following my bliss

Mountains are high and hard to climb, but they offer ME a better view

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Hearing the high beat,
my arms outstretched in the tingling
Process of transformation,
and soon tough legs,
With folded feet,
trail in the sounding vacuum
of passage.

:: All about me ::
Name:Mec Sexy
Date of Birth:October 03, 1977
Status:Prodigal Mountaineer
... but I practice LNT ha!

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MTC Boondockers

Winners take time
to relish their work,
knowing that scaling the mountain
is what makes the view from the top
so exhilarating. (D. Waitley)

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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
Monday, October 27, 2003
MT. BANAHAW (Guisguis - Tatlong Tangke) CONQUERED
MMS Trainees Batch 2003 Inducted

[] pics of this climb to be found here

Aids - feeling lost without his camera, the original Tulog King con Gay Guy of the group
Aldrin - designated SWEEPER and forever partner in crime to Jah, scared of the dark
Anche - Reigning Queen of MMS who showed up with new gear, he will be looked up to by the end of this journey
Cheann - the little sis of the group who showed up bruised at the knee already
Em - the Batch Coordinator with the signature brown bear attached to his pack, and a funky walkie talkie attached to his wrist in case he gets separated from beloved, Zette
Jah - tent-carrying superwoman with questionable sanity for coming back again and again to Guisguis... what sis, 3rd time?
Jay - Mister Beautiful Face and Biker Boy and 2 tents-carrying 2nd sweep
Lea - Team MMS Trainee and Energizer Bunny and 2nd Medic
Mec - Miss Trail Food and designated Scribe who climbed Banahaw for a picture w/ Buloy's gravestone
Ohmer - 4-timer GuisGuis authority and Pasaway Mister Spaced Out
Orlie - Non-pasaway and Super Cook and Official Crush ng MMS
Paul - Cook Number 1 and super not camera shy
Rod - Cook Number 2 and Hotdog Expert
Ruwen - Miss TL and Mother Hen and Medic
Zette - Power Woman and walkie-talkie carrying better half of the BC, and I mean, BETTER half

Cris - the one who didn't bring shoes, earthpad and other things just so she'd have enough room in her backpack for her beloved and expensive SLR camera
Deonitz - Miss One Liner and Shy Girl
Emma - the one scared of Roots
Jerome - Official Pretty Boy and Mister Sungit? ahihi
Keith - Emma's better half, and the most senior in MMS membership present
Retzel - Mister Height is Might and Team MMS gem
Rudy - shhhh... the silent one...
Vince - Former MMS Royal Bride, cyclist, rock climber, swimmer and uhm... Aubrey Miles fan

25 October 2003, Saturday

2:30 AM
Most of the inductees and members joining the climb assembled at 7-11 Buendia (oh no, wait... they were all actually at Wendy's).

3:00 AM
The other group met at Henlin, Alabang. Both groups boarded a bus for Palmas Verde, Candelaria Quezon

5:00 AM
The Buendia group arrived in record time and had to amuse themselves by taking pictures and conducting picture-taking tutorials.

6:30 AM
Climbers boarded rented jeeps to Manggahan. The second jeep carrying most of the members had some trouble which required the first jeep to fetch the passengers.

7:30 AM
The first batch of climbers, mostly inductees, started their trek after doing stretches and saying their prayers.

8:30 AM
Arrival at Puerto ng Kaluluwa. Registration at Carmen headquarters could not be done as there was nobody to welcome the climbers. The 2nd batch of climbers managed to catch up with the 1st batch at this point.

First time Guis-Guis climbers got a feel of trekking on mostly rocks and a lot of river crossing.

They followed the river going up and were amazed with the sight of hundreds of bats flying circles above and over tree/mountaintops.

It was indeed a long and hard journey, even for the veteran GuisGuis climbers like Jah, Drin and Ohmer. The men were also hard at put assisting the women during river crossing and bouldering, with only the occasional picture-taking bringing a grin to the tired and weary climbers.

