Tuesday, December 8, 2009


AFTER AN ABSENCE OF more than a month, I am reunited again with Boy Toledo, of Ernie Salomon and, later, with Manwel Roble. Here we are again, maintaining our physical conditioning program walking the mountain trails of Napo to Mount Babag in the middle of an ongoing tropical depression! Just three has-beens so madly in love with these trails. The same three has-beens that would shame guys 25-30 years our junior in a test of endurance and speed.

As sure as the sun rises from the east, we rose from our comfortable beds to go out in an inclement weather condition and accommodate a request from our club to assist in training members and member-applicants. I received two such notices in my cell phone in SMS. I arrived at six-fifteen in the morning and missed the first mass at the Our Lady of Guadalupe de Cebu Parish. There were nobody in our meeting place. That's strange.

My guest, Jerry of Alps Mountaineers came at seven. Boy T and Ernie (these two old guys never ceased to amaze me) arrived at quarter to eight. Both came from yesterday's day trek from Budlaan to Upper Busay and it seemed these two never knew what is physical fatigue. In the final count, only four of us could make it. I understand, cold and rain make people lazy. The mud make them squirm as if it's a plague.

We started walking on the asphalt road to Napo under dark overcast clouds at fifteen past eight after securing our packed lunch and reached there at nine. From Napo, we crossed a swollen river and reached another river crossing. It was raining hard yet we walked as if were doing this thing in summer. It was a fast pace we set and Jerry was quite game showing none of the discomforts.

We wore no raincoats on purpose. No picture-taking also for today. The weather won't allow it. Strong gusts of wind lashed at us and made the trees dance. A branch or two broke but we never mind it. In fact, it raised our adrenaline and hasten our pace. We arrived at Manwel's place at ten-thirty. I brought the kids my usual present of fifty pesos worth of bread. Jucel, the youngest, came to meet me on the bamboo bench and took the prize.

We decided to tarry a while and cooked two packs of instant noodles on Boy T's cook set with the fire coming from my Bulin camping stove. We slurped the warm soup and munched the stringy food. It made us feel a little better. There were no young coconuts to savor this day. The wind is like a loose dog from its leash and Manwel have the flu and couldn't climb the palm. His parents were away.

Boy T was here last week, he told me, together with Noel Delantes, an oil rig safety officer based in the Middle East. They stayed overnight in the summit. Meanwhile, Ernie also came here last week with Lester Padriga, an American peace activist. Took a short hike up to the old resting area under a mango tree and backtracked. Both guests were eager to meet Manwel and me. Lester, later called Ernie and invited us to dinner.

We left at eleven for Mt. Babag and I left vegetable seeds like cucumber, pea, bunched onion, okra and tomato so Manwel's father could earn an extra income. We took the Babag East Ridge Pass, a route of a less degree of difficulty than Ernie's Trail. We summitted at quarter to twelve and reached our high hang-out overlooking Metro Cebu at 11:55 PM and we all took lunch there.

We rested and savored two one-liter bottles of cold San Miguel Beer Grande before deciding to go downhill at one in the afternoon by way of the No-Santol-Tree Trail. Man, I disdain traversing this trail especially during a rain. It is very slippery! I still carry the memories where the seat of my pants kissed the ground here several times. Only, there were nobody watching behind me then.

Passing by this branch of the trail that lead to Kalunasan, I saw a large pile of newly-cut trees beside a recently-dug hole intended for burning wood into commercial charcoal. This is the same place where a couple made a living cutting trees and making charcoal whom I have advised to practice responsible cutting of trees in the months of January and May which they have blatantly ignored.

I requested Jerry to take pictures of this place, the piles of wood, the hole, the makeshift hut, etc. After that, my rage began to break loose and wreak havoc on the piled wood, their equipment, their hut and everything within my grasp! Fortunately, they were absent that day else my legendary temper would have created problems for them.

We left the place and Boy T and Ernie hurriedly trudged downhill, happy to be away from my whirlwind-like performance. As I followed them, the trail were smothered out by Boy T's tracks. Trailing Boy T spelled peril to those who have followed him during downhill stretch in Mt. Talinis, in Mt. Manunggal and in Carmen. It was almost impossible going down the trail after Boy T. I improvised a route and, Jerry, shaken by the bulldozed trail, followed after me.

At 2:45 PM, we reached the Kalunasan Road. We decided to go by way of Kalunasan while Boy T wanted to go to Napo then Guadalupe. Boy T eventually sped away backriding on a motorcycle-for-hire. He is, obviously, in a hurry after receiving a call! We arrived at Guadalupe at three-thirty in the afternoon. Jerry decided to go home early while Ernie and I waited for the 4:00 PM Holy Mass.

After the mass, we waited for Boy T to arrive but he never came. Ernie and I decided to go to Lester's place in Friendship Village, Mambaling, Cebu City. We watched a Free Tibet documentary and, afterwards, a live band jam-session and dinner. At nine, we left our host and glad to have cemented another friendship.

It was another perfect Sunday!

Document done in OpenOffice 2.1 Writer


Walt said...

The army had one short phrase when it came to bad weather: ("Good Training!")
I can understand your legendary temper, too many trees are being cut down!

PinoyApache said...

Bad weather, it seemed, brought out the best in people.

sports37 said...


This coming year, Sports37 productions will bring you the LARGEST and GRANDEST fun run event of the country.

Gathering 50 thousand runners for one noble cause, FREE EDUCATION.

An absolutely FREE education program given by the Kamanggagawa Foundation,





Watch out for this ‘HUGE” event that will give the youth opportunity for FREE education, the most valuable GIFT we can give to our next generation.



for more info pls visit:


Walt said...

Sounds good. The last time I got a deal like that it was called the U.S. Army. A proper education and respect for nature, is the key to our future.

pathfindertom said...

hey PA i wish i had been there on the hike.

seen junglw wil lately?

ill look you up when i get back to the PI.

take care,


PinoyApache said...

@ Walt: The military is like that. All conditions, all weather, all terrain. That's what am doing to my friends now, I hope I'm right.

@ Tom: Been following your past and present adventures in your blog. Keep the path open!

Jerry Pescadero said...

A friend has this to say: "There is no such thing as bad weather. There are only different kinds of good weather." :-)

PinoyApache said...

Weather, whether we like it or not, is either somber or better.