“Nung sinabing day hike, napangiti na lang ako,” our guide said, telling me how he found our idea of trekking Mt. Palali in a day mildly amusing and downright ridiculous. I was in no position to argue. It was pitch dark and I was lying on a plank of wood in the middle of the forest, swatting mosquitoes on my face while making a mental list of what we did wrong.
Kuya Roldan and I had been in the campsite for nearly an hour waiting for my three teammates. We still had a long walk ahead of us to get back to the jump-off. By my estimate, we’d complete the trek by 9pm, nearly four hours behind schedule.