If you’ve got some straightening out to do (just like big girl Fergie), then do some sole- and soul-searching at Mt. Maculot in Cuenca, Batangas. It will surprisingly aid in ironing out all the unnecessary curls in your life. Trust me.
Mt. Maculot is the first legit mountain I dared to climb. I was able to hike the Masungi Georeserve prior, but it’s just a conservation area offering a discovery trail and not a typical mountain with a summit to reach. Anyway, like any other firsts, this one has given me so many learnings which make it really one for the books!
So without further blah-blahs, let me share with you the 5 things I learned from climbing Mt. Maculot:
1. You think you know, but you have no idea.
As a newbie a.k.a. pabebe in the field of mountaineering (naks!), I read several blogs to have an overview of what to expect from climbing Mt. Maculot. Of course, I came across the page of Pinoy Mountaineer who rated the mountain 3/9 in terms of difficulty. Other bloggers seemed to attest to that figure, noting that Mt. Maculot is indeed perfect for beginners. These testimonies stabilized my anxiety levels and made me say yes to the proposed adventure. During the actual climb, however, I didn’t expect that the trail would be that steep and rocky; we were actually insisting that the mountain should be named Mt. Mabato. LOL. I found myself running out of breath even before reaching the first station. And my fear continuously bugged me as we climbed our way in darkness (yes, we started the assault at freaking 5 AM). So what am I trying to point out, guys? I’m just saying that we should condition our body and mind before hiking or doing any strenuous activity. Physical and mindful exercises will save us, especially the unfit ones, big time. Because really—you think you know, but you have no idea. Parang ganito lang ‘yan, e—akala mo kayo na, pero hindi pala. Assume pa kasi, ‘teh!
2. It’s actually fun to climb with strangers.
I’m not as sociable as you think I am. I may sound like a long lost friend on this blog, but I’m still that awkward millennial who cannot start up a conversation with a potential friend (or boyfriend, HAHA) in real life. I guess, this climb served as a way for me to loosen up, and boy was it fun to meet other people who share the same passion as yours! So thanks to my friend who decided to join a travel group for this day escapade. But guys, be careful; make sure the travel group you’re going with is safe and reliable.
3. It’s okay to skip the summit.
Why did I decide to climb Mt. Maculot in the first place? Truth is, I was inspired by Angel Locsin who began climbing mountains after her break-up with a fellow celebrity. 😛 I just feel her ’cause I know what it’s like to be in pain (W-O-W). But for the record, I didn’t come from a break-up (there’s nobody to break up with, LOL). Anyway, since Angel was my main motivation in this venture, I also copied her Mt. Maculot itinerary. 😛 My friend and I back-trailed already after reaching the Rockies’ summit (706 MASL). I didn’t risk following the traverse (Rockies-Summit-Grotto) because sa totoo lang, pagod na ‘ko nun. Ikaw, itutuloy mo pa ba kahit alam mong makakasama na sa’yo? ‘Yung gusto pa ng utak mo pero ayaw na ng puso mo? Charot. Remember, not pushing through doesn’t necessarily mean you’re giving up; you just know your limitations. #AnongPinaglalaban
4. Climbing mountains can help you in the process of moving on.
I’m speaking for myself, not just for Angel. LOL. Every one of us has gone through tough times, and I can attest that climbing mountains can help us in moving on—literally and emotionally. Just discover for yourself. 😉
5. It pays to be a disciplined mountaineer.
We were oriented by our tour guide before the trek. He reminded us the classic rule when mountain climbing: Leave no trace. Pwede mong iwan ang mga problema mo sa bundok, pero ‘di ka pwedeng mag-iwan ng basura. He also told us not to play loud music since several “inhabitants” there might be disturbed. It’s still sad that despite the briefing, I still encountered a few who broke these simple rules. Let’s not abuse nature; our future children also deserve to witness and touch it as close as this. Ipagdamot mo na ang jowa mo, ‘wag lang ang kalikasang hindi mo naman pagmamay-ari.
MGA BANAT NG BIYAHE
- Don’t be in a hurry to reach the destination. Savor the journey! In short, ‘wag kang atat magka-love life! Darating din ‘yun. Dasal lang. Dasal lang talaga.
- You can make friends in the mountains, but boyfriends/girlfriends? Depende sa landi levels mo, bes.
- Be a backpacker in this world full of backfuckers. #’NuffSaid
Hope you learned a thing or two from these learnings! I’d love to hear your mountain adventures in the comments section below. 🙂