By: Shela delos Reyes
I was supposed to climb Mt. Pulag this holy week.. I actually have my bus ticket for that climb but I received an invitation from Mark Alvin Estrella that they are going to climb Mt. Halcon without personally knowing who the organizer is.. And I haven’t met the participants before.. Only Doc Jose Landrito is the only one I knew and met personally among them.. At first I asked him if that is sure because I knew that Halcon is closed.. But he said that "Mr. Organizer" already have the information regarding that mountain and they sent me the proposed itinerary.. They said that they have read an article in the internet and the president of Halms told them that Halcon is already open.. That's why I decided to sell my booked ticket for Pulag to Isumaeru Dominikku MengdoDigital DomengXtreme because he is decided to join the climb in Pulag.. My climb buddy Dennis Hisanan also asked me to join him in their Bakun Trio but I resist because of my false excitement to climb Mt. Halcon..
April 20 (Wednesday), our meeting place is in Buendia, but Mark Alvin Estrella, Alex Strong Galsim together with his two other friends and I met in Jollibee Junction Alabang.. Mr. Organizer said that we should be there in Alabang at 2am.. But Mr. Organizer arrived at 2:20am being drunk.. tsktsk.. Other participants were waiting for us in Buendia (kami na lang ang kulang).. From there, our journey began. We rode a bus going to Batangas Pier.. We ate our breakfast first in the terminal and they started drinking the so called alcoholic beverage (I don’t know kung ano name ng alak) while waiting for the participants from Bicol, the Tribu Guinobateño Mountaineering Club (TGMC).. After more than 2 hours of waiting in the terminal, at last they came! Ang dami rin pala namin, having a total of 20 participants.. And their inuman session continued in the ship until we reached Calapan Pier..
From Calapan Pier, we rode tricycle going to Calapan Market to eat lunch and buy supplies for the span of four days.. We stayed in the market for almost 2 hours (or mahigit pa ata).. We rented a jeepney from Calapan market going to Lantuyang River.. I noticed that we didn’t went to Baco Municipal Hall to register which is in the itinerary.. Pero di ko na lang pinansin because I thought that Mr. Organizer already done everything we need.. Natatanaw na namin ang Halcon habang papalapit na sa jump-off..! And because of too much excitement, Sadeck Miguel and some of the boys went on the top of the jeepney.. Then Rosejane Lim and I followed them (inggitera kasi kami kaya nag top load na din.. hahaha!)
When we were in Lantuyang River, hinarang agad kami ni nanay (yung bantay sa may Lantuyang River).. Alex Strong Galsim talked to nanay regarding our climb.. Then nanay said that she couldn’t allow us to push through because Halcon is not yet open to mountaineers.. We decided to stay in the Lantuyang River and wait for whatever will happen sa pakikipag-usap ni Mr. Organizer sa mga locals.. While Alex Strong Galsim is making a way on how we could push through to the mountain top, we just enjoyed swimming in the cold water in the river.. And some of us still continued the inuman session and others prepared our food for dinner.. Going back sa usapan nila nanay and Alex Strong Galsim, nanay told him try to speak to the barangay captain.. He said to them, “isa ako sa mga nagrescue kay Prana nun dito kaya payagan niyo na kami umakyat”.. But it doesn’t work.. They said that we should go and talk to the Mayor and get a permit.. Though it’s already late and for sure the Mayor was not in the office, Alex Strong Galsim and Doc Jose Landrito went to the house of the Mayor (so desperate for Halcon!)..
We were left in the Lantuyang River and just enjoyed the place so that boredom will fade.. When Alex Strong Galsim and Doc Jose Landrito went back (medyo malayo pa sila), they were shouting in a joyful voice.. That’s why we thought that the Mayor allowed us to go in Halcon.. But we were all wrong.. Trip lang pala yung pagsigaw na yun.. As they stated the conversation they had with the officials, everybody became sad.. Of course we are, because there are so many wasted time, effort and money as well.. But we can do nothing about that.. All we can do is to accept the sad reality we had and just enjoy the night.. We ate our dinner (kahit nawalan na ng gana) and as usual they resume the inuman session at nagkatuwaan with the DOM – Dirty Old Mountaineers.. hahahah!!
