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.)