Surrounded by a vast expanse of lahar-filled valleys, boulders the size of cars, and inhabited by a number of local Aeta tribes people, Mt. Pinatubo offers a breathtaking view of a hidden lake inside its crater – definitely an enchanting reward for intrepid explorers and trekkers…Read More
Visiting Banaue is a rewarding experience because of their rich and well-preserved culture. You can still witness the undying ethnicity thru their way of life and traditions. Their religion, spoken language and clothing are all unique in their very different perspectives…Read More
Sagada is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the Philippines especially for those who love trekking, spelunking, rappelling, and rock climbing. Its mountainous regions are perfect for these kinds of activities, but this is not all that Sagada has to offer…Read More
El Nido is renowned for its towering limestone cliffs which are inhabited by the swiflets, a kind of bird that lives in caves with the ability to navigate in total darkness. Their nests are entirely built with their saliva, which is used as a main ingredient for the famous Chinese delicacy, Bird’s nest soup. These nests are being sold for approximately US$ 3,000 per kilogram.Read More
Coron has a lot to offer the tourist, including white sandy beaches, limestone formations, coral gardens, sheltered lakes, coves and the Maquinit Hot Springs, Japanese naval wrecks from World War II, to name a few. Because of these attractions, Coron has transformed to be an underwater haven for avid divers and snorkelers, taking in all the beauty that lays underneath the sea and other majestic sites…Read More
Number 1: Mt. Mayon Summit
Mayon Volcano is an active volcano located in the province of Albay, Philippines. It is known as the perfect cone because of its almost perfect symmetrical shape. I chose this as my number 1 because of the risk factor, the level of difficulty and the beauty of the nature around.
Years of wall climbing, mountain climbing, dragonboat rowing, jogging, kayak marathon and all other trainings…none of it prepared me for the monster that is Mt. Mayon summit climb! The kickass volcano kicked my ass!
Maybe I was a bit out of shape, or signs of old age perhaps? It took every ounce of energy, will power and faith in my entire being to reach the summit.
Staying at camp 2 was an absolute pleasure. It was freezing cold, just the way I like it. Since we got to camp 2 early, I was able to enjoy a nap and the amazing view! No amount of money or material wealth can ever match this experience.
At 3 in the morning, we started our climb to the summit. There were countless times when I had thought of an accident. The terrain was treacherous and every step should be a calculated move because your life literally depends on it!
It was a constant debate in my mind every 30 minutes on whether or not I should turn back or soldier on…”Ayaw ko na, mamamatay ako dito”, “Sige na nga tapusin ko na, sayang naman”. It really was a test of character and will power.
The grueling experience still seems so surreal.
My battle scars were 1 very small splinter, burnt skin all over, scratches from twigs and plants and an aching body. Was it worth it? I argued with myself countless times but the answer is a resounding – YES. It is quite an achievement to be one of the few to reach the summit since 2001.
Would I do it again? I’m not sure. But this is one experience that I will remember for the rest of my life for sure.
I’m happy to be back. I’m happy to be alive.
Cheers to our adventure and cheers to life!
I’ll write about these trips in more detail as I write about the particular destination in the coming posts.
Travelling around the Philippines, exploring a new adventure, enjoying a new destination and experiencing the outdoors are what keep my mind, body and spirit young. It keeps my blood pumping and it adds to the memories that I can look back to when I am too old to do them.
A piece of warning though: This may be addictive! If it is your first time to try a new activity, you might find yourself planning another trip before you even board the plane home.
Try the Mount Mayon Summit Climb now!
previous: The Plunge on Top 2