Mt Lobo – Nagpatong Peak

I’ve climbed several mountains with my climbing buddies if not with complete strangers. Going back home in one piece is a relief for those who truly care and one of them is my best friend. She keeps asking me why I am doing such crazy things. What’s in it for me? I tried to reason out though I knew that she wouldn’t understand. The only way to end this blazing argument is first-hand experience.

Before end of business day, I told her to get ready to escape from hustle and bustle of the city. This is going to be her first time conquering a mountain. We’re both excited for this unplanned trip and I was hopeful that it’s going to be a fruitful one.

We ply on the road for more than 2 hours by bus and another 20 minutes by jeepney. We then went ahead to the market to buy food supplies for our climb when everyone was freaking out. They’re saying we should not climb until the fugitive who ran heading to Mt Lobo got caught by authorities. A very horrifying news few minutes after our arrival. Our journey to scale a peak just started and our courage was tested early on. Guess what? No fugitive can stop us and this climb is a go.

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On our way to military post.

After registering our names, they said no more mountain guide available. All of them were guiding another group who came prior our arrival. Fortunately, the Barangay Captain (Ronie) helped us get a guide (Kuya Mar).

We hit the trail at exactly 12:30 pm. The heat of the sun was brutal however definitely not a good time to complain. This is what outdoor means, breathe fresh air and feel the heat of the sun.

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Crossing the first river.
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Lovely kids soaking in the river under the blazing sun.

After two hours of semi-nonstop trek, we take five at one of the houses along the trail. We finally had a clear view of Nagpatong peak. The peak seems so near yet we need to trek for few more hours to reach the top.

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Nagpatong peak ahead.
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The tough assault begins.

We’re climbing on a very steep rocky zigzag terrain for 30 minutes and still no sign of an end. The only thing that’s visible ahead of us was the steep terrain and the peak was no more.

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More assault ahead. Keep moving.

After another two hours, we’ve reached the summit of Nagpatong peak at exactly 4:30 pm. The view from the top late in the afternoon was awesome but during the night it was wonderful. The bright lights of the nearby town was amazing. The stars from the sky were nowhere to be found yet the lights several miles below was already enough.

We almost forgot that there’s a fugitive somewhere in the mountain. We’re not terrified at all knowing the military presence nearby.

The weather was harshed that night at the summit. It rained hard for more than an hour. We slept well after it poured and had a great chilling morning the next day.

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Lone tent at the summit. No other hikers spent overnight with us.

We went to Nagpatong rock formation before the sun rises. As much as I want to take a nice picture of it, the terrain was very slippery and you’ll stumble anytime once your feet got caught with vines. It’s everywhere and snakes too.

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Kuya Mar with his machete.

After breakfast, we commenced our descent and bid farewell to the peak. As we headed down, Madz asked me; “When is our next climb?” I was like; “Seriously?” Finally, she understood and starting to be like me. Haha! She even forgot all the hardships and body pain she got out of it. 

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Soaking ourselves at Katiting Falls before concluding the climb. Looked like a mini lagoon instead of a falls since it’s summer.

My best friend first climb was a great one. We both endure the challenge of getting to the top and got back down safely with unforgettable memories. This trip made our friendship even better and stronger than ever.

“No greater climb than climbing with someone who won’t let you down and whom you can count on at any time.”   – Mhez

 

    

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