MARAMI – It is a Tagalog/Filipino word which means “a lot”, “plenty”, “a handful”, and a lot more. 🙂 Aptly, this climb brought me and my co-mountaineers to a new level of conquering heights. Quite a number of things happened; casualties, cramps, migraine, fever, nosebleed, heat stroke, sunburn, uncooperative guides, a missing cellphone, the list could go on. I couldn’t remember all of them, but I would try my darnest best to recall.
It has been six long months since my last climb, so you could imagine my excitement. What made it extra special, two of my friends were able to join me. So off we went to, as what my Dad informed me, the more coastal area of the province of Cavite, in Maragondon (border of Magallanes). We started hiking around 9AM, I think, armed with bags full of stuff we need to be able to survive the mountains in the next two days, and with high spirits enough to kick-start our adventure. From time to time we would rest, to take pictures and to eat, as we need all the energy for the next 7 to 8 hours or so.
Around half past 11 AM, we stopped anew because one in our group, Ebony, is feeling ill. Because of the heat, her nose bled! And she’s having slight fever. But still she managed to keep up. That’s our first casualty. Next one is me. I think that was around 1 PM, the sun is at its peak, the heat is unbearable, and almost all of the assaults were painstakingly difficult to get through, my thighs couldn’t take it anymore then the cramps attacked. It was PAINFUL! I almost let out a groan of extreme pain. It felt like my whole body is immobilized and became numb. Good thing most in our group are quick to the draw and helped me out.
Two more hours of the seemingly endless walking and hiking, and after another casualty, Dhong who suddenly felt dizzy, we’re finally halfway through! Yes, just halfway. We stopped and rested at the water source, refilled our water containers (there’d be no water source at the camp site, which is another 2 hours hike), and had late lunch. After more than an hour of break, we continued to walk, walk, and walk, hike, hike, and hike. It’s tiring, especially when Mt. Marami finally showed itself. So near, yet so far.
Good thing the picturesque views somehow helped and eased the tiredness off our about-to-give-up bodies.
Few more hours, the sun is beginning to set, and we finally reached the base camp! It was bliss! We immediately pitched our tents, and rested after quite an exhausting day. We initially wanted to climb up the summit for sunset, but we’re just too tired. Add to that the stress brought about our uncooperative guides, we just wanted to get some rest. I took a nap then woke up around 8 PM for dinner. My group (with friends Vienne and Carol) shared food with Chin and Dhong. Dhong cooked a very mean pork sinigang! Just right for the cold weather. After that, we had some booze then zipped our tents out at 10 PM. Well, for our group at least. The other guys stayed until past 12 midnight I think.
It was a blissful sleep, I’d have to say. I love how cold the night eventually became. Too many times I’d wake up to the sound of the strong wind whistling, causing for our tent to make noise. I was the first one in our tent to wake up. Our call time was 5 AM, so we can see the sunrise at the summit. The climb from base camp to the summit was easy peasy! Just about 20-30 minutes, I think. And just like any other climbs I’ve been part of, once you reach the summit, it will always give you this different kind of elation! No matter how high it is, or no matter how difficult the trek/trail/hike is, it will all be worth it once at the summit. And the views! Breath taking. Captivating. Amazing! I will let the next photos speak for themselves.
Mt. Marami has two peaks, and of course we also went to the other one. Around it you can see several mountain ranges, including Pico De Loro (which I have yet to climb).
As much I would want to include all the pictures here, I don’t want this entry to look like a photo album. 🙂 The next few ones are my favorite. The ones with The Morning Rush Top 10 book, and the jump shots! Yes I’ve had my Top 10 book at the summit, because I wasn’t able to join the last leg of the book signing. I tagged Chico and Delle at the photo, posted it on our FB group page, and they all liked it!
And here are photos from Alex which I really liked
The jump shot!
A parting shot with the group I am with
Suffice it to say, we all enjoyed it! This marked my fourth climb, but only the third summit I’ve reached. I promise to make climbing a habit, hopefully once every month. I know for a fact that there will be different challenges in every climb, but knowing in thyself that you will be able to surpass it altogether will keep you going. It will definitely be such a rewarding experience. And that is what I love, and learned, about mountain climbing and doing outdoor activity – to never stop pushing yourself to the limit, because you will end up victorious in the end. It may sound like a cheesy cliche, but that’s how it felt for me at least. You will also get to appreciate the beauty of nature. Plus, you will gain more friends! Not bad, eh? So, to all the people who were part of this great adventure with me, MARAMIng MARAMIng salamat! (Thank you very very much!) Until our next climb! 🙂