Being the only daughter, I understand how my parents became too protective in nature. Believe me, I understand, I really understand. 🙂 That’s why I decided not to let my parents know, especially my Mom what I did this weekend… Sssssh! (I’m not really good in lying nor in keeping my mouth shut but this I should never ever tell them, I want to keep them away from sleepless nights or from endlessly dialing my number on their cellphones. See, Im just being sweet.)
So, let me share you my Weekend Secret. (Good thing, my parents don’t have a Facebook nor a Twitter account to follow this post. Love it!)
1. PLEASE DON’T TELL MY MOM I DID NOT RIDE A BUS TO BAGUIO
To get to Mt. Pulag (Benguet), one needs to ride a bus from Manila to Baguio. Yes, that’s the usual comfy way, it should be, for a long drive like this. But when my friend told me about the idea of secretly riding a 14-wheeler-truck of fruits and veggies, without any second thoughts, I said, “Gusto ko Yan!”
IT’S A 14-WHEELER TRUCK! Don’t expect that it’s air conditioned. There are also no comfortable reclining lazy boy chairs inside. Everything is made of cold steel. But good news, you can get some carton boxes and give these cartons their once-in-a-lifetime-chance to be sleeping bags.
Friendly Tip: Since it’s a closed container truck, those with claustrophobia are not advisable to do this. Also, take a Bonamine an hour before the ride for those w/ motion sickness. But if you forgot to do so¸ you can sneak some calamansi as your alternative, hmm, we did. Hehe
The fruits and vegetables should be delivered fresh, there would be no stopovers for you to grab some snacks and do bio breaks. Take note: I had to control my bladder for more than 6 hours.
Anyways, aside from the experience, the thought of saving Php350-500 is a big plus. We gave the driver Php143.00 for letting us hitch.
2. PLEASE DON’T TELL MY MOM I HAD MY FIRST TOPLOAD RIDE
My family (my parents, my tita, my brother) promote safe driving a lot. They strictly observe traffic rules. Seatbelts and other safety gears should always be on. But there are some things in life I just couldn’t miss – tsararan! The FAMOUS TOPLOAD!
FYI: Topload is the popular way of riding the jeepneys in the countryside. Passengers can opt to seat on top of the jeepney.
All the jeepneys to Mt. Pulag stops in this one particular canteen, I forgot the exact name though. Locals and the jeepney drivers call it as “Kainan”. You can have your brunch here, buy some packed lunch, water, energy drinks, snack, etc. I tell you, the food is cheap but awesome!
In my ambition to have my picture be displayed also, I asked my friend to take a pic of me. Unfortunately, the canteen owner didn’t ask for a copy (asa! :P), so I’ll just post it here.
At DENR, you’ll see numerous tarpaulins of Mountaineering Groups and companies who visited Mt. Pulag already. There is also a booth here where hundreds of ID’s have been pinned. Souvenir items are also being sold here.
Coz I’m a big fan of bloggers, I stopped my world and asked a pic with the blogger of PinoyMountaineer.com…
Okay, the adventure continues…
After another hour of jeepney ride from DENR Center, we arrived at the Ranger Station of Mt. Pulag. We had our lunch there and took advantage of the presence of a comfort room. Yes, I made sure I had my Weewee galore before climbing.
3. PLEASE DON’T TELL MY MOM I’D BEEN HIKING FOR ABOUT 5 HOURS with A BIG HEAVY BACKPACK
Early this year, I was diagnosed with a severe case of TMJ; it has something to do with the joint that connects my jaw, my skull and my spinal. The doctor said there’s no way for TMJ to be cured. As of now, the only available relief for those who suffer from TMJ is to manage or to learn how to cope up with the pain. Yes, I am having a TMJ Pain Management Therapy for about 9 months now. Since the diagnosis, I was told by the doctor not to do any strenuous activities, not to carry heavy stuff, not to talk a lot, not to do anything that would require a lot of effort. But hey! That’s synonymous to stopping myself from traveling, from living (I did for a while but I need to test how far my body could go, to know up to what degree of pain my back can endure. This was the only worry I got – going back with a worse case of the said disorder.)
But hey, look! I’m all smiling…
Been talking to myself while trekking – Self-motivation is a must to survive. 🙂
4. PLEASE DON’T TELL MY MOM WE’D BEEN JUMPING and PLAYING at the PEAK OF MOUNT PULAG
Sure my parents would go loco if they will know that I enjoyed playing and jumping at Luzon’s highest peak (2,922 meters above sea level).
5. PLEASE DON’T TELL MY MOM I’M with A BUNCH OF TOTAL STRANGERS
“Don’t ever talk to strangers.”, that’s the first thing my Mom instilled in me since childhood. It comes along with not looking them in their eyes, or not accepting candies or anything from them. Yes I know, our world has become too dangerous. It’s too hard to trust.
But maybe, just maybe, STRANGERS are FRIENDS we haven’t met yet. We just have to reach out, and be open.
