Mt. Marami is the third mountain I've conquered this year, and if I must say, the most special of all and for many good reasons. One, because it's certainly no walk in the park (go ahead, tell me to STFU) but I had literally no one but my dear Micah (and okay, our guide) to suffer and accomplish it with. Apart from the residents of the mountain, the three of us pretty much owned this massive area of Maragondon and all its 405 MASL glory, given that this dormant volcano is one of the less popular mountains near Manila. Although I am still quite apologetic that Marami had to be Micah's first hiking conquest, I'll have to admit that to this day, it is the most difficult and painful hike I have ever done, I bet even Peter Jackson's genius would be seduced by the 7-hour quest. But allow me to spare you the gory details of the trip and tell you about the good parts instead. The parts that exclude the cuts, one of us almost crying from exhaustion or one of us almost getting left behind by the bus ride back to the city. 

The first leg of the trek is deceivingly smooth, ending halfway up the mountain with Bangkaan River. This is where we enjoy an AM snack and the pleasures of a cooling bath under the acute weather, and where my thoughts take me away to a scene from Bridge to Terrabithia (which, by the way, will immediately vanish when you find a carabao doing the exact same thing in the exact same spot on your descent.) The journey commences, and the difficulty of the trail shifts dramatically from here.

As we go deeper into the trees, the forest grows more quiet, yet strangely, more alive at the same time. By this point, your senses are sharpened. Renewed. There is no need for talking. No need to blurt out unnecessary words to get comfortable in the silence. You accept the sound of your own shallow, ragged breathing as a means to communicate. You hear small birds singing and you see bigger birds flying. There are rodents overtaking your pace. There are several nests of primates along the way but you never spot one of them. The twigs you step on crack louder and louder with each stick. Your feet are on fire, almost literally now, and you can't stop. You're almost there.

The ascent to the summit is now over. You have arrived, covered in sweat and dirt, but as has a beautiful thought to give your tired-ass solace: you are here and alive with an incredible person and cherished friend. In the shortness of breath, you experience life directly with her, undivided by a screen, undisturbed by technology, and you are seeing the world without a filter. 

Happy birthday, Micah. x

Find out more about Mt. Marami here.

1 comment:

Powered by Blogger.