It was April this year, when I just feel like I wanted to do something that I’ve never done before. I know that I badly needed a breathe of fresh air other than my usual routine.
And that’s when I started looking for hiking events on Facebook. It was May when I stumbled on a post about Cayabu-Maynoba day hike by Drew Rivera.
Because it was my first time, and was really hesitant to go on a joiners group event, I checked his account first (yes, background check! Haha!), chatted him, and then the rest is history! We’re still friends (?) until now (after a couple of inisan). HAHA! You can really earn friends up in the mountains.
Moving forward, while searching about the climb’s details, I found this from Pinoy Mountaineer that I honestly don’t fully understand but will list it here anyway. Haha!
Trailhead: Brgy. Cayabu, Tanay, Rizal
LLA: 14°36′22.4′′N, 121°25′18.6′′ E, 728 MASL (+470m)
Days required / Hours to summit: 1 day / 2-3 hours
Specs: Minor hike, Difficulty 3/9 (Summit); 4/9 (Loop hike), Trail class 1-4
Features: Sea of clouds, scenic views of the Sierra Madre, waterfalls
The Meet Up
The team gathered at Mcdo MRT Cubao. As far as I can remember, we are required to be there at around 1:00 o’clock in the morning. Hours before the hike, I tried sleeping but to now avail. Maybe I was so excited or brokenhearted. I don’t know. Either of the two. Haha!
Anyway, I can still remember how excited and nervous I was while commuting my way to Mcdo. Excited because it was my first time, but nervous at the same time since I don’t even know the people I’m going to be with! Not even sure if the leader is a scam (joke lang, Drew!). Haha!
But glad that everything turned out well. Really well.
If my memory serves me well, we left Cubao at around 2:00 AM and arrived at Tanay, Rizal at 3:30AM.
We started climbing after a short introduction and a couple of reminders from our leader at around 4:00 AM.
I was honestly (subconsciously) not paying attention to him kasi masakit ang heart ko noon. Grabe talaga. Haha. Documenting every little thing because I don’t wanna miss a thing. Haha!
And then the climb started.
I was so excited! It’s like in my head, I’m saying, I’m walking, I’m walking. We’re walking! Haha!
I honestly didn’t expect that the assaults were many. I thought it would just be chill because I have had a couple of mini hikes before. I don’t know. What I can just remember now is that there are a lot of assaults but I was happy that I finished strong. Charot!
While in the trail, I started talking to some jjoiners in the group.
I first met Kate. I just find her very pretty and strong. I feel like she is a long time mountaineer already because of how she handled herself during those assaults. Ang bilis nya!
And then, we reached the peak of Maynuba at around 5:30AM because we took the shortcut and didn’t go to Cayabu. Sayang but it’s still fine. What’s more important was I finished strong! Huhu! And then, I realized na bababa pa pala kami. Haha.
The view was breathtaking. I saw the green mountain ranges, the trees, the river on the right side of the mountain.. I love how Mr. Sun slowly peaks it’s head on us while we were excitedly waiting for him.
I’ve never experienced something so real in a long time. I am just in awe of how God made these beautiful and breathtaking mountains, skies.. everything makes me wanna shout how God’s love is perfect and all for us.
The new found friends
While waiting for the sunrise and the sea of clouds (that we didn’t get to experience unfortunately) we had the opportunity to take each other’s photos, share each others’ trail food.. And that’s when the laughter and friendship started.
I met a number of people that I hope I would still see again in my next hikes or even here in Manila.
True enough, we really find new friendships in the mountains.
We actually had a number of stops because who doesn’t love photos? Haha!
What’s more exciting with this climb was we passed by 8 waterfalls! Bad timing though because.. I can’t. I mean I shouldn’t swim. Because, monthly period. Oh, well.
After having lunch in one of the waterfalls, a couple of photos again and kwentuhan, we reached the base at around 2PM.
I have some boo-boos in this climb. I forgot to bring my towel, my personal kit, but more than what I forgot, I gained some things for a lifetime. New friends, new experiences, that new found love for the mountains, and that feeling of being in awe with God’s creation.
I just realized now that God really doesn’t want you to be stuck in a situation of pain, of sorrow, and of darkness. When you feel like everything is not going to the way you want it to be, God has His own ways of still providing you with joy and comfort — as for me, this time, it’s through His mountains, through His nature.
It’s as if He is telling me that after all the problems, struggles and questioning, I will reach the summit. I will still reach the summit no matter what because He is with me. I just needed to fight the battles, endure the pain, change the way you see things, because everything will fall into it’s rightful places — in God’s perfect time. But what’s more important? I am not doing this alone now, I am doing it with Him.