February 27, 2016
Together with my bike buddies, we planned to go on a biking + hiking on the mountains of Rodriguez, Rizal. Since Marikina is surrounded with mountains, we are very privileged to be just a couple of minutes away from the hiking destinations of Rizal – and the first on our list is Mt. Binacayan.
At first we have this confidence that we can go on a twin hike – meaning we can climb two mountains in succession. Sayang nga naman kasi yung pagkakataon at ang guide fee. Haha! But as we progress through the trail, di pala madali.
Preparation (or lack of it)
Supposedly, I’ll meet my friends at Marikina Riverpark, sa bahay ng lola ng Henry. I promised to come on or before 12mn since I still have night classes to attend to, at gusto ko pa kasing umuwi ng bahay muna. In fairness, I arrived at 12mn in front of the gate, but I chose not to join them but decided to spend the night elsewhere. Isa kasi yun sa mga weird kong desire – to sleep, or at least spend the night in the streets. I have briefly shared my midnight experience at the Cityhood Park and later on in 7-11 in my previous blog. Out of that midnight madness I was able to compose a poem inspired by mountain climbing.
It was 3am when I decided to go back to Riverpark and join the rest of my buddies. Di sila agad nagsilabas so I waited still for about 30 minutes! So to kill boredom, I warmed myself up and did some stretching.
As soon as we have filled our stomach with goto, we took a jeepney to Montalban and alighted at San Rafael, their furthermost drop off point. From there, tricycle drivers are waiting and very attentive to “potential” passengers so we just took the nearest tricycle. We asked that we be dropped at DENR.
It was already 4:30am when we reached DENR. A lot of people were congregating at the registration area. It was still dark. At wala akong tulog.
With our guide Kuya Abner, nagsimula ang aming lakbayin sa sementadong daan na unti-unting nagiging malubak, hanggang sa maging lupa. We were walking with 2-3 groups of varying ages, mostly mga babae. Our guide thought na baka matagalan kami kapag maraming kasabay, he led us to an alternate route to overtake all the other groups. True enough, we we’re able to surpass them for 15-20 minutes I guess, some of which ginamit namin for rest. Sobrang dilim pa nun and we care less about taking pictures. Haha!
We continued walking and the sun is already dawning. Habang lumalaon, mas bumibigat ang paghinga ko at ang mga yapak ko. Iba pala ang epekto ng puyat! Upon reaching a point na umiikot na ang paningin ko at halos di na ako makahakbang, I pleaded to the group that they leave me on a certain place so I can rest and they can proceed to the summit. They insisted to wait on me to catch up my pace and my breathing. Nakikita ko pa lang ang taas ng aakyatin, parang di ko na yata kaya! At that moment, I was just praying and rebuking myself: “what in the world are you doing?”
Thank God for my friends waited for me for more or less 10 minutes. We started trekking again, this time slowly to accommodate my incapacity. There was even a place when I just slumped beside a huge rock, took a nap while the rest are busy taking pictures. Imagine how incapacitated I feel during those time!
May kuha naman akong picture, pero halatang kuhang groggy.
Again, a few minutes after my nap, the sun is already kissing my face. Only then I have realized that we have already reached our first spot perfect for pictures. I managed to roam around the place and the first thing I noticed are the sharp lime stones. Sobrang nakakatusok at nakakasugat kung hindi ka mag-iingat. But the view – so breathtaking! The Sierra Madre mountain range is in sight and below you can see the snake-shaped Wawa River.
Ang nakakatuwa dun, biglang nawala ang antok, pagod at pagkahilo ko! I felt revived because of the sun and the view! Dahil dun, napagtripan akong kuhanan ng mga buwis-buhay pictures ni manong guide.
Since it seemed like ok na ulit ang pacing namin, nagpatuloy kami sa paglakad. Grabe ang mga lime stones, kung hindi lang kami nakapagsuot ng gloves, halos nagkandasugat-sugat na siguro kami. I love the warmth of the sunrise din. Iba pala kapag sa bundok ka mismo, with fresh air and the warmth of the sun, talagang nabubuhayan ka ng loob at lumalakas ang katawan.
And again, we had another photo session habang nagpapahinga.
When we’re about to reach the summit, marami na rin kaming nakakasabay paglakad. Kaya when we reached the highest point, Kuya Abner led us to somewhere else, sa place na mas maganda daw ang picture taking. At hindi nga kami nagkamali! So while some are taking snacks, paisa-isa kaming kinukuhanan ni manong guide ng mga buwis buhay shots namin.
Nang medyo nabawasan na ang tao sa summit, we took our chance. From the highest point of Binacayan you will really appreciate the remaining green nature ng paligid. Halos nauubos na rin kasi talaga ang mga bundok dahil tinatayuan na ng mga subdivisions. From the summit, we took some group photos.
Sa aming descent, mas lalo naming naappreciate si Kuya Abner. He really gave us what we wanted sa isang mountain hiking – a very challenging trail. We walked a different trail mula sa kanina so we can reach the base ng mas maaga. Iniisip niya kasi mag twin hike talaga kami.
Dumausdos, tumalon, lumusot sa mga bato at sumabit… we have concluded as a group that Mt. Binacayan is not a chill climb. I also realized that different mountains have different experiences to offer sa mga mountaineers.
One thing na nakakatuwa pababa, habang nangangatog na ang aming mga tuhod sa pagod, at ang mga “crinkles” – huge boulders na parang crinkles. Grabe nakakagutom sila. We took pictures syempre. Pero nung tumingin ako sa likod – namangha ako sa taas nang inakyat at binaba namin!
A few minute walk at narating namin ang isang stop-over na tindahan. We bought juice, took a rest. Sa pagod, nagdecide kaming wag nang ituloy ang plano na mag twin hike. Tambay na lang daw sa Wawa Dam!
Nabuhayan lalo kami ng dugo when we can see the familiar road na dinaanan namin bago kami umakyat. Sa wakas nasa base na kami ulit! Si Kevin sobrang nagmamadali na at naiwan kami sa paglalakad. May nakita kaming sobrang taas na puno and we took the chance na magpapicture din dun!
Even kay Lola na nanonood sa amin while taking pictures sa puno!
We caught up with Kevin and Kuya Abner sa bilihan ng lutong ulam. We’ve decided to take our lunch sa Wawa Dam, rest for a while (nakatulog talaga ako ng mahaba dun) at maligo! I tell you ang lamig at tunog ng tubig ay sobrang inviting!
Umuwi kami probably mga 3pm or later than that. Good thing di namin ipinilit magbike and hike, else uuwi kaming gumagapang. Haha!
Buti na lang pala, kahit puyat, I can say “Kaya ang Binacayan!”