Monday, May 29, 2017

Hiking Adventures #36: Mt. Balagbag Year-End Climb

Before the year ends, some of my friends from borderlessph wanted to climb Mt. Balagbag. I hesitated to join because it is scheduled on December 30 and 31, and I should be in my hometown in Batangas before the New Year celebration. However, I think it will be a good time to reflect about my Year 2016 and what to look forward this coming 2017 with my favorite people. So I decided to join them and planned to head straight to Batangas after the climb.

 Day 1

We headed to Licao-Licao from Cubao around 10:00AM. I was with Abbie, Aldrin, Anna and Adrian. We went to the jump-off via private car. No one from us have climbed Mt.Balagbag yet, so our guide to the jump-off is Waze.

When we reached Licao-Licao, it feels like where in a scene from a Horror movie.There were no people and other vehicles on our way. We imagined that people are keeping an eye on us telling "Hapunan...". 

We reached a rough road going to Sitio Balagbag. There are barricades made by protesters to about the mining in Balagbag. We have to stop into it, gave donation and left an ID. I gave my Philhealth ID for the group.

As we enter the area, we decided to park the car near the barricade and prepare from there. We didn't realized that we could park the car in the Brgy. Hall of Sitio Balagbag after we trekked for about 30 minutes.

It was around 3:00PM when we started to trek from main jump-off. The weather is hot but tolerable since it was December, you wouldn't want to climb it if it's summer because the trail is an open area. As we almost reached the halfway through, I was amazed with the view of Metro Manila from afar.

We reached the summit around 5PM in the afternoon. It was so early to pitch our tents so we just laid down first while waiting for the sunset. After we have pitched our tents, we started to cook for our dinner.

While having our dinner, we enjoyed the city lights as seen from the summit. After our dinner, we had our socials with a bottle of wine. We started to look back about 2016. I shared some stories, struggles and realizations from 2016. It has been a tough year.

Few minutes after our socials, I went outside the tent because the other group were talking loudly. I joined them while they were drinking. I took a single shot then told them to lessen the noise because my friends are already sleeping. While having some shots, we were watching the city lights and aside from that, we can see fireworks. It was awesome. Then it started to rain and the wind blows hard. I can't sleep properly because of the strong wind and I was a bit worried that the tent poles might got distorted. Somehow, I managed to sleep until dawn and there's still rain showers.

Day 2

We decided to break camp and descend without breakfast.

While heading down, the rain stops and we were greeted by a rainbow. I thought the rainbow might be a good sign that 2017 will be a good year for me. Or 2016 is saying goodbye and telling that 2017 will take care of me. Nonetheless, I should make things right this coming 2017 and leave 2016 with lessons.

As we reached the first jump-off, we cook for breakfast and tidy up as well. This is my first time to do a literal year-end climb. It was cool and fun as you'll get to reflect from the past events and think of your new year's resolutions.

So from Rizal, I will be heading straight to Batangas to welcome 2017. I was afraid that I failed to arrive in Batangas before the year ends, but I arrived safely before dawn. Happy New Year to all! :)

Mt. Balagbag
Rodriguez, Rizal
December 30 - 31, 2016

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