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Celebrate Love and Lust at Mt. Pulag

Mt. Pulag
Today is February 14, 2013, the Valentines Day, it is the start of my Pulag invasion.  This day is also my last day in the office and I will be back on Monday, imagine that!  I am not yet prepared for this event, my jackets and everything are still not yet in my backpack; I'll prepare it tomorrow, Friday, while washing my clothes.  I will also going to check my tent as well, if it's still okay, the last use was at " Lamyerda sa Borawan " in Quezon.  After my shift, I went to Greenland in Pasig City to borrow a sleeping bag just for this event.  As usual, every time I go there, we have drinking sessions and that's what happened.

Friday, February 15, 2013 - I was really busy cleaning my apartment, washing my used clothes and preparing for this huge celebration.  After my house chores, I think it was 1PM, I took a rest while surfing in facebook and getting updates from the participants of this event.  2PM I decided to sleep while the tv is on.  I woke up at around 4PM and I felt that I gained a lot of energy, so I continued my preparations.

9:13PM - I left the apartment wearing my blue clima-fit long sleeves, brown trekking pants, shoes and my 60L backpack.  For Security Purposes: I removed everything plugged in the electric outlet.  I can't explain the feeling that time, excited and pressured, I don't know.  Before going to bus terminal, I also took tricycle for 8 pesos, jeep for 8 pesos, bus for 16 pesos and then taxi for 100 pesos. TOTAL: 132 pesos.  Now, think a slim and gorgeous woman with a huge backpack, riding in a public utility vehicle - that's me!
PM - reached Victory Liner Inc. Terminal in Cubao - the meeting place of all the 17 participants.  I already met some of them but I truly excited to meet the others especially the cute boys - if there are, no comment yet.  I took a taxi from Galleria going to Five Star terminal in EDSA Northbound, then walked few meters and crossed the foot bridge connecting the two sides of EDSA in the area. 

When I reached the bus terminal, I first saw Ron, Daes, Janneth, Elmer going to convenient store to buy snacks and water.  So, I followed them and bought 2 bottles of 1.5L for 80pesos.  After that, together with Ron we went back to the terminal and the others vanished.

When we entered the terminal, I met the other boys standing beside the bus and Al introduced me to them.  We had a lot of fun in chikahan portion since we already knew them. It was just few minutes when everyone was talking about anything, like their past climb and so on.  Of course, before leaving the terminal we also have some picture picture with the group, I think it was 11:33PM already.

12AM - we left the terminal.  We took Victory Liner Bus No. 6034 with free WiFi, so we had a chance to update our facebook and twitter while on the way.  I was sitting with Dawn and some of the Sabiteers occupied the vacant sits in front and back.  It was evening, so I didn't have any chance to see how gorgeous the nearby provinces are.  Our sleep were interrupted because of the road humps that the bus passes on.  If I am not mistaken, we have two stop overs. 

Ambuklao Dam
5:30AM - it's the time of our Arrival in Victory Bus Terminal in Baguio.  After getting off the bus, we proceeded to the terminal.  We need more cash, so we went to the ATM nearby and got some monies.  Beside the ATM, we also had our very first group picture.  After the tiring trip, I went to the comfort room to release stress.  After all those activities, Al went to the ticketing booth and fixed everything like the tickets for tomorrow's trip. 

6:15AM - we left the terminal and proceeded to the gas station almost in front of it.  Group picture again while eating my strawberry taho.  We were searching for our hired jeep beside the gas station.

6:26AM - we finally left the gas station and we were all inside the jeep.  Chikahan was out past time while looking on the downtown of Baguio City.  The streets on the city gave challenges to every newbie in this town, oopsss, it's my second time in Baguio, the streets are really confusing.

7:09AM - We arrived in Pinkan Jo Eatery, just beside the high way going to DENR.  We had a short break, but before going inside the resto, we again have a group photo shoot.  There was a group of mountaineers inside the resto, so we followed the line going to the cashier.  We bought our breakfast with coffee and our packed lunch in this resto.