“To Sablay Bakod Mountaineering Group, my BIG THANKS to you guys. Thank you for letting me go with you. I am just a stranger, but you talked to me, feed me, and lend me some of your stuff to survive. You just don’t know how happy I am (well, the photos are worth a thousand words of my happiness).”
I will never forget the day I fulfilled one of my dreams.
I don’t know why but I want to meet and live with the Igorots (You can even find it in About the Blogger section of Chasing Philippines).
Just sharing my first real talk with an Igorot…
Me: “Ate, gaano na kayo katagal naga-guide?”
Nevera: “May 1 year na din. Pero matagal na akong umaakyat ng bundok.”
Me: “Ay, talaga ate! Ang galing naman! Kelan yung unang akyat niyo sa bundok?”
Nevera: ”Bata pa ako. Kasi ganun kaming mga bata dito, pag naisip naming umakyat ng bundok, yun aakyat na kami.”
Me: “Ang saya naman ng ganun… Panganay ba kayo Ate?”
Nevera: “Hindi pangalawa ako.”
Me: ”Ay, ate! Parehas tayo! Pangalawa din ako! 3 kaming magkakapatid.”
Nevera: “ Sampu kami.”
Me: ”Buti hindi pa kayo nag-aasawa ate?”
Nevera: “Ay, hindi. Ang dami ko pang kapatid na nag-aaral. Tumigil nga ako ng college eh.”
Me: “Hmm.. ang galing. Okay yan ate. Ako din eh, ako na nagpapa-aral sa kapatid ko mula nung Elementary siya. Ngayon, High School na siya. Masarap maging ate noh? Ano bang course niyo, ate?”
Nevera: “Vocational yung kinuha ko. Cooking.”
Me: “Ay, wow, ate! Alam niyo mahilig din ako magluto. Pangarap ko nga magka-carinderia eh.”
Nevera: (she got too excited and yelled) “Ako din, gusto ko rin magka-carinderia. Gusto ko talaga kasi tutal malapit lang yung bahay namin dun sa Ranger eh walang kainan dun.”
Me: Bakit di kayo magtayo, ate?
Nevera: “Pera ang kailangan eh.”
Me: “Aaah, oo nga ate, kailangan mag-ipon kahit papaano. Puhunan tsaka yung mga lalagyan.”
Nevera: “Oo nga. Pero baka mga next year.”
Me: ”Ano ba mga niluluto mo ate?”
Nevera: “Yung mga luto lang dito yung alam ko, tulad ng Pinikpikan tsaka mga gulay. Ikaw? Ano ba specialty mo?”
Me: “Wow! Sarap naman nun, nakatikim na ako ng Pinikpikan. Specialty ko, sinigang tsaka adobo. Pero syempre pag Mama’t Papa ko yung tumitikim, hindi siya masarap, tama lang, kasi naman, grabe naman kasarap magluto parents ko. Pero pag yung mga kasama at kaibigan ko naman yung tumitikim, masarap naman. Hehe”
Nevera: “Talaga? Turuan mo naman ako nung mga niluluto mo. Bigyan mo ako ng recipe. Add mo ako sa FB.”
Me: “Eheh, sige ate!”
Nevera: “Kaya lang yung sa account ng kapatid ko yung gamitin ko kasi wala akong FB.”
Me: “Ate, ano bang pagkakaiba ng Igorot at Ibaloi?”
Nevera: “Hmm.. parehas lang yun.”
Me: “Alam mo ba ate, pangarap kong makakilala ng Igorot. Dapat nga pupunta ako ng Sagada, gusto ko lang tumira dun ng 1 linggo. Kaya lang bumagyo.”
Nevera: “Ako na lang, ako. Igorot ako. Ayan may kakilala ka ng Igorot. Kaibigan mo, kung okay lang.
Me: *speechless, I just smiled. I never thought that, that was the exact moment one of my ultimate dreams in life was fulfilled*
*there’s no internet connection in Benguet. Nearest place where internet connection is present – Baguio City
*they don’t pay any single cent for their water supply. Lucky people, they enjoy clean water from natural resource
*they’ve been enjoying electricity in Benguet for about a month now. Finally! (sings ‘May Liwanag ang Buhay’…)
Of Becoming a Good Girl Again…
Mama and Papa, I’ll always be your baby girl. Just like what I’m always telling you, I’m just simply checking the places so I could see if I could bring you there.
Haaaist, if only, you don’t have rheumatism and arthritis, I want you to also experience how heavenly it is to take a rest at the Grassland of Mt. Pulag…
Mama and Papa, I want you guys to witness how wonderful the clouds are… Parang ang sarap nilang kainin!
But Wait, There’s More!!!There’s More!!!
Yeah, I just cant believe that these people shared me these unbelievably beautiful scenes I would never ever forget for the rest of my life.
Want some to-the-highest-level-kilig? Then do it at the highest point of Luzon!
This is my entry for Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnival
for the month of December with the theme
‘The Journey is the Destination’
hosted by Kara Santos of Travel Up.
Check out the past topics of PTB’s Blog Carnival, click the logo on the left.