With folded feet,
trail in the sounding vacuum
:: All about me ::
Date of Birth:October 03, 1977
... but I practice LNT ha!
to relish their work,
knowing that scaling the mountain
is what makes the view from the top
so exhilarating. (D. Waitley)
01/01/2003 - 02/01/2003 02/01/2003 - 03/01/2003 03/01/2003 - 04/01/2003 04/01/2003 - 05/01/2003 05/01/2003 - 06/01/2003 06/01/2003 - 07/01/2003 07/01/2003 - 08/01/2003 09/01/2003 - 10/01/2003 10/01/2003 - 11/01/2003 01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004 09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004 10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004 11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004 01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005 02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005 04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005 05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005 06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005 07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005 03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006
Well... ok, I messed up my links etc etc again... ahihihi.. someone correct it please... and thank you :)
by ~me~ at 9:49 PM ©
by ~me~ at 8:25 PM ©
Read an article about what happened in HALCON back in 1994 when Neptali Lazaro died of hypothermia...
The story depicted was gruesome, horrible.... nightmarish....
The upside is... mountaineers know better now... so I guess, his death was not in vain.
by ~me~ at 8:25 PM ©
I am officially, one big bruise parading in the guise of a woman.
by ~me~ at 8:50 PM ©
I'm In love... the trip to Tirad Pass and Sagada.. with a group who haven't been there too.. has made me fall in love again with the mountains, with nature, with friendship, with possibilities....
I'm in love with the little things that make my friends who they are... and why they are, in their individual ways, valuable to the group.
I'm in love with the conscientious and committed members who supported us... and who are sooo passionate in making us improve on what they've already improved on.
I'm in love with the greater responsibility one feels because the group is smaller and several roles have to be played by just one...
I'm in love with the choice I made last January to join MMS and train with them. I'm in love with how strong I have become...
And i'm in love with the challenge of how much stronger and more dependable I can be...
I'm in love with the men in our group.... knowing that any woman would be lucky to have them for life partners (if what i've seen and known of them is reflective of how great partners they will make in the greater scheme of things)
I'm in love with the women in our group (and not because am lesbian) because it's seldom I see a group of really caring, really strong, really confident women.... and I know any man will be blessed to have them (like Em is)
I'm in love with the future I cannot see with this group of people who are teaching me much about myself...
And I thank God for all that was given us.
by ~me~ at 8:49 PM ©
Back from the Mountains
TIRAD PASS & SAGADA VISITED
Visited because.... the time was not enough to really conquer both places.... but we were blessed indeed for the glimpse that we had of what beauty lies at the Northern Part of this country.....
Thanx to our TL who endured the hours-long wait just to get us tickets, we left for Ilocos Sur at 11:00 PM.... at a bus stop, we were entertained by Jon's obvious stomachache and glad to meet some fellow Mountaineers bound for PULAG
Candon, Ilocos Sur
Jollibee and market time was spent here.
Taking some 3 hours and a lot of river crossing (and picture taking), we reached the barangay that welcomed us gladly and suggested that we visit the Hotspring of the place before trekking to the summit. We were all shocked to see cemented streets and houses with satellite dishes and equipment for solar energy.... after travelling through rivers and mountains...
The Hot Spring
I got to nap!!!! The others tried to watch local women taking a summer dip in the cold river.. the others took a swim/bath themselves... we ate late lunch here too. It's increasingly becoming less and less of a major climb. Some of us couldn't help but be amazed by the quaint and rustic (and well, for us... unbelievably hard) life the locals were living (case in point, kids walking barefoot for several miles just to go to school)
Jump Off Point
Before doing stretches and travelling for like... another 2 hours, i think, to the jump off point from the hotspring, we met this woman with really beautiful children. Anyway, the trek (which was started at past 4:30 PM) seemed easy enough, a lot like Makiling and Daguldul in that, it's winding.... we passed through several landmarks (like late hero Del Pilar's marker) and a water source before deciding to camp 15 minutes from the summit. Darkness quickly engulfed us during the trek... and the cows who refused to leave us alone well... refused to leave us alone.
The Dinner and Socials
.. was fun!!!! And since I was travelling with a much smaller group, the bonding was more intimate... the jokes more private, the experiences... more deeply shared....
Dang men left their shorts and shirts outside for the cows to eat. And dang Em left our tinola outside so his rice cooker and my cup had to be licked clean by the cows. And because we couldn't disinfect the casserole dish some other way.... we sprayed it with alcohol. And so, breakfast entailed alcohol-flavored rice for us trainees.
This, I believe, is what made Tirad Pass a major climb (aside from the fact that more serious, die-hard or strong people actually explore the Pass from Del Pilar to Cervantes... a good many days trek under intense heat). Fellow trainees forgot Banahaw. The intense heat (triple Daguldul at summer) and winding, descending trail was really exhausting... and the dirt road... was such a... sin. Thank God for the water source that relieved us.... and thank goodness for the small tip I learned to keep cool... (literally, wetting my tubaw and head with water). A nice piece of info was finding some local kids collecting hantik eggs on this big basin... i took a picture of them and of course, got some hantik showers on myself....
The lunch at Quirino
Took a bath there. Had lunch. Ate 2 halo-halos (even if I don't really eat the stuff... it was just that HOT) and haggled for a ride to Sagada for hours.
