It is very apt to say that “I survived Mt. Pulag” instead of saying the word “conquer”. Climbing Mt. Pulag was my first experience to go on a full mountaineering climb wherein you spend more than a day of walking along the mountain. Normally when I go up into the mountains, the walk would be short. Walking for two hours straight is already a stretch for me.
When Joeff talked to me about his plans to climb Mt. Pulag, I told him that I’m very interested, but I wanted to take the easiest trail because I was still fat–thus physically limited. The easiest trail was not so easy after all! 🙂 It was truly a struggle for me. A struggle of will.
I said in my last entry that I felt I was doomed, and I knew that I was because of the fever that I was developing. I knew that if I were to go back down with a fever, things could get pretty ugly for me. So in the dark of the night, while my head was aching and my body was shivering, I prayed to Kabunian and the guardians of Mt. Pulag. I asked them to help me get down the mountain safe. I told them that I still wanted to do things in my life, and I wanted to survive this ordeal. I told them that if they helped me, I would strive to live a healthier life so that I won’t succumb to bodily weakness again.
I think some time during the night, as I suffered through broken sleep, they helped me out. Genuinely, I think they really did. I think my trip up the mountain was quite spiritual in the sense that I knew that they helped me. It was impossible for me to have survived that day of climbing without any repercussions. I was already overworking my body and going up the mountain seemed to be the last push.
When I woke up to a foggy and cold dawn, I felt refreshed. Like I could climb up again (haha)! Even if I ate sparingly, I felt I had a new boost of strength. I decided against putting on my wet clothes again. Thank God I had the foresight not to wear my one and only jacket because at least I had something dry to put on top of my t-shirt. So after breaking up camp, we climbed up to the summit. We did not get the clearing that Mt. Pulag was famous for, so we were not lucky enough to witness the sunrise. Fortunately, we saw some awesome views of the countryside as the clouds broke apart for a few moments. We were also able to enjoy a bit of sun!
After that, at 8:30am, we proceeded to walk back and head home. Climbing Mt. Pulag was an amazing and terrifying experience! I hope to be able to do it once more as a way of saying thanks to the mountain spirits and gods who helped me survive my first time. Honestly, I think they help everyone and anyone who comes to the mountain. If you have not tried climbing Mt. Pulag, I highly recommend it. Even if you think that you cannot do it physically, don’t think that way! Help will be given to those who need it so don’t be afraid to come up and try to reach for the clouds 🙂
***Quick note about the photo: I think I took this photo, I am not sure. This photo has also been manipulated by tweaking the contrast and brightness.