Friday, December 28, 2007

How to welcome the new year on a positive note?

Be thankful for 2007.

For all the challenges, for all the laughs, the good times, the not-so-good ones, for everything.

1. Good Health.
- I am thankful for good health, especially for my dad and my mom. My dad, who's now fully recovered from a scary stroke three years ago, is now doing well, and save for the regular medical check up, the medicines plus a rather slower lifestyle (he's a retired policeman), everything's back to normal. He had completely forgotten and gave up smoking (he was a chain smoker) and drinking (but we let him from time to time so as not to completely denied him) and he take up walking around the neighborhood as his regular exercise, good no? About the same time last year, my mom experienced unbearable stomach pains, and a medical check up showed that she has gallstones that needed to be removed, asap! i know the feeling of how uncomfortable it is as i also have gallstones and had my own share of sleepless nights and throwing up. She was operated on January 2 and since recovered really well. Aside from the usual fever and colds, my family, including lyn, did not have any major health problems this year and i am very thankful for that.

2. Lyn
- One of, if not, the best things that happened to me. We celebrated our sixth year and that six years made realized more how lucky i am to have her. I think the love letter post says everything i need to write. And for 2008? abangan...

3. Work
- I am grateful that I am employed and that I can contribute and give some to my family and for some of their needs.

4. Travel
- Aahh. It has been an amazing travelling year for me. I've been to a lot, explored new places and set foot on places i only dreamt of before, to name a few, i've been to Sagada, to Potipot Island, to Anawangin, ahh, if only i have enough money to travel, i'll surely wander around the Philippines! There's still Batanes, Zamboanga, Camiguin, Siquijor, Caramoan, Cagbalete island, Palawan, Cagayan, Mindanao.... andami pa, Hundred Islands na nga lang 100 na! and may I also add Enchanted Kingdom? hehe

5. Mountain Climbing
- This is something i always wanted to do, and 2007 came as the realization. I underwent the Basic Mountaineering Course with Yapak Mountaineers, and boy! it was an awesome experience. Mt. Pulag summed it all up to me, and i am looking forward for more mountains to climb for next year.

6. Photography
- As i look back to the year that's about to end, i can say that it was the year when photography really knocks me off my feet (naks!). And i am serious. Before, i only took pictures because I need to (for souvenirs) but now, i took pictures because I still need to (hehehe) and also because I have this "itch" that's needed to be "scratched". Photography is one world that I willingly embraced, and it really makes me appreciate things around me and the little details around them. Now, i only need a Nikon d40x and a photography class to understand more the technical aspects of this art.

7. New Friends
- Blogging, Mountain climbing and Photography not only gave me new highs, they also lead me to a path where I found new friends who share the same interests. And i am tremendously enjoying every minute of it. Sabi nga, strangers are friends you haven't meet yet. And I am thankful I met you.

8. Transformers, the movie
- can you blame me? for someone who grow up thinking that there are no Volkswagens, only Bumblebees and that the ultimate coolness is to have, again, Bumblebee as your buddy, i think that's understandable. I wasn't teary eyed when i saw this but the live action movie really brought me to the time when life was still simple and no bills to pay, no deadlines to meet... and for that moment that i was living the child in me, i am thankful.

9. Heroes
- Sci-fi at its best! Who doesn't want to be Peter Petrelli? The dvd marathon of season 1 reminds me of my fascination with The X-file or the 80's Misfits of Science or the original X-men animated series. I am so loving my tv and my dvd player because of this. Yatta!!!!

10. I am alive
- This alone is so much to be thankful of. Despite what's happening to the world, waking up each morning is such a blessing and a gift from above. It always reminds us that we can always look forward to a new morning, a new beginning.

There are still a thousand and one reasons why we should be thankful for 2007, we don't need to elaborate and/or write everything, it's enough that we accepted what was given us and thankful for every lesson learned.
As we leap to the new year, let's bring with us all the positive things we learned from 2007 and transform to a better us.

(Thank you Lazarus for the tag)


Friday, December 21, 2007

My Little Christmas Tree

Christmas makes you feel nostalgic... and you really cannot do anything about it.

