Thursday, February 28, 2008

Mt. Malasimbo

when you think of Mindoro, the things that come to mind were Puerto Galera, white beach, wild partying, tamaraw and mindoro sling. and when you take pictures of galera, you'll have the sunset, the sand, the party people, boats and this mountain looming majestically in the background.
that's mt. malasimbo.

years ago, when i first set foot in galera, i just thought of the mountain as a nice background that compliments the sea, but now, whenever i go to galera, i am now looking beyond the shore, away from smokes of barbeque grills and past the shops crowding the beach, my eyes automatically head toward the mountain and remember how it gave me an unforgettable climbing experience...

we arrived in galera via a scary ride with the boat that stopped in the middle of the sea due to mechanical trouble and during the time when the waves are in the mood for playing swing and see-saw, good thing i no longer have motion sickness otherwise i'll join the others throwing up in the sea (maybe, at the delight of some fish, eww). we settled our things in the rooms we rented, and unmindful of the drizzle that's turning into a heavy rain, wearing our uniform with our packed lunch and gears, we paced the shore like a marching band with lots of curious eyes going our way. as we reached the cemented street going to the trail, the sound of waves crushing on the shore was overpowered by raindrops racing from the sky. our steps are now faster, and so are the rain...

soaking wet and with adrenalin pumping, the rain stopped as we reached the jump-off point.

we past by a mangyan community, we stop by to what i thought was a falls for some picture taking and from then on, muddy and slippery assault towards the saddle.

actually, i don't mind the mud, i don't mind the assault, i do not mind even the occassional slips and some thorns/weeds prickling my hands and arms as i grabbed them for support, what worries me (and the rest of the group) are these icky little blood suckers called limatik (small leeches).

before our climb, we're already warned that some parts of malasimbo are teeming with these tiny parasites and that they are just there waiting to feast on us. just the thought of them crawling on our skin, biting for that blood meal, and suck until they're full and then they just fall off is enough for some newbies to back off. obviously, we're not one of them. just moments after stepping on their territory, a groupmate has already got hold of one slimy brown creature and proudly showed it to us. the curious that we are, we oogled on it and then later sprayed it with alcohol and dunked it on efficascent oil. we laughed on it, little did we know that a few more steps, a batallion of them has already sensed that lunch will be served early!

as a precaution, or to minimize the bites, we applied efficascent oil on our arms, necks and faces, some put too much that minutes later they're screaming as the oil's very hot hehehe. still, even with the oil and an alcohol sprayer on hand, limatiks still find their way into my arms, neck and even inside my shirt and my pants! argh! i have bites on my back, my legs and my arms. AND THEY ARE ITCHY!!!!!!

the limatik attack upped the adrenalin rush that makes our pace faster and soon enough we reached the saddle, and we're hungry and most of our shirts and socks were blood-stained!

the view at the saddle, although most of the time was covered with fog because of the rain, was more than enough to made up for the bloody experience. we had our lunch there and savor the fresh air and marvel at the view.

we didn't stay long and just forego the summit assault (there's no clearing at the summit and there are more limatik) as it started to rain again and the fog, all of a sudden, had surrounded us. the rainwater and the fog somehow blinded us and we need to make a new trail as we lost our way! the rain pounded even harder, the loose soil was more slippery and some groupmates panic for the rain, the fog and the thought of being lost. i was at the lead group but went back to assist some of my groupmates.

we eventually find the old trail and continue with the traverse. if going up is slippery, double that on our way down. someone joked that if not for the rain and the mud, we can run on this trail! instead, we have to walk with our butts or sometimes just slide our way down, and oh, sliding while sitting on coconut leaves is the fun way to do it.

if we climbed malasimbo with a more cooperative weather, the view must have been better.

we went directly to the beach to wash ourselves and get rid of the remaining limatiks we did not know we still have! one lady groupmate screamed her lungs out when she saw four very fat limatiks on her legs after she removed her trekking pants. me? i got one on my pocket! hehehe.

the limatik experience can be very traumatic, but it's part of every mountaineer's life. this climb also exemplifies what a teamwork can do, and in the mountain, it's just your guts, your instincts and your co-mountaineers that you can depend on.

