Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Toast To 4 Years

Time flies so fast. It’s been 4 years since I had set my foot on my first mountain. Ever since, the simple curiosity had turned into addiction and found myself climbing one mountain after the other almost every weekend.  Then, I had made new goals for myself – to try out the highest and toughest mountains that most claimed to be. This was a result of the interaction that I had with my fellow mountaineers. I  want to share the experience that they too had and somehow pass it on to other mountaineers as well and influence my friends to try out something new. Thereafter, I had made PINOYMOUNTAINEER as my homepage both in my personal laptop and work computer.  I find the articles written to be very inspirational and educational most especially when making preparations for the climb. Subsequently, North Face, Columbia and ROX Stores had been added to my personal favorites and I ensure that I never miss a visit when I find myself in the mall or near the area. Also, photos of myself in the summit are posted in my room or workstation. While most hang their medals or plaques of recognition, my photos on the other hand are testimonies to my personal achievements. Mountaineering had greatly influenced me. I never thought I would become a mountaineer someday.

Mt Pulag - Highest in Luzon

Way back in college, I used to see my schoolmates that belong to a mountaineering group carrying  huge backpacks and look very rugged. While I admire their passion, I never expressed intention of joining then as I don’t want to leave the comforts of home and avoid the hassles that the wilderness might bring. I love to travel,  to explore new places and to immerse in preserved culture but maybe way back then I wasn’t as adventurous and risk taker as I am today.

Mt Kanlaon - Highest in Visayas

Most of my friends would ask me why climb? I would often tell them that it gives you a different high. It will test your endurance, strength and even character but once you’re at the top, it is paid off with a different sense of fulfillment – some peace and serenity that you wouldn’t get when you are at the city. It is the same fulfillment that will keep you wanting for more. Also, with mountaineering you get health and social benefits – you get to exercise and expand your chain of friends. Lastly, mountain photos are always the best for me. It gives a touch of heaven on earth.

Mt. Apo - Highest in Mindanao and in the Philippines

44 climbs, 35 mountains, 8 out of the Top 10 Highest in the Philippines – these are my statistics if one would ask how many. Some are awed and impressed with the numbers but I feel more humbled because not everyone had the chance to do this. The unparalleled happiness, excitement and tranquility is something that I would not trade for anything else in this world.

I raise my glass to 4 years and for more years to come.