A simple parol reminds me of my dad who is really good in making and/or repairing them. we usually bring them to school as our contribution for our classroom's christmas decors, and my dad's parol made from bamboo and covered by fluffy rolls of white japanese papers and red cellophane stands out, despite its small size, from an array of multi-colored lanterns. and after the school's christmas party, we bring them home to be the star/s in our window/s.

I do not have a parol in my little house but i do plan to make some in the future, just like my dad.

Our family christmas tree in Quezon is usually up by first week of December, and digging boxes of christmas decors never fails to excite the kids in us that Santa Claus is really coming to town. We usually look for decors we call our own, for instance, each one in the family has its own star to put in the tree, mine is this sparkling blue star, and it should be me and only me who can put that star in our tree, and same with everyone else. Now that i am away and not present during this christmas tree event, i let my nephews do the honor for me (they now also have their own star!).

Come Christmas time when I'll be home, looking at that star that I call my own will bring back memories.

Now, that I am on my own, the thrill of putting that tree, decorating it and seeing it all aglow at night is such a fascinating feeling, it can really cheer me up and made me look forward for Christmas and be with them.

And before we go on emo mode, here's how my little christmas tree looks like, with decors all made by myself.


and remember the reason why there is Christmas...

Friday, December 14, 2007

This weekend...

a dash of this, a sprinkle of that, plus this...

Happy weekend everyone, KANPAI!!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

dapat bang magdala ng trabaho sa bahay?

Pangkaraniwan na sa mga empleyado ang mag-uwi ng trabaho sa bahay, na kadalasang pinag-aawayan ng mga mag-asawa.

"maghapon ka na ngang wala, tapos pag-uwi mo, wala ka pa ring panahon sa min ng mga anak mo..." yan ang kadalasang linya ng partner mo.

Oo nga naman, dapat balanse lang ang buhay... me panahon para sa trabaho at me panahon para sa mga mahal sa buhay. yan ang dapat nating sanayin: balanseng buhay para sa masayang pagsasama!

naalala ko tuloy ang kapit-bahay ko. tahimik lang sila.... masaya,at palagi kong naririnig na nagtatawanan. nguni't isang araw nagulat ako sa aking narinig, iyakan ng mga bata, galit na galit na nanay, "walanghiya ka! bakit ka nag-uwi ng trabaho dito?

"pasensya na mahal, ang dami lang talagang trabaho, baka di ko matapos e kailangang mai-deliver na agad ito." sabi ng lalaki.

sa loob loob ko, minsan lang naman ata nag-uwi ng trabaho di pa pinagbigyan. tuloy pa rin ang sigawan, ang iyakan.... lubos na akong nabahala kaya kinatok ko sila.

"tao po, tao po, okay lang ba kayo dyan?" binuksan ng babae ang pinto at galit na galit na nagsumbong sa kin

"hay naku, nakakataas ng presyon tong asawa ko, nag-uwi ng trabaho dito sa bahay!"

"intindihin mo na lang, minsan lang naman ata ginawa eh ,baka sobrang dami lang talaga ng trabaho nya ngayon at meron pang deadline." ang sabi ko sa kanya.

Galit na galit ang babae na sinagot ako..."ay buwisit talaga, alam mo bang embalsamador ang asawa ko?"


Tuesday, December 04, 2007


the email inbox is really a gem when one is looking for a bloggable item. and as usual, i found (or rather, received) one. of course, i am sharing it to you.

(anong panama ng Newton's Law of gravity sa mga ito??)

Law of Mechanical Repair: After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch or you'll have to pee. (hmm, that explains why mechanics have grease on their noses)

Law of the Workshop: Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner. (honga, parang doon talaga ang destinasyon nila!)

The law of the Telephone: If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal. (try mo!)

