Imagine yourself while writing things on your bucket list. Imagine those things that you arduously wanted to accomplish. Have you felt excitement on what event needs to be done first? Or renewed hope on what future holds for you? Or possibly indescribable happiness on what satisfaction level it gives? We have different items on our bucket list. Mine includes #machodream alternatives, adventures and artsy stuff.
Last Saturday, I was able to tick off an item on my list by doing trekking. It was a thing that I wanted since 2012 but I didn’t have the right opportunity to accomplish it. I had other priorities and the thing has been taken for granted. Though it might have been set aside, the want was still there. So when I heard about my new workmates, collectively known as Intellpeaks, that they would be going on Mt. Manunggal for the yearly death commemmoration of Pres. Magsaysay, I believe that it was the time I have been waiting for. So I didn’t care that I could possibly have no female companion (I could act as a boy, too, so no big deal), no tent (was initially thinking of sleeping in a hammock), and no right gears (benefit of ignorance and naivete) among others. But the good thing was God provided me with friends and a tent that made my trekking more worthwhile.
The meeting place was at JY Square Mall, Lahug, Cebu City. Two jeepneys were needed to transport our whole team to the foot of the mountain at Brgy. Tabunan and paid Php150.00 for the fare. We were advised to eat light meal first before we started the excursion.
I was initially advised by my workmates to bring arm sleeves or anything that could protect my arms from the scorching heat of the sun. Though, I was originally planning to just wear a simple white racerback so that I could have some tan lines but have decided otherwise. But I remembered not having any ounce of sunblock on my skin hence, changed mind. I believe that it would be the type that could make your skin darker for months without actually peeling (It happened to my sister’s back when she dared swimming with Oslob’s whale sharks without sunblock lotion) . So better find some lightweight jacket, scarf, long-sleeved jersey, and/or rash guard to protect yourself from the harmful UVB rays.
MT. MANUNGGAL. The mountain has undeniably gained its popularity because of the plane crash that ended the life of former Philippine president Magsaysay and 24 others last March 17, 1957. It is located 1,003 meters above the sea level and located in Brgy. Magsaysay (I believe that the barangay has been named was coined from the late president) in Balamban, Cebu.
I also advise those who wanted to do trekking with no experience to prepare for it. I mean, physically. You couldn’t just pack your bag, and walk together with seasoned trekkers unless you really have high tolerance on aching gastrocnemius and incredible will to finish what you’ve started. However, if you want to spare yourself from some unwanted pains after the adrenaline rush has subsided, I recommend to do some jogging or running few days prior to your planned date. And like any other long runs, it is advisable to have rest on the day prior to the event to accumulate some strength. However, this is most often not followed. In our case, we just finished our duty the morning we had the trekking so that left us with mental preparation only. And mind you, it was still effective.
We started trekking at approximately 12NN. There were two trail options but I believe that we chose the easier, non steeper way which was the right part when facing the mountain. They were indeed correct when they said it was an easy trail and incomparable to other mountains with regard to difficulty. It was confirmed by Mike, one of the Elite Mountaineering Society members and has been trekking for numerous years now, that it would just be a zero or even a negative from a scale of 0-10 level of difficulty. In a novice’s perspective, however, it would be around 5 or 6 especially to people who were not really into walking and running.
Our trail consisted of some cement blocks and defined ways that made our trekking easier. Though, it would definitely challenge your breathing rates and cardiac beats, the trekking was tolerable. So if you are planning to do trekking, better try the easy ones first so you could decide whether you wanted this type of adventure or not.
Trekking, for me, was unbelievably inexpensive. It was shockingly cheaper than my usual trips and adventures in the past. As long as you already have invested with the proper gears such as hiking shoes, camping bag, tent among others, then you are definitely ready for some walking. The good news is most gears available in stores are durable that can last years. Having said that, I think I would be investing on some gears necessary for my future treks. By the way, I posted a different entry for the camping part after the walk. See post here.
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