Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Ang Katarantaduhan sa Likod ng Pag-akyat ng Bundok
by mysteriosa

"Ano ba talaga ang nakukuha nyo sa pamumundok bukod sa sex?," asked one of my kainuman one time as he flipped over our Pulag pictures.

"Wala! Yun lang talaga," I jokingly retorted.

"Ano na namang pasali iyan?," asked my mom in Bicol. She had been nitpicking on my mountaineering sprees for quite sometime.

Since last year, I had gone to Daguldul, Pulag, Caliraya, Pinatubo, Manalmon, Maculot, Kilung, Mayon and so on. These treks were one of the major causes of my depleted bank savings and my buffed up legs.

"Duldulon ka na," again remarked my mom using our house dialect, as she pointed to the scratches and grasscuts marked on my knees, legs, feet and arms.

"Ano ba talaga ang nakukuha nyo sa pamumundok bukod sa sex?," asked one of my kainuman one time as he flipped over our Pulag pictures.

"Wala! Yun lang talaga," I jokingly retorted.

"Naghahanap kasi ako ng boys e," I explained to my giggling officemates. They are frequently amused by my kenkoy bundok stories and how I convince them that hiking is an investment on fafas. "E kung sa Libis ako tatambay, bading lang madedekwat ko. Buti na sa bundok, macho activity to," I whimsically elaborated.

"O, ba't kulang ang answers mo dito sa questionnaire," Don asked. He was our club's secretary and he reiterated my not answering the question: "Why do you climb mountains?"

I just shrugged off because that time, I was not in the mood for answering slumbook-type queries.

"Ah, ilalagay ko dito because of WatchBoy. Tee-hee-hee!, "kidded Don.

"Tee-hee-hee," I smirked, taking care not to bring up further discussions.

During my induction in Ilocos, I was brought back to that same question which has untiringly trailed me ever since I started trekking.

"Why do you climb mountains?"

"I climb for climbing's sake," I smart-aleckly responded, while intentionally misquoting the adage "I travel for travel's sake. Man's greatest desire is to move."

Still the querying panel was adamant.

Think fast and think smart, I mused to myself.

"I climb because it makes me reflect things."

"Reflections like what?," impatiently asked one afro-member.

"That no matter how unbearable life may be, no one can help you but yourself."

"While I was clambering Mt. Kilung, I was near to shedding tears because I never expected that the 4-hour trek would take us 10 hours. I wanted to give up and just pitch on the trail. But I had to move on. Because everyone was moving on. I had to move on with my bulky backpack because no one else will lift it for me. Because everyone else is enduring the same exhaustion I did."

"In life, it's the same thing. No one can truly solve our problems but ourselves. The Hero-concept is not-so-true in real life. You are your own hero. You save yourself. You bring your own load. It is your own feet that take you to the campsite. No one will carry you or your pack."

Then ---



"Ang galing..."

"Taga-UP yan..."

"Ayos, pasok na..."

After my bola speech, I was barraged with praises.

"Hay, thank you Lord," I muttered like the Jollibee boy.

I didn't know that it was my reason for climbing. Not until that moment.

Because frankly, I climb mountains for novelty's sake. If I didn't go into hiking, I would have taken Photography or Painting or Street Dancing or Swimming. But the chance of snaking through the mountains was laid to me at a point when I was clamoring for a change of lifestyle. So, I started conquering mountains. And mountains, too, began conquering me.

Someday, something new will befall on me again, and with that, I may have to abandon mountaineering. But since I haven't had that encounter yet, I might as well savor the peaks, the falls and bruises, the tents and gears, and so on.

I just hope that that pesky question will soon die down. Then again, I doubt it.

Source: Peyups

Like everybody else who had developed the passion for climbing, I have been asked a lot of times, especially by my mom and closest friends. Normally, I do not provide satisfactory answers to that. I have my reasons...reasons that shows my vulnerability, my weakness.

Up there, one forgets everything...

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