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)
This is a rough timeline of how our day went.
On a Jam Liner bus going to Cuenca, the jump-off point to Maculot, one hour behind schedule.
Arrived in Cuenca. Had our first Mountain Dew of the day at breakfast.
Started huffing and puffing. This would continue for the next hour or so. Seriously, I need lungs of steel.
Arrived at campsite. Intense heartbreak talk.
Quotable quote: Sanay na naman akong maging fallback plan. Kelan ba ako pwedeng maging number one?
Headed off to the Rockies. Oohed and aahed at the spectacular view of Taal Lake.
We also befriended a couple of foreign girls, a French and a Canadian, who offered to take this picture of us.
Hungry. Started descent so we could have our lunch with cold Mountain Dew at the base.
Arrived at Aling Thelma’s sari-sari store. Lunch. Mountain Dew. (Yes, we like Mountain Dew very much, particularly after a climb.)
Left Cuenca for Lipa. Sad love songs played on the jeepney radio, someone sank deeper into emo mode.
Arrived in Lipa. Looked for a tricycle to take us to the Manabu jump-off point, a place called Sulok. A fitting name since it was located in the farthest corner of Lipa, right into the neighboring town of Sto. Tomas.
Arrived in Sulok. Started trek.
It began to rain. Old folks say the first rain of May is therapeutic and heals all sorts of illnesses.
Quotable quote: Unang ulan ng Mayo! Gagaling na rin ang sakit ko sa puso!
Arrived at the summit amidst rain and dark clouds.
We couldn’t stay long at the peak because it was still drizzling. We went down after 10 minutes of enjoying the view and taking photos.
Started descent. Saw lots of garbage on the trail.
People who leave trash on the mountain should have their hands chopped off as punishment. The much touted Leave No Trace principle doesn’t seem to sink in on these jerks.
Arrived at dampa. Nothing like fresh buko juice to relieve the day’s exhaustion.
Took a tricycle to a lomi house in the next barangay. The primary reason we went on this day hike is to devour delicious Batangas lomi at the end of it.
We got there and ordered two jumbo-sized servings, foolishly thinking we could finish them.
Our order arrived: two giant bowls filled to the brim with lomi (at only P70 each). And Mountain Dew, of course.
After 30 minutes of stuffing our faces with lomi, we were so full that egg noodles were practically coming out of our noses. We only managed to eat half of the heaping bowls of lomi before we called it quits.
The lomi was really good and we would definitely come back for it. We’ll just order the regular size next time.
On a bus back to Manila. With aching muscles and full tummies, we sat back and promptly dozed off.
When life knocks you over and gives you a rough time, sometimes all you need is a mountain (or two) to climb, a big bowl of comfort food, and a bottle (or three) of cold Mountain Dew. We shall live through work-related angst and nasty heartbreaks and we’ll be stronger for it. So chin up, big boy. Lilipas din ‘yan. 😉