The thought of trekking under the big, bright moon excites me. So when I learned everything about the event, I was super sure to join. Cleared my sched for the weekend and prepared myself for it.
Just a short background, LUNATREK is an event that was organized by Cebu Mountaineering Alliance, Inc. (CMA) that was spearheaded by Ricky Sevilla. It is a trekking/camping activity every first full moon of September. Full moon!! That’s magical, right? It aims to unite mountaineers especially when it come to ecological awareness. The first ever Lunatrek was 12 years ago in Discovery Hills, Babag II, Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines. And this year, I am happy to say that I was able to witness this exciting event.
The 12th Lunatrek was held in Mt. Manunggal, Balamban, Cebu, last September 21-22, 2013. It is a mountain that rises to a height of 1,003 meters above sea level. It is famous because it is the crash site of the presidential plane Pinatubo which carried and killed President Ramon Magsaysay and seventeen of his presidential staff and some news correspondents during that unforgettable event on March 17, 1957. And to commemorate the president’s death, an annual trek is being held. I was able to take part of the Annual Death Anniversary Climb last March 2011. And for this Lunatrek, it’s going to be my 3rd visit in Mt. Manunggal. And I have been in love with it. Yehey! 🙂
Since I wanna spread the fun and excitement that this event will bring, I invited my friends. Only Miss Lia (officemate) & Miss Sheila (bestfriend of Miss Lia) confirmed. We started planning and we were super excited! And we did try to only bring one packbag each. It was not easy though. Hope you can imagine. Wahahaha! 🙂
And of course, our food; trail mix (peanuts, green peas, honey-glazed nuts, chocolates, etc.), paella, hard-boiled eggs, pork & beans, banana, sliced bread and spread. We decided not to bring the cook set & burner + butane coz it will add weight to our bags. Wahahahaha! We’re on a diet. Lol. Thanks to Miss Sheila for preparing our food. 🙂
Around 4pm or 5pm, there were a hundred participants who got to avail the free Basic Mountaineering Course (BMC). It is a basic guide to mountaineering; right equipment, how to pack, default mountaineering rules, etc. Unfortunately, we were not one able to join. But still I want to include their pics to this blog so I grabbed some pics. (Hope you, guys, wouldn’t mind.)
We arrived at the jump-off area (Kurus-kurus, Balamban) around 6:20pm. I scanned participants and saw T’Bunzy (my office-mate before and the person who invited me to the 5th Friendship Climb) & some of my new friends. We started trekking at 6:45pm. The road was too dark but I have a headlamp (which I did not charge, by the way). Well, there were lots of lights anyway. Hehehe. And when I looked up, there was the big, bright moon; so enchanting. It was silently guiding us to the right path.
It was just plain trekking. But don’t you dare think it was easy. We’re mundanes; we get tired. Our legs went numb as we walk higher. But there’s no point of giving up. As they say, “It’s not the mountain that we conquer but ourselves.” And Miss Lia responded, “Are we this high?” Wahahahahah! Nice one. 🙂
A sign that we’re already near the camp-site is this; the stone marker that contains the list of the passengers of the plane that crashed. We did not see our last names there. So definitely, no relatives. Confirmed! Hehehe. 🙂
We arrived at the campsite at 8:55pm. The raging air and its super cold breath welcomed us. We looked for a flat area and pitched our tent. Then we had a sumptuous dinner. And never-ending picture-taking. Oh, well.
The socials started together with the rain. But despite that, we still managed to participate in the program. There were six of us; solid audience. We named ourselves TRIBU BUWIS-BUHAY! We did not mind the rain. We just don’t want to miss the fun. We applauded and tried to participate in the trivia questions. I won a First Aid Kit. And as a token of appreciation, the organizers gave us some cool tribal accessories. Wooohooo!!! 🙂
Then the band named Unplugged started playing; pinoy old skul, reggae, party, etc. We were so in the mood to sing and dance along. Sing? I think the right word to use is “shout.” Yes, we were shouting…out loud! And after how many minutes, the rain finally decided to give in to our prayers; it stopped. Everyone gathered in front of the stage. Everyone was singing and dancing under the prideful moon; it was beyond perfect, not to mention the stars and the innocent sky. Booze was passed around, the controversial “Gimmie, Gimmie” contest, open forum, smooth conversations, ROFL jokes and the rest of what happened on that friggin’ night is history. It was a night where everyone became friends; no questions asked. And Facebook names were all over the place. Hahahaha! 🙂
Back to our tent coz it was time to hit the sack. And goodness gracious, one pole gave up coz of the raging air. We tied it up and made sure the rest of the poles will not betray us. We went to sleep sober while there were still people singing on the stage. I was so comfortable with my sleeping bag. Love it! 🙂
Woke up around 6am. Had breakfast; hot coffee, pork & beans and bread. Then we started to break-camp. I heard a neighbor saying, “Smart packing before going to the event. Now, it’s I-just-wanna-go-home kind of packing.” I laughed coz it was true. I’m sure as hell everyone can relate. Hmmm.
I did another head stand. This time, it was done just…OK (compared to what I did in Budlaan Falls). I usually do this every time I get to visit a new place or whenever I join a mountaineering event. Well, this is similar to jump-shots and cart-wheels that some people do. And since am not good with both, my crazy brain whispered why not do a head stand (though my version is not perfect). This is the part of me that says I’m crazy and witty. That I’m spontaneous, fun, grateful and happy. This is like my way of showing my respect & love to nature and in all creatures in this planet. My way of embracing life. Well, this is me. 🙂
Time flew so fast and suddenly, it was time to go. Cleaned the area and made sure it was free from litter. “Leave nothing but footprints. Take nothing but pictures.” This is the default rule. If you love nature, this rule is common sense.
And I don’t want to end this without extending my gratitude to Cebu Mountaineering Alliance Inc. for hosting the Lunatrek 12. I sure know it was not easy but you were just rockin’ awesome. You, SIRs/MA’AMs, were all amazing! Thanks for making sure everyone will have an epic time and for keeping this great event alive for the past years. It was a huge success!! ‘Til next time? Hehehe! (I know the picture below is not everyone but this is the only pic I saw. Peace out.)
Click here to find out more about the event, for pictures and for you to know the organizers, Cebu Mountaineering Alliance Inc. (Facebook Account)
And as always, I have a blooper photo. I’m doing the duck-face which is so awwwwwful!! Wahahahaha! I am super thankful to my tent-mates, Miss Lia and Miss Sheila for the great time; dumb-blonde moments, OC moments, jologs moments, geeky moments, party-people moments, etc. I hope you enjoyed the event as much as I did. Also to T’Bunzy, the suddenly formed overnight Tribu Buwis-Buhay, SUOC, etc. I know we will forever talk and laugh about the things that happened during this event. Some things are supposed to be kept as secret but I’m sure everyone will soon know. Well, who really cares. We just had fun and life is too damn short to be boring. *truethat* Salute to all participants who were so game and daring when it comes to craziness. You, guys, were ‘da bomb!’ I am so looking forward to the next adventure. When, oh, when? Hehehe! 🙂
Aside from the event tee, I also got an ID, certificate, tribal necklace and the medicine kit. Another addition to my collection. 🙂
“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” ~ Albert Einstein
“Take time to see the world beyond its surface. You will then see the real beauty of this planet you’re living. Then you will know that it’s hurting and that it needs your saving.” ~ Agspeak
Witty Traveler, House of Beautiful People, September 24, 2013