Law of the Alibi: If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the very next morning you will have a flat tire. (so don't make LBM as your usual excuse, karma ang tawag dyan haha)

Variation Law: If you change lines at a checkout (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will start to move faster than the one you are in now (works every time). (kahit sa MRT lagi yan)

Law of the Bath: When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone rings. (sa mga horror movies, maraming ganito, lalabas ng naka-towel lang yung naliligo na usually babae, tapos habulang umaatikabo na ang kasunod! hihihi)
Law of Close Encounters: The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone you don't want to be seen with. (ay totoo yan, so wag ding gamiting excuse na masama ang pakiramdam o di kaya busy para lang di makapunta sa isang gathering, tapos magmamalling ka lang pala, chances are, makakasalubong mo ang mga taong sinabihan mo ng ganun. to make it simple, wag maging sinungaling hehehe)

Law of the Result: When you try to prove to someone that a machine won't work, it will. (okey, i want to prove that my brain is not working, well? it really is not working hehehe)

Law of Biomechanics: The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach. (kaya pala sobrang kati kapag yung pinaka-sentro ng likod mo ang kumakati. o fungi na yan? hehe)

Law of the Theater: At any event, the people whose seats are furthest from the aisle arrive last. (hmm, hindi rin, kung sino yung nakaupo sa unahan, yun, yun ang huling dumating)

Law of Coffee: As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold. (buti na lang, pinapalamig ko talaga coffee ko hehe)

Murphy's Law of Lockers: If there are only two people in a locker room, they will have adjacent lockers. (who's murphy, by the way?)

Law of Rugs/Carpets: The chances of an open-faced jelly sandwich landing face down on a floor covering are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet/rug. (tip: if you have an expensive carpet/rug, don't make jelly sandwich)

Law of Location: No matter where you go, there you are. (oo nga naman...)

Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about. ( okey, let's talk about jelly sandwich...)

Brown's Law: If the shoe fits, it's ugly. (yeah!!!)

Oliver's Law: A closed mouth gathers no feet. (ano daw? at sino naman si oliver?)

Wilson's Law: (this one is true every time!) As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it. (di ba?)

Doctors' Law: If you don't feel well, make an appointment to go to the doctor, by the time you get there you'll feel better. Don't make an appointment and you'll stay sick.

agree? :)

Friday, November 23, 2007


"bro, kumusta yung calendar design?"

ito ang bumulagang text message pagkagising ko kanina. at putik, nalimutan ko nang ako nga pala ang naka-assign maghanap o gumawa ng design para sa 2008 calendar ng grupo. at nangako ako na bago mag-alas diyes ng umaga ay ipapadala ko na sa kanila.

"aayusin ko pa" ang sagot ko, pero sa totoo lang, nakalimutan ko na talaga sya, maliban sa background picture na matatabunan din naman ay wala pa akong nagagawa! hala ka!

pagdating ko ng opisina mula sa pakikipagbuno sa trapiko sa bawat kanto, nagpa-explain muna ang bosing ko tungkol sa mga komplikasyon ng fund transfer, kung di ba raw ba nagugulo ang buhay ko dun sa paglipat-lipat ng pera, at kung ano-ano pang mga bagay na wala lang. hehehe.

alas-9 natapos ang kwentuhan namin, sakto sa break time. at dahil natapos ko na rin yung mga hinihingi sa akin, pwede kong isingit sandali ang kalendaryong ito!

at heto na, di pa man uminit ang pigi ko sa pagkakaupo, merong nag-YM!

"hi bro, kumusta na? remember yung design... (smiley na nakangisi)"

di ko na muna pinansin, at pinagpatuloy ko ang paghahanap ng pictures sa mga files ko at sa tatlo pang cd na pinahiram sa akin. naka-ilang buzz din sya bago ko pinatulan hehehe.

"malapit na, wait lang, wag masyado excited kasi puro scandal ang laman ng cd na binigay nyo!"

"hehehe, uy, maglagay ka dun ng picture na kita ang mukha ko ha" sagot naman nya. aha! kaya pala nangungulit kasi gusto nandun ang mukha nya. hehehe.

