Camping Comeback

The moment I was invited by my friend Lory for an overnight somewhere far from Metro Manila. I immediately said yes. The usual, we opened a Messenger Group Chat to finalize the plan. I wasn’t able to participate much with the planning because of my work schedule. But I have nothing to worry because they already got it covered and my presence is just enough. Thanks Guys! 😉 Since the actual travel time is on a Saturday, I thought I have plenty of time to prepare, it turns out I have to attend a recollection as part of my choir obligations. I was able to finish the seminar but I ended up cramming again to pack my things. Fast forward to the actual meet up, of course I arrived late. But I still managed to buy the things I need like water, some trail food and wet wipes.  There I met Neo and Johnny, patiently waiting and loving their Starbucks drinks. Few moments later, Lory and EJ came with their good for 3 days camping bags and our special guest Reynalyn. Since the squad is complete we hop on to Neo’s car. I sat at the far end of the car together with Reynalyn; EJ and Lory at the mid-section while Johnny seated beside Neo.  We began our journey to Rizal. Our destination? At Mt. Maynuba. The ride is quite long as it’s on Tanay. Along the way we had stopovers to buy some hiking stuff like butane and our lunch/dinner. We thought it will rain hard. But we’re blessed enough to have a nice windy evening. A good comeback hike for EJ and Lory indeed. We reached the jump off in no time. Johnny took charge of processing the registration where we paid P100 each. While registering we met our tour guide, Kuya Greg. We went straight to the parking area and fixed our things. Recited a short prayer then started our trek. We didn’t go Mt. Cayabu though it’s adjacent to Mt. Maynuba because it’s getting dark already. The trail is reminiscent of Mt. Batolusong with some wide are plains. A long stretch of slightly covered forest with gradual ascend.  Until finally we reached the open area of the campsite. It’s quite windy that time and there are other hikers in area as well but still a spacious campsite though. If I remember it right, we reached the campsite in less than 2 hours.

 

I struggled to figure out Joem’s brand new tent. Thanks to EJ and Reynalyn we managed to set it up after some trial and error. After that, we ready our dinner. EJ, Lory, Reynalyn and I ordered some roast chicken at Andok’s. While Johnny and Neo’s food are from KFC and a Chicken too. We also cook some rice since we’re dead hungry since all of us have not taken lunch. After less than 15 minutes we’re done. 😂 I mean I’m done. I fixed my food storage and then relaxed myself by looking at the skies while waiting for the socials. I don’t like to look alcoholic but we had some drink on top of the mountain. 😂 But, I’m a smart drinker now. It’s quite risky to get drunk you know, specially on top of a mountain. During socials, I feel like I’m at a comedy bar because of the stories Lory shared with us. Hilarious moments of our friends with pictures that made our night so much fun. As the alcohol kicks in, our topic started to get serious. Until we decided to call it a day. The night is still long for me though. But still I managed to catch some sleep. Few hours later, Lory started calling out to prepare for breakfast. The cold ground is so inviting to catch more sleep. But I can’t go back because I’m half-awake already. So I decided to get out of the tent to help with the breakfast prep. Our menu of the day are Omelette, Rice and Carbonara. The preparation of carbonara is quite challenging specially the part of draining water. Johnny and I struggled a bit since we need to reuse the water for the second batch of pasta. What we did is to place the water with noodles in a ziplock bag, then pour back the water to a pot. While Johnny and I are working on the noodles, Lory and Neo are busy with the pasta sauce and the Omelette. Thanks to Del Monte’s mix we achieved a legit pasta cooked on top of Mt. Maynuba. I wanted to eat more but I hold back because I don’t want to be troubled by an upset stomach. When we’re all set we decided to break camp to visit the summit. We didn’t notice the sunrise as we’re all appreciating a nice breakfast and busy with the break camp too.

In no time, we’re walking again towards the summit. It’s not that far from where we camp. A gradual ascent along the tall grasses with spectacular view of Rizal Mountains. The summit view is great and offers a 360 view of Rizal Mountain range. Of course our group didn’t missed the opportunity to take a picture on the sign board. We didn’t stay long and decided to go down to the 8 Waterfalls. Not sure what they’re called. But the waterfalls are along the trail while going down. As expected the trail is quite hard. My lower body strength was put on to test as we cross huge rock boulders and rooted stair-steps reminiscent of Hulugan Falls. Good thing there’s a rope setup in some portions of the trail to keep our balance. And there are Bamboos as well which served as an added grip on steep edges. We stayed at Falls 7 for some quick plunge in the cold waters. Kuya Greg took care of our belongings. Since I don’t know how to swim, I stayed on the side together with EJ. On the other end, there’s Johnny, Neo, Lory and Reynalyn enjoying the gushing waters. You can walk along if you’re tall enough but there’s a part that is too deep for me. This is the part where Johnny’s aquatic abilities came out. To avoid being left out, Johnny offered EJ and I to try swimming for a bit in order to reach the other side. While EJ, is gathering up some strength, I quickly mustered up mine so I said I go first. I tried to take a step back so I can stand fully. I inhaled all the air I can, then started swimming. I thought of it as if I’m at a swimming pool and keep on flipping my legs back and forth until I run out of air. Then I feel a sudden strain on my left foot. Next thing I know, Johnny is rushing towards me, grabbed me and started swimming back to where I can stand. Yeah, some failed attempts to get to that other side. I rested for a bit and Johnny too, who’s too quick to think I can’t make it. We didn’t stop there. What we did I tried swimming at the far right side of the falls where there’s a protruding rock and Johnny on the side is the look out. Then voila, I made it! So nice and relaxing to feel and hear the continuous water running on your tired back. We stayed there for 15 minutes. When we decided to proceed further, I volunteered to go first because it’s quite a struggle. Again, I go to the far right side, then I used that to push myself far from the deep area. Then tried to swim like a dog. I successfully reached the safe side breathing. I wanted to include that because it’s quite an experience for me. And to highlight how quick thinking our Life Guard Johnny is. From Falls 7 it’s I think less than an hour trek going to the parking area. We ended our day with a delicious Bulalo at a Carinderia along the highway.

 

So there, If you’re looking for a complete detachment on your usual City Life, hiking is one of the options. I have experienced it last week when I was invited to have an overnight camping on Mt. Maynuba in Tanay Rizal. A complete detachment because that part of Rizal has a very limited cellular signal. Just you, nature and your friends.

 

I want to end this post by thanking the following people:

Thank you Lory for organizing this trip and for always including me with your adventure as your official Third Wheel.

Thank you EJ for always bringing the most precious liquid in our journey. Specially to your Backpack na good for three days.

Thank you Johnny for your acts of heroism with your quick thinking I’m here, able to share our adventure.

Thank you Neo for driving us safe back and forth I hope to be part your hikes again soon.

Thank you Reynalyn for being my co-third wheel for the above 2 lovers. Stay Strong!

Thank you Joem as always for lending me your almost P5000 pesos tent. 🙂

Thank you Mama for understanding and not questioning why I have a muddy things instead of sandy ones. 😀

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