Published: July 15th 2009June 28th 2008
Months after a heavy bump in my life, all I still want is to be alone. It was totally hurting but I’m not bitter anymore, I’m happy and lucky that things have happened. A long time has passed but still I’m thinking I am so much capable of hurting people close to me, that no one could ever understand me, and that I am not good for anyone. From then I do things on my own, discover things myself, watch movies and go malling alone.
For a while I thought I will be secluded in my own hermit kingdom. And I’m totally fine with it. Travel
That time I discovered something that I want to do - to travel. Not to meet new friends (I’m actually a snob) but to explore new places, and to test what I am capable of. I have no experience in mountaineering, but I joined strangers to climb Mt. Pulag for a cause. I’m no photographer, but I joined then stranger officemates to a Vigan photo tour. I’ve been up to mountains and toured the city, next thing I have in mind is to hit the waters -
this came last because I’m afraid of the sea. Good thing to know that I’ve kept in touch with a college friend who happened to be planning to go to El Nido come August 2008. That also marks my first meeting with Travel Factor. That was just June and I have a trip 2 months later. I thought it was crazy. Trek
Everything fell into place - I was home one Saturday evening and watching Sports Unlimited (a local TV sports and adventure show) and got hooked on their feature on Mt. Pinatubo. All of a sudden I want to experience the lahar, the 4x4, and the trek. I know I can do it, I have climbed Mt. Pulag, and this should be a piece of cake already. Coincidentally, I was browsing TF’s multiply site for info regarding the El Nido trip when I stumbled upon their Pinatubo trip. Sakto! (Perfect!) What am I waiting for? This is it! I registered, paid the bill and waited for the day.
June 28 was the date to remember. Few hours after 12, Mcdo Q Ave.. Where is that?! When I arrived there, I don’t know anyone! I
barely recognized Leia. I think Tikoy was there. The few faces I remembered were Mhef and Benjo. Siya pala si Jootsman (So, he’s Jootsman). I was talking to him prior to this trip. Time to board. I was placed on the jump seat. OK… sleep. Bus stopped and we had breakfast. We arrived at the jump point at Tarlac, rode our 4x4s, after almost an hour reached the trek jump-off and were assigned to different groups. Our team leader was Benjo, and on this group, we were all boys except for one - Sheila, the group 4 “muse”.
The weather was not really that cooperative that day - patches of rain is present, making the trek harder than normal. I was in pants and rubber shoes, and not long enough got my socks soaked in water. God knows I hate the feeling. The first few minutes was fun, getting to know each team member - Jon, Froilan, Jed, Jeff, Arnold, John, Sheila. Shared info about each other (What’s your work, where do you work, is this your first TF trip and whatevers). Photo ops… the lahar formations, the flowing brooks, the sulfur effect, the trek, the people. We
were already growing very tired after the first hour. We keep on asking the local guide, “Are we there yet?”, “Kuya! Malayo pa ba?” (is it still far?). To which he would respond, “Malapit na! Sandali na lang” (we’re near, just a few moments more). Turns out we had a different idea of what “malapit na” (near) is. More turns, more big stones, more brooks, more photo ops and more rest - we soon started to feel tired. “Kuya! Ang layo pa ng malapit mo!” (your near is still far!). The trail started to get narrower and steeper and the temperature colder. It is, as they kuya said, a sign that we are really nearing the crater (at this point I don’t know what to believe anymore). After more turns, pants and sweat, our hardship ended and before our eyes stands a hard-earned and well deserved award - the volcano’s crater.
Photos don’t lie. The view is really breath taking. I almost forgot the blisters on my feet when I reached the peak and saw the beauty. The lake is jewel-like. It’s hard to believe that an explosion occurred nearly 2 decades ago. I’m lost for words, oh
well just take a look at photos here.
We were one of the first groups to arrive, giving us enough rest time while waiting for the other groups to come. When we were all settled we ate lunch, chit-chatted and got to know other groups. I was ready to rest on the hut when my group decided to come down and swim in the lake. The close up view of the lake is even more magical. I’m imagining that Dumbledore is crossing the lake, and dead people will soon rise after he drank from the cup. I was hesitant to jump in the water, as I don’t have any proper swim wear, but since I’m not always here, I decided to go. The waters were deep and the texture is smooth and muddy. Rain fell. Thunder - yes it is only thunder, not volcano rumbling. After a while we decided to come up and get ready for the long trek down. The sky is growing darker this time, and the fog is becoming thicker. Our way back was faster, maybe because we didn’t bother to take anymore pictures or we are just plain tired or we are excited
to take our hot baths and freshen up. 4x4 assignments were not followed as we ride to any available 4x4. Once I sat onto the vehicle I fell asleep and only woke up when we’re already near the jump off point. We freshened up, some went to massage, and others ate while we were waiting for the “graduation ceremonies”. We were awarded certificates of participation for this trek, a sweet capping to our earlier reward.
The long day was over when we boarded the bus to head back home, but a spark just started to ignite.
A spark that would later become fire.
A fire that became my energy to go on.
The energy that makes me look forward each day.
The energy that made me believe in forever.
The energy that made me wish I can live through forever.
The energy that is she.
It was gloomy and rainy that day. The sun is hiding. But on that day, someone came and brought the sun to shine in my life.
There are more photos below