"(smiley na nakangisi)" ang sinagot ko

sa loob ng halos 30 minuto, natapos ko sya, sa powerpoint ko na lang ginawa at di ko na ginawang kumplikado.

balak kong palitan ang background dahil mukha syang magulo, at gusto ko ring dagdagan ng borders ang bawat picture para ma-highlight ang bawat litrato. mukhang naglalabo-labo ang mga kulay ano? ansagwa hehehe.

hindi ako isang eksperto sa mga ganito, at di ko rin alam bakit ako ang na-assign dito, pero tinanggap ko at ginawa ko, at marahil kung mas pag-iisipan ko pa ng mabuti at bibigyan ng maayos na preparasyon, i can do better. lilinisin ko sya mamayang gabi (and an idea suddenly pops up from nowhere) :)

happy weekend everyone, at ingat sa paparating na bagyong Mina.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Mt. Pulag: a test of character (conclusion)

day 3: 3 am, wake up call.
no one woke up on time, and yes, we were able to sleep despite the continous pounding of the wind as if someone's knocking on our tent.

and it did not rain, though it felt like it did.

4:30 am, i don't know what's up with me, but again, just like in day two, i was the first one to wake up. and unlike in day two, i did not make any big movements to wake up the others. i open the tent and peek outside but can't see a thing! goodness, the fog! i looked for my headlamp and my clumsy movements woke up my tentmates. ooops, i did it again hehehe.

moments later, while they're still scrambling inside, i stepped outside and the light coming out of my headlamp can only penetrate a few meters of darkness, the fog looks everything blurry! and the wind to be honest was a bit scary.

from the looks of everything, experiencing the much awaited sunrise and the famous sea of clouds in pulag summit is getting dimmer and dimmer by the minute, like the fog's burying them. i am starting to lose hope, i even reserved two pairs of extra batteries just for that, and now, this. sigh.

since we cannot do anything about the weather, and we have an itinerary to follow (and we're already at least an hour behind it), we have to go on with life (drama hehe). we did our assigned responsibilities, i did the tent and them the cooking. we tried to move as fast as we could but the fog, which was similar to a drizzle but it's not, was slowing our movements and the wind was like playing on our things. i had fun chasing anything blown by the wind (ambabaw ko no?) but had a hard time with the tent. hay naku, ilipad ba naman habang tinitiklop ko?!

and everything that was exposed to the fog was wet!

our breakfast of hotdog, porkchop and fried rice were like wet hotdog, wet porkchop and wet friend rice, and our coffee was hot on the first sip and then cold on the next. the good thing about the fog? libre hilamos na hehehe.

some of the senior members went ahead to the summit to prepare for the induction rite. after we made sure everything's okey (no trash around, no garbage, nothing and no one's left), we let our excited feet run-walk towards the summit. but running is not advisable (ewan ko ba naman sa amin hehe) as you will run out of breath because of the elevation and the fog and the wind.

a few minutes later, i am just a few steps away from the summit, and the senior members are there waiting for us, clapping and congratulating us. i dashed the remaining steps and from there, the feeling of satisfaction was evident with all the smiles plastered on everyone's faces!


it feels like we won something! "yes!" was the most abused word for the day, and why not? if there's a word that describes what we feel that moment aside from "we made it", then it's yes! yes, indeed!

as the celebration subsided and the endless jubilant pictorials mellowed, we were inducted. how? secret. hehehe. welcome to the mountaineering community.

the celebration would have been orgasmic had there been a clearing, but fog is all we see.

and from the summit to our way down, save from some view, fog was all we see. but aside from not experiencing that supposedly wonderful sunrise, we have nothing to complain and in fact we're all smiling and satisfied with what we accomplished, the compliment from our guide that we did a very good pace for Akiki-Ambangeg trails puts a little yabang in our hearts.

as i walk to the sides of the mountain, i look back at mt. pulag and promised myself that i'll be back. it was hard and tiring and all other adjectives that described exhausting, but no matter what, definitely, i'll be back.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Nang sumali si Inday sa Deal or No Deal (part two)

(okey, magbi-break muna ako sa pulag post ko dahil nakita ko na ang kadugtong ng Nang sumali si Inday sa Deal or No Deal. hehe)

laughing trip muna tayo. (pwede nyo ring basahin muna ang part 1)

dumating na sa kalagitnaan ng show at mukhang minamalas na si Inday

Kris: Ok Inday, mukhang kelangan na natin ng tulong sa mga friends mo… sino ba yung bigotilyong lalaki na naka-polo? Ano name nya?

Inday: Ahh, that’s my master Mr. Montemayor.

