Early this year a friend had just known about my trekacapes so she asked me if I am interested to join the trekking club in our company. I was hesitant for reasons but I left my options open.
By February, my celebrity sched had finally stabilized. I then schedule a climb for my women friends. It has always been my desire to encourage more women to enjoy trekking as much as I do, cause sadly I only have countable ones who do.
It was very fortunate that the club has a scheduled climb of the same destination. Since, it was my first time to organize a climb, I was very uptight & careful. The club’s trail wasn’t our usual path to Sirao Peak. I didn’t want to bring people on a climb not knowing what to expect so we went on our separate ways.
But despite not being able to join them, I have observed that the club & its members is quite agreeable. I decided that I will join on the next mountain.
Last weekend, May 30-31, Mt. Hambubuyog was that mountain – my very first climb with NCR trekkers. 🙂
Like most of the club’s climb, it was a big crowd. I wasn’t able to join the pre-climb meeting and was assigned my own group to manage. I’m very thankful that my team were all very cooperative and supportive. By Wednesday, we were all set and ready. Sleeping arrangements & meal plans were done. 2 of the original team weren’t able to make it but good thing the plan was flexible.
On the way to Ginatilan, Cebu
The call time was 5:30 AM. But we decided it would be best to have it 30 minutes earlier. I really thought no one would bother arriving as early as 5:00 AM. But boy, I was wrong. Still very groggy by 5:00 AM but receiving Charm’s message took it all away. The husband noticed my haste and for the first time, he woke up on his own. By 6:00 AM, we were on our way to the terminal of which most of my team were already waiting. Dutifully, the husband agreed to buy our breakfast at 7/11 while I went ahead to reunite with the others.
At 7:00 AM, we were on a non-AC Ceres bus bound to Ginatilan with a fare of Php 162. The expected time of arrival was 4 hours after but we were 15 minutes early. Upon arriving, some proceeded to buy stuffs at the market while we hired a “habal2” to take us to our first stop of the day – Inambakan Falls for Php 25/person.
The falls mesmerized me. I’ve known about it for quite some time but didn’t bother the details. I’ve never been to Barili’s Mantayupan falls but from the pictures the two seem alike. The water looks very inviting but I had to stop the urge to swim.
I was on a swim gear but when the husband told me he wouldn’t be swimming, I changed my mind. After we settled down & surveyed the place, my eyes caught a fascinating view, that of a group of what seemed to be trekkers as well. One of their guy companion was not carrying a backpack but a most unusual baby carriage mounted on his back. The husband then pointed out that they might have been the owner of the blog he chanced upon. Me thought it could have been the visitor of my blog.
Inambakan falls has an entrance of Php 10. It was cheap but that doesn’t mean the garbage in some areas are tolerable. The place is nice but it could have been better. Hopefully on my next visit, I wouldn’t be seeing those trashes.
After lunch, we had a little siesta while waiting for the others to arrive. By 1:30, we left the falls and followed a path off to Mt. Hambubuyog.
The Hot Part
The other group with the baby left before us. After some 15 minutes, our group followed. We decided to be on the middle. As a blogger, I need pictures and it’s always my favorite to be on the tail or the middle where I could capture almost everything.
The first part of the trail was uphill towards the bamboo where we had our first longer stop. After catching my breath, I then took pictures. Some minutes quickly passed, we then decided to resume trekking but halted because one of our companions got dizzy. Sir Jay, one of the NCR trekking pioneers was quick to give Analyn something to smell on. When I looked at her, she was pale. I wanted to offer to carry her pack but quickly realized that I shouldn’t. In the mountains, it is a must to survive on your own. The husband has always pampered me, though it’s sweet, I sometimes think it makes me weak. Good thing he doesn’t does it often though.
When Analyn regained her bearing, we resumed trekking. From the house near the bamboo, there’s no more trees or coconuts to protect us from the heat of the sun. It was so hot it makes me remember how I struggled climbing Lanaya. Quickly, I hastened my stride to find shade.
