ABG (Akyat Bagal Gang) with Manong Edmar, our guide, at the campsite of Mt. Manalmon
I know I’m just a neophyte in exploring outdoor adventure, but what I did with my fellow mountaineer/hiker friends over the weekend can probably be categorized as extreme. It might not be to others, but to us it definitely is. Several weeks before actually gearing up for the event, we never realized we would experience such rush! When I checked the Mt. Manalmon itinerary Joyce made I was like, “Ok, that sounds exciting!”, but the word exciting was just an understatement. The items were way better when put into action than read. So off we went to San Miguel, Bulacan one early Saturday morning straight from our Friday night shift, all seven of us people eagerly awaiting the outcome of our group’s debut climb.
We boarded a bus in Cubao then arrived at Baranggay Madlum around 9AM, I think. First thing we did was the Tyrolean traverse. At first I hesitated because of my weight but I tried it anyway. It was difficult! You need to have a tight and strong grip, and most important, a stable balance. I wasn’t able to reach the other point, but so happy that I tried it. Next time, I promise to finish and reach the other end.
After that, we had our lunch in preparation for the spelunking. And this is, I believe, what our adventure’s highlight is. Seriously. It is my first time to do caving, and what an experience it was. I thought reaching Mt. Natib was such a feat, well it was, but this is a whole new level. Spelunking can get me addictive, I tell ya. It was also difficult, especially that you have to make your way through those narrow openings of the caves, but the rush it gave me was orgasmic. Pardon the word but that’s how it felt for me. Once again, I pushed myself to the limits, even though it was painstakingly hard, but conquered the fear altogether and ended up successful.
What made it extra difficult were the mud. The rock formations were a bit wet and stepping on them is such a challenge. But we made it through, in all eight chambers of the Madlum caves. Take that! We finished spelunking around 4PM then we rested a bit and made our way to the summit of Mt. Manalmon. But before reaching the campsite, we stopped by a brook streaming with cold water to freshen up a bit. It was refreshing! I was also able to take the mud off my shorts and shirt haha!
Since we all got to freshen up and rest a bit, we then made our way to the campsite of Mt. Manalmon. It was just around an hour of hiking, but what made it difficult was our packs. We didn’t have our heavy packs when we climbed Mt. Natib last month, and thank God that we don’t, that’s why hiking with a bag full of food, clothes (wet and dry alike), and some other stuff became a challenge specially for me. But I made it!
We reached the campsite around 6PM, and after settling our stuff inside our tent, I initially felt the urge to sleep. My eyes are droopy and my body is just so tired from all the traversing, spelunking and hiking. What was supposed to be a simple nap became quite a long sleep. My tent mates Joyce and Acar did the same, and we didn’t realize we failed to have dinner. I just couldn’t find the strength to eat anymore that my tired body shuts off right after I laid down.
The next day, early in the morning, we right away stuffed our hungry tummies with the usual canned goods (tuna, tuna paella, corned tuna, et al) for breakfast. After that, we hurriedly made our way to the summit, which is just a two minute hike from the campsite haha!
The emo shots
The African mountaineers
After spending quite some time at the summit taking pictures and having our own emo moments, we then prepared to leave and packed our stuff. After packing anew, we made a pit stop to another brook to freshen up. Then made our way to the base camp where we capped off our adventure weekend with zip line! It’s my second time to try it out so it’s not something new to me (will probably post pictures soon because my camera’s memory died on me). As soon as we all had our turn and zipped our way from one end of the river to the other, it’s time to wrap it up. Kind of sad, but happy in a way that our group’s first adventure was a huge success.Never in my wildest imagination that I will be able to do all those, so I would like to thank as usual Chin for inviting me again and for creating our own group. Joyce, for doing the research and itinerary. Acar, for letting us share her tent and the wifi haha! The Gecko boys Dong, Caloy and Duval, for helping me go through the caves. And to our very able and trustworthy guide Manong Edmar. Thank you all for this wonderful experience!
Until our next adventure, ABG!