We were supposed to climb a mountain. We brought our backpacks, hiking shoes, trekking pants, the works. We even had IDs made for the climb. And then we woke up to the most enchanting beach and the mountain was instantly forgotten.Continue reading
On the night of June 6, 2012, I was cooped up in a P200/night hostel room in Puerto Princesa by myself. If things had gone according to plan, I should’ve been trying to sleep while feeling anxious, excited and scared out of my wits at the prospect of climbing Mt. Mantalingajan the next day. But as with all things in life, climbs don’t always go according to plan.
First, I started having joint pains on my knees which must’ve been caused by the onslaught of training climbs in preparation for Manta. I had to have them X-rayed but they turned out to be fine and I got medical clearance for the five-day hike. Then the rainy season started with Typhoon Ambo and a brewing low pressure area in Mindanao. The bad weather made us hesitant to push through but conditions started to improve as our climb dates neared. This gave me hope that we may still have a shot.
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.
I have to give credit to Kuya Romy, my dutiful guide, for making sure I don’t miss out on the beautiful sunsets in Batanes. I would’ve been perfectly happy spending late afternoons sleeping or having a beer because I’m lazy like that but he always insists that we go someplace with a great view of the sunset.
Vayang Rolling Hills
I saw a Batanes sunset for the first time in Vayang rolling hills. What I enjoyed more, however, was lying on the grass and taking a nap while waiting for sundown. I got to sleep and take sunset photos; it was a win-win.