Three mountains in one day; Mt. Tangwa, Mt. Lobo, Mt. Nguso ng Kabayo, Laiban Rizal and four magnificent waterfalls on the way.
There are a lot of things I want to accomplish this year and I’m going to claim it. A habit started last year, every second day of the year, I should go somewhere I haven’t visited either a beach or hike another mountain and for this year 2k17, I decided to join a year opening climb in a newly opened mountain in the province of Rizal.
Rizal Province as we all know has a lot to offer when it comes to mountain ranges, beautiful waterfalls, caves and rivers. Mt. Lobo, Mt. Nguso ng Kabayo, and Mt. Tangwa are among the newly opened mountains in this region. Additionally, you’ll get to cross the four Laiban waterfalls after the summit.
January 2, at 1:30 AM – I head out to Farmers Cubao Jollibee to meet the group (Team Green). I was a solo joiner and doing it for the first time was a bit exciting and felt anxious too. Well, sometimes, I’m more likely the kind of person who would jump into the unknown. I am too overwrought, it has been months since I last hike due to my knee injury and I hope I’ll go home intact without injuries and all.
At 03:00 AM, we rode a jeepney to Cogeo, Antipolo. I already made some friends while waiting at Ministop but I haven’t had the chance to talk to the other joiners. We’re about 20pax or less, I didn’t really count.
Monster Jeep experience
At cogeo, we transferred to the famous Monster Jeep going to Barangay Laiban Rizal. Others chose to ride the topload but since it was still dark and cold, I decided to stay inside hoping I could sleep but I was wrong. Now I understand why they call it Monster Jeepney and why others would prefer the topload.
Monster is the most appropriate name for this vehicle who can withstand long hours of rough roads, uphill, sharp curves, and steep ascents and descents. While being inside sound safer but being at the topload is more adventurous, exciting, and easier. Trust me, I did experience both. When I was inside trying so hard to sleep, I was tossed around and bumped my head couple of times but at the topload — I just needed to scream and hold on for my dear life. (lol). It was the highlight of my day.
We were divided into four groups with six person each. I think everyone has already formed their own group before then so was I. You can leave your non valuable things like clothes, etc at the registration house if you want to lessen the weight of your bags and for easy accent. After the registration, orientation, and prayer, the groups including us (Sonny, Jay, Cay, Julius, and Mark) started to trek.
The trail was muddy and slippery but it wasn’t that steep. While trekking, we entertained ourselves with small talks, Hugot pag-ibig, singing in between, and storytelling. Our group is consists of fun, humble gentlemen – I was lucky to have them. They assisted me during steep and slippery moments. (I slipped twice!) and we were never in a hurry. We enjoyed the trek, the trail, the company, and the journey to the summit.
I think what is really important when you hike or climb a mountain is your sincerity. Appreciate the mountains, the nature itself and be amazed of the wonderful creation in front of you. Be thankful for the eyes to see them, the sense of touch to feel the wind kiss your skin. Be sincere in the mountain for allowing us to experience its beauty and take foot on its richness.
Every time I go on hike, new lessons are being learned, new friends are formed, and new life is being added to me. I learned to value time, experiences, trust, friends, respect to nature and god’s creation, respect to locals and fellow hikers alike.
Tangwa Peak at 11:00 AM. I’m amazed to know that there are still a lot of unnamed mountains in this region. Soon enough it will open and I’m exited to find out what it has to offer. We started to descend after the picture taking, it’s not over yet because we have yet to see the four waterfalls.
Trekking down was more challenging, it was more slippery and our shoes and sandals are fully covered with mud. This is where I slipped twice; I had to be very careful or else it will take its toll on my knees.
Kuya guide told us that we are heading down and as I thought that we’re going back to the trail, the others are actually descending via waterfalls. Wow! I haven’t experience it yet so I was taken aback however, I need to do it so I can go home. It was exciting but yeah, you have to be very careful.
The highlight was the limatik. I often asked kuya guide “Kuya, may limatik ba dito? (is there any limatik here?) and he kept saying that there is none so I was so relax until I felt something itchy on my left leg. I pulled up the hem of my leggings only to find the little beast sucking my blood. I screamed. Well, that would be the initial reaction of every girl like me. I had limatik twice and the thought of it entering my body is creeping out till now. By the way, I got overly paranoid even a week after that when something is moving in my stomach, I thought it could be limatik. Crazy me.
It was a great start of the year for me. I had so much fun and I’m thankful to have met five wonderful people who made that day special. I call them Mandirigma and I am their Sangre. Soon, we’ll cross path again but it will be in a different mountain.