Day 1: Assaulting Mt. Tarak (Tukod Mukha)

The cast: Rhone, Jayz, Dang, Anne, My

The group met at Five Star terminal station (call time was 5 AM). Shortly before 6 AM, we were already traveling to Balanga, Bataan. From there, we rode a mini bus that will bring us to Brgy. Alas-asin in Mariveles. It took us one hour to reach the barangay instead of the expected 30-45 minutes travel time. Si Manong driver naman kasi nakikipagkwentuhan pa sa kung sino sa daan at tuwing nagkukuweto, nakakalimutan ding apakan ang gas. Timang! Ultimo yung nakaupong natutulog sa gilid ng kalsada binusinahan pa para lang magising. Anyway, we reached the barangay at 9 AM. We first registered then bought our food supplies. After repacking, we had breakfast. At exactly 10 AM, we started the trek. So far, we were on schedule based on our itinerary.

The trek started with a walk in the barangay road until we reached the house of Nanay. They again required us to register. We also saw other climbers there. May mga pogi! Sila an gaming naging energizer para mas mabilis ang lakad hihi. After the road, it was already a trail but no assaults yet at this point. It was just like walking in the park hehe. After maybe 30 minutes, may assault na. Medyo madali pa ‘tong part na ‘to pero hingal to the max talaga. We also passed by grassland area where the grasses were taller than me wahaha so I got scratches from head to toe. There were many obstacles along the way like fallen trees right in the middle of the trail (pahirapan para sa mga short-legged tulad ko hmp!) or the long branches that if you’re not careful enough, bagong tuhog na bbq labas mo hehehe. Sa liit kong ‘to, kailangan ko pang magbend para lang umiwas sa mga sanga, so yes, ganon kababa. This time, disadvantage naman ‘to sa mga matatangkad ahihi. We also passed by a landslide na ang tanging hawakan mo lang ay lubid but you cannot entirely rely on it to support you. Kailangan pa rin tama yung maaapakan mo, or else, diretso ka lang naman sa creek kasi wala talagang mga puno na haharang sa ‘yo. Dito ako sa part na ‘to kinabahan. Ewan ko ba. Di ko naman first time dumaan sa ganon pero kabado lang talaga ako.

After 3 hours, we reached Papaya River yifeee! It means LUNCH, a dip in the river and longer rest hehehe. The water was clean and cool and refreshing and it’s potable! At 2:10 PM, we resumed our trek. Puro assault na this time. May part talaga na halos hahalik ka na sa lupa sa tarik or kulang na lang itukod mo mukha mo para maakyat mo hehe. Pero nag-enjoy ako kahit puro mga ugat yung mga kailangan kong daanan. Feeling ko kasi, para akong naglalaro ng maze na dapat kailangan kong hanapin yung tamang daanan para lesser pressure sa tuhod ko and mas maiksi yung hakbang na gagawin ko. Buti na lang mapuno yung daan and mahangin so hindi ganon kaiinit.

At 4:30 PM, we reached Tarak Ridge! (we were 30 minutes earlier than expected despite the fact that we were already late by 1 hour upon reaching Papaya River :)) The view was awesome. We saw Coregidor, endless mountain ranges and further away, MOA! It was windy but we didn’t mind.

While we were having our rest, dumating sina pogi! Weeeee! Hihihi. Nanghihingi ng mantika ahahaha. Kaming mga girls syempre oo agad na may extra kami wahahaha. Tinanong kami kung anong gusto naming kapalit. Gusto kong sabihing pwede bang sila na lang? bwahaha kaso as if kaya ko hehe. Yung isa sa amin, chocolate hiningi wahahaha. Nakipagkwentuhan pa sila sa amin ng medyo matagal. Palibhasa, ang aming lead, kilala yung org nina pogi kaya they have something to talk about. Di ko na masyado matandaan napag-usapan. Busy kasi ako kakahanap ng way at ng timing para masulyapan sina pogi wahahaha. Pero eto pala, kasabayan din namin sila nung nag-Pinatubo kami. Sumama pa raw sila sa group namin para don ata sa security and ride. Bakit di ko sila nakita noon?! Wahahaha.

Anyway, by 6 PM, dinner na. By 7 PM, inaabangan na namin yung fireworks sa MOA. Yep, napanood namin hehe. Isn’t that amazing? Nasa bundok ka pero napapanood mo ang mga kaganapan sa syudad hehe. After the fireworks, we decided to take at least one hour rest. Usapan namin, socials namin by 8 PM. So nagkanya-kanya nang pasok sa tent. At kanya-kanya na ring pwesto at baluktot ng katawan para labanan ang lamig…at kalimutan na may socials ng 8 PM hahaha. Aux 1 lang dapat eh pero nag-extend ng break at nagleave pa kasi yung sumunod na gising namin, 5 AM na. Ayos! Hahaha. May mga nagising naman at nanggigising din pero ako, tinamad na lang akong lumabas hehe. Yung isa naman, nagising nung nakabalik na yung isa sa tent nya wahaha. Di nagpang-abot ng gising.

Command of the day: Push it! Push it!
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