Friday, June 27, 2014

The Bocaue Peak Trek, Cebu City

It was Saturday before payday and you know what that means "pineapple tingbits" week.

It's the time of the month when McBurger in the next block looks fancy and when paired with fries becomes a gourmet.  It's the time of the month when "kuko-crunch" becomes the staple and drool over a Magnum ice cream stick on a humid afternoon as it is a luxury.

A weekend when clubbing is not an option.  Although it has been months that I have not gone out and my Saturday night friends have missed me, I know and I miss them and I owe them big time for missing their birthday parties. I don't know, perhaps I have grown out of it. When the music gets too loud its deafening and the dancing green lights are just too playful it dizzies me. In short, I'm old.

A movie date would have been great.  If only someone would treat me to a movie but that as well was out of the list.

So that means a house arrest for two days within the four corners of my rustic-yellow-painted room.  A time for some artsy fartsy. I mean loom bands have become popular. I saw myself mixing and matching colors and create those fancy rubber bracelets.  What a FUN weekend would that be, NOT!

I received an SMS from a friend inviting me for a trek.  With limited resources, I initially said no.  I had some household chores was my lie.  I asked her what time and where would we meet just in case as I'm so fickle minded.  And, yes, I changed my mind.

I packed what's for breakfast and grabbed a big water bottle container.  In my back pack were three t-shirt, a sarong (in case it gets too hot) and anti-septic alcohol for insect bites.  I put on my sunnies and rode a jeepney off to Guadalupe Church where the meeting place was.  That was two jeepney ride from my place for 8 pesos each.

I greeted my friend and said hello to the new faces.  "You are one fickle minded" she commented.  "I know" was my reply and a smirk on my face.  "Look at that, who's that cutie" and all I got from her was a rolling eyes.

From the church a habal-habal took us to the starting point for 15 pesos each. So far I spent, 31 pesos. And it was time for a group picture. Good morning!

We prayed for a good weather and we were blessed as the morning sun embraced us warmly.

It was 7AM.  It was a whole day trek and we were expected to be back in the city by 4PM.

The walk started with a descend.  The soil was a bit moist as it rained the day before.  I thought, wrong shoes again.

I looked up and saw those towers.  That's where we will have our lunch. Long route, eh!? It was.

Meanwhile, we took our first break. Spared, a fruit fell and missed me by an inch that would have been my first unwanted incident.  Without escape, among the insects, what I hated the most are ants. I felt a sting on my left foot. Stomping.  The last time an ant bit me, I ended in the hospital for allergic reaction, I had difficulty breathing and passed out.  I forgot to bring my pill.  I thought, wrong outfit.  I should have worn socks.

So we continued.  We started our ascend.  The greens, they were breath taking.  I thought I needed this.  I thought this was way more fun than my rustic-yellow-painted wall.  

And the view of the city from afar was equally amazing.  Even when the sun was up, the breeze was still cool.  However, as our walk continued it was all ascend. It got steeper. I was catching my breath. I thought it was just like a walk in the park. Without enough sleep, I struggled. My breathing was deeper, everyone could hear it. Then I asked for five minutes.

 I managed to smile.  But to my sight the greens were turning blinding white.  As I continued my right leg cramped for the first time in all my trekking life.  A newly met friend offered her walking stick.  That was so nice of her to think we just met.  I appreciated it.  My five minutes became frequent and we were not half way yet.  But our guide was patient enough as well as the rest of the team.

Finally, second break at Manuel's.  This spot has become famous to all climbers.  Thirty, I quenched myself with freshly picked buko juice.

For 25 pesos, I regained my strength. It was 10:30AM.

The ascend continued for another 2 hours.  I wash my face with the cold water in every spring along the way just to keep my cool as my skin was burning.  I really struggled.  It was the most difficult walk.  My left knee gave in as well.  My friend talked to me out about anything just to continue walking.  I was about to give up. I managed to laugh trying to hide the pain or forget about it.

A quick photo while resting. These people rock.  And I didn't want to be that helpless prima donna so I forced myself to hear the voice within that "I can do this".

And I did.  We reached the towers. We had lunch. We rested for at least 30 minutes. The walk after the RCPI towers were easier, a walk in the park.  By the way, we were heading to Bocaue Peak and exit to baranggay Bonbon. The grass blades along the trail became sharper, I started to feel them in my legs. I thought I should have worn pants.

I was feeling better.  I enjoyed the scenery.  Wild flowers, wild fruits and a brown eagle soaring freely. That was so beautiful. That mighty eagle with all wings spread calmly in the air.  What a sight. Then we saw this, the peak. From no where, we swayed the curtains of vines and leaves of the forest, then this amazing view.

We made it.

I made it.

Pain is temporary as my friend said.  While at the peak I contemplated "I really thought I couldn't make it. It was a very difficult trail. I pushed. I'm glad I had a very good support system. I made it. And that's the way it should be in real life... a good support system."

We started our descend.

I thought it was going to be light. But it was equally difficult.  I fell on my butt four times.  Wrong shoes, too steep, too slippery.  And I could go on with all my whines. But I have learned to see things at a different perspective. And I gained friends.

“Life is a journey, not a destination.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson


Thank you Joice for the invitation.
Thank you sir Jason for guiding us and for taking care of us.
Thank you miss Rancy for the walking stick

Photo credits to sir Luigi and Santonin for the pics.  I grabbed them from your wall without permission.

Nice meeting you all, Jan, Carmel, Brent, Kristine and Victor

Additional expenses:
Iced cold mountain dew -12 pesos
Iced cold bottled water - 15 pesos
Chips - 5 pesos
habal-habal going back to the city - 40 pesos
2 jeepney rides - 16 pesos

total: 119 pesos :)