Think, think, think.. Everybody was thinking of what to do.. Alex Strong Galsim said that “hindi ako papayag na di tayo makaakyat.. Kung kinakailangan mag back door gawin natin”.. But we said to think of another plan not to climb illegal.. We said that maybe there’s a reason behind why the situation didn’t go with us.. They suggested na mag beach na nga lang daw in Puerto Galera, then Mark Alvin Estrella suggested to go in Pandan Island and go diving.. Then everybody agreed.. The night for us continued in grief.. Heavy rain fell down.. Then we realized that it’s not the proper time for us to climb Halcon.. Maybe many of us were perished if we pushed through because of the heavy rain in a mega major spec of a mountain..
As we woke up early in Thursday morning, the weather is in good condition.. But after few minutes, the rain fell down again.. Baka kasi mag attempt pa kami umakyat kaya umulan ulit.. heheheh.. Thank God for giving us sign not to insist our own decision and everybody was safe.. We prepared our things and went back to Calapan Pier.. Goodbye Lantuyang River.. hahaha!! Topload again sa jeep,, while singing “pangarap ka na lang ba o magiging katotohanan pa” – dedicated to Mt. Halcon..
We stayed in Calapan Terminal, nilatag ang mga basang tent in the midst of the super init na araw.. Pinagalitan kami ng guards sa Pier, bawal daw dun.. The group was divided.. Plans made were broken.. Some has no budget at all in going to that Pandan Island or even in Puerto Galera White Beach, and to my surprise in an unpredictable mood of Alex Strong Galsim, nag walked out and decided to go home.. Yung iba tinamad na din.. I don’t know if they were 4 or 5 went home that time.. Then Sadeck Miguel, Dreb Jun Celestial and I searched for mountains to climb nearby or within Oriental Mindoro.. And the rest just went to Puerto Galera White Beach..
While on our way to somewhere, I received so many calls and text messages of concerned people asking if it’s true na nag Halcon ako.. Then one said that “TALK OF THE MOUNTAINEERING COMMUNITY” daw yung event na naipost with our nomads number, nagpanic daw ang aking mga ninjas, nabulabog daw ang SRMP, etc.. After my adventure climb with Sadeck Miguel and Dreb Jun Celestial, we also went to Puerto Galera White Beach.. We stayed there overnight and I woke up early Saturday morning because I also want to climb Mt. Malasimbo which is near the beach.. And I did.. After that, Sadeck Miguel and I decided to go home because we have nothing to do there if we stay and were running out of budget.. hahaha!! At 2 o’clock in the afternoon, nakasakay na kami ng boat going back to Batangas Pier.. From there, we go in our separate ways..
When I got home, I automatically turned on my computer and check out my facebook account having a total of 14 messages and 158 notifications.. tinamad na ko ibrowse lahat.. But somebody sent me links of the conversations in different mountaineering groups regarding that stupid event made and happened.. Pinagtyagaan ko na lang din basahin.. As they said, “nasa huli ang pagsisisi”.. I told myself na sana nag Bakun Trio na lang din ako with my buddy Dennis Hisanan.. Well anyway, nangyari na.. And because of that experience, I have so many lessons learned and I realized that there are so many people who care for me..
And before I end up this, I would like to leave this message to all of you which is also a lesson for me..
“Kung sasama kayo sa kahit anong open/invitational climb, dapat iresearch nyo yung profile ng organizer.” - Melo Sanchez
“In climbing major climbs, dapat may cooperation ang bawat isa at dapat magkakakilala kayo atleast nagkasama kayo ng mga 2-3climbs.” – Melo Sanchez
“in organizing a climb, my 2 rules: (1)Safety first. (2)No man left behind.” – Melo Sanchez
“Wag na magpumilit. Utak ang ginagamit sa race hindi ang lakas. Be Resposible to yourself.” – Edward Mikehell Grylls
Special thanks to the following people: Rheysonn Cornilla, Eduardo Bedural, my ninjas, and to all SRMP people for letting me feel the importance of my existence in earth.. hahaha!! Ang drama eh nuh.. I love you all guys.. )