Mt. Pulag: Heaven at Hand

Fluffy as they seem above the glorious sky, I concocted to hover along the cerulean fields and reside at peace with not a bustle in mind.  At the firmament I scribbled my dreams with the desire to clamber up the peaks and feel unshackled from that entire ambivalent stance fleeting day by day. Cryptic. Fulfilling.

Detached from the strings connecting to the metro’s flurries, my gut feel choked me to release that perilous verdict of pursuing that plan to ascend. Exhausted I was from being deprived to wander and break free, to be one with the world. Asphyxiated, two decades of my existence were spent imprisoned in the four nooks of my safest zone, in my own lackluster planet, secluded inside a well-tended chest of lackadaisical life and dormancy. Now, I want an overhaul. To seek and chase what has been lost. To refurbish and bring back vitality to this soul. To lift what my bespren quoted, “I, soon, will wither. I will inevitably age and I fear to regret the things I should have done.”

Indeed, this is now freedom.

Ever dreamed how the gods and goddesses of Olympus live like?

Majestically standing at 2,922 meters (9587 feet) above sea level, master Wikipedia noted that Mount Pulag is considered to be the highest peak in Luzon (and the second or third highest in the Philippines to some) nestled at the borders between the provinces of Benguet, Ifugao, and Nueva Vizcaya.

That reverie of fluttering above the cottony cumulus is now coming at hand. I have always wished to witness the renowned sea of clouds up by the summit. In my wildest dreams, never did I imagine realizing this experience. To note, I have never set foot to any hill all throughout my juvenile years. And now this has to come to life. Going extremes is what I promise to reward myself after those sixteen “geekful” years- to collect and remark first-time mementos which I have been longing for quite some time.

FREEZING DROP POINT

While subconsciously lulled into a deep sleep, the bus pulled off gently which stirred me up and made me peek by the window. The mist kissing through the glass made me realize that we were already there in Baguio City. That was a quick ride. Everyone’s shivering as the cool breeze seeped through our damp, clammy skins forcing us to take out our knitted gloves to fight the cold.

Nearly half past seven when we departed from the city going to the DENR where trekkers must drop off to settle some registration and environmental fees plus a short briefing lecture about the hike.

1052566_610609818963902_31611253_oThe Power Rangers: (L-R) Nomeo, Kebs, Fonz, Apes, Ielle and bespren Jid

Disembarking at the Ranger Station by noontime, cold yet endurable breeze embraced us cooled more by the drizzles dropping from above. There we took lunch and prepared everything prior to the hike up. As for us, it was the time to rest and took some preliminary shots behind the greenery around the posting.

HIKE UP

Before 2 pm strikes, we head on to our quest to the campsite. The trails began undemanding as opposed to how terrible and nerve-wrecking it is as I expected beforehand. The lush greens and grazing lands resembling like staircases under the cliffs generated tranquility during my treads. Of course, you may forget everything behind except for the trail foods, water and Jelly Ace which would bring you salvage in the end. Campsite was reached after two and a half hours of trekking. Rains started to shower down as the tents were built while everyone were already eager to take a nap and rest for the night.

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INTO THE ZENITH

The  ruthless rocks and frosty winds  erode the audacity I savored. We were awakened by the gusty cold winds with drizzling pours at three in the morning to start the pursuit to the peak. With headlamp as our only luminous guide amidst the dark, murky terrain, I could’ve given up and went back, return to my safe and comforting home. Hurdling to the summit is but the real dare. The rustling greens added scare in the middle of the night sky. The winds stormed us away and defied our stance. Enthused to witness the majestic changing hues of the sky at sunrise, we accelerated more than we could to reach there just in time. But unfortunately, rains never ceased and we’ve lost the chance to take a glimpse at the most beautiful sunrise one could ever see.

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1047925_610604852297732_292754198_oAtop the summit, I was content with feeling of fulfillment after achieving a dream I just once envisaged to happen.  Overlooking around, the distant peaks surge like islets in the ocean of lofty clouds creating breathtaking scenery.  Clouds gather like a sea within the horizons, almost within reach, as though my scribbled dreams then were right at grasp. Indeed, it is the closest place to heaven, the playground of the gods just like the natives say- literally. For one moment I was immersed into the Olympus and had revelry with my fellow deities. Those souls who were hurdling to ascend to the peak celebrated  the realization of their long-sought visions. And I was one.

DSC_2752Let every climb be the reflection of our surmounting endeavors and dreams to attain. Let every slip and stumbled steps along the steeps remind us of our unwavering zeal to strive and succeed. Let every cliff be a warning sign for us to halt whenever we get out of way. More than the gaiety and fulfillment felt during our quest, the ascent has liberated me from those solitary chains that bind me from my past. Now, I could proudly free myself to open up with the world and say, I conquered it.

After all, it’s neither how you started the climb at the bottom nor how fast you reached the zenith, it’s all about those steps & trails taken in between and new friends gained and seen.

 
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