Kris: Ahhh sya pala yun, how cute naman pala eh. Sige sir, give us a number.

Mr. Montemayor: Hi Kris, good evening. I’m a fan. I choose number 22 please.

Kris: Ano Inday ok ba yung number 22?

Inday: Whatever, we shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds us anyway. Go ahead.

Kris: [taray naman] Sofie, buksan na!

[ang laman ng briefcase 22 ay 5,000]

Kris: Good job! Sino naman yung gwapong lalake na naka jumper na katabi ni Mr. Montemayor? What’s his name?

Inday: Ahh, that’s my on again, off again boyfriend, Dodong the gardener.

Kris: Ooohh, sya pala yun. Ok Dodong, give us a number!

Dodong: Hi babes, I choose briefcase 9 if it’s ok with you. If not, it’s ok with me as long as it’s ok with you.

Kris: Ano raw? Inday, number 9 daw ok say0?

Inday: Yes Kris, it’s fine with me.

Kris: Wow ang bait pag kay Dodong. Ederlyn… buksan na!!

…nanlaki ang mga mata ni Inday at hindi sya makapaniwala. Natahimik at mukhang kakapusin sya ng hininga

Inday: YOU!!! How dare you invade my moment!

[nagulat si Kris at ang mga audience sa reaksyon ni Inday. Nagpatawag si Kris ng commercial break at nagpakuha ng tubig para kay Inday.]

Ederlyn: Pinapangako ko, Inday… pagbukas nito luluhod ang mga tala! hahahahaha!

Inday: What? Can you speak up? What are you mumbling up there. Can somebody give her a microphone please?

Kris: Ano ba!! Tama na nga ang drama ninyo, Ederlyn buksan mo na ang case at umexit ka na kung ayaw mong mapalitan! (naiirita na si Kris)

Dali-daling binuksan ni Ederlyn ang briefcase at ang laman ay… P3,000,000. Nanghinayang ang mga audience… Ang mga natirang values ay 250, 1K, 20K, 50K, and 500K.

Inday: NooOoo…. (sabay tingin kay Dodong at napapaluha), how could you…

Dodong: I’m so sorry Inday, please forgive me.

Kris: Hayyy, drama again. Ang offer ni banker sa pagbabalik ng Kapamilya, Deal.. or No Deal!

[pagtapos ng commercial break… mukhang composed na ulit si Inday]

Kris: Inday, are you okay? Ang offer ni banker ay 99 thousand pesos. ‘Sing rami siguro ng pilipinong pinadugo mo na ilong. Is it a Deal or No Deal?

Tahimik lang si Inday tilang may kinocompute sa ulo habang ang mga audience ay nagsisigawan ng “No Deal”, ang iba naman ay “Deal”.

Kris: Wait lang, kung mapapansin ninyo, we have only have 5 cases left, and among those 5, apat doon ay mas maliit na value…

Inday: Kris, do you mind? Can I do my own thinking?

Natameme si Kris, pati ang audience ay natahimik.

Kris: Taray to the max! (pabulong sa sarili)

Inday: Ok, I’m ready. Upon looking at the reality of the situation, 80% of the cases left have at least 49K less than the banker’s offer. The only way I can do better than what is offered is that if my case contains the 500k or I’d get to open one of the four lower values. But I have to keep in mind that there’s only 20% probability that this would happen. I have to take note, however, that the banker’s offer is roughly around 15% lower than the offer I expected based on the arithmetic mean of the values left.

Kris: Lorddd… panaginip ba ‘to? Ayokonaaa….

Inday: Accepting a deal for less than the mean should generally be regarded as a weak decision so I would say, NO DEAL!

Limang briefcase na lang ang natitira at kasama na doon ang case ni Inday…

Kris: My God, nakaka-stress itong episode na ito ha. Baka dumugo na rin ang ilong ko sa’yo, Inday. Sige Inday, go ahead and choose 1 briefcase!

Inday: Ok Kris, I choose briefcase #5 please?

Kris: Briefcase #5! Mimi bago mo buksan yan, I would first like to thank Figliarina by Schubizz for my sandals, Bambi Fuentes for my hair and make-up and Pepsi Herrera for my gown tonight.

