Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Kikay Mountaineer Part Deux

My so called "love for nature" was refueled after A asked me if I wanted to go hiking in Biak Na Bato National Park. This was the first time I got asked to go hiking. In Bulacan. And in a "National Park"! Wow!

With only an hour of sleep and less than 12 hours before my shift, I took on the challenge and donned my so-called hiking gears. I was like, "Bring it on!"

Wait? This is not a hiking gear?

In Biak na Bato National Park, we passed by caves and creeks and I think we needed to cross a bridge twice. Everyone who knows me knows I have a paralyzing fear of heights. My knees just wobble and my hands get clammy everytime I'm anywhere higher than 5 feet (let me stand on a high chair and I get scared already). But my hiking buddy was merciless and I knew he would leave me on the other side of the bridge if I didn't get my act together.

Every part of my body hurt after that trip and I swore to myself I'll never hike again.

But I did it again...

I climbed Mt. Makiling with A and his Mom. I was a little embarrassed that A's mom who is almost twice my age had a faster pace than me. While nearing the summit, I was almost out of breath. I silently wished we'd just head back together but A was so eager to reach the peak. Thank heavens, she decided that we should get back before dark.

When I finally got home, I laid on my bed, looked at the ceiling and wondered what I've gotten myself into.

And again...

Holy Week was a tough time in regards to my romantic endeavors. And while a friend surprised me with a round trip ticket to Boracay, I found myself taking the trail towards Mt Cristobal, the Devil's Mountain, this time with my friend Nona (the one I went with to Calaruega and supposedly a mountaineer). Why I chose the strenuous climb over some r&r by the beach, I will never understand. It was the most difficult climb to date and I had to stop two thirds towards the summit because my knees and feet were jelly-ish already. Nona went back and stayed in the car after she decided that she reached her hiking limit of 30 minutes (peace). I ended up taking an afternoon nap and reached the peak in my dreams. A went ahead and successfully represented the team up at the summit.

the world is my oyster and the earth is my bed (just woke up)

And again...

I've climbed two mountains but haven't summited yet. I was disappointed with myself. Who goes hiking and stops midway? A suggested Mount Batulao. It looked promising and Pinoy Mountaineer said it was an easy climb. The pictures looked amazing too. What's not to love?

The dusty and vertigo-inducing trail!

with my best friend Joe

lesson learned: next time try a hiking pants and save the Guess shorts for a movie date

After our Batulao climb, I was two shades darker and with more pimples to boot. One toenail died too. Looking down from the summit, I almost called my private chopper to rescue and bring me back to Manila until I realized I didn't have any. I was like, "Why am I climbing mountains when I have to go back down again?" But I remembered that on our way to the peak, we crossed paths with two other climbers on the way down. There was nothing remarkable when I first saw them until I realized one was blind. It was amazing! And because of that blind climber, I treasured my first view from the top even more. My first summit, yey! I felt like I could retire and go back to my normal life.

but I just had to climb one more time...

This time, A and I went with Jamboree Mountaineers to Pico De Loro. It was our first climb with an organized group (not that we're not organized, I'm just saying...). I had a lot of fun, I didn't tire myself and there were a lot of breaks during the climb. The hardest part was just before the summit, a few minutes before I had my period! Yes, I had my period at the summit! What a feat! Good thing, one of the girls have an emergency kit and I had a spare shirt to cover my stain. I was not able to climb the parrot's beak but the 360-view from the summit overlooking the Hamilo coast was enough treat.

yes, that's supergirl's cape/coverup

A who fortunately didn't get sunburnt

fantastic four at the summit

Plus, our last climb was featured in GMA 7's website:

I know I prayed for a guy who goes to a spa every week and only plays chess as his sport. I didn't find that guy but I found something more - a whole new world of breathtaking beauty and someone who appreciates it as much as I do.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Kikay Mountaineer Part 1

I never thought that I’d be keen on hiking mountains; the dusty sometimes moist earth clinging to every exposed part of my skin, the seemingly endless trail, hours of asking “malayo pa ba?”, the blazing sun rays that my SPF50 sunblock has no match against, my fear of heights, getting lost and anything and everything that crawls and has tiny feet as well as my excessive request for pitstops create a weird juxtaposition with that of my usual self.

When I told a close friend I was going to hike she virtually laughed at me.

I, too, laughed at myself at first. I never imagined myself as a mountaineer mainly because I lack the proper attire. I only have one pair of rubber shoes (something that I was forced to buy when I signed up for Fitness First). Everything else in my shoe cabinet are high heels, stilettos, pumps, peep-toe sandals... well, you got the idea. I didn’t have a loose shirt, hiking shorts or a backpack. I had to borrow stuff from my brothers to their dismay. Also, I have a weak lung, knees, legs and feet. My biological composition was not made for this kind of stuff. I love virtual shopping, dining, watching movies, reading books, getting a massage and everything that spells relaxation (and boring to some). I don’t like sweating too much and getting dirty. For a couple of years, I didn’t have any sports aside from shopping and Dance Dance Revolution and I was physically unfit to the 100th power.

In fact, a year ago I went on a trip with my friend to Calaruega – the chapel on the hill. It was a hill and for Pete’s sake – I couldn’t even manage to hike and reach the summit. Instead, I wished my friend good luck, told her to take lots of pictures while I ended up lying on the grass with a good book.

But fate has its way of finding me (naks!). My first brush with hiking came when I dated a nature lover in the middle of 2009. I remember him asking me to go out on a surprise date. He specifically requested for me to wear a short skirt. Eager to please my man, I did wear a short skirt complete with platform heels only to find out (surprise surprise!) that he was taking me to the National Museum, Rizal Park and Intramuros. Nakakaloka talaga, naglakad ako ng nakaheels at mini skirt sa Luneta of all places at kebago bago ng sandals ko napudpod agad ang takong! For a few seconds, I was scared that Jose Rizal will haunt me in my dreams. I considered dumping the guy right then and there but being the forgiving kind-hearted woman that I am, I gave him a second chance. On our next trip, he took me to a nice beach and I almost considered it a relaxing weekend until the next day when he at 12 NOON asked me to go hiking. When I refused, he called me lazy so I convinced myself to take the challenge, put on tons of sunblock and eventually gave in. I was burnt so bad after two hours of walking plus he jokingly called me "negra" on the way back. I didn’t talk to him for weeks after that and eventually broke up with him. I asked myself why I always attract the wrong kind of guys and prayed hard for God to let me find a guy who goes to a spa every week and only plays chess as his sport.

I almost did. Almost.

Monday, March 15, 2010

of risks and taking chances

Whenever I make a tough decision in life, I always think about this – is the gain worth more than what I am risking?

But life’s such a bitch on me so I have to think about it harder. What if the thing you are risking is already out there in the open and you are just holding on to an eeny teeny bit of hope? What if life asks you to finally let go of that final piece, else you lose everything you are about to gain? Would you finally let go? Or would you throw everything away to hold on to that small glimmer of hope?

Even if it doesn't promise anything. Because it's just what it is -