8:05AM - time to pack up and proceed to the next destination - DENR.  New excitement were all on our faces that time, because we'll be doing the TOP LOAD on the jeep.  So, here's what happened, all our backpacks were inside the jeep, and we're on top of the jeep.  Same time, we left the resto and the sceneries were really great.  We have the 360 degrees access to see what's Benguet can offer.  The wind are really cold, but the sun was shining brightly, good luck to those with our sun block.

Mt. Pulag
9:16AM - after the exciting topload, we arrived at DENR on this time.  The left side of the road was full of jeepneys rented by the other groups.  When we proceeded to the office for briefing, I was amazed!  There were a lot of groups who were waiting for their time, in and outside of DENR were full of people.  In DENR, we processed the schedule and camp site for our group, take note: you need an appointment if you are planning to climb this mountain.  Meeting or briefing also needed before leaving the office.

11:50AM - we left DENR, this time we were inside the jeep but some of the boys  were topload still.  The road going to the Ranger Station is narrow compared to other streets.  It only contains one lane, so it is very advisable to pass in this road NOT ON RAINY days.  Passing this road is breathtaking, but good thing that the surroundings are really great.  We have an access to see the rice fields on top of the mountains.  Everything was green, the vegetable plantation have their own style and designs.  There are cabbage and carrots beside the cemented road.  The farmers in this area creates their own community.  I've noticed that their houses is made up of wood and a metal. The designs are like what I've saw in some tv shows in the US. 

1:27PM - arrival in the ranger station.  Same thing, a lot of climbers were there and preparing for their trek.  The bags were huge and they were bringing their own tents.  In ranger station, we paid the fees and the guides.  We were 17 and we were forced to have two guides even though some of us already been their and familiar on the trail.  We took our lunch in this area, while we were standing and holding our food the dust were present in all areas and we didn't care about it, as long as we need to fill our empty stomach for another challenge that we will encounter.

2:02PM - we started ascending, so we have two batches with one guide each.  The mountain rages are really good in my eyes and camera. We were not the only group ascending that time, there were a lot of other climbers bringing their own jackets.  Before reaching the Camp 1, I was shocked because of my group mates were running to get space for our tents.  So, I also run while my 60L backpack was in my back.  After few moments, I questioned myself: "Why am I running?"  When I noticed that my sweat just came out  of my skin, I decided to just walk and enjoy the gorgeous sceneries. 

Mt. Pulag
2:45PM - I've reached the Camp 1 together with Dawn.  Camp 1 was filled with people, some were englishera with matching pasosyal accent, hahaha.  This camp contains flowering plants, pine trees and green grass.  The shed also gives shade to everyone who were eating their merienda.  Since it was filled with people, we just took five minutes standing beside the shed then we decided to go on the trail.  I thought all the people were on the camp 1, but along the trail, their were some group taking their five minutes rest.  So, again we decided to go one the next camp.  From Camp 1 to Camp 2, the trail is simple, with fog as our background in the picture.  Spring water signage is also present in every corner that has the fresh water from the ground

3:52PM - reached Camp 2, I thought it's gonna rain because of some rain drops I felt on my skin.  The fog was thicker compared to the previous camp or trails.  When I put my backpack on the sack filled with sand, and faced on the higher part or extension of Camp 2, I thought their was a fiesta because of the colorful tents pitched in there.  The first batch in our group who were running before were, also there waiting for the other members of the group.  But, after few minutes of rest we decided to go on the next camp - Camp 3 - our camp site.

