View From The Top

They take pictures of mountain climbers at the top of the mountain.

They’re smiling, ecstatic, triumphant. They don’t take pictures along the way, ’cause who wants to remember the rest of it? We push ourselves because we have to, not because we like it. – Meredith Grey

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I am not a very spontaneous kind of person. I plan ahead, make a checklist and often think about all the reasons not to push through with something. But when I set my mind into it and tell myself “I need this, badly.” then nothing stops me from doing it anymore.

I woke up one morning wanting badly to climb again. My second, which was in Mount Pinatubo in Tarlac, Philippines happened last November 16, 2014. I brought my backpack, with no friends, but me and my new group of hiking people only. Who cares? It’s only going to last a day anyway. And so yes, I am also the type who enjoys doing things alone and/or with company.

You don’t bring a whole lot of a package in climbing, something I learned during my first few backpacking adventures in 2013. You leave EVERYTHING behind and bring with you only the basics– water, towel, food to eat and one of the most important essentials, your cellphone with camera.

So here it is…

Pinatubo– another beautiful sight to behold in my very own country. Exquisite and historical. I was born thinking Mount Pinatubo erupted at the time I was literally brought out from my mother’s womb– a few days until it actually erupted in 1991.

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The climb was no match compared to Batulao or any other mountain I’ve heard of. But it was its beauty, the journey, the people I’ve met that I fell in love with. It’s the long hike, the rocky, bumpy and dangerous walk (approximately 14km back and forth) that thrilled me. Or maybe it’s the 4×4 ride, the soldiers, the indigenous people that also hit me.

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Yes, practically everything you actually learn as netizens is right– it’s actually the journey that matters most and not the arrival. In climbing or in traveling alone, I always see and appreciate the goodness of different kinds of entity– of mankind, of nature and of experience. It teaches you one of the most important thing in life, enjoying the moment. All things end beautifully.

To all the good friends I’ve met from my Mt. Pinatubo climb, thank you for making me feel comfortable. To the “katutubos” who helped us out along the way, maraming salamat po sa napakahusay na pag-alalay sa aming lahat. May all of your experiences be wonderful moments you’ll never ever forget. Because for me, you will always learn something new from all the things you do, from all the people you meet.

Experience your own Mount Pinatubo climb now!

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