Day 0 (THURSDAY) November 5, 2015
Despite taking a day off on the day of the trip to Ozamis, the husband and I were still running out of time. At 2 PM, I was on my way to M&M Condo to drop the bulb requested by the guest. I was on my toes for constant fear of being stuck in the afternoon traffic. But when duty calls, we had no choice but to. It seems the heavens were on me that day ’cause by 4 PM, I was at the house ready to pack my bag for Malindang.
Despite thinking ahead of what to bring, I was still slow because I make sure I am comfortable in what I would wear to the point of wearing everything and checking myself in the mirror.
“Miga, you’ve been at it for an hour now. Are you sure you are in a hurry?” The husband commented. That was when I realized the time. I stop fidgeting and settled for 2 shirts and a pants. A pair for sleeping then reused the pants for going home with the remaining shirt.
When my personal stuffs were in, that was when I realized I left the borrowed burner in the office. I panicked. It was already quarter to 6 PM. Migo pacified me and suggested to just bring our broken burner then told me to ask Analyn if she could pick-up the burner. He suggested to have her drop it in Pier 1 and will just pay for the taxi. Ah such an expensive mistake! When I called Analyn, it was decided that I will just pick-up the burner myself from her.
At 6 PM, I was on the taxi to IT Park. When I told Liz my predicament, she told me to just let it go. The traffic was heavy and she doubted I could make it back in time. With a heavy heart, I obliged and just bought our dinner at Jollibee drive thru instead. My hopes are all pinned in our broken burner which was fixed by Migo but untested. That was our first mishap – forgotten burner.
MV Filipinas Iligan
We were all aboard on time. Our beds were perfectly planned by our very eager trip planner, Liz of LitratoKo. All in lower bed, a row away from the Female CR at the 3rd floor of Cokaliong’s MV Filipinas Iligan. We saw other trekkers, at least 2 groups, bound to Malindang as well. We briefly exchange pleasantries with them, had our dinner and dozed off.
Day 1 (FRIDAY) November 6, 2015
We were already up before the boat could dock ashore and on our feet when it finally landed. We were supposed to ride a motorbike to the bus terminal but we saw a tricycle where we could all fit in. Some of our backpacks were tied in its front, top and back. We paid Php20, P5 higher than the motorbike for the 15 ride to the bus terminal.
Misamis Occidental Capitol
From Ozamis, we rode for an hour to Oroquieta bus stop. We left Ozamis at 6:30 AM. From there, we took another tricycle ride for 10 minutes to Misamis Occidental Capitol – the official starting point of our journey in Mt. Malindang.
The organizers were already there when we arrived. They were quick to entertain and open the registration even if it was still 30 minutes early for the scheduled 8:00 AM Registration in the event itinerary. Thank you so much Sir Marc and company for accommodating the very eager participants. Early birds!!! Yahooo!
On the registration, we were given our IDs and signed a waiver. We then look for a Carenderia to eat. We saw one beside the Hall of Justice. Later after breakfast, “Hall of Justice” became our inside joke which refers to the comfort room. At this point of the journey, the hall of justice is very crucial to our survival. 😉
At 8:45 AM, we were all gathered waiting for the other participants to register. It was then that Liz introduced the last member of our group, Zach, who just arrived from an 8-hour bus trip from Cagayan De Oro.
Start of Trek
At 10:00 AM, the participants left the capitol aboard a mini-dump truck. By 11:00 AM, we arrived at the jump-off where one of the organizers had a short orientation. Shortly after the real journey begun.
The trail was open and the sun was high up. It was a hot and tiresome journey even if the ascent was minimal. Our group were one of the first participants to walk. 45 minutes after, we were free from the scorching heat of the sun and into the woods down the river where we had our lunch. I was quite surprise to see a handful of participants already. I didn’t noticed that many who walk passed us.
Lunch at the river
After settling down, I proceeded to take pictures. The river was pristine. I was a little shock when I saw some participants refilling their bottles at the river. Liz said she even drank directly. After lunch, I went to check the itinerary and noted the time to reached the camp site, 5 PM. I overheard people talking that it would still be an estimated 4 hours walk to the camp. We left the river around 1:15 PM and if the hearsay was true, we’d reached the camp at 5 PM. At the back of my mind, I know we had to double time. It won’t be nice to walk in the dark in case we fail to achieve the estimates. Not a fan of night trekking!
But lo and behold, we were at the camp at 3:30 PM. Happy to have cut off our trekking time to 2 hours instead of 4. Weeeeee! And what made me even happier were the guava trees around the camp. They were so full of fruits. Siatog Gamay camp had a house, water source and toilets too. Isn’t it the grandest camp of all? Well, for me, any camp with water and toilet is grand. With that, we survived Day 1 and celebrated it with a sumptuous dinner at 6:00 PM. Liz’s (our) team prepared pork menudo, fried chicken and knorr soup while Maria’s team had pork humba, potato mojos and cucumber salad. And while the others were still having dinner, we turned our lights off at 7:30 PM.
So I told you from my summary post of what to expect right? Unfortunately, Day 1 was rather uneventful. But I forgot to mention above our 2nd mishap – we forgot to bring oil & other spices. Thanks to Maria’s team. We were at their mercy for spices. Haha! And one good thing…remember our broken burner, it is still working! Weeeeeeeeee! Just super happy!!! All is well on the first day. The real ACTION begins on the 2nd day….watch out!!!
So what will you expect in my next posts? Stories of leeches (of course, demn leeches for scaring and grossing me out! hmph!), stingy bees & wasps (sting the husband 4 times), sliding moment (the husband almost split! haha!), participant reviews (funny, annoying and some commendable ones), why I didn’t socialize, lessons & realizations.
First Night At Siatog Gamay -> You are here!
Second Night At Siatog Dako
Conquering Siatog Peak
The Hard Core Descent to Mialen River
Malindang Realizations & More