Shade. Walk. Shade. Walk. Repeat. That’s the cycle until we reached redemption – the road. I was sweating all over. The husband then offered me his seat & announced, to my dismay, that we had just walked around 1.5 kms according to his GPS. Ohhh!
We stayed on the road for a while then resume trekking. While walking, someone pointed his finger to a faraway mountain saying that Hambubuyog was at the back of it. I was tonque tied. Oh no! Guess this was not some easy trek after all.
The End of the Road
We followed the road to its end where a house & a big mango tree stood. There we caught up with the other group with the baby taking a rest. They took some time enough for the husband & me to noticed that we knew 2 of their companions – a guy whom the husband had just known from his last week’s all men climb in Sirao Peak and a girl that we both knew as a friend of our board game mates. Wew! Small world indeed! But not only that…remember the blog? I will get to it soon.
When all of our companion’s arrived, we geared up to follow the other group but not after we had info of where to buy coke. It was a hot day so the clamor for cold drinks was extra strong, unwavered despite knowing that the store would be an offset to our route.
It took a while before our call was answered by “Nanay”. She was outside. Upon confirmation that cold drinks were available, everyone flocked to her store inside the house. I was one of the late goers. When I went inside the house, I was amazed at Nanay’s busyness. She was really busy giving the orders & giving change from the money that she just put on the table.
When I had our 1 liter of coke, ice & ice candy, I went out & reunited with the husband waiting at the Bermuda grass beside the house where the trekkers sprawled giving in to their thirst.
And of course, the coke wasn’t enough. Sir Jay asked if Bukos were available. Yay! They were. I was so full but BUKO, oh well, nothing is impossible. Tons of fun we had at that stop, in between eating Buko, drinking coke & taking pictures. Sir Jay was breaking the Buko for everyone.
The time quickly passed to 5:00 PM. I was concerned. From the way it looked, we were still way far from our destination. One of the trekkers got an information from Tatay about a shortcut that would just took as an hour. It was very timely. We didn’t know the way but were told to just remember 2 things. First was to walk towards the coconut tree on top of the hill and the 2nd was to walk towards another tree after the hut, which was at that point, very miniscule.
The HARD Part
I didn’t sign up for this – me thought while going up a hill with obviously no path. The husband kept on asking if it was the right way since we were walking on a corn field. The soil was loose & rocky. It would gave in if we put too much pressure on each stride. I looked around if there was another path but there was nothing so I kept on following the crowd.
On the house after the corn field, we caught up with the baby group (short for the group with the baby since I would be talking about them some more from here on) taking a rest because they got lost. I saw the Dad way up the hill beyond the house. He seemed to be looking for something. Me thought he was checking if there was really a path towards the coconut tree.
After enjoying the view and catching our breath, the real hard path begun. Aside from walking up on a loose soil, we were now literally grappling our way through a steep slope with nothing to rely on but the loose soil & our balance. Hats off to the rookies who experienced it. They just had their first taste of what it really was to conquer mountains – facing your fears, calculating your step & being aware of not just your safety but with everyone else. I took my time waiting for the person before me to cross the slope totally and then, I ran. Yes, I ran. I realized that if I took too long on a loose ground, I would slide. If I ran, I am only putting less pressure on it. But of course, it’s not for everyone. Me and the hubby has seemed to develop this technique over time. In the mountains, it is always a must to do what you habitually do. Never do anything you are not sure of.
Ohhhh! I have been planning for just a post but isn’t this too long already? I started writing this since Monday, on and off, on the way to work. Haha! Keeps me unbored. 😛 Today is Friday. Hmmm! The unperks of enjoying the trek so much, you tend to spill all the details. Haha! ‘m sorry but you have to wait for the next post about what happened to us after the hut beyond the coconut tree. It got really thrilling & fun from then on. 😀 Tidbits: we got somewhat lost and eventually arrived at the camp by 8:00 PM. Wew! I hate night trekking but it was especially lighter that night. The moon is brighter than my dwindling headlights. 😀 See yeah!!!