climb

picking up the slack at pico de loro


the grains of my vacation have not even settled when i decided to stuff a backpack with a tent, a thermarest, and clothes for my third climb of the year, which is actually alarmingly low, but comparatively decent, if we were to survey other members of my club, whose predilections and inclinations have slanted them to pursuits other than climbing mountains. so although there was laundry and souvenir t-shirts the size of haystacks to sort through, i was happily leaving for the central post office in lawton, for a climb to parrot's beak in cavite.

i last climbed pico de loro in june of 2003. it was officially my second climb since i picked up the sport in february of that same year, and i basically hooked up with complete strangers whose club i became a part of much later on. i had no idea about the mountain at the time. i only knew that i wanted to climb mountains. i have both vague and vivid recollections about that trip, and although i hadn't started to blog at the time, i can retell my experience with great detail, and i wonder now why it had taken me this long to return.

this climb was organized by 2k7, and since i had been to the mountain, i was asked to be the trail master. i made a caveat that it was 6 years since i was last there, and made no assurance that i would remember the way. as it turns out, every fork on the mountain has a sign pointing towards the summit of this mountain. so after a slow ride on a rickety bus, we were deposited somewhere in maragondon for a tricycle ride to the jump off. along the way, our driver complained about the magnetic hill, and he mentioned that there was a giant magnet somewhere making the ride up to the jump off a bit of a struggle. although the climb was plagued by last-minute back-outs from flakers with fabricated excuses and others who felt sorry they couldn't come despite having genuine reasons, we still had enormous fun.

we began the hike at half past 11, and it was overbearingly hot. we reached basecamp 1 for a brief rest and to pay the second registration fee "for better coordination" so claimed the sign, although they didn't bother to ask for our numbers. we had already paid P20 each at the DENR's PAMB office 200 meters from the jump-off (it was declared a protected area in 2007). no receipts are issued so it is a wonder where the money goes, and whether they're put to any good other than providing a brief rest stop for easily dehydrated climbers.

we pushed on, and the trek was slow and easy, although the sun scorched high above us. a bit after noon, we proceeded to the waterfall, but the pool that poured down had dried up, and we had lunch under the spotty shade of wispy trees. we continued the climb, aware that 3 other groups had already gone on ahead of us. initially, we wanted to camp at the foot of the mountain, and decided to just assault the summit at some other time, whether that afternoon or the following morning. karlo, who had been to pico more recently than i have, assured us that we were going to the campsite we had in our minds, but i doubted it as we gained more elevation. the ascent and the heavy pack conspired, and i chugged more water than i normally would and should have. along the trail, we encountered hikers on a day hike descending. i asked one of them how the view was, and one replied that it was good, although near the summit, it was a bit "steef".

the more helpful reminder was just to follow the trail signs: plastic bags tied around trees and stacks of 3 rocks placed along the trail. a sudden descent near the campsite nearly cost us a lot of time, but we managed to find a cool clearing under the shade of leaning clumps of bamboo. but karlo pointed out that the better campsite was just 15 meters away, with a view of the summit and the south where the provinces of cavite and batangas collide, all the way to the sea between luzon and mindoro island. under the haze of clouds must be halcon. we staked out areas for our tents, and we were considerably far apart, thinking other than the "christians" from UST, no other groups would arrive. we referred to the other group as christians because they introduced themselves as members of singles for christ, but this is not to suggest that we were either heathen, pagan, or atheists. the campsite of pico de loro is a scoop of land between two peaks. the saddle spreads out horizontally, and faces a sheer wall whose steep (or "steef") drop i didn't bother to explore. it was burned black at the edges, and was annoyingly littered with every imaginable piece of trash: from empty bottles of water and alcohol, to plastic bags, to discarded underwear, to opened and empty tin cans, to burn rice. it was in an extremely sorry state and i don't recall it being this dirty 6 years ago, although admittedly, we didn't even stay long at the campsite the last time.

