A Love/Thank You Letter to Mt. Guiting-Guiting

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.

Thank you for letting me reach your summit. I never would have thought that I could cross those sharp rocks or maneuver through those narrow crevices considering that my rock climbing skills are virtually nonexistent. The nearly four hours of summit assault were not easy. You did not intend it to be easy. But you made it doable. For each step, I could find a solid foothold. Whenever I reached up, I could find a stable handhold. You are fiercely protective of your highest peak but you’re also generous enough to allow those who persevere to reach it.

Thank you for letting me see how enchanting you really are. I have never seen so many breathtakingly beautiful flowers and bugs in one place. The exhaustion and physical pain fade away whenever I look around and see the stunning flora and fauna surrounding me. The sight of a delicate flower or a funny-looking insect never fails to make me smile even when I’m dead tired and my feet are killing me. I am still in awe of all the wonderful things I saw and yet I’ve only seen so little of your vast natural riches.

Thank you for letting me achieve something I never thought would be possible. I’ve always been a wimp growing up. I had asthma as a kid. I was excused from sports and physical activities in grade school. I didn’t even have my own vegetable garden plot in home econ class because people thought I’d drop dead from the strenuous labor of turning over a scrap of soil. Never in my wildest dreams have I imagined that I could one day climb a mountain as tough as you. But I did. I’m no hardcore mountaineer, that’s for sure, but I may just be the luckiest wimp in the world.

My friend said mountain climbing is not just about physical skills but about having the desire and the heart to reach the summit. This rings true for me but not because I have such a strong will and unwavering determination to reach the peak no matter what. It’s because whenever I see a mountain, my heart drops and I fall in love with it. I saw you for the first time while we were on a boat approaching Sibuyan Island. You were terrifyingly beautiful and beautifully terrifying. You had me in a heartbeat. It was love at first sight and I knew then that I had to do this climb.

I’m now back in my room with only photos and the fading bruises on my legs as souvenirs of the time spent with you. The whole thing still feels surreal. I still can’t believe I got to experience you up close and saw such beauty that literally made me cry. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude and I don’t know what else to say except that I hope I’d get to see you again.

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26 thoughts on “A Love/Thank You Letter to Mt. Guiting-Guiting

  1. jebuzinjamonk

    As much as I adore the beauty posted herein, it is also admirable and amazing to know the ones who made it to summit of this mountain…such a great courage and spirit….

    Reply
    1. nagbabasang pinoy Post author

      Kaya mo rin ‘yan. I’ve only been climbing for a year. Ambisyosang palaka lang talaga ako kaya nahumaling agad mag-G2. Hehe. Good luck and keep safe on your future climbs!

      Reply
      1. flydaniel

        ako 2008 pa umaakyat pero yun nga puro minor, tapos di na nasundan nung mga 2009 dahil sa girlfriend haha! Gusto ko nga pabasa sa gf ko yung blog mo na “Date a Guy Who Climbs Mountains” hahaha.. isang beses nasama ko sya pero parang ayaw na umulit.

        Reply
        1. nagbabasang pinoy Post author

          Pwede mong subukan, baka makumbinsi. Hahaha! Kanya-kanyang trip lang din kasi yan. Baka di nya talaga hilig umakyat. Maybe you can come up with a compromise, you could climb mountains as your own hobby and you could do other things together as a couple. Para everybody happy. But then again, I’m clueless when it comes to these things so why on earth am I suddenly dishing out relationship advice? Wehehe. I hope things work out for you and mountaineering and the gf! 😀

          Reply
  2. JP

    Yung tawag sa insekto ay stick bug or walking stick. Ngayon pa lang nila inaakyat ang G2 para sa biodiversity at scientific trips so may chance na yung insektong pinicturan mo e bago lang… ikaw ang nakadiskubre! Next time na akyat kayo sa G2, kuha ka pa maraming pics ng hayop at halaman baka may ma-discover ka pang bago. Me, I will only start to climb soon inaasseble ko pa lang mga gear ko… ang mamahal kasi! 😦

    Reply
    1. Tintin Post author

      Na-recognize ko nga na walking stick pero yan pa lang yung nakita ko na ganyan ang kulay. Since I started climbing, naging frustration ko na nga na di ako naging biologist kasi andami kong nakikitang magandang halaman at mga insekto na di ko naman ma-identify. Haha. For sure magsasawa sila sa pag-catalog ng mga species sa G2. Sana nga talaga makaakyat ulit ako dun.

      Di naman kelangan kumpleto agad ang gamit pag nagsisimula pa lang umakyat. Kahit hiking shoes or rubber shoes lang muna, saka na mag-invest as you go along. Pwede namang unti-untiin. Tsaka kahit medyo mahal, sulit naman kasi magagamit mo rin for a long time. Tsaka okay lang din manghiram muna ng tent, cookset, etc. uso yan sa mga mountaineer. Ako di pa rin kumpleto ang gamit hanggang ngayon. Dakilang parasite lang sa mga kaibigan. Hehe. Hope you can climb soon!

      Reply
      1. JP

        hehe sige ate kakapalan ko mukha ko pero i’m drooling sa mga mountaineer backpacks sa khumbu at sandugo pero 5000 plus hanggang nganga lang muna ako for now. Trail shoes pa lang check ko sa list haha. I LOVE stick insects at nasa news yung bagong-discover sa Halcon. 10th new species na yata yon from Halcon pero I think walang binatbat ang Halcon sa Guiting.

        Reply
        1. Tintin Post author

          There are cheaper backpacks naman, yung mga locally made like Conquer or Sandugo. Mga ganun din backpack ko at okay naman, works for me just fine. Pero kung imported ang trip mo, mahal nga yun. In terms of difficulty, mas mahirap daw ang Halcon kumpara sa G2. Di ko lang alam about level of biodiversity. Pangarap ko rin maakyat ang Halcon balang araw.

          Reply

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