No trek is ever the same even if you’ve done it many times. This was my 3rd trek in Mt. Lanaya. Yet each and every time is a different experience. And if I were to pick the best, nah, I’ll pass. Last Saturday, June 11-12 is as good as the first (2013 via Legazpi – Lumpan) and the 2nd (2015 via Lumpan – Legazpi, same as this trail).
It was another great weekend with NCR Trekkers Club at a trek we dubbed as “Freedom Climb” since it falls on the “Independence Day” weekend. It was NCR Trekker’s 8th mountain after Naupa in January, Lanigid in February, Osmena in March, Mago in April, Kandungaw in May and just last weekend, Mt. Babag & Chalet Hills. There were 28 trekkers who joined the adventure that started in Brgy Lumpan in Alegria and ended in Mainit Springs in Malabuyoc just like my 2nd trek, a first with NCR Trekkers in Lanaya.
Like any other trek, it was great but not without hiccups. Thanks to God we were able to triumph over it with no injuries. Great climbs were not meant to be flawless. It had to be flavored with an epic adventure. We had that adventure by being lost. My emotion got the best of me for some time and then it faded when I realized my responsibilities. I had to be bigger than my angst.
From that trek, I realized how hard it is to be the “Sweeper”. It takes a lot of patience and empathy. And as I have always mentioned, I fall short of the two. Still I’m thankful for the experience. It lets me see a different view of the entire trek. But I’m most thankful to the 2 people who are always there to back me up. Without them, no trek would be as good as it always does. 🙂
So here are the 12 things that made this adventure as good as the first 2 experiences:
1. We were able to achieve the “Apas” group for the 2nd time. Hooray!!! In support of the husband’s habitual Friday late nights, we had to adjust accordingly. Last time I was pretty confident with Kandungaw but not this time. Thanks to God I was able to lead us safely to the campsite even if it was a different trail. Haha! =)
2. We had a better and muffin-free camp. Last time, we camp in front of the cool looking trees but now we were nestled at a small enclosure near the “shortcut”. Our tents are closer compared to the previous too.
3. Breakfast at the peak achieved again. Yahoooo! This time the team got bigger. Because, we weren’t able to visit the peak at sunset unlike the “regular” group, we had to wake up at 5AM to see the sunrise. We arrived at the peak at 5:30 AM, brought a cook set and a burner. Boiled water while waiting for the sunrise. We had oat meals and fruits.
4. We had an unexpected “recruit”. While waiting for the bus to Alegria which was surprisingly populated when we assembled at 11AM, I saw a familiar face – a neighbor from our condo. He was as surprised as I am for seeing each other. He commented that he never thought of me as the adventure type. Haha! Oh well, everyone’s 1st impression of me. Thus the blog to prove them wrong. 😛 It wasn’t long before he got comfortable with the rest of the group. His stories of Tres Marias and Guiting2 entertained us while we are waiting for our turn. He was supposed to join a group in cleaning Kanlaob river but to our surprise, he ditched them when they got off in Alegria. Lol He is indeed one of a kind. He’s a great addition to my already quirky group. Hehe
5. Socials assignment continued. This time it was Barbie who started it. Thanks to him, we had wine to pair our laughter with. No #hugots this time but instead, we were looking back on our trekking adventures. Happy to have known 1 who is really a first timer. I just hope Lanaya wouldn’t put out her flame. Lanaya can be pretty tough for a first timer. 😀
6. “Werewolves” with 27 people was a ruckus but still fun! I still can’t get over the fact that all the werewolves were from the “Apas” group and my guests. Haha! Well mostly, all the roles really: Barbie – the Scapegoat, Jane – the Seer, Didit – the Little Girl, Cha – the Defender, Migo – the Nurse, Werewolves: Liz, Ziel, Dee, Marvin & Ricco. Only me, Junji & Rey had no roles, hepless “Villagers”. Van2 was the witch. Last time 4 all girl villagers survived with me as the most annoying villager. Haha! Now almost half of the villagers were saved. Thanks to the most “ichusera villager” of all time – Bujoy. Being friends with influence get her so far indeed.
7. Call time was almost achieved with a 30 minute delay. We left the camp at 8:30 this time. Kandungaw was an hour late so it’s an improvement.
8. No major injuries despite the fact that it rained when we went down to Legazpi. We had hiccups with some guests. A shoes needed a medic. The sole falls out and she was having a hard time. And another almost had cramps.
9. We got lost for a while but eventually angels were sent to lead us to the right path. We were already famished when we arrived at Mainit Springs by 1:30 PM, 5 hours after we started.
10. I learned a great lesson. One that I would cherish. My respect for “Sweepers” have grown immensely. After that ordeal, I swore never to be on the tail again but thinking about it now makes me want to be a sweeper again. There’s just so much in a trek that you could only see when you are seeing it at the back. 🙂
11. We were able to put up LNT sign again. This time we put it on the trail.
12. From what happened last weekend, I was more fired up to implement that “ribbon” thing or put up signs on the trail. It is important for the guests to be aware of the difficulty of the trail too. Next time, we should be firm in implementing that the inviter should tell their guests about the nature of the trek. We are all for fun and sometimes, thinking of the safety of other people can suck the fun away. Each and everyone needs to treat each other as companions too. It is supposed to be a rule to be mindful of the one in front and behind you on the line. NEVER lost sight of the one in front of you and ALWAYS check if you have the person following you is still around. If that simple rule isn’t followed then problems will arise. We are not on a race, we are on a trek. Well, we can always do a race if we don’t have neophytes.
But all is well that ends well. Mainit Spring is still rejuvenating but unfortunately, Montañeza falls was closed down because of some rock issues. There’s the dispute of the road too. We had to pay Php5 to exit. It’s weird. And when we finally reached the highway, most buses were full. We had to squeeze in at a full bus. Good thing a lot of them got off at Alegria. Wew!
Freedom climb at Lanaya is another one for the books but I would love to go back via Legazpi soon even if I have to pay the exorbitant price. Hehe! And ohh, did I mention I was having muscle pains in the leg. Wew! That was indeed a great pre-climb for Tres Marias. Hopefully, no more muscle pains on Friday. I’m very excited nowww. Tickets are ready. Yay!!!