So, uhm, where do we begin? This feels like an awkward convo between two high school classmates bumping into each other in a daycare after years of no contact. Hello, hello, my toddler is better than yours. Anyway, let’s assume that the followers of this blog are actually interested in knowing what the fuck happened to my Q4, because–motherhumper–it’s been crazy.
Here goes: School (I got an entrepreneurship certificate at the U.P. Institute of Small Scale Industries, reason why eight consecutive Saturdays just went off-limits for travel. And this, ladies and gentlemen, explains the absence of travel-related posts of late), work (at the speed of roughly three events per week, causing broken hearts, shattered egos, sleepless nights, and the most-coveted MIA status among your friends, which gives the impression that you are busy making yourself rich. Lolwut?), the Islamic State, Duterte, Adele, Bieber (and other newsmakers that have become my daily companions by the ivory throne), traffic (this season, an estimated 3-hours of my day–every fucking weekday–is spent behind the wheel, because of this single misfortune of being born and having to live in Manila).
Do you see how interesting my life has become? Well, the good news is that my colleagues and I were able to squeeze in a quick climb during the APEC holiday. Some quick facts from Pinoy Mountaineer: Entry point: Sitio Cawag Settlement, Subic, Exit point: Silanguin Cove, Pundaquit, Zambales, LLA: 14° 47′ N 120° 9′ E, 881 MASL, Days required / Hours to summit: 2 days / 6-7 hours, Specs: Major climb, Difficulty 4/9, Trail class 1-3.
Normally it would just be me and Con, but a bunch of single people in the office got convinced that a hike that leads to a beach is worth the trouble. So, they walked with us for a total of 12 hours and exhausted their expletives. Haha! During the first half, we got drenched, the second half, we got toasted.
Mt. Cinco Picos and the neighbouring Mt. Balingkilat are notorious for sucking the life out and dehydrating hikers. But they give the most rewarding views of Silanguin Cove. Of all the mountains I climbed (they’re not a lot), this one gave the most scenic descent.
On the way up at around 6 in the morning. We purposely started as early as 4 AM to avoid the sun. At 7:30, it was already hot as fuck and we were applying and re-applying sunblock as if the giant fireball would burn us crisp. It’s interesting because the terrain felt flat and I only noticed the altitude gain after a good three hours. Also, look at those folds!
That’s Con (with Tedric), Lani, and Anna (she likes to sing Lelelelelz). The trail is about 75% talahib, bare, and very brutal to unprotected legs. If you don’t mind the weight, maybe wear some shin guards and a helmet. Haha!
There was a mild shower at around 10 / 11-ish and it made the view so creepy. We stopped for “lunch” (it consisted of bread with Lady’s Choice and libag from Con’s hand) at Camp 1 and stayed there for a whole hour. Freezing. Yeah, nobody ever thought of bringing a poncho–we were so ready for the heat.
The fact that the fog covered the view almost pissed everyone off, until it cleared and boom! The cove! Ganda! It made me want to just drop the bag and fly! This photo was taken around 1 PM, during the start of the descent. Lani turned out to be our main casualty, because this leg of the hike did pose a lot of challenges, mainly fatigue. She tripped once and got cuts and scrapes–then she got out of balance and sprained her ankle.
Of course we laughed before helping her out. Haha!
It took us another four hours to get to the beach. We kept encouraging ourselves saying ‘2 kilometers na lang. Isang acad oval na lang.’ LIES. LIES. LIES.
Then we finally reached Silaguin Cove, just in time for sunset. What a view. Excuse the Teddy.
This is us trying to make s’mores with chocolates stolen from the office, using a ‘stick’ as long as a javelin.
Silanguin by day. We camped at Puerto Silanguin and left the beach for Pundaquit the following day. As if the climb wasn’t exciting enough, we encountered some pretty stubborn waves near Nagsasa Cove. Haha! The last time I made the Silanguin-Pundaquit trip, I was in a small boat with two bangkeros and I had no life vest. So this one was good, all good!
Can you guess what happened in the office after the APEC holiday? VL. Haha!
Up next: Siem Reap in 4 days, 3 nights. How long before the next post? Only god knows. Haha.