Siniloan, Laguna Philippines
Climb # 1
My so-called mountain getaway started when my office mate invited me to join an Open Climb Invitation. The organizer is Team Sagul. Honestly, this is my first time to hike mountain, sleep in tent and rappel waterfall.
Pre-climb. We assembled in SM Megamall food court. The organizer orients us in the following: what to bring and what to expect.
Day 1 started as we meet up in a bus Terminal (Raymond Transport). From there we travel up to Famy. Upon arrival, we started walking up to a store were we ate our lunch and have a short period of orientation. After that, we continue our trek. As a first time climber, I experienced some difficulties due to rain and mud-covered trail. Anyway we reached a 360 view in the highest portion of Mt Romelo. As we descend to campsite, a downpour of rain and darkness overwhelm us. Albeit my anxiousness, I tried to catch-up with my friend. His headlamp fails so we have to use mine together. And literally we crawl in darkness & muddiness.
Upon arrival in the campsite, we wash-up immediately in the river. Set our camp and prepare dinner. We (with Donald) separated from the group because they rented nipa hut while we stayed with our tent. The night is long and cold, the rain never stops.
Day 2. A quick breakfast before we head toward Buruwisan Falls. Safety orientation first before we proceed with actual rappelling. I’m nervous but what the heck – I have to conquer my fear and I don’t want to waste this opportunity.
The difficult part is setting your feet and balance on the edge. Afterwards, you will surely enjoy your rappel downward since it’s within the falls – water dripping in your body. A designated safeguard is waiting below to catch and assist some member who doesn’t’ know how to swim (including me). Finally, we stayed a little longer swimming around before going back to the camp site.
Along the way, Donald meets up with his previous mountaineer friends. Short period of chatting and then we proceed and break our camp. We descend and by this time I experience being alone in the trail (kanya-kanyang lakad, habang nag-eemote). I passed by different climber and sometimes joined them. This is exciting since I meet new people (without remembering their names, sorry!). Upon arrival on the jump-off, we washed-up and have our dinner. I noticed that this organizer is fond with orientations, discussing lessons learned in mountaineering and socializing.
Late at night at last, we head back to the highway and hoping to catch-up with the last trip going back to Manila. Due to large numbers of climber present, our group chartered a jeep going to back Cubao.