Events, Mountains, Stories

Apo notes 1

I was at Dulang2 when I first caught a glimpse of Mt. Apo. It wasn’t much. Just this silhoutte of a mountain, were its tip seemed to kiss the very sky. I craned my neck and squinted hard as I could owning that I’m nearsighted; my eyes feasted on the few visual crumbs the famous mountain had permitted us to see that day. I grabbed my camera and began clicking. The small jutted image at a distance was an enigma; a mystery waiting to be unveiled. “Sakaon nato ng Apo, ba![Let’s do climb Apo]”, someone said aloud. I smiled and nodded my head in response hardly taking my eyes off the topic in question. “Climb Apo…climb Apo”, I juggled the idea inside my head hoping by my repeated chanting, the thought would be less daunting. ” The highest peak in the Philippines! It’s in every pinoy mountaineer’s wishlist”, I said to myself, all the while holding on either side the sturdy branches of a grown bonsai plant. I looked below and saw the smiling faces of my friends. Hardly a trace of exhaustion brought by the lack of sleep( kinsa man pud makatulog sa katugnaw sa Dulang…aber?); laughing, drunk from the sweet taste of “summit-itis”(Noun; a temporary emotional condition a mountain climber experiences when s/he reached the top of a mountain; the change in elevation have got nothing to do with it but rather the pure satisfaction of conquering a massive natural formation; symptoms are giddiness, boisterous laughing, uncontrollable picture taking with a few jump shots as well; finishing off with promises of coming back or climbing other mountains]. I got down from my pecarious position, straigthened my jacket and shove the idea at the back of my mind. “Kung mangarap man lang, lubos-lubusin na. The sky is the limitation–matud pa sa akong miga!”

Fastforward, fourteen months and sixteen days. I’m excited. “Ang sky is the limitation, naabot ra! Nakadagit pa jud, ug  bituon!”  The wishlist would now turned into, “I’ve Done-that-list!”. Promises made, were promises kept.” Let’s see… What would Dulang2 look like from the other side?”. I’ll be sure to take a picture for you.

– Kofinitum

Events, Mountains

Didto sa D2

“A man does not climb a mountain without bringing some of it away with him and leaving something of himself upon it.”    — Martin Conway.

I am 5 feet tall and weighs about 105lbs. Everything about me is average. Looks, career, social life[oops, forgot mine is way below average. I would say fair…Fairly there]. Anyways, I was given this magnificent opportunity to get into something extraordinary. Note, to an average person EXTRAORDINARY stands vis-a-vis  to GREATNESS! So fast forward six days ago, I all 5 feet and 105lbs. of me, scaled

the second highest mountain of the country. Never in my cluttered brain and it’s fondness for monologues could squeezed in the thought or make room to conquer Mt. Dulang-dulang (D2 for brevity). But since I have conquered alright, permit me to share something of the wisdom all climbers–novice and experts alike stumbled on their way to the summit  for which I was fortunate to uncover too. The first on my list is that, the Mountain is a GREAT classroom for HUMILITY. Yep, when you are at the mercy of the elements—torrential rain or freezing temperature, you’ll learn to accept and bear it. Hell, you can complain about it too but that’s just a waste of energy. You can’t control it. ONLY your ATTITUDE. ACCEPT, BEAR and BE STILL. The rain..the cold..the darn heat–these too shall pass.

Second, the Mountain TEACHES us to DEVELOP the EYES of a CHILD. Children are naturally appreciative creatures. If you show them something new–especially so if it’s colorful and bright, their eyes would register both wonder and delight. Then it would spread to their faces finally ending with the unmistakable gurgle..the sound of laughter!  Like a child—BE PREPARED to be in AWE!  If it takes dropping your jaw and leaving your mouth open for a few seconds until you feel the tingle of wonder spread from your face down to your body and back again, so be it. Rest assured there’ll be a lot of jaw dropping moments!

Third, the Mountain SEIZES you to LIVE at the PRESENT. When you are walking over a very slippery moss filled trunk or puddled filled hallow steps, you can only think of where to place your next step so as not to slip and fall. You concentrate on the MOMENT–NOW, not what happened an hour ago–which belongs to the PAST and most certainly what has not happened yet–which belongs to the FUTURE. LIVE TODAY…pay attention NOW.

