climb

a long postscript, part 1

one might be inclined to think that after you endure four excruciatingly long days on a mountain as tough as apo, you’d be the least interested in tiring yourself for a few more sunsets. but such is not the case for adventure-seeking young hearts such as ourselves. the moment we left the training center in santa cruz, we began planning the succeeding week, filling every single day with an activity that promised to take us spinning around the eastern part of mindanao with absolute impunity.

after 26 waking hours, i was still on top of my game, planning stuff to do and how to collect people for a cheap thrill on the island of samal. sir manny had invited us to a resort in isla rita, and the first order of the afternoon was to pop by that santa ana wharf for a 3pm trip. the folks trickled in one by one, and i had to delay the departure by a few minutes as roland made a last-minute arrival. the boat ride to isla rita was not very long and boring. the small portion of the davao gulf was featureless, and everyone was tired. our main preoccupation at the time was watching dyake as he slept soundly, his head cocked slightly forward, mouth slightly open, and dribble dripping from his lower lip down to his shirt, just above the TNF logo and the chain of his newly-minted dogtag. eventually, the entire boat was giggling, and we must’ve spent many pictures of his salivation. he woke up a little later to find out that bojo had nicknamed him “lot wayla”.

when we reached isla rita, we discovered that the resort is still some distance away from the port. two choices presented themselves: habal-habal or pumpboat. there were more than 20 of us, and i decided we take the extended motorcycles. it proved to be the most electrifying part of the visit to this island. i shared a ride with eugene, and it must’ve been our ill-fortune to have chosen a driver possessed by the speed demon. despite having left the port last, we overtook all of the other motorcycles and reached the resort first. along the way, i saw how terror and fear were spelt on the faces of my companions: alexis holding for dear life to the driver, his face wincing in some indescribable fear, and wency, who for the most part must’ve screamed with increasing intensity.

we reached the beach just as dusk was replacing the afternoon. it looked like a beach from a dream: white sand, small bamboo cottages, and no one else to share this heaven save ourselves. the silhouette of mount apo loomed in the horizon and the following day, it was possible to see where the boulders are. one major glitch though was this: others hadn’t planned on staying the night, and planned on returning to the mainland for the evening. the weather did not permit them to leave, and they were marooned, so to speak, on paradise. this scenario takes place quite often with AMCI. normally, i would’ve maximized my visit to the beach, but after 36 hours straight, you begin to be out of it. my eyes were bloodshot, and the world around me swirled. so while everyone else frolicked in the water in the chiaroscuro of that picturesque sunset, i slept. i slept till after 11pm, to find people drinking, and eating the freshest fish. by the time i was ready to join them, we’d run out of gin. so we ended up retiring for the night.

the following day, the people who were supposed to leave at sunset left just before sunrise. consequently, ava missed her flight and the camiguin-bound folks delayed their itinerary. our team departed at 8pm. some of us were making plans to hie off to glan on the invitation of roy, and i was tasked to organize the thing. from my base in niel’s house, i had to connect with the matina folks, the villa josefina guys, roland, and sir manny. finally, with roland’s help, we got a van that would ferry us to gensan. roy met us there, and we drove down to sarangani. we reached the beach resort in glan around 4pm. it was a nice place, with a long white beach, and an off-the-beaten-path location. someone kept asking where exactly on the map of mindanao was glan to be found. i only had a vague, but apparently accurate idea.

when evening came, roy’s promise also arrived: a huge lechon was placed in the middle. our mouths watered at its very sight, and we lingered around it, admiring its color, consuming its smell, and controlling our urges to wolf it down. we were still waiting for the plates and the rice. but the minute a plate of native vinegar was placed beside it, we could not restrain our hands much longer. little by little, we pinched strips from the lechon. then the strips became chunks, and the chunks became slivers. pretty soon, we had turned the table into the sight of a massacre. there was absolutely no sign of civilization there: only the hungry wrath of deprived savages. and understandably so. it must’ve been the best-tasting lechon i have ever laid my hands on. and everyone agreed. we had many other things for that evening. roy is not one to disappoint, and we were treated to the best food available. and this will describe our stay in glan: eat, sleep, drink, sing, swim. this is the life, really. and the accommodations, despite the out-of-the-way location, could not be faulted. we had air-conditioning!

by the second day, kuya mar had a videoke machine delivered to the resort, and it ran the whole night, with the singers taking shifts. i slept from 8pm till 10pm, and relieved JC of his singing duties when he all of a sudden plopped down to bed. then when others woke to sing, i turned in as well. one of the men of roy’s aunt even harvested sea urchins so we could have fresh uni. we had an average of 4 meals each day, and our mid-afternoon snacks consisted of either fish or meat. what exactly do you call the pursuit of pleasure?

on the morning of our third day, however, it was time to come to terms with the inevitable: we had to leave glan, and face the harsh reality that life isn’t just about eating, drinking, sleeping, swimming. we cannot leave out the need to climb. so we hatched a sketchy plan to climb nearby mount matutum.
the romans calls it an orgy. you all basically had an orgy without the sex. an eating, drinking, singing and swimming orgy without the sex. you decadent bitches! LOL! typical of mountaineers. could not resist a mountain.
so i just took part in an orgy
now that one is for the books! can't wait for my next no-sex orgy. :D