Making It to the Summit of Mt. Sembrano (December 1-2, 2007)
I was lucky enough for having been invited by the Kamandag Barikus Mountaineering Group to join them in one of their climbs, that was at Mt. Sembrano located at Pililia, Rizal.
I have always loved mountains. With this virtual connection I've got with nature, I, super excited, have accepted the invitation. Aside from the pre-climb meeting, other preparations were done including the backpacking activity.
Meeting this new circle was indeed worthwhile. Witnessing a new horizon with them was totally breath taking.
(10 PM)From the jump-off, after eating "aroz caldo" at a nearby store, the group headed to a rocky and long intro until we reached the first camp site, "Manggahan". It's located near the falls. It's here where we refilled our "water tanks".
The next level was a bit difficult. I was literally crawling at some points. It was a rocky trail, not to mention the cliffs nearby.I was cathching my breath most of the time. Sir Heyyah, the youngest member of the group, did a good job during this seemingly never ending path of rocks. He was able to entertain us with his wit and humor combined. His hilarious way of expressing his mind made me somehow divert my attention, from those tough rocks and slippery trail to laughter. Kudos to Sir Heyyah! We reached the grass land safe and happy.
Upon reaching peak 2 (around 2 AM-December 2), we had our tents set. It was drizzling that time. I was freezing. Despite the tiring trek, most of us managed to stay awake. Some cooked sopas, some rested (including myself), some had a drinking session (ha ha). We literally waited for the sunrise!
The sunrise was magnificent! It was probably around 6 AM when we had our summit assault. There, I got my reward...a perfect view of Laguna Lake and other nearby towns including Bundok ng Susong Dalaga! At the summit, we've met other mountaineers from different organizations. Clicks of cameras here and there. We were trying to catch the beauty of each moment preserved by such view.
It was around 9 AM when we descended. We had our lunch at Manggahan campsite and had ourselves refreshed at the freezing waterfalls.
We were able to witness the sunset on our way towards the village (Barangay Malaya).
I, bringing the memory of Mt. Sembrano, promised myself that I'm gonna be back to embrace once again Sembrano's essence.
This made my first climb memorable! Thanks to the Kamandag Barikus Mountaineering Group!
article published 3/12/2008