Dex and I hailed a cab at 2:15am and arrived at the Tritran bus station in Kamuning 30 minutes before 3am one Saturday. We joined the Habagat outdoor group in the supposed climb to Mt. Malasimbo in Puerto Galera. Upon arrival at the bus station, we were at a loss (literally) because we could not find the group we were supposed to join. It was kinda dark in the waiting area and Dex asked around. We also tried to contact the mobile number of the supposed team leader but everytime, we received a "the number you are trying to call cannot be reached. Please call later." feedback. It was pretty weird considering that it was the only number we had and even though I had the outdoor shop's landline number, who would be the possible person to answer that phone when the sports shop is based in the mall? And at 3 in the morning?
I had noticed a group of people hovering in the dark and I took it that they were also mountaineers based on their get-up and the bags they owned. I told Dex to ask them if they would also be climbing with Habagat. Dex seemed hesitant to ask them, it seemed for I had been telling him many times to approach them. Well, if he didn't want to, I did not push it. I just thought that maybe he knew what he was doing so I shut up.
Anyway, mountainclimbers arrived one by one and somebody approached and informing us that Alex, the supposed team lead from Habagat could not make it and that he would be the one to take over from Alex.
After which, we paid 1,000 each for our slots and we checked the station's canteen and took our early morning breakfast. I had the combo rice+meatloaf and Dex devoured his rice+hotdog.
Finally, at 5:00 in the morning, we left Manila and headed towards Batangas City. Upon arrival, our new TL went straight to the ticketing section and bought tickets for all of us. Dex and I hurriedly went to buy our forgotten packed lunch (I was expecting Matty's tapa for lunch but we did not have much time to go there) and chose 2 big longganisa (mine) and ... I forgot what Dex ordered. Hehehe. After getting our orders, we hurriedly made our way to where the pack was. After 15 minutes, we board the ferry that would land us at the sandy shores of Puerto Galera.
By the way, we were the last one to board the ferry and it was already jam-packed with people. We had to make our way to the back because the seats in front were already taken away. Compared to the last time I boarded this kind of ferry on my way to Puerto Galera 2 years back, it seemed that the space in this ferry was overmaximized. Before, only bags and other things were placed in the midsection of the ferry; now, they had placed seats there for people to sit in and the backs were stacked in the front section of the ferry. When we boarded, people inside were already yelling that the ferry was already overloading (the ferry had taken more than its share of weight capacity of people plus the weight of the mountaineers' trekking bags combined). As much as I wanted to be in that ferry to reach our destination earlier than usual, I would rather wait for the next one to come than be an added weight to an already overloaded boat. I do not know how to swim, for goodness' sake.
Anyway, we reached PG's shoreline at past 10 in the morning. The sun was blazingly hot and the white sand and the blue sea was so tempting that I convinced papi that I would just frolic by the beach instead of trekking the mountain. Well, had the Habagat people did not give us that option, I would have probably climbed Mt. Malasimbo. I couldn't recall which was a 60% and 40% toss between who decided to frolic and those who decided to pursue the trek. But one thing that was vivid in my mind was the fatigue and sweat I saw in the faces of those who climbed. Hehehe.
During our stay there, I just wandered,walked aimlessly, barefoot in the white sand. I even entertained the thought of what paradise must be like when you were there, not thinking about city life, stressful work and other worries. I enjoyed watching the kids building their own sand castles. How fun it was to be a kid again! It was a shopper's paradise, too, to catch sellers of native & ethnic things and those beachy stuff and be able to haggle to a certain price to your heart's content. Hehehe. I bought sets of pearl necklaces, anklets, sarong, some PG shirts. =) Not to be missed as well was the yummy halo-halo being sold in that area. It was a wonder that my stomach never got upset for having too much halo-halo.
Also, I gained a new friend there. A very cute kid. =)
I miss being in PG!