The last time I hiked a mountain was when i'm in college and I was 17 then. Mt. Maculot is the first mountain I hiked, well, second actually to my place in Batangas. In our barangay we have this so-called mountain full of Java plum or duhat, some cashews & other unknown trees that bears edible fruit, actually part ata siya ng Tagaytay ridge and three peaks din siya. When I was a kid, me and my kins always went up there to gather plums and some fruits that is unknown to me but can be eaten. At the top of that mountain you can glanced the Taal Basilica at the south, the Balayan Bay at the west, the Batangas Electric & Calaca Old Cemetery at the North and a vast coconut trees on the east. I remember those old times na nagpapaunahan kami sa pag-akyat sa first peak kahit na medyo rocky ang daan hanggang makarating ng 3rd peak and then sisigaw ng ubod lakas, as if na maririnig ang boses namin sa buong Lemery. Also we put marked on a Java plum tree para next year, we knew where and whats tree, bore the sweetest 'duhat' and cashew na rin. I dont know why in that part of the mountain only Java plum & cashew tree dominates the entire range, kung meron mang Mango or Santol, ravine ang babagsakan mo kapag nahulog ka. Also at that mountain, I took glanced for the very first time what the Hollies & Tobacco look liked. As a growing kid, we always went up there every summer. And the feeling, for a kid, just HAPPY because we had a plenty of fruits in our baskets to share with.
Moving on, when I was 17, I joined a group of mountaineers 'kuno' in our barangay and our baptism of fire to show our trailing skills is to be at Mt. Maculot. One of my reasons why I joined is that, to proved if that mountain really had had a gigantic lice that can eat you to death. I remembered kasi my childhood days, whenever my mom wanted to clean up my head by pulling lice out of it and I when refused, she always said that, "those lice in my head will flew me off to that mountain and will be eaten up by an enormous lice." She also made up stories that made me believed why that mountain called Maculot. (Siya na ang storyteller!). The time we came in Cuenca where I can saw that mountain in 'malapitan', I was amazed on how beautiful it is and realized how huge it is compared to what we usually hiked back when we were kids. And there's something more, it is enchanting. Theres part of that mountain when you look it, it calls you. (oo, and I felt it). Well the first time I've been there, at the top, the feeling was AMAZING and exhilarating combined. The feeling how majestic & amazing our planet is? How blessed we are, for having this things? "All things Bright and Beautiful", sabi nga sa isang poem nung elementary ako. You know the feeling when you succeeded in one goal after so many hindrances and problems you've encountered? Ganun ang feeling! Yung feeling of being proud after of all the circumstances! Iba pala talaga yung feeling ng #justcurious lang at ng #mayembraced sa environment. Lol!
That Maculot experience was the first and the last hiked for me because of the fast paced life i've been through, since I took college seriously. Until February of last year & this year. I managed to joined with my co-workers. And this time outside the Philippines naman, to a place where I worked as an OFW. Me and some of the Filipino's went to Mt. He Huan. It is not just an ordinary mountain but a snowy one. Yes! this mountain is a tourist spot here specially during winter and also known as the 'snow mountain' of the Central region of Taiwan. In this mountain I felt for the very first time the taste of ice snow, playing snowballs with friends & how to live with snow. My short stint to live, in a snowy places felt horrendous and COLD but still BEAUTIFUL.
After this Snow Mountain experienced, last March 12, we've been to Mt. Yang Ming in Taipei City for Cherry Blossom Festival.
And that's another story to tell...