In my quest to find people to go with me on the Mt. Mantalingajan climb, I got an email from a guy named Dante saying he and his friend are interested in joining. Now, I’ve watched way too many episodes of Dexter and Criminal Minds that I’ve started assuming everyone is a serial killer unless proven otherwise. The Manta climb is a five-day trek in the jungles of Palawan. I can’t possibly go there with two strangers who might slit my throat and eat my brains.
So when Dante invited me for a meet-and-greet day hike in Tarak Ridge one Saturday, I readily said yes. I figured if I did get hacked to pieces by serial killers, the police would have an easier time retrieving my body in Bataan than in Palawan. Besides, seven people would be joining the climb. That’s way too big of a group for a clean murder; someone is bound to go soft and squeal. (Yes, I’m really this paranoid in real life.) Continue reading →
They say the trail of Mt. Guiting-Guiting is not easy. They failed to mention traveling there isn’t exactly smooth-sailing either.
From Manila, we took a 1pm bus to Batangas pier to board a Montenegro Lines ferry going to Romblon. When we got to the pier, we were told that tickets were sold out and the boat was already full at capacity. We live in a country, however, where public transport defies the laws of physics and overloading is the norm. We were still able to get tickets but we won’t have a bed or a seat during the 10-hour boat ride. If the ferry sinks, it’ll partly be our fault as well. Continue reading →
Lately I’ve been hanging out with mountaineer friends who have just been turned down by the women of their dreams (read: basted). Conversations were peppered with tales of heartbreak and extreme emo-ness. Of course, I had a grand time making fun of them because I’m brimming with empathy like that.
But on a serious note, I do feel for these guys who I know have good hearts and sincere intentions so I thought of writing this for them. I know this whole “Date a Girl/Guy Who…” format has been around for a while and may have already gone passé but, eh, who gives a damn.
To my favorite emo buddies, this one’s for you. Hearts are easy to break and girls are hard to get but life is still one hell of a fun ride. No matter what, we’ll still have mountains to climb and beaches to crash. We’ll have our sunsets and long bus rides and bottles of cold Mountain Dew. We shall laugh and drink and swap cheesy song lyrics. We shall live and have a kickass time. So here goes. Continue reading →
Sibuyan Island is said to have the world’s densest forest. Mt. Guiting-Guiting, which takes up one-third of its land area, is home to an amazing collection of endemic flora and fauna that would make any self-respecting biologist wet his pants.
I was only able to capture in photos a minuscule part of G2’s rich biodiversity as most of the time, I was too busy trying not to slip on the muddy trail, sustain a cranial fracture or fall off a cliff. I saw dwarf trees, leafy mosses, beautiful butterflies, multi-colored snails and an adventurous civet cat that tried to steal our adobo. I heard birds singing, cicadas chirping, frogs croaking and an entire orchestra of forest sounds. It was an awe-inspiring display of beauty that only nature can create and only time can perfect.
On the early morning of my last day in Romblon, I stood facing you from the shores of a quiet beach. The thick clouds that usually cover you were not there yet. I could see your famous jagged peaks and the lush greenery of your forests. I remembered how just two days before, I walked, climbed, crawled and scrambled my way along your trails. It was tough. It was scary. But it was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had and for that I will forever be grateful. Continue reading →
I’ve been getting relentless complaints from friends I climb with for not uploading their pictures, which they’ve painstakingly posed and smiled for. I didn’t realize it was that important particularly since I’m not even that good at taking portraits but apparently, people have an intense interest in photos they’re included in. So here you go guys. Knock yourselves out. (Eto, wala nang piktyur ng bundok. Puro mukha na lang.)
Also, I can’t write a proper blog post at this time so I’ll just do one big photo dump. Wala kasi akong Facebook account kaya dito na lang. Sorry… Continue reading →
We didn’t have a great weekend, Allan and I. I was having a miserable time at work and he was going through some serious drama in the romance department. Our plan to do a Maculot-Manabu twin day hike on Labor Day couldn’t have come at a better time. Life was crappy at the moment and we needed to sweat out the angst. Mac was supposed to come with us on the Maculot hike but he got busy guzzling gin and lambanog until sunrise. (Save your complaints, Mac. Sabi ko naman sayo ilalaglag talaga kita. :D) Continue reading →