Kris: Ok Mimi, buk…

Inday: Ahh Kris, can I also take time to thank a few people? I mean, I did save us a few minutes of airtime right?

Kris: (“kapal naman talaga ng mukha”…bulong sa sarili) Sige, ok lang go ahead. (naka-smile pa rin)

Inday: Thanks! Yes, I would like to thank Frank Provost for my hair and make-up, Jimmy Choo for my sandals and my dear friend Oscar dela Renta for my gown tonight.
BLAG!! Itinumba ni Kris ang podium at nagwalk-out. Hindi na natapos ang show kaya’t binigyan na lang ni Banker si Inday ng kalahating milyon para sa kanyang oras.

Inday: Oh, and thanks to the people of Cartier for sending me these nice earrings for tonight!

[Ito ang isa sa mga un-aired episode ng Kapamilya, Deal or No Deal]

***** T H E E N D*****

salamat kay calvin para sa pagpapakita sa akin ng link patungo sa BLOG NI INDAY. opo, meron na rin syang blog at kung gusto nyong silipin ang buhay ni inday, punta kayo dito.

happy weekend everyone, KANPAI!!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Mt. Pulag: a test of character (continuation)

November 3: day two.

Our wake up call was 4 am, i woke up at 3:30, not that i wanted/intended to but because i can feel the cold moist on my feet, damn! whoever's the last person to come inside the tent last night must be out of his mind to just half-closed it. medyo nabasa tuloy yung medyas ko.

And since i am fully awaked already, papayag ba akong ako lang ang gising? hehehe i made big movements inside the tent that woke up my groupmates, and since i am the only one wearing a watch that time, i told them it's 4:30 already, ayun, ambilis nilang bumangon hehehe. i am so bad. :)

The four of us were the first to come out, and with the noise we made, others followed suit ("ang aga-aga pa ah", "wala pang 4, ano ba?", "saan pwedeng umihi?", etc...). We just re-heat our breakfast since we already cooked them the previous night, we also packed our lunch for the day since it will be more convenient. The coffee that was piping hot a minute ago also needs re-heating, ambilis lumamig!

In between sips of coffee, i started dismantling the flysheet, then the tent, set aside our things for repacking, and have to do all of the above in the dark with only our headlamps as the source of light (the buthane-powered lamps are being used in the "kitchen"). We agreed beforehand to have a heavy breakfast, and those that will not eat two cups of rice will be forced, joke lang. :) We ate our breakfast of danggit, tomatoes, hotdog and leftover adobo, more re-heating of coffee and more laughters. After which, kanya-kanya muna kami and pack, unpack, pack, unpack, pack were the next scenes. Our loads were lighter this time, and the empty containers were all stuffed inside the bag cover, they look bulky but not heavy. :) We almost forget the bag of garbage so I just slip it also inside the bag cover, i'll share it with them later on (remember: pack in, pack out).

6 am, everyone's ready, and after our prayer, we started the assault. This is it!

The moment we passed the hanging bridge crossing the Eddet River, it will be assault after assault after assault.
The wind is blowing cold but i am sweating like the sun is up, it was like a never-ending zigzag road and on every turn, one has to stop to catch one's breath, walang nagmamadali because this is not a race, but we also have to keep a good pacing, not very fast but not leisurely, too (and we need to smile in the picture hehehe).

The established trail was steep, with nothing to hold on to except for some grass, the tall pine trees are on each side but they're a bit far and strangely not on the trail, save for some. The steep trail did not stop me from admiring the awesome view, it is not everyday you get to see and experience this.

I am not sure if it was mostly 50, 60 or 70 degrees, but the trail was steep, did i say it's steep?

In one of our stops, we caught the tail of the other mountaineering group who left the campsite one hour earlier than us, and it was here that our local guide told us that our pacing was fast, very fast actually, and we're among the fastest he had in his long years of being a guide! cool! now we can smile at something. hehe.

Our "take five" are really take five, as we only allot only five minutes to ten minutes maximum of rest. And we climb and climb and climb again. It was really steep, and a heavy bag can pull you down with one wrong step so careful, be very careful.

