Saturday, June 23, 2012

Conquering Mt.Pulag

"All you winds, bless the Lord.
Dew and rain, bless the Lord.
Frost and chill, bless the Lord.
Mountains and hills, bless the Lord.
Praise and exalt Him above all forever."

Daniel 3:65,68,69,75

Mt.Pulag is the second highest mountain in the Philippines.

So what?

I am not a mountain climber, and I don't want to be one. However, when I saw pictures of Mt.Pulag, I made a note to myself to become a onetime mountain climber - a Mission Impossible!

Mt.Pulag stands at 2922 meters above sea level. It has the highest peak in Luzon. I am afraid of heights. I've never reached the peak of Albay's famous perfect-cone Mt. Mayon which is only 2462 meters above sea level.

Across the Philippines it is the 2nd highest which makes it the top destination of experienced mountaineers. I am never a mountaineer. In fact, I've never even camped out when I was a Boy Scout.

Mt.Pulag can be reached through Benguet. I hate zig zag!

The temperature can drop down below zero. I have weak lungs.

Disregarding the impossibilities, I set out to conquer Mt.Pulag. With God, nothing is impossible, I said to myself. I will do my best and my best will be good enough. Do I sound like the boxer-preacher Manny Pacquiao? YOU KNOW... I am Tom Cruise anyway.

Guides gathered on one of the hills as they wait for their groups for decent on day 2.

The Breaking Dawn imagination. Edward Cullen? Jacob Black?  Errr... one of the three German nationalities on my group checking out the campsite on day 1.

More people setting up camps.

Bahay Kubo? Nope. It's the makeshift comfort room.

Bushes that seems like broccoli.

Even the sun sets in paradise.

But when the sun rises, it would bring the sea of clouds.

Sunrise at the camp site.

Alas! Melchor, Gaspar and Baltazar found their way to me - "I am Jesus."

At one of the peaks.

Here comes the sea of clouds.

Out of the four peak at the summit of Mt. Pulag, I got to go up to two.

The scene that made me want to conquer the impossible.

Climbers enjoy their descent from the peak.

A loner? Maybe just discerning. Who wouldn't? When you're up there, it feels like you are in Heaven.

Colors on the mountain canvas.

Leisurely descent from the summit even if it’s too cold.

Descending from one of the peaks.

"Lord, it is good for us to be here. Let us make three tents; one for you, one for me, and... who else?"
God has created this heaven on earth for us to appreciate His greatness!

With a heavy heart and a lighter bag (food supply has been consumed), we descended back to the rangers station. While we were walking, my thoughts flew back to how I begun this trip. Questions float by; how did I survive without joining a mountaineer's club and trek packages? How did I climbed up the camp site 2 within only two hours? How did I survive the rain during the night? How did I sleep in the ice cold night? How did I move my legs to up to the peaks in the morning when my legs were shivering from the cold?


I got my tent, 2 sleeping bags, a winter jacket, a headlight, oil and lotion, 2 bottles of coke, a bunch of chocolates, bread, tuna, some fruits, my trash bags (that also became my raincoat and my tent protection against the rain), water bottle and my faith.

This mission ain't impossible after all.