That will be my friends’ answer if asked about our Pico de Loro traverse. Why? Because one night at Gilligan’s with beer in our hand, Ken Ybarola and Alvin Marin dared me to night trek Pico de Loro right that very night thinking that I would drop the dare since we had no climbing gears. However, they were caught off guard because I nibbled their challenge without second thoughts. My beau Jim Bryan Ilarde supported me thus I got all the courage needed. Having to preserve their manly pride, off we went to Cavite along with our drinking mates Loreebel Patao and a girl I just met named Camille Lumbang.
10:40 PM – we left Robinsons Galleria and took a bus to Baclaran from where we took another ride to Cavite. The very moment we rode the bus, I noticed Alvin’s grimace, he started to complain “T***ina Missy, this is madness”. Halfway to Baclaran Ken is planning on backing out. Aside from Bryan who’s on leave and me who’s suspended, the rest have work tomorrow. Compared to the two gentlemen I have (Alvin and Ken) the ladies weren’t complaining. They were silent. If ever they felt hesitations or fear it didn’t show and I took it positively.
In Baclaran we bought necessities; hand warmer/sleeves (Php50), bonnet (Php80), new shirt Php100) and a bag (Php300) to put our things in. I also bought a pair of slippers (Php120) in substitute to my high heel sandals. After buying bread and water (1.5L each), we boarded the bus going to Naic. I was smiling to myself on our way to Cavite. Indeed this was a crazy idea but it’s amusing me.
From Naic we rode another tricycle to jump off point (Php100/head) along Tarnate highway. We took a paved winding road amidst pitched darkness. There were no street lights, thus we settled with our mobile phone’s flashlight. Albeit Ken and Alvin already climbed Pico in broad daylight; and now we’re trying our luck of summiting this mountain in pitched darkness, they’re the only option left who’ll guide us through the summit. So after gulping our pride and gathering our remaining courage, as the clock reflected 2:45AM, we started trekking.
|posing against the timed lenses|
|friendship strengthened by a night trek|
And since I rarely go back to places I visit, I made sure to climb Pico’s tower. I told myself that once I conquered this mountain, I won’t descend without a picture at the tower. And so for the realization of this dream, despite the menacing formation of Pico’s beak I climbed it. Thanks to Bryan for joining me in this craziness.
|entertained and intertwined atop the Pico's beak (tower)|
Since we started with this crazy idea, we ended the climb with a more crazy idea - TRAVERSE! It’s not just a simple traverse,what we did was traversing without knowing the way! We relied on our little knowledge of trail signs, instinct and guts. And holla! We found our way after more than 4 hours of trekking.
Though Pico de Loro is considered to be the highest point (664 MASL) within Cavite and Batangas, this is judged as an easy climb (Level 1). I know it’s too early to consider ourselves ‘hardcore’ mountaineers, we can only boast this adventure of conquering Pico de Loro with our casual attire and a tipsy head.
“Thank God, we’re back to Manila safe and sound!”
A Day After
All stayed home nursing body ache. J