And as you go higher, the view's more and more breathtaking.

We made one major rest (around 20 minutes) at the Marlboro Country (not it's official name, mountaineers called it such as the view, in a way, has some similarity with the cigarette commercial's view, whatever). And who are we to say no to another photo opportunity?

Oh, the cellphone signal never fails pala, so all the time, i was texting and was able to call lyn on this stop.
After the marlboro country, it's another steep climb, and this time a bit slippery as we are nearing the mossy forest (dyan-dyan-dyarann). The forest was eerie, it feels like we're going to Mordor with the Hobbits, trees were covered with moss and some insects were, well, "different." I don't know what's wrong, but i never have a good picture taken inside this windless but cold and a bit wet forest (wet forest, hehehe).

We didn't stop until we reach the clearing where we'll have our lunch, and there we found the other mountaineering groups having theirs, we shared the space, enjoyed our lunch (i need more rice, and begged the others to give me some more hehehe) and the view was, wow! Welcome to earth!
This is also the last water source so we took the opportunity (and the unlimited water supply) to clean ourselves and load on our drinking and cooking water, which means, our loads will again be heavy. We need to do this as the next water source will only available the next day on our way down.

So for the day's final assault before we reach the saddle, my load was heavier by three liters of water, and this part, i think, was the most exhausting! We enter again the mossy forest, and man, the weight of my bag slows me down! nakakapagod! di lang yata hingal kalabaw, hingal elepante na ako! hehehe.

But seriously, this was the toughest part, i think. With a heavy load, a never-ending assault, an eerie surrounding, a tired body and with the thought that you're near, one needs more than water and trail food, and this is where one's determination is most needed. So in every 10-15 steps i made, a 20 second rest is needed, and almost everyone in the group do that, and still, we caught the other mountaineers/lunchmates who went ahead 30 minutes earlier than us!

And finally, we're out of the forest, and we can feel the cold wind in the open. ahhh.

"Malapit na tayo", we were told, "mga tatlong akyat na lang."

HA??? O.K. and there, out in the grassland, with a few trees and a very foggy environment, we rested and wait for the rest of our group. Had there been a clearing, the view from here is surely spectacular. There were a few glimpse of some of what it has to offer but these were immediately covered by clouds/fog. And from where i am seated, i can see that the mossy forest is eerier with clouds covering some of the trees, the leaves looked very dark from here. Me mga engkanto kaya dun? hehe.

As we saw the tail group emerging from the forest, we made our final push for the last three hills and as we reached the last one, it was now downhill, and to the left was the summit. OH.MY.GOD!!!!

Exhausted, we made it to the saddle before 3 pm. Though foggy, the summit of Mt. Pulag was visible and it was enchanting! The mountain was covered in grass and from the saddle, it looks very smooth and the trail in the middle was a graceful addition. A couple of boulders somehow put some ruggedness on its bald-like appearance. The view from the saddle was worth all the sweat. Astig!

We set camp here and enjoyed the fast-dropping temperature, the view, the mountain that changes color from green to yellow (because of the setting sun). We also hoped that it will not rain as the wind, we observed, was somehow stronger (little did we know that typhoon Kabayan is coming).
The night was supposedly our induction night but it was very cold so the induction rites will be done the next day at the summit.
We just had a few hours of socials (the only exposed part of my body were my eyes and my nose, and i have three layers of clothing including two jackets and two pants, hehehe), and i retired before 10 pm for our wake up call of 3 am.

As the night goes deeper, the temperature's dropping further and the wind is blowing wilder, stronger... will there be rains? makakatulog ba kami?

Friday, November 09, 2007

Mt. Pulag: a test of character

The Akiki trail.

"Treacherous," that's how the DENR facilitator described the trail. We were forewarned way before the climb that it's gonna be hard, tiring and all other adjectives that describe exhausting. And all Pulag veterans in our group agreed and they assured us that it will be, on the least, a whole day assault, all the way, meaning get your knees, and your back, and your body ready.

Was I afraid? No, because I mentally and physically prepared for this. Perhaps I was a bit nervous, but it was excitement that drove my stomach nuts days before our climb. I even wonder why i didn't have any dreams about it, nananaginip kasi ako kapag sobra kong iniisip ang isang bagay. Oh well.

