RCPI Night Climb

RCPI Night Climb

As part of our preparation for our Mt. Apo climb, we decided to conduct a minor climb in the mountains of Cebu. Our destination, RCPI Tower. That’s the part of Cebu Mountains that is very visible in the city because of the many towers erected in the area. Since most of us have commitments during the day, it was decided that we will trek just before the sun goes down. But unfortunately, the trek started at six o’clock in the evening. It was already dark and this is my first night climb.

There are really a few things that I fear of, but this one scared me. We were walking in the dark, with just the sounds of crickets, the river and seldom human voices are heard. The surrounding was so quiet most of the time. And the trail was slippery and muddy due to the frequent rain days before our climb. At one point we made a wrong turn, and the person leading the pack knew we were lost. Good thing the people who used to be behind us didn’t follow. We tried calling their names to get directions to go back to the correct trail. We made short cuts just to keep up with the group and that means descending from the tall grasses, sliding, and getting scratch from thorny vines.

When the altitude was higher, we had a glimpse of the city, the vibrant city light. I was amazed. This was my first time climbing RCPI tower and they were telling me, that there’s more to what I’m seeing when we reach the top. And as promised after hours of walking in the dark, we arrived at the camp site. It was beside a tower that was separated from a group of towers in the opposite peak.

The view was stunning! We were treated to an unobstructed view of the city. And it was wonderful. This has a better view than the chalet. And only few hikers would reach this site. It was heaven for me. After dinner, all I did was spread a cover on the grass and just stare at the beauty of the view.

Though we were force to sleep early because it started to drizzle then it rained harder. My tent wasn’t reliable enough because some of the rain droplets started to get inside the tent. I have to transfer to a different tent to keep myself dry. In the morning, I was treated to another beautiful sight, the sunrise, the city and the surrounding mountains.

It was time to go back to the city to have breakfast; we did not bother cooking since our butane (use to fuel our portable burner) was almost empty. I felt I haven’t fully savored the beauty of the place yet. I want to stay longer, but it would be too hot when the sun will be over our heads. On our way home, we were following a dirt road, passing the chalet and the Mountain View. We rode a jeepney going to JY Square to each our breakfast in Mc Donald’s before heading home. It was a very nice pre climb event and I wish to go back to RCPI Tower again.

BMC Training by IMS

BMC Training by IMS

When one gets involve in mountain climbing or hiking, it is advisable to get a Basic Mountaineering Course. It is not compulsory but it is a good thing to learn when you are always exposed to the outdoors. Thankfully the Inter-Mountaineering Society conducted a free seminar on BMC I at Persimon, Mabolo last June 2010.

The host group has been very generous to share their experiences and tips on the outdoors, covering the basic survival skills, to do’s and not to do’s, and how to preserve the mountains and the trails for the next generation of mountaineers. They gave us the basic information about the mountains in the Philippines and categorize based on the difficulty of climbing them.

The training room was full packed, but never the least it was a day of learning and a time to mingle with other mountaineering enthusiast. Best of all, the training comes with free snacks, which served as another highlight for the event because the food taste great and there was food for everyone.

In behalf of our group, Bagtaks, we would like to congratulate the host group, Inter-Mountaineering Society and Sir Rans of Ewit for inviting us. Keep educating everyone of taking care of Mother Nature! Good job guys!

On top of my Dream

On top of my Dream

I have been active in climbing just last year, 2010. I have climbed mountains and explored caves in the pass years but it was only in 2010 that I have dedicated most of my time to climbing. After my Mt. Lanaya climb in Alegria, one of the toughest mountains that I have climbed in Cebu, I had the desire to explore other mountains as well. But Mt. Apo was not in in the list yet. Because I know I have to train and climb more mountains before I conquer Mt. Apo. But never the least it was my dream to conquer Mt. Apo.

It was not until the second half of the year that I was invited to climb Mt. Apo, I was hesitant. I have heard a lot of stories from my fellow mountaineers about how difficult it is to climb Mt. Apo. And I do not want to do it until I’m not prepared. I know I have to be prepared emotionally and physically. But even with my doubts and as impulsive as I am, I bought my plane ticket going to Davao. I started buying climbing equipment including waterproof jackets to mention a few which can be purchased at outdoor shops like R.O.X. . I jogged the farthest distance and tried to convince myself that there is no turning back. Thinking about my climb did send my heart beating faster. I have to admit I was afraid. And to counter that, I tried reading articles on tips on climbing Mt. Apo. That way I know what to expect.

Time has come for us to climb Mt. Apo and the excitement of conquering Philippines' highest mountain was greater than my doubts and fears. I know that I’ll be expecting beautiful scenery, discover things that are not in the city. But everything surpassed my expectation.

The beauty of the mountain was beyond any words can explain. A lot of the time it left me speechless. It was such a beauty. I could not even justify the beauty of the mountain in my pictures. I was stunned. Everything was picture perfect, the sunset, the sunrise, the plains below, the clouds surrounding us from time to time, the wild berries, the forest, the falls, the peak, everything! All the hardships that we experienced during the climb, the cold, the swollen muscles, thorny bushes along the way, the knee deep mud, was all worth it! It was really tiring but it was also the most rewarding thing that I have done for the year.

Such beauty can't be experience in the comforts of our own homes or in the convenience of the city. Such splendor needs to be experience in the outdoors where fear needs to be conquered, going the extra mile, and taking the less traveled roads. Because such adventure pushed us to our limits but at the same time makes us realize that we can always make our dreams a reality. And it all starts in one small step to the R.O.X. outdoors.

Thank You 2010

Thank You 2010

The year 2010 has brought me a lot of interesting things, places and people. I have made my goals into a reality and have added some that was not on my list but I am still very glad that I did.

I have climbed the tallest mountain in the Philippines, and the second tallest in Asia (coming blog), I have jumped the Plunge and ziplined at Danao Bohol, discovered the remote island of Camotes and conquered the urban jungle of Metro Manila alone . I have devoted my time learning the basics of Photography and started capturing moments that are memorable to me. These are some of the things that I have listed on my bucketlist before I turn 30, and 3 years earlier I have accomplished it.

The coming year promises more adventure and discovery for me. I have already booked a flight for Cagayan de Oro and hopefully I will be able to experience the white water rafting and explore Camiguin Island. I have committed in studying more and taking lessons in Photography too. And as the saying goes that life is a box of chocolate, we never know what we can get,I look forward to whatever things life will offer this 2011, may it be a bitter dark chocolate, I will still savor every bite of it. Because I will, and still am living life to the fullest.

No challenge will be turn down, just let me take it one day at a time. To us all, Happy New Year and start planning out your adventures, because life is short, you deserve to enjoy and live every minute of it! Happy New Year Everyone!