7 Reasons Why You Should Climb a Mountain
I was no mountaineer. However, I wanted to try it since mountaineering is prevalent nowadays. It was perfect that my friend suggested to do it. So, she googled and found Mt. Mago climbing adventure. She made a plan for us. She prepared itinerary, informed us the meeting place and the budget. The planned could be considered well-set.
But, nobody seemed to notice it. Everyone was silent about it. Nobody reacted and asked about it. Even I was also hesitant to do it. So, days have passed and, we failed to realize it.
However, if it meant to happen, then it would happen. My desire to actualize it occurred to me again. So, I asked again to reborn the plan. This time, it was more persistent and compelling. Then we marked the calendar, saved some penny, and got ourselves ready. And everything was history.
A Brief Background of Mt. Mago
Mt. Mago stood at the boundaries of two municipalities and a city, namely: Carmen, Tuburan, and Danao City. Indeed, it was interesting to be there because you could be in three places at the same time. It was one of the reasons tourist visit Mt. Mago.
Though it belonged to three places, the easiest way to get there was through the municipality of Carmen because of an access road heading to the start of the trail at barangay Santican, Danao City. You needed to hire a motorcycle to get there if you did not have private vehicles.
We noticed the steepness and some bumps of the road but, it was not enough to overlook the picturesque verdant sceneries of trees, mountains, and hills. Indeed, it was relaxing and worth visiting.
6:00 am - 6:30 am
Meet at Carmen Public Market
6:30 am - 7:30 am
Going to Santican barangay hall
7:30 am - 10:00 am
Trekking to Mt. Mago
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Sight seeing, taking lunch break, preparing to go back down
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Trekking back to Santican barangay hall
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Going back to Carmen Public Market
List of Things to Prepare
Here are the things you need to prepare to do this adventure:
- Lots of water - Trekking would make you sweat a lot. In other words, you would lose a lot of fluids in your body. So, you need to replenish it. Aside from pure water, you could bring with you energy drinks rich in electrolytes. It also helps you to refuel your body with fluids.
- Food such as biscuits, bread, chocolates or meal - you must be ready to fill your stomach as well. You should not expect that you could see a convenient store on top of the mountain. So, you have to bring foods with you. Moreover, chocolates or other sweets are also good sources of energy. These will help you survive the entire adventure.
- Sunblock - you need to bring or apply sunblock cream before exposing yourself to the open sky to avoid sunburn. Do not expect that you will always walk under the shade because there are ways which are right under the heat of the sun. Moreover, if the weather is cloudy, do not fail to apply it because of solar rays. So whatever is the weather, you must apply SUNBLOCK.
- Extra shirts - you will sweat. Expect it. Having extra shirts will keep you dry and less stinky. So, if you want to be fresh on your way home, you need to bring these.
- Slippers - if you will not be comfortable wearing your shoes, you will have an alternative to it.
- Camera - nowadays, it is a requirement to bring a camera in whatever adventure you will do. I know, you have many reasons to have this one. So, I need not elaborate.
- Fan - while resting, you can make yourself ventilated using a handy fan. You can have a battery-operated or manual fan. But, if it is battery-operated one you need to recharge its battery before having the trip.
- Cap - in case you are under an open sky, you can wear this to cover your head and your face. It will protect your face from direct sunlight.
- Power bank - since it looks like a long day in a faraway land, then you need this to recharge your electronic gadgets especially your camera.
- First aid kit - it is better ready for untoward incidents.
Carmen Public Market
Carmen Public Market
Santican barangay hall
Santican barangay hall
Carmen Public Market
Carmen Public Market
How to Get There
The transportation was not difficult:
- First, you and your friends might meet at Carmen Public Market which was along the highway in Carmen, Cebu, Philippines.
- Then, you could hire a motorcycle to send you to the barangay hall of Santican, Danao City, Cebu, the Philippines. It is the start of the trek.
- Do not worry. The drivers were familiar with the place since it is one of the tourist destinations. If ever you have a private vehicle, you could drive it until the barangay hall. Just leave it there. Then you could start the trek.
- Upon arrival in Santican, there would be kids who would offer you a tour-guide service. Then, you would have to pay them in any amount. Just a tip, the money would be spent on their daily needs such as their school allowance, food, fare in going to school and others. So it is up to you.
- Once you were up there, the place was not vast but enough for you to set up tents just in case you decided to go camping and sleep overnight. You needed not to worry because a lot has done that. In fact, on our way going there, we met hikers going down who stayed overnight. Should you worry about the transportation back to the highway the following day, well, there would be lots of motorbike waiting to send you down.
Indeed, the trail to Mt. Mago was perfect for first-time trekkers. It has roughly 30° to 40° steepness. It was lower compared to 70° steepness of other mountain-climbing destinations. Nevertheless, this was enough to make us catch our breath. So we made several stops to rest and be charmed by the breathtaking view. The fresh air, green plants, cotton-like clouds, and blue skies satiated our eyes and soul. Indeed, we were refreshed and inspired to go on.
