Saturday, April 15, 2017

Mt. Bira-bira Traverse

I really want to write an entry regarding our adventure to Nagsasa Cove via Mt. Bira-bira traverse since this was my very first experience of climbing a mountain up to its summit. As I am writing, the company I had during that climb are at Mt. Ulap (they are already posting photos on social media). I wasn’t able to join them because I need to report to work for our planned power shutdown and so now I have this perfect time to write.

The Ascend

We went there last October 30, 2016. We are divided into two groups, the team Bangka and team Bundok. We (the team Bundok), takes on the challenging path of traversing Mt. Bira-bira. All of us lack sleep due to excitement. By 3AM at Sitio Cawag, Subic (Jump off) we officially started the trek because we are aiming to avoid the heat during noontime. It was still dark when we started, so dark that nothing can be seen without an aid of any light source (Our surroundings were pitch-black). This gave us a hard time starting since most of us are not prepared, although we all have smartphones with LED lights, we are conserving the battery for we will be staying at the cove for one night. The starting trail was slippery, muddy, and full of tall grasses. It wasn’t long before the sky was starting to light up, seems like the man in the moon was annoyed of our complaints and gave way to the dawn already. By that time, we are already being soothed by the wind, as if it was singing; I guess that’s the call of the mountain, as mountaineers have this quote of “The Mountains are calling”.

The feeling of finally having the taste of the dawn, witnessing the end of darkness, and watching the whole place as the sun slowly lit everything was incredibly heartwarming. It feels like I’m eating sweets but through my eyes.

As we are approaching the summit, the trail became more dangerous. It was life threatening as a little slip could mean death. We are walking on a cliff-side, and with the wind blowing hard so as our heartbeat. We became at ease the moment we stepped on the summit.

The Summit

I can never forget the flurry of feelings I had during that time of seeing the view of the cove from up there, truly magnificent and satisfying despite the hunger and exhaustion we experienced throughout the climb. About how I feel diminished seeing something greater the moment my eyes were set into the scenic vast landscape. The accomplished feeling like I was Jack the giant slayer standing on a giant’s shoulder. I am glad I ventured on trying this wonderful experience with wonderful people and these made me utter ,“this is definitely not the last”. We took turns on taking solo and group photos with the awe-inspiring view and since we are also planning to visit Nagsasa Falls, we descended and didn’t take much time on the summit.

“It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” —Edmund Hillary

The Nagsasa Falls

The descending trail was no longer muddy, but rocky which was painful to the foot. The sun was catching up to us, the temperature slowly rises, and it was a mountain with less to no trees so we headed full throttle. We reached Nagsasa Falls around 8AM and we spent an hour bathing and relaxing. The water was ice cold, crystal clear and greenish comparable to jade or natural emeralds. I think of this as a bonus for pursuing the traverse, and the cove as a reward. 

To the Cove at last!

Back on track, we continued walking towards the cove, by this time, we are already complaining about the heat, no escaping from it even with our early measures. The moment when I can already feel the sand on my feet, we hurriedly headed until we reached the camp site. The breath of “FINALLY!” has come. We are already hungry and we should probably start preparing for lunch, but the team who went by means of a boat is still not present. We put team Bangka in charge of bringing the food to reduce the load of team Bundok. While waiting, we setup our tents and some decided to take their nap. We waited for almost two hours for team Bangka before we finally had our lunch. After satisfying and stuffing ourselves with food we decided not to plunge yet to the sea and instead have our rest and wait for the sun to go mild.

When we are finally ready, we decided to have a walk on the shore. The cove was extraordinary, a place where the sea, river and mountain’s meet, and the rest was non-stop swimming, photo shoot, swimming, photo shoot, swimming…

Night came and there’s so much more to do.

One can still go midnight swimming, the water’s depth was tolerable, and very peaceful.

Ever believe in magic? Try stargazing, for the longer you stare the more stars seem to appear, catch a shooting star and have your wish, believe soon enough it will come true.

Gather and create a bonfire. The experience of sitting around a fire with family and friends doing some conversation and storytelling keeps the fire on every heart burning. For nothing beats the sensational warmth from the fire and company you have, perfect along with hot dogs and marshmallows too.

Looking for more time to write (#Day2 Up next)...

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