Before I went to bed Saturday morning, I made sure I washed every little thing I could -- pairs of socks, gloves, leg warmers, bonnets, towels, handkerchiefs. I didn't wash my hiking shoes thoroughly. I learned from newly found mountaineer friends that you shouldn't wash your shoes with detergent, only with shampoo. So I willingly yielded and removed the earth-stains on the sides and the sole. I thought no stain was left.
Until I saw the marks. I intended to leave them like that.
I want to keep a memory of Mount Pulag in my shoes. It's like a battle scar. A memento of places you've conquered.
|Our view of the summit from the saddle camp after we hiked to see the sea of clouds.|
After all, Mt. Pulag is proudly standing at 2,922 meters above sea level. The third highest in the Philippines.
|The obligatory visitor pose|
But every step, every chill, everything was worth it. Especially when we ascended to the summit and saw the majestic sea of clouds as the sun was rising. It was the most beautiful dawn of my life.
|The sun at dawn parting the Earth and the sky as the world eases into another day|
Congratulations to Rikki and Nikki for their romantic Pulag engagement. The heaven witnessed your love, and it would surely bless your marriage for life.
Good times with new friends. 'Til the next climb!
Note to climbers:
- Leave no trace.
- Follow ALL the rules.
- Stay on the trail -- don't stray.
- Don't make noise on the mountain.
- Respect the mountain as you would your parents, partner, self.