5:43PM - reached the Camp 3 or the Camp site, together with Barney and Jen-the lady guide.  From Camp 2 going to Camp 3, the trail was simple, it's not complicated at all.  While having an executive walk on the trail, you have access to see the gorgeous formation of the ranges and how the brown color of it reflects on the sun shine.  The whole area is covered with grass land which dances every time that the wind blows.  The ranges also create shadows especially in the afternoon which add a special effects to the pictures.  As what I've said earlier, the trail is simple but my heart beats faster, maybe because of the higher elevation, so the oxygen and gravity presence is lower - I really don't know, I was absent when our teacher tackled this during high school. Before going to the Camp site, I captured this picture on the right.

Mt. Pulag
Anyways, let's go back to Camp 3, the camp site is actually a shallow area, encircled by the ranges including the trail from Akiki.  Then, the clouds covered the ranges that gives a cold breeze.  The camp site or I can say the whole mountain ranges has 75 percent of grasslands.  Ron and Roge were already in the camp site. Ron also pitched her tent already and they ensured that there will still be spaces for the others tents.

As what you can see on the picture on the right, the camp site is like a subdivision of tents.  Another feista-like  scene from a far.   After conducting a survey in the area we've got, I pitched my tent beside the cogon grass.  I also ensured that I got a flat area, I don't what to happen again like what happened in Mt. Cristobal. After pitching my tent, I pitched the enormous mansion tent of Daes just beside my tent.  It was dawn when we're done with everything, but the others were still on the trail going to the camp site.  The air begun to get colder and the darkness was beginning to spread in the whole mountain.  Al and guide Jen borrowed our head lamps to go back to the previous camps to pick up the remaining group members who didn't have lamps.  It was a challenging part for us because we were depending our actions on the moon light.

Finally all the sabiteers were already in the camp site.  Next stop, cooking our dinner.  I gave Roge the honor to cook the rice, then we followed to heat up the cooked pork adobo.  The four guys on the other side shared their sinigang to us, perfect for the cold weather. 

After dinner, some of the sabiteers went to their respective tents.  All of them were tired, except me and Al.  We both proceeded to the guys group and had some brandy drinking session, that's how we do our socials.  I think it was already 12mid night when we decided to take a rest.

5:00AM - I woke up or I mean we woke up, then Roge again did his job, this time coffee making using the cook set.  We had a great time playing with the fire, wait! don't think of something green in your mind, alright?  Due to accident, the butane losses it's lock to the stove's cable, so the fire scattered on the grass land.  Don't worry people, it was just small area just few inches from my tent, so, we pushed ourselves to stop the fire, Hello it's my tent!  Then after the hot breakfast:

Sea of Clouds
5:28AM - when everyone were done with the summit's preparations, we left our tents in the camp site and proceeded to the Summit for "Sea of Clouds."  We were nervous while walking on the trails for summit, because the stars in the sky disappeared in few moments and it's a bad sign.  The trail was filled with people who were also going to the summit to see the most awaited visitor. 

5:48AM - we reached the summit.  The sky changes its color from dark to dark with orange stripes, then turned into a brilliant orange.  The wind was killing us, the sharp cold wind made us shaking while getting pictures.  When the "Sea of Clouds" just appeared, we were all happy that time, after the shaking challenge that we faced early in the morning.  If I am not mistaken, that moment, more than a hundred of people witnessed the gorgeous cloud formation.

6:36AM - after the breathtaking scene on the summit, we decided to go back to the camp site in this time. I was with Guide Jen running going down the camp site as what others were doing.  Reyna, Janneth and Virmz decided not to go back to the camp site, instead they let the porter get their bags.  When I reached the camp site, I prepared a hot coffee for myself and for the others, I knew that they needed it.  When all were already on the camp site, a lot of chikahan, question and answer portion were being brought to the open table, this is a late socials?  While talking about anything, some of us were cooking at the same time.  Fried hotdogs and some other remaining processed foods were cook by Art I think.  So, eating while cooking!

8:05AM - break camp.  We folded our tents, we packed our things properly in the bag.  The other groups also were doing the same thing. The sun shine replaced the darkness and the cold wind just vanished.  My sun block was really helpful in preventing skin damages.  Before leaving the camp site, we took a heavy breakfast to gain more energy.

