I spent my weekend with about 120 mountaineers at the 7th Infantry Division in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija.
We had 2 reasons for going there: help with the reforestation project and climb Mt. Taclang Damulag ("Cow Dung" in english. The shape of the mountain resembles cow poo daw kasi)
We arrived at Fort Magsaysay just in time to catch the sunrise
The view from our "room" last weekend.
Getting settled (Mick, Aina, me and Carlo)
The soldiers greeted us with breakfast--pandesal, boiled eggs and coffee. There was a briefing right after and then we were told to prepare for the climb to Mt. Taclang Damulag.
Trekking with Aina and Nyleve
See the highest peak? that's where we were headed
The itinerary said that the trek was going to be about 45mins only. NOT!!! A lot of us had conditioned our minds that the trek was going to be short. But an hour and a half had passed and we were still not in the summit and one of our companions (a first timer) was already suffering from an asthma attack. The trail was fairly easy but due to the lack of trees to shield us from the sun, I was seriously thinking of going back because the heat was really getting to me. I felt like I was going to collapse due to heat stroke anytime soon. 2 hours and a half later (including a hundred rest stops in between), we finally reached the peak and we were greeted by cool air and the majestic Sierra Madre mountain range. And that was more than enough to make me forget my huffing and puffing and super sweaty self.
Stopping to rest. Kahit pagod na, smile pa rin!
Soldiers watched over us all throughout the hike
That's an M-16! Woah-hooo!
When we got back to the pahingahan (thats what the place we were staying at was called), we immediately devoured our lunch and I took a quick nap to re-energize for the tree-planting activity in the afternoon.
At the planting site. Nice view, noh?
I super had to have my picture taken with these great guys. This chance doesn't come very often.
Hundreds of seedlings later and we were all very spent. An army band was setting up when we arrived from the tree-planting activity. The colonel (forgot his name) thanked everyone for going out of their way to help with the project. After dinner, the band started playing some good music, people started bopping their heads and a few of the mountaineers started to jam with the band and the exhaustion that we all felt was instantly transformed to FUN FUN FUN! Under the glistening full moon that saturday night, we sang, danced, drank, laughed, laughed some more, talked, mingled and partied like crazy. It was the perfect way to end an eventful day.
Bunny @ Friday, August 26, 2005
Loves the beach, wishes she had more time and money to travel, recently got hooked to
climbing mountains, reads anything she can get her hands on, frustrated writer, adores her
3-year-old Lhasa Apso, Tashi,
constantly needs caffeine, wonders when she'll quit smoking, and will most
likely die due to liver complications from drinking too much (if the cigarettes
doesn't get to her lungs first). Can't live without accessories especially
big, dangling earrings, shoe freak (aren't we all?), sucker for discovering
hole-in-the-wall restaurants, will ingest anything spicy, enjoys giving and receiving
massages, addicted to Friends, Sex and the City and CSI, goes gaga over kids, dreams of
being alone with Jim Morrison and smoking a joint with Bob
Marley. Would love to party with Gwen Stefani, shop with Patricia Field, write poetry with
Maya Angelou and have Sting, Nelson Mandela, Mark Twain and Bono over for