at 5pm, with the possibility of rain, we assaulted the summit. the observation that it was "steef" was accurate enough, although the other approach would have been less dirty. one of mike's guests ended up soiling everything from her knees, to her butt, to her arms, and she discovered that dust and sweat may combine for mud. nonetheless, the view from the top was priceless, it almost made me forget about the trash that had collected a little below us. the summit is completely bald, and there was a view of everything, from sea to valley, to hills. wayward pillars of smoke joined heavenly clouds, and you get this feeling that you're above everything: nothing is higher, not even the column of rock which earned for itself the name: parrot's beak. it is officially listed to be 664masl, and my suunto core's reading was only 6 meters higher.

pops decided to climb the rock, but i preferred to just sit there and watch for him suddenly appearing on top of the rock. when he got back, he was panting like he had just dashed the last 200 meters of a race. his heart was racing, he said, partly for the fear of falling, and partly for the "steef" return to the summit. after lingering on the summit, we descended and presided over the matter of dinner. at about this time, more groups had arrived, and pico de loro began to look like another maculot, another manabo: rising to fame, but plunging into filth and neglect.

i had no participation in the meal plan, but the result was not something i would so much as complain about. karlo's beef steak was pretty good, and we also had soup which i prepared. i am very proud of my soup-preparing skills. we also had pesto pasta which i didn't even get to taste, and when we finished with dinner, we indulged in some socials. we only had a liter of tanduay rhum and another liter of gin, and with only 9 of us sharing, it was enough to draw us into honesty and happiness: peachy prattled about her dislikes, while mike's guests exclaimed their joy. we didn't manage to tease genie and karlo, because karlo is a man of very few words, and genie crashed even before we finished the rhum. when we finished the gin, jewel insisted that we go around to beg for alcohol, or steal it, if necessary. we found a group in the bamboo forest and they shared some shots of GSM. it felt like sipping turpentine. although, honestly, i don't even know what turpentine is.

jewel retreated into my tent, and i accepted an invitation from the group that carried a one-year old baby to the campsite for a few more shots of turpentine. when i felt i could no longer stay awake, i went to my tent and found jewel sleeping on my thermarest. i could not remember the last time i slept on nothing but the tent's floor and the groundsheet underneath it.

i woke up the following morning to find pops contemplating the view. we decided to start breakfast. we had fried bangus, spam, genie's pancakes, and my perfectly-cooked rice. by the time we had finished, all the other groups on the campsite had already descended. nevertheless, we overtook many of them along the way, including the young people whom i helped to pitch their tent which was the size of a cathedral. it was possible to stand inside without hitting your head on the ceiling.

the heat was terrible, and since i had offered all my water for the campsite, i was courting with dehydration. but i reached basecamp 1 and immediately bought 2 cans of coke. 15 minutes later, we reached the road, dropped by the DENR where very rude people already agitated from a bad experience on the mountain complained that we were capable of speech, decided to go instead to maragondon for a bath, lunch, and our ride back to manila. before sunset, i was already in makati, collecting my dirty laundry. it felt really good to climb. i look forward to the next one, even if it's someplace i have been to. as genie said: it's the same mountain, but it's always a different experience -- it's time to make new memories.

nice blog....
(Anonymous)
magandang araw sa iyo kapatid!!
ako po ay isa sa grupo inyong nakasama sa kabundukan ng pico de loro...
kasama din po ako sa grupo na pinaniniwalaan kong inyong ssinabihan na "rude people" sa inyong blog...
nagenjoy po kame sa pagtigil at pagakyat sa bunddok ng pico,masaya din po kame sa karanasan na nangyari sa bundok...
naniniwala ako na hindi ito ang una ninyong paakyat, alam din po naman naten na kaya tayo umaakyat ay para maenjoy at purihin ang kagandahan ng ating kapaligiran kasama na ang pagiwas sa ingay at polusyong meron sa kabihasnan,makakita, makalanghap ng sariwang kapaligiran at hangin..
lahat po ng yan ay isa sa mga gusto natin kaya natin ginagawa ang pagakyat..parte nalang dito ang pagkakaroon ng mga bagong kakilala at kaibigan..
alam po naman nating nga pinoy na isa po sa ating nakaugalian ang pakikisama..
gabi po naten sa pico napansin na po namin ang ingay ng mga hiyawan mula sa ibang grupo na sana ay ingay ng mga naguusap na mga tao at ingay ng mga kulisap sa paligid na bibihira natin marinig sa lunsod..

