climb

c'est la vie

i was briefly reminded of my life as an artist last friday, when immediately after my return from quezon, i left for AG’s photovandalism exhibit in sm megamall. i got to speak with my former professor, butch dalisay. it reminded of those days when i attended the writer’s nights that the UPCWC used to have. i got so involved in the event when i ended up bartending, pouring drinks for complete strangers, and giving away cans of red horse and san mig light. honey introduced me to a few other photographers of note. these guys have really expensive equipment. jeryc also elucidated further on his new magazine. my eyes almost popped out of their sockets when he told me its name. i most definitely want to be part of it.

after the exhibit, i left for makati. i ended up with rolly and dong for a few beers at gilligan’s. and i finally got to feel rolly’s new ride: a powerful, immaculate white isuzu dmax. he asked us to accompany him to sucat, muntinlupa just to “drop by.” i regretted having agreed because we were held hostage by a group of beer-guzzling riffraffs. i wonder if dong still managed to go to work, because i was home by around 5am.

* * *

around midnight of friday, i received SMS from johnbee. he asked me to tag along his night trek with dennis to mt manabo in batangas. i had already previously declined, because i had no tent to bring with me, but johnbee told me that dennis had company who had a tent. “i swear it’s a bobcat,” i said, and johnbee replied, “eh ganyan talaga ang buhay eh.” initially, johnbee said he’ll bring everything, and instructed me to just pack my clothes. i wasn’t used to bringing just a handbag to the mountains with me, so i took along my MSR cookset and my MSR kitchen cupboard plus a lot of flavored and distilled water, just to fill some empty space.

i went to johnbee’s place in makati, then we proceeded to fiesta mall in alabang. after a while, dennis arrived carrying a small pack. “ano yan, wallet?” johnbee asked. we finally left for mt manabo later than we had planned. at the barangay hall, we found out that at least a hundred mountaineers had already registered to climb the mountain. we paid P10 each, and i would suppose the money was used in things other than the maintaining the trail, because we got lost very early into our climb. eventually, we followed a trail that took us through the grotto. we reached the summit with the white cross in around 2 hours. from there, the campsite of mt manabo was alive with the flickering lights of several headlamps. laughter and many chattering voices surfed on to the restless wind. civilization sparkled in the valleys below, rivaling the stars in the dark sky.

i slept in a half-dome tent which had no fly. had the weather been less friendly, i would’ve been soaked. i’m not the tallest person around, but fully extended, my body touched both ends of the small tent. i was making many many jokes about the pathetic little thing, when the following morning, after i was roused from slumber by very noisy kids who decided to descend even while it was dark, i found out that many of the tents in the mountain that time were just like the one i slept in. that morning, i snuck out of my sleeping quarters to await and possibly photograph the sunrise. i was disappointed because the mountain was underneath sheets of fog. i may have underestimated mt manabo a little because it was much much colder than i gave it credit for. there was no sun to speak of and from as early as 5.30am till i knocked on johnbee’s tent to get the stove at around 8am, i killed time by walking around the huge campsite, surveying the field and hoping to see the horizon.

while i prepared breakfast, the fog which kept me shivering for many hours disappeared in a snap, like a blanket pulled from over the prostrate mountain, and i was immediately made aware of how high the sun already was, and how amazingly hot it could be in just a few minutes. we started to descend at 10.30am, because we had to await for jerome’s group of first-timers to finish. i initially declined his offer to climb with him because i was supposed to be at the fiesta in calaca, batangas, but it was inevitable that we would meet in the mountain.

dennis drove himself to las piñas, and i got off at buendia for a bus ride back home. no deal, really. but from what i observed, if johnbee were a bank, dennis would be a preferred client. if johnbee were an expressway, dennis would be epass. if johnbee were an airplane, dennis would be in business class. if johnbee were internet, dennis would be DSL. oh well, as johnbee is wont to say, “wala tayong magagawa eh, ganyan talaga ang buhay.” oh, and jay catanghal is also in the same preferred class as dennis.
(Anonymous)
Hmmmm..talk about starting the year right. :-)
J.
Envy?
(Anonymous)
hmmm...do I sense envy somewhere?

had we come from NLEX, i would have asked dennis to drop you right in front of your gate. unfortunately, we came from SLEX. had you told me to take you home when i asked where I could bring you, i would have done so. but you said ayala or buendia was fine. madali naman akong kausap.

okay, when we go to arayat, i'll make sure we pick you up from your place and take you home as well. and Dennis can take the bus home. now...what to do with jay-r...that...is the mystery.

j.



Re: Envy?
i wouldn't say i was envious of dennis's position in the hierarchy. i am happy that someone gives him that much preferential attention, and i'm not necessarily wishing that someone would treat me in like manner. it was just an observation, really, which amused me to some extent. i am interested in the littlest details of human interaction. it's as rich a soup as you can get. :D

now what to do with JR? i have some suggestions, but the text back mo libre ko is a start. :D
envy?
(Anonymous)
do i sense envy here somewhere?

of course you understand it was not a big deal to take dennis home since we came from slex in much the same way as it wouldn't be a big deal to take you home if we passed through nlex. but seriously, if you had asked me to drop you at your place when i inquired where i could take you, i most probably would have driven you all the way to your place since i had nothing better to do that afternoon anyway. but you said ayala or buendia was fine.

ok, when we go to arayat, i'll make sure we pick you up from and drop you off at your place. and dennis can take the bus. (now...what to do with jay catanghal...that...is a mystery.)

j.

p.s. there must be a law that penalizes bloggers from talking about other people's lives and interests!