We found the first route difficult. It had some rocky and slippery trails along the hillside. It was challenging and took our breath away. We also needed to hang on the arms of our friends to go up higher the hill. But, I wanted to remind you that it was our first time, so this might be an overstatement for those who have climbed mountains already.
On the other hand, the trail we took back to Santican barangay hall seemed widened and leveled off for the passage of vehicles or motorcycle. Though it was a bit longer than the other, it was an easy way down. As a suggestion, you should take this way back because you would not have the same level of strength and energy going down compared to going up. You also got the chance to see the other side of the place.
We did not only enjoy Mt. Mago, the trail, and the view but also our experience on that day. We got dirty, stinky and weary but, we were happy. Aside from happiness was the following insights:
1. You would have a break from the toxins of the city.
Traffic, pollution, noise, and pressure from work were the things we face every day of our urban lives. They were what I call toxins of the city because they could put us under stress. Yes, sometimes, we can hide from them. But, there were times that we cannot. Still, we continue living.
However, being in the mountains, it gives us a break. From smoke and pollution, you would have fresh air and green scenery. From traffic and noise, you would have a peaceful rest under the shade of a tree while listening to the soothing sound of the leaves and birds. From pressures of work and deadlines, you would have peace of mind with every blow of the breeze up in the mountains.
Indeed, it felt so good to be away from the place you routinely lived and see the other side of the world in a while.
2. You would discover how strong you can be.
Before the scheduled day of our trek, I had lots of apprehensions: that we might not reach the peak; that I might collapse; and worst, that I might die. It was true. Those were my thoughts. But to my surprise, I managed to go up and back down.
If I listened to those thoughts, perhaps, I would not make it. I would not know I can. Most of all, I would not discover I am strong.
3. You would develop endurance.
Strength is for physical while endurance is for will.
Mountaineering could unleash your hidden endurance which you thought you did not have. Remember, your strength did not come alone. It went with your will to finish the trail despite the scorching heat of the sun, keep making steps despite the pain at your feet, and smile despite the heavy load at your back.
Indeed, mountain climbing could transform you into stronger you.
"In his hands are the depths of the Earth, and the mountain peaks belong to Him."— Psalm 95:4
4. You would see the greatness of nature and its creator.
Without question, nature was a masterpiece that no human could ever create. It was the reflection of the perfection of its creator. Who was the creator? It was God and, only Him could ever do it.
So, every time we see the beauty of mountains or nature, let us not forget to appreciate and glorify Him. Thank Him for providing us all we needed through the natural resources.
5. You would see life in the simplest.
A lot of us thought that we could not live without our gadgets or internet. However, this was just an exaggeration. We had that idea because we were dependent on them while in the city. It has been part of our urban lives. But, we should not forget that to live, we needed food, clothing, shelter, air, and most especially, company.
Being on the mountain, I realized that we have been busy making ourselves rich. Were we really at peace? Perhaps, we had a luxurious life in the city compared to those inhabitants there. But, were these the gauge of happiness and contentment?
Whatever your answer would be, I knew and experienced simplicity's beauty.
"And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day."— Genesis 1:31
6. You would experience reality.
What did I mean with this?
Have you seen two people sitting side by side or opposite to each other while holding their gadgets? What have you noticed? Well, there was more silence than the talks. There were more emoticons than real laughs. Lastly, there were more sweet photos than the actual truths. Then, what was the purpose of being close to each other when you seemed too far?
In the advancement of the world, we were too engrossed with the gadgets. We forget having real talks, boisterous laughter, and close distance. But, at high altitude, you could only use your mouth to converse and not your fingers. Laughing had joyful sounds and not the visual ones. All were real. All were genuine.
We needed to put down our gadgets sometimes. We should engage in live conversations. We should laugh as loud as we can. We should enjoy being alive. We should not be just virtuals. We should be real.
7. You would appreciate NOW.
Being far from the busy streets, telephone ringing, or noisy markets, you would learn how to be free from your worries. You would not think what time would you get at the office; what was happening why nobody answered your call; what to prepare for dinner; or how much money you still have. Would it be enough? Would you be okay or something?
Indeed, you had a lot of worries about what would come. You forgot that you are in the present. You failed to enjoy the moment. You overlooked to see the details of your life every tick of the clock. You seemed physically present but, your thoughts were wandering.
Having the trek, it made me notice my breath. I was alive. And I realized that I should savor every step I have made and the scenery I have seen. It shows I have lived at that moment and I was joyful.
We all need a break from our daily routines. We need to unwind to have a fresh mind. We need to throw away some trashes to be filled with good ones. We need to be whole again.
There are many ways to experience it. But, mountaineering is just one way. There are a lot more. But first, you need to find what is best for you. Then invite your friends. Plan. Get excited. Pursue it. After all, life is too short. Do not miss a chance to live it. Never lose the stamina to enjoy it. Do not forget to share it. And, have a life well-lived. Choose it.
Which reason do you agree the most?
© 2018 Jason M Quinapondan