umaga nagsimula na po ng ating pagbaba,
natural lang po ang pagod na ating nmaramdaman sa 2 araw na paglalakad..
at natural lang din po ang magpahinga...
di nalang po bilang pinoy dahil narinig po namin na napalitan na ng salitang banyaga ang inyong salita..ssiguro di na rin kayo naniniwala sa ating mga kaugalian gaya ng "pakikisama"...
bilang tao nalang po sana na nakakaramdam din ng nararamdaman ng iba...
nakakakita ng at maging senssitibo sa pakiramdam ng iba..
sana po di nagyari ang kaganapan na nangyari sa DENR kung naging sensitibo po sana kayo sa inyong nakita at sa pakiramdam ng iba...

wala po sana kayong nakasalamuhang "rude people" kung marunong kayong gumalang sa pagpapahinga ng ilan...

sinabihan po naman sana kayo...
kaso nga lang di na po ata talaga kayo nakakaintindi ng tagalog....

ganon pa man humihingi parin po kame ng pasensya sa mga salitang nabitawan ng mga galit naming kasama..

"magbiro ka na sa lasing wag lang sa bagong gising"

pinoy po kame kaya naniniwala din kame dito...

nawa po ay muli tayong magkita at magkakilala sa ibang pagkakataon sa sa ibang sitwasyon...

ingat po kayo ppalagi!!
jah bless....

"reklamo nga reklamo,
gustong maging amerikano"
linya mula sa isang kanta................






Re: nice blog....
(Anonymous)
Oh, I love this. This is just rich. My friend, there is no excuse for rudeness. We were merely talking in the DENR post, not even shouting or yelling, and just because your friend was tired does not justify the fact that he was ill-mannered to us.

I also love the way you so quickly condemned us for speaking in English. Perhaps you didn't notice it, but one of our team members was an American who has no knowledge of the local language whatsoever. If we had chosen to speak in Tagalog, we would have been rude and inconsiderate to him.

I suppose you believe that a person's sense of nationalism hinges on the language he chooses to speak in. Unfortunately, I do not subscribe to that same belief. I consider myself a patriot, and am proud to be a Filipino. The fact that I am most comfortable speaking in a foreign language does not jeopardize my sense of nationalism.

None of us want to be American, save for the guy who already IS American. Please save your myopic judgments for those who will accept your flawed logic.




Re: nice blog....
(Anonymous)
This is Peachy, by the way.
I knew your excellence English was upsetting the crickets' and other endemic fauna's nighttime rituals. How else could you explain the disorientated bees in the camp kitchen?

Tell the You Da Bitch John to be like the Romans and learn his balarila -- I mean, how else could we engage the poor chap in conversation? It's hardly his fault that he's American, ha ha.
edukadong mangmang...
(Anonymous)
pasimula: masyado kayong magagaling mag-english...
salawikain: "ang hindi marunong magmahal sa sariling wika, daig pa ang hayop at malansang isda."
eto ang ibig sabihin nyan alman at peachy, baka dahil sa kagalingang mag-english e hindi nyo na alam ang ibig sabihin - he who does not love his native language is worse than a beast or a putrid fish.

sa tinagaltagal na naming umaakyat(lalo na sa pico de loro) ay eto ang unang pagkakataon na nakasalamuha kami ng mga kagaya nyo,mga taong(tao nga kaya sa paguugali?) walang kunsiderasyon sa mga taong natutulog,alam nyo na ngang natutulog at sinabihan na kayo ng isa pa naming kasamahan na may natutulog ay tuloy parin ang kaingayan ninyo sa DENR.

