“Shy, kat-kat ta!”
I heard that invitation for about three years but never did I got interested to reach a summit. I am more inclined to lounge at the beach and siesta all day. At that time, the physical strength that hiking needs, aside from the gears and stuff you need to pack are my concerns.
August 2017, I had encountered quite some difficulty; perhaps quarter life crisis. A new environment or hobby would be a breath of fresh air. So, I asked my close friend ever since high school (she is a mountaineer and has climb mountains around the Philippines and in Asia), and asked her to accompany me. I bet she must have been shocked about me hiking add to that; I was the one initiating.
The week prior to my ever first trek I was quite busy reading blogs on guide for newbies. Also, I was making checklist on what to wear, what to bring, what to pack, etc. Yes, the organized Virgo in me just took over. Anyway, it was not until three days before D-day that we decided to take on Sirao peak.
It was supposedly a day trek requiring a light pack, but I ended up overpacking- as usual. We met at Talamban and rode a motorcycle to the jump off point at Budlaan. We decided to take the route to the river (well, I actually let them decide). It was a good thing that it was not raining, else it will be catastrophic. I have a problem with my balance, hence it would be difficult jumping from rock to rock.
The entire trek on the river was quite difficult. It was apparent that my friend knew my struggles and she asked one her friend to assist me. From then on, I did not hesitate to ask for a hand when it’s too high for me. Well, this is quite new to me, I am usually too shy to ask for help.
Since it was a Saturday, there were many hikers. Some of them greeted us with smiles and asked us to join them for lunch. They don’t mind the humid weather nor the kilometers they still need to walk to reach the peak.
Believe it or not, it was my first time seeing a waterfall in Cebu and I have lived in Cebu all my life. It was intimidating to come closer and take pictures. But then, my lovely friend volunteered to take some shots. I smiled widely, not caring if my eyebrows are still there (I did apply waterproof eyebrow liner-you really need to).
We hasten our pace since its already lunch time. There was this open field and the heat was almost unbearable. In my mind, I was assessing if my one-liter water is not enough for the entire trek. Voicing my worries, my friend told me we’d take our lunch at a nearby store. Great! Let’s forget water and go for soft drinks. Cola- I am coming for you.
No time to rest, we continue on. Suddenly, light rain poured. We put on our rain gears. After about 10 minutes, it stopped again. The rain did come and go until we reached the peak.
During our jogging session, I always wonder why I need to take that steep route when there are other available routes, it was after all a preparation for this day. Shout out to my coaches! The peak was just a stone’s throw but it seems so far. Breaths ragged, knees aching and ankles screaming. Almost there. Those words became my mantra.
Applause, smiles and a bunch of congratulations. That was how we were welcomed when we reached the top. My eyes feast on the lush greens and deep blues (and gray clouds too- storm was approaching). I totally forgot why I ended up trekking in the first place, I was just overwhelmed to have reached the summit.
Sirao is not be the highest mountain in Cebu but it has definitely opened my heart to try loving the heights.