Mt. Balagbag: My Birth to Mountaineering

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The mountains are calling, and I must go”

John Muir, a famous conservationist said. A quotation I read so many times yet I never truly understood what it really meant.



Desire:

I always wanted to climb a mountain, a dream to be on the summit is deeply rooted to every fiber of my being. A goal that is somehow too evasive for me to grasp for so many reasons. Among all fear is the one that stands out. The fear to take the first step, the fear of walking to unknown, the dreaded fear of failure. It took a massive dose of courage to subdue the fear inside of me. The irony is that fear once conquered gives purpose to your desire and so the search for the path of the mountain begins.


The First Mountain

Ascending Mt. Balagbag in Rodriguez,Rizal is my first step. A minor climb with an unconfirmed elevation of 777++ MASL and with trail difficulty of 3/9, I know that this is the perfect spot to a journey of self-discovery.

The Assault:

Gentle breezes hugs you and the sun’s radiant rays kisses you. Trekking to the summit is truly an enjoying experience. Every step I took is a step to liberation from fear. Mt. Balagbag is definitely one of the easiest mountains to climb yet it should never be underestimated, in fact no mountain should ever be underestimated. Walking on an open trail is not easy as it seems it can drain you to the core when unprepared. To fully enjoy the trek, never hurry but once in a while stop, take a break, take a breath, and enjoy the overlooking vista. Truly it gives a euphoria to someone to see something for the first time, remember the first time you took a first bite to your favorite chocolate? It feels exactly like that!


Success:

summit
The summit’s view

It took me 2 hours of trekking from Licao Licao Jeepney Terminal to reach the summit. Minutes upon arrival after enjoying the view up to the horizon from the first mountain peak that I set foot on, I said to my self “Mt. Balagbag, conquered!” It was really liberating.

Such a scenic view from the top. An open peak surrounded by grasslands and the sunset on the horizon is truly captivating. The cottony clouds above your head which feels like you only need a ladder to touch is beautiful. The whisper of the wind and the laughter of rustling grass stalks is music to the ears. All the sweat, fatigue from a 2-hour trek all fades to nothingness and you will tell yourself “There’s no place I’d rather be”.


Enlightenment and Birth:

light

People and nature will forever be connected, after all both are made of stardust organized by our Creator.

On my descend I realized, I never conquered Mt. Balagbag, it is the other way around, it is the mountain that conquered me. It changed me, it gave me a new perspective and a stronger desire to climb more mountains. Now I understand, The mountains and our soul calls for each other since we are one. We must go to know ourselves more. It is this enlightenment that gives birth to a mountaineer. A revelation from a single step towards a higher dream, a dream for the rooftop, Mt. Everest.

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