Of course, the view was simply breathtaking, a reward indeed as the climbers wound their way into the heart of Banahaw... getting eaten up by the fog and mist and winding river and trees. The Inductees group, minus Lea, was lagging from the Members group (plus Lea). Keith and Emma, who started their trek late, managed to also catch up to the Inductees as they shared lunch food and rested for awhile.

Stumbling was almost a pre-requisite of the climb. Getting one's shoes/sandals/feet wet and clothes soiled another one. Overcoming one's fears was also mandatory in order to move ahead. A total of 29 ropes/series of ropes (both critical ascents/descents and short/easy ones, 12 going up to Palacio, 16 going to Durungawan III and 1 coming down from Durungawan II) attached to tree roots, dead trees, lodged rocks and boulders were used to assist anyone using this route. It was also a blessing that although Cheann's and Jah's shoes got a little broken by the water and sharp stones along the river, they were still able to see their owners through the climb.

Water started running out for some of the climbers after lunch, so it was a stroke of good luck to get to the fresh water source in time.

2:30 PM
Crossing of the infamous boulder, and the start of non-stop wall/rock-climbing for the climbers on their way to Palacio.

3:30 PM
The Members group arrived at Mang Luthor's dwellings, near Palacio. They made use of the time resting and cleaning up and preparing their sleeping quarters for the night. It turned out that not all can be accommodated at Mang Luthor's house since he wasn't home and the members had to make use of a new/adjacent shelter.

4:30 PM
The Inductees arrived at GATAS and proceeded to climb the wall. Most of the women had to leave their backpacks behind and pull these up after, using utility ropes. There was some confusion on which way to go and this caused more lag for the group. Ultimately, they had to whip out their headlamps to prepare for the early nightfall descending on the mountain.

what's weird
The Inductees checked their gear the day before. It has also never happened that half of the party would have no light (headlamp/flashlight). But it came to be that around half of the Inductees were to trek in the night without any light. This further slowed them down. Mec, who has suffered a lot of falls and scared that her ankle was sprained, had to be pulled by Paul along in the dark.

7:30 PM
The Inductees finally arrived at Mang Luthor's place. There was some trouble finding it from Pinagluhuran. The Inductees then sought out Palacio, where they are to set camp for the night. While everyone was preparing for dinner, TL and Medic Ruwen attended to Mec's foot. It also started raining a little.

10:00 PM
Dinner was finally cooked. Some time after dinner, Cris and Mec had to evacuate their tent because they were getting flooded from the inside. Both had to seek temporary shelter at Jah's tent while the other male inductees set up another tent for them. The members to perform the induction were scheduled to go to Palacio at 9:00. Mang Luthor's place is less than five minutes away but Retz, Vince and company lost their way three times and had to be rescued by Ruwen and Lea. Em, with some other trainees, also tried rescuing them but they too, couldn't find their way properly around the area. Said occurrences prompted the members to postpone the induction till the morning, taking it as a sign that said activity may not exactly have the sacred mountain's blessings. Vince then instructed Em to tell all trainees to go to Mang Luthor's place at 6:00 AM the following day and called it a night.

26 October 2003, Sunday

6:00 AM
Although some trainees couldn't sleep because of the cold... or that some wake up from time to time, it was not till after Aids shouted for everyone to wake up that the camp stirred into life. Ruwen arrived shortly to say that the Inductees are expected at Mang Luthor's place at 7:00 AM, acknowledging that people also found it hard to move around and wake up from their side of the camp because of the cold. The Inductees started preparing breakfast and left instructions for Cris, who will not be inducted that day, to cook the rice for lunch.

7:00 AM
And the Induction of Anche, Adrian, Aldrin, Paul, Ohmer, Jah, Mec, Ruwen, Lea, Rod, Jay, Zette, Em and Cheann transpired. Orlie was inducted separately during the night before.

9:00 AM
Break camp for the newly inducted. Guess the real size of this creature.

9:30 AM
The whole group started their trek to Durungawan III.