November 1. While a lot of people are in the cemetery, we choose to be in the Victory liner terminal for our 11 pm trip to Baguio. We arrived very early (yeah, like 9 pm?), and with nothing else to do, we tried everyone's bag and my oh my, mine is among the heaviest! They joked that i bought with me the entire house, i told them "No, only half of it." They asked if I can carry its weight all the way to the summit, i replied "yeah, because I will still be unloading in Baguio and will distribute some of its contents to my groupmates because our groceries and fruits and tent and groundsheet plus my personal things and lots of trail foods are all in it! I am not a superhero, you know hehehe." kaya naman pala, they chorused. :)

oh, i also have two 2 liters of water, which by the way, is wrong, as there would be enough water sources on our way to the saddle, ewan ko ba naman, OA kasi ako pagdating sa tubig. And add another liter for my trail water. I have five liters in my bag, that explains why it's heavy. Oh, don't worry, afternoon the next day before the start of our trek, i already consumed three liters so the weight is not that much. I am not a superhero, you know, only always superthirsty. :D

We arrived in chilly Baguio in one piece, some of us (including me) unpacked our bags and distribute the goods to others (so our loads will be lighter hehe). The supposedly one hour break before we push for Kabayan, Benguet was stretched to three long hours because of "some inefficiency" with coordination between the person in-charged to contact the jeep we hire and the jeep owner himself. Boredom makes the group consider going to Sagada instead, but the kontrabida in me told them "No way, it's Pulag or Pulag, ganun lang." joke lang daw, hehehe.
when boredom sets in
Finally, the jeep came. I thought the jeep runs very slow (paakyat kaya?) so i just sleep and only woke up in one stop-over to pee and buy chicharon with siling nilagyan ng sukang puti! weee. i didn't sleep after that. We passed by Ambuklao Dam and spared a few minutes taking pictures.

We had our lunch on some eatery and we have to eat fast as we need to be in camp 1 in Eddet river before it gets dark. As it maybe the last store, the "provisions" for the next two nights were bought from here (one box of gin to be exact, in other words, di na naman ako iinom nito).

At around 1 pm, we're already in DENR, reserved some Pulag t-shirts, watched the 16-minute video and undergone a very brief briefing (the facilitator summarized everything as she points out that we need to be in the Akiki jump off before 3 pm, otherwise, hello darkness). She emphasized the need to respect the mountain and the environment in general as well as the water source as thousands of people, even us, are dependent on it.

A few more minutes on a Sagada-like highway - dusty, snakelike, narrow yet with a panoramic view of a very tranquil surrounding - we finally stopped at the Akiki Jump off point.

"Eto na." I told myself twitching with a nervous smile. And i unload once more, i gave away pears as trail food (they're a good trail food only heavier compared to jelly ace) and i put some on the side pockets of my trekking pants for easy access, tucked my beltbag on, put my arm warmers, secure my camera and drank more water for an even lighter load. Oh, erased that last part, as I was handed down a plastic full of vegetables, "Your share of the load" I was told. sigh. :)

Before we can start with the trek, we need to register once more and the registration house is up there, one steep climb from the jump off. I don't know if it was just for five minutes or ten minutes but when I reached the house, I am sweating, them too. hehehe.

whew, warm up pa lang pala yun. but when i looked around, wow.
I joined the lead group, and I found out that one of our two guides was the same guide they had the last time they scaled Mt. Pulag. He has a lot of stories and never runs out of patience even if we continually ask him "Are we there yet?" hehehe.

the summit's covered by clouds
The trek we took that afternoon was just an easy one, as there was only a few assault and as we come nearer Camp 1 in Eddet river, it was mostly downhill, pwede pa nga raw tumakbo. :) The view of mountain ranges was amazing, it's as if pine trees were arranged to look like green cottons on an otherwise brown mountains. galing.

And a few more minutes, campers are already visible below, me mga nauna na palang ibang grupo sa amin and the campsite was full of activities: cooking, setting up of tents, etc.

And this where we will spend our first night, with a cold breeze and under the stars with the moon above...



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