Just for you to know, I graduated (yeah finally!) recently from a University situated at the top of a hill in Antipolo. During freshmen days, I imagine the thought of hiking the surrounding mountains as seen from the school. Staring at those lush green hilltops full of trees and some houses, I started thinking of what if’s and maybe’s, an ordinary guy like would ever reach a summit one day.
Yep! And so I made that up on my bucket list after grad, along with tons of travels and destination goals I can venture after finishing academics.
Planning, observing, and a lot of research are essential in pursuing your first hike. Good thing there’s Traveling Adventure, a freelance group of hikers to help me out achieving my first ever climb in Mt. Maculot, Cuenca, Batangas. They can provide you the transfer, local tour guide, and an all paid fees for a worry-free day hike of their selected mountain destination plus a free bagtag.
With self-confidence and a sense of adventure, I took the arrangement and head over to Mt. Maculot as a solo along with 15 group of strangers.
We started the hike accompanied by our local guide and our tour coordinator at early 6:00am after arriving at the jump-off point to avoid the heat while on the trail and of course the bulk of irritating hikers. We manage to follow the itinerary but the plan happens to be an epic fail. There were a group of newbie foreign hikers that’s blocking the way and slowing us all down.
Anyway, every stop over we take after the ascend, the majestic scenery are slowly getting visible. It took us 2 hours or at least to reach the Rockies, the famous rock formation before the summit with the height of 706 meters above sea level and a difficulty of 3/9.
By the way, these are taken by those people together with me on the tour. I must say, these peeps are incredibly cool. Despite me being solo, we instantly became friends along the way. Some were already facebook friends before we got home.
How I can’t describe the feeling when we reached the Rockies and the fact that I actually made it on my first climb. The view was so breathtaking, even more so, advancing to the top of it. There you can reward yourself taking a lot of pictures and selfies while enjoying the stunning scenes of the Taal Lake and Taal Volcano. Turning camera 360 degrees, all are picture perfect shots and worth risking my life for that life changing experience. What I mean by risking my life is that I did step up on the edge and literally risk my precious, one-of-a-kind life to impress whoever you are reading this and that’s kind of a hard thing to do. But still I have definitely no regrets.
So here are the things I’ve learned:
- Open your senses. Learn not just to observe but to feel that the nature is a part of your whole being. Respect the nature. Value its preservation and keep it untouched. Take nothing but picture, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time.
- Befriend the people around you. Interact unless your an introvert. It will happen that you’re gonna need somebody’s help to reach that certain goal. Add them on facebook to like you pics!
- Going solo doesn’t mean you don’t have friends to accompany you or sharing the same passion as you do. It only teaches you how to become independent but at the same time opening yourself to a new whole experience.
- Keep on moving forward. Reaching the summit is as much rewarding as taking your diploma on top of the stage. It’s your fruits of labor and you deserve it.
- Ditch your plans and make it happen. It’s self-explanatory.
Oh! Well, looks like I have to scratch out one goal on my bucket list. Here’s to more travel goals to come and a two thumbs up.
You could be here next. Can’t wait to read your story.
Mt. Maculot, Cuenca, Batangas 04/09/16