Idiot’s Note: I had no freaking idea what ‘major climb’ meant until last Saturday–Valentine’s Day. The traffic during the 13th (what we call the kerida-date-night) was enough to send me scrambling to the mountains of Bataan, because holy shit, the whole of Manila had this cheesy-disgusting-pungent air and I am one bitter potato. Kidding. Haha. The destination was Tarak Ridge, Mt. Mariveles, 1006 meters above sea level, not for noobs who are lazy even with basic internet research. You can find complete specs at the Pinoy Mountaineer’s site.
I left the house at 5:30 AM and got there about 8:30-ish, met my guide Elizabeth (+63 949 586 9556), and started walking a little before 9. Apparently, this mountain is the playground of the AMCI Mountaineering Club–the guys who carved the trail.
All the groups who ever climbed this magnificent dirt- and rock- mass earned the right to post a banner on Nanay Cording’s wall. Would you look at that. I actually thought of hanging my shirt after I got down, but it’s going to be an eyesore. Hehe!I like this mountain better than Batulao because it had a lot shade and the sharp rocks are pretty amazing to look at–imagine, one misstep and your head can get split open like water-fucking-melon. Mother nature cut these rocks so much better than a machine ever could. It took us about 2.5 hours to get to Papaya River and we stayed there for about 20 minutes. This one’s the bomb–I went to the water as soon as I saw it. Never mind the wet underwear.
Let me tell you that Mt. Mariveles has character–lots of pocket little surprises on the way to the summit. Take these tangled roots for example; they’re symbolic of many things. Like my state of mind. Haha #hugotpamore. The plants are also weird, in a good kind of way. Now you would think that pattern was carved out by someone who had nothing better to do, but no. This is just mother nature being hipster.Up at the ridge, the views were expansive.I wanted go near this popular dead tree but I was so afraid of getting blown away. Literally, because the wind was THAT strong. Had lunch at 12NNand started descent around 1:30 PM. Boy, it was awesome. And with that, I leave you with a photo of the creepiest drive I have ever had. Goodness, I love Valentines.