The Climb

After Christmas,  I joined a group of so much younger friends, my fellow volunteers  in a hike to Mt. Gulugod-Baboy, Batangas.

I’d say say this was the first climb wherein I was really able to reach the peak even if it was taken on steep slopes, with a backpack to carry my personal things  and some food items of the group and drinking water supposed to last the hike.  Well, I was just lucky that my friends had been considerate enough not to make me carry more of the heavy baggage for in my present condition, my doctor says no-no to heavy loads (literally speaking). Hmmm.. let me assume that perhaps this was done  as a sign of love and respect to the senior citizen of the group.

There were 10 of us on that climb and eachone has a role to play, so I discovered.

Only seven campers are on the pix. One took the picture, the other two are taking some solitary moments with nature.

One would always emerge the leader, someone who would overlook all of the group’s needs from the food to bring, to fighting for the group’s queue for the bus, to giving pointers on climbing, to setting up of tent, to the games to be played at camp…. to name it and he’ll provide it.  Froi is the  name to beat.


Luv and Von completed the Grate clan who seemed to be walking on a plain even if others thought it was a difficult trail and still manage to paint on a refreshing smile to lighten up the day.

There would be people who would opt to carry the heavier loads to ease off the burden from the ladies of the group, even if it would mean that they would be lagging behind. I’m referring to Father Ricky and Reo.

Some would serve as an encourager for others to move forward.  Oh, how I loved to see Cris cheering up Ces to move on especially at times when the going seems tough.  As always, the supportive one. And I so admire Ces for going through and moving on.  Truly, this experience is so much like they are in real life.

Everybody provided entertainment but who could beat Eugene when it comes to sparking the plug for laughter. Who would forget  the classic Tom and Gerry? Thanks Eugene for bringing in the fun especially at some points when it seems  difficult to go further up.img_09441

Joan and Reo, a picture of a couple  who are attuned with each others needs.  I loved observing how you treated each other with love and concern and maximizing moments of togetherness.   The secrets of love-bloom.  Wow! you still manage to glow after a day’s hike.  Keep it up.

Others would do the software of the camp for they would handle the basics of the household like the simple chores of cooking, washing the dishes, fetching water from nowhere and cleaning up Stand to be recognized…. Cris, Eugene, Joan,  Luv, Von and Ces.  Of course, I also belong to this group

Some stunning discovery: on top  of a mountain, any place is available for wee-wee as long as its about 10 meters away from camp…  plus you have to learn to control your pupu until you return to your original home base… hmmm.…. you can go to sleep without brushing your teeth or changing your clothes… and your friends would still sleep with you, afront or back to back… and the morning after, no one complains of a bad breath or a body odor… of course, what do you expect?

For me, perhaps the most memorable time of the camp was  when we were star gazing.  For while looking at the stars I felt my father (God rest his soul) from amongst them.   I believed for  a moment in time, even amongst the laughter of friends, we were in communication. To others, the star may be just an ordinary heavenly body but for me this star shone the brightest.

The day after, I realized that going down the steep is much more difficult.  Wow!  This is so much like real life when going down from your pedestal is so hard to do.  But I believe that with a little help from my friends, I’d get by.

It’s time to say my piece of ad: “Oh, I got stinky, I got dirty I got bruised on my knees and arms, but see I learned.” Thanks to Cris and Eugene for nursing an injured knee.  One realization: even the goddess of all godesses will at one time or another  join with the mortals and experience their pains and joys.

Most of all, thank you Father Ricky for staying behind with me  and holding my hand all throughout my climb down the steep.  Oh! I believed when at some point you told me to just trust for I am in good hands. Now, I’d give you back the message on your birthday gift:  Thank you for being one of those friends I especially love sharing life’s journey with.

The hike was culminated with swimming, snorkeling and strolling on the beach of sombrero island.  Look at the Ladies of the Wilderness.

Whew!  What a journey it had been. Certainly, this is one refreshing way to celebrate a dyosa’s post Birthday and Christmas … and perhaps ushering in the New Year….. One experience I would cherish even if I may still be joining other climbs.

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