Babalikan ko lang etong tugon mo kay sir John ""We were merely talking in the DENR post, not even shouting or yelling, and just because your friend was tired does not justify the fact that he was ill-mannered to us."" -- siguro naman pag ikaw ang natutulog e kahit na mahinang tunog e ayaw mong makakarinig na ang ibig sabihin ay maingay kayong dumating sa DENR, alam mo kung bakit naging ""ill-mannered"" ang mga kaibigan namin sainyo???DAHIL HINDI KYO MARUNONG UMINTINDI!!! mabait kami sa taong mababait saamin at marunong makaintindi sa mga taong natutulog!!!

ibabahagi ko lang to sainyo "kahit simpleng tao ka lang basta't marunong kang makisama ay malayo ang mararating mo" IBIG sabihin --- kahit anong taas pa ng edukasyon mo kung hindi ka marunong makisama ay balewala din...

alam mo alman ako ang umawat sa tropa na wag na kayong patulan bka kc pagod lang kayo o bka nman ang barkada ko ang nagsimula,pero ngayon ko nalaman na masasama nga ugali niyo,alam mo kung bakit?ang ayos-ayos ng pagsagot sa blog mo ni john,tinawag ka pang kapatid, akala mo kung cno ka pa sa tugon mo kay john!!!

kung alam ko lang nung una pa man na masasama nga ang ugali nyo e hindi ko na sana inawat pa ang tropa at ako na sana ang nanguna sa paggulpi sainyo!!!ipanalangin mo nalang na huwag magkrus ang landas natin kahit saan pa man!!!

isa pa para kay PEACHY(pangalan palang e hindi na makabayan) ikaw ang nadatnan naming maingay at nageeenglish(un ba ang sinasabi mong para sa kasamahan nyong amerikano kaya kyo nageenglish?)sa nagiinumang grupo na may kasamang 1yr old na bata kaya inilipat namin ang tent namin sa ibang lugar,siguro hindi mo na matandaan dahil sa pagkalango mo sa alak, ayan dahil s pagkahangol mo sa alak e hindi mo na matandaan mga pinaggagawa mo!!!kaya ka ba nagpapakalasing e para d mo matandaan kung sino ang makakatalik mo sa bundok na yun???

sayang at hindi ko man lang kayo nairespeto kahit kaunti un e sa kadahilanang HINDI DIN KAYO MARUNONG RUMESPETO SA IBANG TAO!!!
Re: edukadong mangmang...
(Anonymous)

"sa pa para kay PEACHY(pangalan palang e hindi na makabayan) ikaw ang nadatnan naming maingay at nageeenglish(un ba ang sinasabi mong para sa kasamahan nyong amerikano kaya kyo nageenglish?)sa nagiinumang grupo na may kasamang 1yr old na bata kaya inilipat namin ang tent namin sa ibang lugar,siguro hindi mo na matandaan dahil sa pagkalango mo sa alak, ayan dahil s pagkahangol mo sa alak e hindi mo na matandaan mga pinaggagawa mo!!!kaya ka ba nagpapakalasing e para d mo matandaan kung sino ang makakatalik mo sa bundok na yun???"

You are referring to our guest. I was not the one looking for alcohol, I only accompanied her. She is not an AMCI member. I stopped the others from going to the camp and asking for any more alcohol, and left their group in peace. At that point, I was already asking for apologies then, and will repeat it now.

As for the incident in the DENR post, this is the last time I am posting this: however "loud" we may have been, all you needed to do was to tell us that we were loud. No need to say things like, "Putangina, ang ingay ninyo, para kayong hindi tao."

Clarify your facts first.
Re: edukadong mangmang...
(Anonymous)

"sa pa para kay PEACHY(pangalan palang e hindi na makabayan) ikaw ang nadatnan naming maingay at nageeenglish(un ba ang sinasabi mong para sa kasamahan nyong amerikano kaya kyo nageenglish?)sa nagiinumang grupo na may kasamang 1yr old na bata kaya inilipat namin ang tent namin sa ibang lugar,siguro hindi mo na matandaan dahil sa pagkalango mo sa alak, ayan dahil s pagkahangol mo sa alak e hindi mo na matandaan mga pinaggagawa mo!!!kaya ka ba nagpapakalasing e para d mo matandaan kung sino ang makakatalik mo sa bundok na yun???"