Fourth, the Mountain FORGES FRIENDSHIPS. It is a sacred place where you learn to call a friend a BROTHER, a friend a SISTER. The complete trust and dependency are gifts freely shared and received. The bestest FACT in this fourth seed of wisdom is that you can be YOU—all farting producing machine but still accepted by no less a bunch of people whom you now treat as a FAMILY!

Fifth, the Mountain COMMANDS RESPECT. You take tabs on your surroundings. How your camp looks before you inhabited it so it should be after leaving and proceeding on your trail whether up or down. It is impertinent to remember and I quote, “It is not how many mountains you climbed but how many you have preserved”–Gideon Lasco.

Sixth, the Mountain DIRECTS you to the ONE WHO CREATED IT. To me standing at the peak of D2 affirms the FACT that mountains like everything else in nature is not a product of some cosmic chance. I am confident that Someone with Infinite Wisdom designed it for you and me. As immovable as D2 and the other neighboring mountains around it, so is the God who loves US. He stubbornly loves you and me. He envelopes you, me with His greatness; never intimidating, quietly directs and renews our faith, that like the mountains He will forever remain the same.

Note: Special thanks to the D’Hangz Mountaineers of MVC: Jorge, Junie, Nanin, Gason, Nathan, Jing2, Kidd, Berniel, Mitchy, Choy, Mona, Shizuke, Candace –you all have made mountaineering looked like a trip in the park! Thank you for taking us under your wings.

To my climbing Buddies: Billy, Jpia, Kennie, Venery, Yano, Vernon, Oyen, Marissa, Pacats, Koko, and Steve–thank you for the awesome ADVENTURE! You guys ROCK ,”)

– Kofinitum

Events, Outreach

Tree Planting and Trekking Adventure at Mapawa, Gango and Pelaez Ranch

I am not really a mountain climber or a mountain trekker, though I love watching National Geographic Channel’s shows. It encourages me to try those adventures they have had on their shows and my friends from Rebirth FM(an online radio station), been on the trekking journeys around the mountains that surrounds the city of Cagayan de Oro, like Malasag, and some parts of Bukidnon like Gango in Libona.They have been saying it as a beginner’s course of a trek but for me as a person who has not been so exposed on those kinds of journeys, hiking on those not so mountainous areas under the scourging heat of the sun plus uphill rocky and grassy terrains makes it an advance course. Good thing I have been jogging 2 to 3 times a week for the past few months and it helps my stamina to go on that trek without passing out, it would have been a great embarrassment for me if I did while the girls on the group are just feeling good about the trek.


Anyway, before the trek we did tree planting first at the Malasag reforestation area under the management of the Mapawa Nature Park. Each of us on the team planted 2 seedlings of Antipolo Tree located 1 to 2 kilometres from the Mapawa Nature Park office. It was hell of a ride going to the planting site because the road is not concrete and it has been raining the following days and weeks and we’ve been riding at the back of the truck/wagon, I think you can picture out how we were bouncing up and down on that trip but what is a couple kilometre distance? A short trip, so it was still a fun ride, right? Some of us would’ve loved to go on hike to that area to have a sense of fulfilment by walking a kilometre distance to plant trees but it’s still good and we were planning to go back there to plant more trees.

Subsequently to our good endeavour with nature, we went back to the city to ride a jeepney going to Gango in Libona Bukidnon, where we started our journey to traverse the mountains on that area passing by the Pelaez Ranch to the wilderness of Malasag. I could say the trek wasn’t that easy even though it is considered as a beginner’s course, walking under the midday sun along that trail was a bit tough from the beginner’s point of view like me. On the contrary, every daunting trail was a great reward of awesome mountain sceneries – a 360 degrees grand view of the mountains, valleys, forests, rivers and springs. But the greatest reward for me was when we made it to the majestic falls. It ‘s like a hidden paradise not everybody could experience unless you are willing to do the trekking.
Considering those pain I gained from the trek, I could say as a beginner “I will not be going back”, but pondering to set eyes on those delightful view, I would say “I will definitely be going back” or will try another trekking adventure again. So, I am looking forward for the next adventure and if my schedule permits I am willing to get going and set the fire up!
Check the video of the trek by my genius friend Goma.

Check more trekking photos below…