Mt. Pulag
9:05AM - we finally left the camp site, I was together with Roge and Al that time.  We enjoyed the gorgeous contours of the ranges that I didn't recognize during ascending.  The weather was also great that time, the sun is shining brightly, the sky was clear and the clouds were on the side of the mountain.  The wind wasn't that cold and my backpack was also lighter, maybe gravity is applicable this time.

10:03AM - I've reached Camp 2.  I was walking alone on the trail together with the group which I didn't knew.  I enjoyed a lot taking pictures while walking in my own pace.  My pace that time was faster compared to the other group.

10:50AM - I've reached Camp 1.  Some groups were take short break in this area, but I proceeded to follow the simple trail, I am almost in Ranger station.  My stomach begun to starve to I made my pace faster. 

11:30AM - I've reached the Ranger Station.  I thought it was a fiesta, because of the people encircling the area.  Al were sitting and taking rest, my sweat was flowing to my head, eyes and nose even the wind was cold.  The three girls were already there waiting for me, first thing I did was, I requested a food from them and good thing that they have it.  We waited the other pipz before putting of backpacks to the jeep.

1:25PM - we left the Ranger station.  Student Ace was with us going to the DENR.  So same thing, we were inside the jeep then the 4 boys were top load again.  The view was really great, and the road gave us an amazing challenge.

2:50PM - we've reached DENR and logged out. There are stores beside the road near DENR, selling cold soda and ice cream, so it was the best selling product.  The jeep was filled with dust, I think all the part of it was covered with white dust.  Even our shirts, shoes and everything were really dirty.

3:01PM - we left DENR, as usual the four boys were still on the top of the jeepney.  No matter how thick the dust on the road, no matter how hot the sun shine was - it gave them an amazing experience.  While the driver was busy driving, all the passengers inside the jeepney were gaining energy by sleeping while sitting. 

3:20PM - reached Jang-Jang Eatery in Bokod, Benguet. Took late lunch.  After the dusty road trip, we cleaned ourselves in this resto.  The people there were really nice, they let us use their faucet for free.  The store owner also allowed us to change our clothes in their house.  After cleaning and we were already refreshed, we took our late lunch.  I think I spent 40 pesos for plain rice and fried chicken.  There were also some groups from the summit who dropped by in the same resto.

4:56PM -  we left the resto.  All of us were occupying the sits inside the jeep and I was sitting beside Reyna, so there was a riot.  We were all noisy that time, laughing and shouting while the others were sleeping.  Wait the four guys again were on the top, I think it was their hobby.

6:33PM - reached Victory Bus Terminal - Baguio.  The people in the terminal were staring on us, I don't know the reason, I think they were amazed by my and Reyna's pek-pek  short.  We went directly to the ticketing office to fix our schedule first then took our dinner in the food court of the terminal in the second floor.  While our mouth were full, we spent our time in chickahan talking about nonsense things and we were reminiscing what happened on the summit.

7:30PM - we left the terminal.  I was sitting with Virmz in the left side of the bus and 5th row from the back.  I can't forget the time we noticed that the bus seat covers were orange, and I was also wearing the same color that time, then I wore my jacket to hide my shirt color.  When everything was properly set and the tickets were already fine, time to put my earphone into my ears for the bongang Shakira and Beyonce songs while on the way.  I got off the bus in Ortigas Ilalim, then walked few meters crossing the EDSA then took a taxi going to my apartment.

12:58PM - I've reached my apartment.  It was a tiring road trip, imagine, from the Ranger Station up to Ortigas if how many hours were the difference was.   Even it was really tiring, the whole adventure was perfect and everyone really enjoyed it.  I met a lot of new friends while on the trail, so I will not close my door in the world of Mountaineering and Solo-Backpacking. 

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