You are referring to our guest. I was not the one looking for alcohol, I only accompanied her. She is not an AMCI member. I stopped the others from going to the camp and asking for any more alcohol, and left their group in peace. At that point, I was already asking for apologies then, and will repeat it now.

As for the incident in the DENR post, this is the last time I am posting this: however "loud" we may have been, all you needed to do was to tell us that we were loud. No need to say things like, "Putangina, ang ingay ninyo, para kayong hindi tao."

Clarify your facts first. If you really believe in what you are saying, perhaps you can disclose your name to us instead of posting anonymously. We never wished to make enemies in this climb, but the behavior of our guest wasn't exactly within our control.

-Peachy Paderna
Re: edukadong mangmang...
(Anonymous)

To Anonymous:

Kung sa tan-aw nimo kay wala nako gigakos ang akong pagka-Pilipino, paghuna-huna sa. Dili ko maayo mag-Tagalog kay Bisaya ko. Usa pa, gipadako ko sa akong mga maguwang na maginIngglis, pero naningkamot ra gihapon ko na makatuon mag-Bisaya.

Dili lang Tagalog ang ginasulti sa Pilipinas. Daghan pang uban: Bisaya, Waray, Chavacano. I apologize for not being good in Tagalog, but if you judge Tagalog to be the only language in the Philippines, you are fighting a losing battle.

Re: edukadong mangmang...
(Anonymous)
Again, this is Peachy.

If you want to, we can meet up outside this blog and discuss this more amicably. I do not take well to personal attacks, but would like to settle this matter without resorting to any extreme form of aggression. I have already apologized to the groups involved in behalf of my team. To make it clearer to you, however:

1. I was not that girl looking for alcohol. That was our guest, and the member who invited her wasn't even present in the climb. We tried to keep the situation under control as best as possible.

2. I had no idea that someone was sleeping in the DENR area. Absolutely no idea. I was not informed. Take this into consideration.

If you really want to iron this out, sige, magkita ta sa gawas aning blog. Wala ta nagsinabtanay diri. If, however, you insist in launching personal attacks, I'm going to have to give up the cause.
Re: edukadong mangmang...
(Anonymous)
walay problema sa amua kung magkita nalang ta aron atong mapag istoryahan oog maayo ang nahitabo last time sa atong climb.. dili dyud ta magkasinabot ug diri lang sa blog nato idicuss ang nahitabo kay naa pod tay sagolsagol na emosyon..ako diay si john.. usa ko sa myembro sa mga nakaencounter ninyo sa DENR.. ako pod ang una na nagpost ng reaction..

mam ayan ha pinilit ko magbisaya para sa yo...at ssinasabi ko to sa magandang pamamaraan.. hindi ako galit..
siguro nga mas magandang pagusapan to ng maayos..
iba iba kassi ang opinyon naten sa nangyari..
at may halohalo at ibat ibang emosyon tayo ukol dito..
mam kung gusto nyo po pm nyo nalang ako sa ym.
bhathuthe1968@yahoo.com


hope we can settle thing out...

siguro naman may mga dahilan tayo bakit tayo umaakyat pero siguradong labas sa mga yon ang magkarooon ng kaaway
Re: edukadong mangmang...
(Anonymous)
Ang tapang naman nito. Karahasan na agad. Ganyan na ba dapat ang pairalin? Ganyan din ba sa bahay ninyo, sa komunidad?

Mga tol, yung mga katutubo sa ibang bundok sa Norte, hindi marunong magtagalog, pero matatas mag-ingles. Tingin niyo ba hindi sila mapagmahal sa sariling bansa?

Asus. Wag po kaagad maghusga ng ibang tao.

-- ike
http://tripsulat.multiply.com

hindi ako anonymous! puwede niyo ako hanapin! wahoo!