Monday, November 06, 2006

The Old Man and the Mountain



A soldier from the Philippine Army came over for a visit this weekend. He was very helpful, friendly, and generous. Apart from bringing me foodstuffs, he cooked the meals for the day as well. We even had a planting session before he left.

The climax of his visit was our hike. We were just going out for a hike and came upon a mountain. It was fairly high and was larger than the surrounding mountains. There were also crosses at its peak. We were only wearing shorts, a t-shirt, and slippers, but we could shoot some nice photographs if we were able to make it up in time for the sunset, so I thought we'd give it a shot. An old man warned that us that we would get lost. There was a faint smile on his face, so I didn't know how serious he was. But the mountain appeared to be a fairly easy climb, so we still decided to go for it. Well, it didn't take long for us to realize that we were very wrong.

The foliage became thicker very quickly as we climbed up the mountain. Soon the talahib were gigantic and much taller than we were. We were getting cut all over by the sharp blades of talahib grass. There was also another type of grass that is actually sharper than talahib, but I don't know its name. We could have gone back, but we had already invested some time and thought that we were already near the peak, so we trekked on. The grass just kept getting taller and thicker. And as it got darker, we were having more difficulties seeing and found ourselves falling into pits. But the mountain continued to enchant and convince us to keep climbing by periodically giving us a view of the nearing peak. The peak seemed so close each time we got a view of it, but in reality it was still far away. We were dripping with sweat and growing very tired as we climbed onwards. Our hopes of some spectacular shots faded away before our very eyes as the sun was buried under the horizon. It was night already and we were still climbing. We were really considering going back now, but it seemed like a better idea to get to the top and take a look for an easier way down. We were now glad to have reached a rocky area with a little less talahib. We took off our slippers to get a better grip as we climbed the rocks. Finally, beyond the rocks were the three crosses.

We had reached the peak. The closest cross was a fallen one. On a large rock next to it was where we sat to rest and take some shots. The view we were hoping for was gone, so we settled for blurry images of a glowing Subic Bay and some tired sweaty shots sitting at the peak. We played with the idea of sleeping at the peak because we just didn't feel like battling it through again going down, but decided against it. We tried looking for an easier way down. No luck. We just chose a spot to start the voyage downwards and winged it.

Well, I can now tell you that going down is much more difficult than going up, especially at night. It actually could have been worse. Luckily we had a little light coming from the full moon that night. The sweat that had dried upon reaching the peak was brought forth again in the battle, and the wounds were re-opened and new wounds formed as our skin was lashed once more. Our new route was filled with larger pits and even thicker foliage. Sometimes we were falling head first as well; our faces and eyes also got a taste of talahib grass blades. We were extremely exhausted. If we were not in a pair, but alone instead, a feeling of despair and giving up may have come into play right about then. We battled onwards and maintained our physical and mental toughness. We reached an area that appeared to be a sloping jungle. This was indeed a very different route. We were now climbing down slippery rocks. We followed a small stream down the mountain. It was darker now, almost pitch black, as larger trees covered the full moon. We were so thirsty that we opted to drink from a collection of water. This gave us a little bit of renewed energy to find our way out of the jungle. Soon, we came upon a clearing and thought we had made it. Not yet, the road was still not present; a grave with a wooden cross was, which was eerie. We were now rushing to get out of there. After venturing through a second area of jungle, we came across what seemed to be a large still stream. It was too still, actually. Finally, to our delight, it was the road back home! The mountain was very deceiving indeed; its mild appearance had undeniably fooled us. The old man was right.





































19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey, I've been a fame since I saw you on the show nagmamahal kapamilya. Anyway I'm just wondering is this the mountain that you've mentioned earlier in one of your entries? I really like the way you elaborate everything that had happened to you. More power to you. ^_^

Anonymous said...

reminds me of Mt. Guiting-guiting in Sibuyan Island in Romblon, Philippines. It will took you at least 2 days to reach the peak.

good thing you have a companion. next time you climb that mountain, start in the early morning. so you could climb up and down, spend a lot of time taking some clear shots... seeing everything along the way.

i'll send you an email containing an image taken from Google Earth.

Chao!

omerson said...

wow ang saya yata ng adventure nio dalawa kaya lang nakakatakot. itry mong mag hike sa iba namang bundok. ung mas nakakatakot peo ingat ka lagi ha baka mamaya may NPA pala dian. Mamaya makidnap ka pa. cge bye.