12:00 Noon
Most of the group are lined up, eating all of Mec's trail food, sitting closely together as they wait their turn to take on the Paiyakan Wall and start climbing/crawling their way up through boulders, with the Banahaw crater looming behind them (if any of them had the misfortune to fall) and the fog engulfing them from all sides, to reach Durungawan III. If ever there is a most beautiful site to be held, it would be the one where one is hanging from the rope just beneath Paiyakan, with the crater, the whole of Banahaw and the river taken to get there all in full view.

between 12:40 and 1:20 PM
Mec found herself alone, separated from her buddy Lea (who carried her pack for her and went ahead because she got scared she might fall off the mountain) and separated from the rest of the group (the flow of human traffic was a little slow and those who followed her waited awhile for the others) without her backpack. Knowing there was no other trail other than the one she took but fearing that she's not above being enchanted/played with by other intangible forces, she sat at the foot of a critical wall and waited till Rod, Jah and Paul showed up.

2:00 PM
Lunch at Durungawan III. People who still had to reach that point were Aids, Aldrin and Anche.

2:30 PM
Descent to Durungawan II, I and on to Tatlong Tangke.

what's new
There are already two gravestones at Durungawan I. The original one, that of Buloy who inspired a song of the same title (by Parokya ni Edgar), was already charcoal black. He was born 1971 and jumped from that point in 1996. His grave brother is a guy named Joseph, who fell from that point as he was looking over last March 2002.

past 3:00 PM
Deonitz and company were to arrive first at Brgy. Kinabuhayan.

5:30 PM
Vince and company were the second group to arrive at the barangay.

At around the same time, Mec, Ruwen and Ohmer arrives at Tatlong Tangke where Orlie, Zette, Em, Jay, Jah, Rod and Paul were all waiting. Darkness has already started to fall, and again, lighting posed a problem for the group. Orlie tried commissioning a horse for Mec, who was already severely lagging, but the horse is already waiting for an earlier casualty.

7:00 PM
Despite a lot of falls and bewilderment as the night descended upon them, and with the assistance of Jerome and Deonitz who met them with more headlamps, the group arrived at Brgy. Kinabuhayan, exhausted, hungry and dehydrated.

7:30 PM
Aids, Anche and Aldrin arrives at Tatlong Tangke, tired and hungry. The group prepared dinner and started discussing the possibility of setting up emergency camp there in case rest will not help Anche recover enough to trek further down.

8:30 PM
Post-climb assessment was conducted with a lot of congratulations and challenges offered/posed to the incoming MMS members. Worry over the tail-end group composed of Aids, Aldrin and Anche was also pretty evident since they could not be contacted and only twenty minutes supposedly separated them from the third group.

9:00 PM
The first batch of those bound for Manila, composed mostly of senior members, left the barangay. Most of the newly inducted members opted to stay and wait with Ruwen, who was getting really concerned for the last three climbers. All remaining working headlamps and flashlights were given to Paul, Ohmer and Ruwen as they made attempts to check whether the last three are already arriving. Seeking help from the locals, the group were told that if they had registered or at least filed a notice of their descent using that trail, people would have started looking for them when dark fell. As it was, nobody can do anything but wait.

10:53 PM
Anche arrives on the back of a horse, the one originally intended to carry Mec down... The three were alright aside from being severely worn out by the climb and the cold. Anche, who was pale and a trifle disoriented, downed several shots of whiskey to put some color back in his cheeks. To say that everyone was elated would have been an understatement. After all, prayers were answered the whole of the climb.

from Manang Fe
She told us that there has started some talk to close Banahaw for at least 5 years because the Dolores Trails (Cristalino and Tatlong Tangke) up to Durungawan I and II are simply.... raped. Garbage are simply left everywhere by the people/visitors/mountaineers going that way. Unlike the pristine waters and air of the GuisGuis trail, Dolores trails simply reek of foul and very human odor and presence... no, make that, abuse... But of course, Manange Fe also told us of the oppostion... where will the thousands of pilgrims go on Holy Week?

quarter to 12
The second batch left for Manila. Halfway through the ride, everyone was asleep.


Special thanks to MMS, for being an org whose name its members will not ever dream to dishonor...

To MMS Members... for their support

to batch 2003 aka Pasaway... for making this induction climb a journey where friendships were fortified by trials, prayers, love, hope and faith

to our families

to God



by ~me~ at 9:54 PM ©

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