Going to Sagada
If I will look back on this trip for years to come... and be asked what the highlight was for me, i'd have to say it was this experience. As a girl, I would never be allowed to make sabit from a jeep... but going topload was.... very exhilarating... very thrilling... The five girls in our group (me, Zet, Cheann, Anch and Marie) really had fun doing this... and we thank the guys for not treating us as weak, wily females and allowed us to enjoy the ride for some three and a half hours... It was a roller coaster ride indeed... and singing songs of different eras and genres to keep warm (happiness makes one warm... i was reminded of that again) and taking pictures of the wonderful scenery and the breathtaking sunset.... was... worth the risk.
My personal boo-boo
I fell off the jeep while going down. Lolz...
Was... cold... and was fun.. and was mystic... and was promising... and required several days to be properly 'known' to a visitor. Post climb was done after a dinner of macaroni and cheese. The consensus was.... it was so fun to all be first timers on a trip... and assume and know nothing of what lies ahead... and the smaller group afforded us a really deeper chance at friendship... and that, however tiring it was, it was still the best climb and activity that we had as MMS trainees.
Being pasaway, the remaining girls (Marie left for Manila early) did not wear gloves and did not bring headlamps. So, going down the icky, bats-pee-and-poo-stained rocks was well... icky. But the sight which greeted us after every drop at the river, or bend of a rock was really to behold. It was awesome, it was beautiful... it was... humbling. And the mountaineering background sure came in handy as we had to traverse inclines and rocks. Thanks to our guides who did their jobs well... Peter and Ariel.... and who refused to let us continue w/o appreciating the fossils embedded in the rocks of the cave. It was kinda sad, however, how some slobs vandalled the rocks near the opening.... and how some would throw trash (and am ashamed to say this... but some woman left her sanitary napkin there... i mean, duh, everybody knew that they're gonna get wet there, goodness!) inside the cave.
Super late lunch
Well.... it was super late at 4:00 PM right? But the sinigang na bangus and fried galungong was.... a feast!
We were told that there would be coffins there... and we had to pass by a cemetery to get to the valley.. so when we started at past 5:00 PM, I knew daylight was running short. And so, i was literally running and uncaring of poise while I speedily traversed the trail down to where coffins are hanging. True enough, we got pretty close for some good shots. And we made it back before darkness fell on us again. And it was really creepy but... awe-inspiring to know that fellow Filipinos of a different culture treat death and the other mysteries associated with it... well, differently.
Last Night at Sagada
After much-needed showers and shared vegetable rice.... we all joined other MMS people for drinks and more songs.
Going back to Manila
We were beset with reservations that didn't push through the whole day... and were pretty much travelling from 8:00 Am to 11:00 PM. We were sure exhausted. And well, bruised and poor.
The following day
We missed waking up next to each other.
by ~me~ at 8:21 PM ©
May my fellow trainees scaling Halcon... be blessed with a safe expedition...
and may we Tirad Passers get tickets tonight!
by ~me~ at 10:05 PM ©
Looking forward to trekking through mist... and being touched by the pass Philippine heroes used before.... to lead us to the bumbling, thriving nation that we are today...
Tirad Pass... here I come!!!
by ~me~ at 8:17 PM ©
Back from the Mountains
MT. BANAHAW CONQUERED
My heart tried to betray me at first. It wasn't really the load, but very early in the climb, I started gasping for breath again. And as usual, I started panicking again. The Climb was for my aunt!!!!. Members came to my rescue and left me with just 1/4 of my original load, basically, change of clothes, trail water and trail food. We hiked from 6:00 am and reached Durungawan 1 at 1:30 PM after a lot of rest stops and lunch. Great thing, I did not trip on any of the roots protruding from the earth. All I got was really tired legs/thighs and some bruises on my right arm (which I got from climbing up this rock going to Durungawan 2).
Reaching Kweba ng Diyos Ama was one jystic and humbling experience. I couldn't help but cry hard when I reached that place, feeling desperate about my aunt... already being tired, already feeling hopeless. But the place revived me indeed. And I know, since I was able to scale the mountain, I was also blesses by it.
Going down, my buddy, Richard was suposedly to point out to me where he usually sees this ghost-child. It seems creepy that he never got around to doing it because, at the exact point where the ghost appears, my earth pad fell from my bag and I insisted in tying it up again. I even used the rock where the ghost is seen, for support. And of course, afraid as he was, he couldn't talk nor leave me alone there.
I only got 1.5 liters from Yapak, anothr power point in the whole of Banahaw, where a spring continues to be unspoiled. Its waters are said to be miraculous and I got some to be brought to my Tita.. and maybe some ailments at home.
Another highlight of the climb was.... meeting this 62-year old woman with a bigger pack than we did.... with her grandchildren. Her proud grandson told us she's training for Mt. Pulag and it's her fourth time already to climb Banahaw. It was another lesson in perspective. And Aids was sooo touched by the experience.
Yes, I'm back from Mt. Banahaw and alive. And hopeful. And revived. And touched. And blessed. And faithful again....
by ~me~ at 7:22 PM ©
Do I get to scale Mt. Banahaw...
and could I, with this heavy heart?
by ~me~ at 9:35 PM ©