Anonymous said...

NPA? lol! wala naman siguro. hehe. Basta ingat na lang and keep a low profile.

d'frosty ritey said...

you never fail to amaze me coconuter, luckily you're still with us...

d'frosty ritey said...

you never fail to amaze me, good job...

Anonymous said...

Occasionally, wisdom comes with age to those who choose to listen. Salamat Dios, you survived another 'adventure' into the unknown.

omerson said...

hi again kuya genius hope u can make another exciting adventure. xenxa na di naman me pedeng magdonate, bata pa ko e. cge iintay lang ako dito ng new adventure mo. hehehe cge ingat ka. you never fail to amaze me, good job hehe (gayagaya

Anonymous said...

Hi there David. I like the new format of your blog it's much easier to navigate. God bless. =)

Anonymous said...

Try to this see this man in person, if you admire him just seeing his blog, reading his resume, his wittiness in expressing his thoughts. When you see him surely you will admire and like him most. Even he never utter a word he gets the attention of others not because he has an American look, but because of his strong personality, his simplicity inspite of his achievements, and in dealing life...
He is so awesome...An optimistic man inspite the odds...
His humbliness can not fathom....He is perfect example of it.
That is really for sure, try it, I can attest it to you.

almazanse (:

Raffy said...

Ey there David. Look at how many fans you got now! Anyway, thank you for sharing to us your adventure on that mountain. One advise though: take it easy man. Remember that you have lots of people who worries a lot about you,and that starts with your family :-) Just keep the articles and the adventures coming.But next time,try and do something safe,ok.

Anonymous said...

this is your best article and adventure ever....looking for better adventure..
God bless you! Keep up young man.

Anonymous said...

From the Sound of Music Music by Rodgers and Hammerstein
Climb every mountain, search high and low
Follow every byway, every path you know.
Climb every mountain, ford every stream,
Follow every rainbow, 'til you find your dream!

A dream that will need
all the love you can give,
Every day of your life
for as long as you live.

Climb every mountain, ford every stream,
Follow every rainbow, 'til you find your dream!

t'was an inspiring song that surely will help you to never quit to your journey here in the philippines...i hope that you will find soon the perfect coconut to be fall for you from the sky... have a great day!!!

Anonymous said...

keep up young man...that's all i can say to you... continue to inspire others thru this blog...just bare in mind GOD is good.

Anonymous said...

you are a good story teller... I think you can make a story exactly what is really happened. Upon reading your article I felt that I have experienced what you have experienced bec. you tell the story very concisely and clearly. So I enjoy reading your article.. Keep on writing and blogging and blogging and blogging...lol

Anonymous said...

yah, you are right your adventure at the mountain really needs physical and mental toughness... I believe that your buddy and you help each other to surpass this "Im afraid" experience.. Im looking forward to another adventure such as this that you wont knowwhat comes next. It requires mind and physical toughness. Just keep on sharing your experiences.

Anonymous said...

kung gaano kahirap ang pag akyat nyo sa bundok alam ko ganun din kahirap abutin yong golden coconut na sinasabi ninyo. At natapos ninyo yung pag akyat at marami kayong nadaanan na hirap bago ninyo natapos ito. Ganundin ang pag abot nyo ng pangarap nyo mas marami ka pa rin pagdadaanan hirap bago nyo maabot ito. At napagtanto nyo na mas mahirap ang bumaba kaysa umakyat ganundin ang buhay kahit wala ka pa taas pilit kang binababa ng mga taong mapupurol ang utak. Basta pag nasa taas ka na mamuhay ka pa rin na nasa baba para magkaruon ka pa rin buhay na mapayapa at hwag kalimutan si GOD na pasalamatan siya sa mga biyaya na natatnggap. Ipagpatuloy nyo lang ginawa nyo. Pagpalain ka ng Dyos sa araw araw.

skyrun...

Anonymous said...

helo kuya david...
napakagandang experience naman yan.
sa tingin ko ito ang BEST adventure
BEST article
Coz it all about nature and i loved mountain climbimg and the way u elaborate everything i got the picture of what u r trying to say..

Ingat po kayo.

Xhander said...

Kuya david muzta? Di mo nmn po sinagot yung mga tanong ko e... Sana po masagot nyo man lang kahit papano... Salamat po... Yngatz na lng kau lagi...

Post a Comment