I have to write this down while the realization just happened, otherwise I just may forget about it- or think of using too many metaphors that the idea gets lost... I never quite expected I'd be deeply moved by our 2-day trip to Batad, Ifugao Province. I remember in 2007 I wrote "City Girl Gets Trapped in the Boondocks" after my first climb at Victor's Peak, and how I whined all the way to the camp: my heavy bag full of kikay essentials, the dope-smoking guys taking the climb with us, I complained about the weather and how our tent for two, which became tent for four was the most uncomfortable place that I stayed awake till 3am counting the rain dripping on the canopy.
Somehow in Batad, I took it all: the cold (remember, I was wearing shorts- bad idea in the Cordilleras), the distance, the incline. Well, I did remark that the food was better in Sagada but that was it. I took in the experience, adapted despite the fact it had been five years since my last climb.
I think I've been living my life like I'm forever in a serene beach, a little challenge here and there, but never really pushing myself beyond my comfort zone. Mountaineering did just that- it allowed me to push beyond my limits, even when my body screamed it couldn't possibly take a step further.
Dripping in sweat, with dirt under my nails, one strap of my hiking sandals snapped, my knees practically shaking, and my shirt and shorts caked with mud: there I was, grinning and oh so proud of myself. Life is rarely ever perfect, and oftentimes we have problems coming after another, but we never quit and keep moving forward. By experience, that is the only way to the summit.