Hello, it’s been a while since my last “writing” about my life. Here I am again, trying to convert my experiences into words. By the way, if you are reading this, thank you! I don’t know if you know me in person or want to me through this blog. Either way, let’s be friends.
When you used to hike often and suddenly you stopped doing it, your body seems like bothering you and wanted to go back with the mountains. I was hesitant to go back though since I promised myself to really focus on my career especially that I have employed one freelancer now. The more responsibilities coming in my way, the more times I tried to think to go out and relax. It was just too overwhelming to handle these things but my alter ego said that you can be good in your career without sacrificing your wants to travel.
I was invited by a team to join, we were just about 8 in the group and for the first time, I didn’t say YES at first. I tried to recalibrate my status, my deadlines, my to-do list and I were about to say NO because the date of the hike is crucial for me, I HAVE A CLIENT MEETING. But I haven’t decided yet. I saw the Osprey bag I bought last year for a hike and it was very inviting. I have this kind of fear that if I say NO, these groups might not invite me anymore for their future adventures (which makes me sad because I do really want to join). I also have an option in my mind to cancel my meeting and say YES to adventure, I always did that option last year and it bothers me a lot, thinking “what if they will just find a new designer so they won’t adjust with my adventures anymore”. It was a matter of how I should decide on things, I have the total control of it.
Two days before the event, I have received an email coming from the client, “We will not gonna meet on Tuesday”. I was so thankful, it was divine timing. I said yes to adventure and everything went so well.
I traveled from Gensan to Davao, it will be changed for the near future because I will be living in Davao, again, soon. Most of the meetups are in Davao so I have to spend an average of 3.5 hours before everything else.
Oh, I forgot to tell that I just colored my hair with silver-blonde, yes! To welcome my 25th birthday or my silver year. It was funny to remember when we were on our way to Bukidnon, while having our lunch, the restaurant staff thought that I was a girl so she called me “Unsa to inyo mam?” in Cebuano language which means “What is your (order), ma’am?” There was a paused of 5 seconds because we were confused about who is she referring to and then she realized that I’m not a girl, she then said, “Hala! sorry sir, abi nako babae ka!” which means “Oh my! Sorry sir, I thought you were a girl!”. We burst in laughter and awkwardness after. My hair really makes me look like a girl! I wasn’t offended at all. Lol
The moment I saw the house or the receiving place of Communal Ranch, there is something inside me that thrills me and excites me. I was so thankful we have very great weather, the sky is so relaxing with the cotton of clouds moving slowly. And then I slowly realized that yes, It was a great decision to say yes for adventure.
It is not only the sky that delights me, but it is also the scenic view of the Bukidnon mountains, amazing layers of mountains, sheets of clouds, different colors of green, from dark to light, from smooth to strong colors. Not only that, the horses, cows, flat surface and our excited eyes make everything seems surreal. Behind these busy life, city life, toxic world, there is something like this place.
After seeing the photo above, there is something missing, you will know what is missing later.
The ascending trek took us 2 hours and 30 minutes. The first phase was easy, we actually went downhill after the flat surface of Communal Ranch to cross a river. The jump-off or the starting point is located 15 minutes away from the river. We started the trek at 4 pm and we thought that it was an easy hike, we’re wrong, somehow wrong!
We are all first-timers with that mountain, actually. So no one knows what is what. They called it “scouting” when a travel agency went to a place for the first time to ocular before they offer it to the public. Anyway, back with the hike. Sun was already set and the only thing that gives me light is my headlamp which was very weak, I haven’t changed the batteries so it was my lapses.
Trekking and Stargazing
Ascending to Mt. Kulago is literally ascending, which means that the trek is always going up, always in assault mode. We finally reached the top after 2 hours and 30 minutes. The weather is still good.
There is almost no light at the top, which means? Which means the stars are brighter and tiny stars are visible. I’ve had a great 30 minutes just looking at the sky until the moon started to show up. The moon brings enough light to wipe the tiny stars from the view. It was all good though because the moon itself is astounding.
Remember the picture above that I said there is something missing? When I started to pitch my tent, the tent poles were missing! How can I suppose to use the tent without the poles? For the second time, it happened! So we decided to use it as a sleeping matt and have a piece of plyer to serve as our roof in case of rain.
I wasn’t worried though, I can sleep with what is available. I am also hopeful that I just left it inside the van. The picture where I was carrying the bag, there should be a pack of poles at the bag side pockets.
Thank God, there is no rain, I’ve had very nice long hours of sleep. I woke up because I was “gidaman” which means I was moving my body in reality out of my dreams. My body was reacting to my unconsciousness. I was kicking the person next to me! Lol, I woke up because I realized that I am actually kicking her in reality whereas I was dreaming of having a fight in a taekwondo practice. I slapped my face with laughter, I feel so sorry to the person next to me.
We found a spot to take good photos. Sunrise at the back together with the shades of 2 mountain tops. Literally a good morning. We decided to have our breakfast back to the jump-off area because it is too hot if we stay at the top of Mt. Kulago. We’ve finished descending back to jump-off for only an hour. It is really easier to go down than to ascend.
One of the porters was still drunk and didn’t have enough sleep so he was not carefully descending. He fell off and the things he was carrying went off as well. He ran down the hill to save the things but he only saved some. It was very difficult to retrieve all those things and it was a lesson for him to take care of the next time. He was surely walking while sleeping, he was still drunk.
My Crazy Challenge for myself
Before I end this blog, I forgot to mention that I was able to open my laptop at the top of Mount Kulago, Yes! My laptop. And it was my first time to bring my laptop with me. I just want to have a photo of me working while in the mountains. It is not really a serious “working mode” given the fact that I don’t have a power source at the top so I can only use the energy of my laptop.
And it is confirmed, mount Kulago has a strong signal, you can make calls, browse the online world while you are at the mountain. It is like mixing the toxic virtual world with a relaxing reality. But honestly, I didn’t respond to my emails, I just opened my laptop to save the photos of the hike so I can free some storage of my phone.
And lastly, when we went back to Communal Ranch, I decided to have a ride with a horse, it wasn’t my first time because I already did ride a horse when I was in Ilocos last year, 2019, but it was my first time to actually ride the horse on my own, without someone commanding it. We went so fast and I was a bit skeptical to jump, yeah I was thinking to jump! My heart was pounding but I just enjoyed the time. The horse knows where to stop so I just trust whatever happens next.