The trek from Mayo’s Peak back to the jump-off was largely uneventful (so there’s really nothing much to write about but being the chatterbox that I am, of course I’d still have a lot to say about it). What I remembered most was the glorious sunrise in the morning, driving the guide nuts with our senseless bantering and off-key singing, and making the descent in three hours because I was coerced into scampering down the trail.
But first, postcard moments on an early morning in Mayo’s Peak.
Compared with the lung-busting climb on the first day, the descent was a lot easier. But then again, physical activities in general are a lot easier when you don’t have a massive hangover weighing you down. My two-day liquor ban paid off.
My pace was slow (as always) particularly on the steep and slippery parts, and the downward hike took its toll on my knees. My climbing buddy urged me to go faster “kasi pababa naman” so I scurried down the trail like a wobbly mouse whenever I could. Still, I was more relaxed knowing the toughest parts were over and we were closer to making it safely back home. Even our guide was more laidback and took his time to gather bago leaves along the way.
Bago, which literally means new, is an appropriate name because we’ve never heard of this vegetable before. We first saw this being sold by vendors on the ferryboat going to Romblon. Sir Joey brought some during the climb and we added it to our sotanghon soup. It takes a little longer to cook than most leafy vegetables because its leaves are thicker and more fibrous. I honestly couldn’t remember how it tasted so I guess you’d just have to try it for yourself if you ever stray into Romblon.
We arrived at Aling Lusming’s house at noon and rested for a bit before heading off to town. On the tricycle ride back to Magdiwang proper, we gave each other a well-deserved pat on the back for a successful G2 climb. Then we realized how badly we stank after three days of not taking a bath.
My climbing buddy deserves a pat on the back not just for summiting G2 but for bearing with me throughout the climb. He had the unenviable tasks of carrying all our trail water and food during the summit assault, adjusting to my snail-paced hike, helping me on the trail whenever I’m stumped, waking me up in the morning (and at any time of the day that I fell asleep because I’m of the “masandal tulog” kind), putting up with that manic drunken episode of which I barely have any memory, and enduring all those times I was a pain in the ass. G2 has long been one of his climbing goals and I’m grateful that he brought me along, even if I wasn’t completely ready for such a major climb, even if I slowed him down and made his life more difficult.
I’m also thankful to Sir Joey for being generous, kind and patient with us in so many ways. He had to put up with all the mess I made every time I cooked, our noisy banter throughout the day, and our dreadful singing on the trail (we break into a song from time to time while walking as if we’re on an episode of Glee). He also warded off a sneaky civet cat that tried to steal our food. He handled everything well with a laidback attitude and an easy smile.
Another equally generous soul who helped us was Aling Lusming. She welcomed us into their property, allowed us to camp on their yard, and use their outhouse and water source. Much thanks also to Sir Joms Martinez of the tourism office of Magdiwang for his valuable assistance in arranging the climb.
So how did a wimp manage to climb Guiting-Guiting? By taking one shaky step forward, and another, and then another one, and thousands more like that until I somehow reached the summit. I did all the walking but the journey was made possible by the kind-heartedness of people I just mentioned and the gracious favor of a mountain that opened its trail to a wimp like me.
- Maladies and Malaise on Mt. Kanlaon (Part 2) (misadventuresoftintin.com)
- Mantalingajan Traverse: Day Two (misadventuresoftintin.com)
- Mantalingajan Traverse: Day Four (misadventuresoftintin.com)
- Mantalingajan Traverse: Epilogue, Lessons Learned and a Million Other Things I Want to Say (misadventuresoftintin.com)