and while we're still talking about limatiks while resting, a scream from another room disturbed the peace and quiet, it turned out that another lady groupmate saw a limatik on her underwear while taking a shower! see? they can crawl anywhere! i also observed that even though the limatiks were already removed, the skin they've bitten will continue to bleed like you have a fresh wound. scary!

to celebrate the limatik, este, climb, we drowned ourselves with videoke, lambanog and red horse, and what happens next is another long post...



atticus said...

eeewwwwww! sa lahat ng ayoko sa climb noon, ang mga limatik na iyan. naiisip ko pa lang, tumataas na balahibo ko. aaaaaahhhh! ayoko niyan!

nice telling of the climb, though. sarap isipin na umakyat ulit.

Anonymous said...

Ay sarap naman ng buhay mo Zippinoy hehe! Beautiful pictures, di ko ito nakikita sa flickr mo?

BTW, I'm linking you ha?

thank you :)

carlotta1924 said...

hindi ba yang limatik yung parang projectile kung maglanding sa katawan? me kwento bro ko me isang mountaineer me naglanding daw na limatik sa mata nya. eep!

vernaloo said...

goodness gracious!!! hindi ko kaya yan...ayaw na ayaw ko pa naman ng mga ganyan. Kahit nga ngayon kinikilabutan na ako sa thought. I won't survive.

Anyway when I think of Puerto Galera, I think of gay men hehe

Win payat ka sa pic....when was this taken?

Belle said...

those limatiks give me the creeps. i hate them. just make sure all the holes in the body are well-guarded because they can enter in no time....eeekkkk.

Toe said...

Another great climb for you Zherwin! That is a nasty wound ha.. never mind... worth it naman. :)

I've never heard of Mt. Malasimbo before... very interesting. I've never been to Mindoro either but I used to see it every weekend as a child whenever we went to my Dad's hometown of Matabungkay.

Panaderos said...

I've never heard of Mt. Malasimbo too before I read it here on your blog. Nice pics but good thing that you didn't get sick from those parasites and pests. Great activity you have there. :)

zherwin said...

atticus, nakakainis sya no? i'll look for that video of a limatik INSIDE a tent, kakakilabot yung paggalaw-galaw nya! hehehe

mag-oopen na raw ulit ang Halcon! the limatik capital of the philippines! hehe

zherwin said...

maping, mag-oover the quota kasi ako kapag inilagay ko lahat dun hehehe, di pa kasi ako pro :)

sige po, link ko rin kayo. :)

zherwin said...

carlotta, yung iba siguro klase ng limatik tumatalon pero yung sa malasimbo nagta-tumbling! hehehe

me mga limatik na adik sa soft tissues tulad ng mata (pero wala pa namang nabulag...yata) at sumusuot sa ilong, tenga... ewww.

zherwin said...

puerto galera = gay men. LOL

oo nga, dati isa lang yung bar na puro gay ang servers, ngayon parang tatlo na yata!

btw, that was in october pa last year, the height ng kapayatan ko dahil sa sobrang jogging hehe.

zherwin said...

belle, true and you won't feel they're on your skin, or worst under your shirt, until they bite! yaiks.

zherwin said...

toe, it was icky and bloody yet sulit na sulit naman ang experience.

zherwin said...

panaderos, ako rin, i didn't even know that that mountain has a name. hehe.

aside from itchiness that lasted for a few days, wala namang ibang nangyari sa amin. :)

Gina said...

Lintik na limatik! =))

But for sure, they must have made your trek more exciting and memorable. Nagiging seasoned climber ka na talaga, ha.

Here's to more adventures for you,cheers!

Abaniko said...

Kahit malimatik, maganda pa rin ang bundok. Di kami natuloy. Umuulan daw eh. Pero oks lang. Mararating ko rin yan. Mental preparation muna ako for the limatiks. :)

zherwin said...

gina, they did. at yung mga kasama naming mga tigasing babae ay nagtitili dahil sa mga limatik hehe.

zherwin said...

abaniko, buti di kayo tumuloy kasi ang hirap kapag madulas. sabi ko nga sa yo, magandang experience din ang malimatik hehe. :)

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