coffee reads,  some moments

when you are heading to the mountain…

At 2:13 am, on the 29th of January 2022, my cousins, Kwine and Kymry woke me up as I was sleeping in our living room. I was supposed to wake up at 1: 43 am to send the message I was preparing for someone whose birthday was on that day. In short, I was late, and I hurriedly prepared to bring my things to the van while my parents were laughing at me because I still looked so drowsy, and I talked like I was out of myself. I sat on the van feeling lost and took time to observe what was happening. Okay. I was sitting in the van, and we were going to Bukidnon. I have been longing to visit a place since last December of 2021.

I first went to Bukidnon when I was five years old with my family. It wasn’t a good memory because I wounded my finger while playing with the vehicle’s little door. The last time I went to Bukidnon was five years ago, and going there on that day was like meeting the place for the first time. Now, it is probably the third time, and gash, I am excited. One of our itineraries was to climb Mt. Kiamo; as our campsite was there on the valley, we challenged ourselves to head on to the summit when dawn came. You know, I always have been in love with the ocean, but when I saw the mountains at Bukidnon, I guess these two could create a love triangle towards me. I love how the mountains can be so beautiful when you look at them in the distance; it gives one that spark of hope to look beyond.

Since it was my first time trekking, I hesitated if I could make it. Still, since I have been indulging myself with my skipping rope and the wonder woman soundtrack while having my own style of working out before the week that we will visit Bukidnon, I guess that helped me augment my breath. It possibly allowed me to have the strength I needed to use while trekking. So, yes, a lot had happened when we were climbing at the summit. Before that, let me introduce to you Mt. Kiamo.

Mt. Kiamo, the Pitcher Plant Mountain, is located at Malaybalay Bukidnon, approximately, it is 1823 meters above sea level. We woke up at 3:00 am to prepare and hiked at almost 4:00 am if we wanted to arrive there at 6:00 am. However, it wasn’t as easy as we see it. It was a challenging mountain to climb. Since we drifted from the campsite at dawn, and we could barely see the whole scenery of the place, we had the idea that it was all smooth and sound, and maybe it was going to be an easy one for all of us. What we had was our headlights on, some tiny hand flashlights, a bottle of water, and alright, my cousin Quennie carried her, “haplas,” I guess it was peppermint herb something.

I love how we talked along the way, just to hide the guise of us starting to struggle in the first 20 minutes. Since we could barely see the surroundings, we were facing the stony path, some sharp tall leaves, and thank GOD, the crescent moon came out along with some stars that can be counted that time. Sir Ian, who went before us, kept saying, “patag na,” (the road is not steep), so whenever he said that, a little hope rises from us in pursuit of wanting to be on the steeples road. The funny thing is, the “patag” was only for ten seconds, and then we were back to the hard part where the mountain would demand you to literally climb.

A hike without some people you are with that makes you forget that you were climbing because of their presence is nothing, so, since I was surrounded by determined and people with a high sense of humor, I was able to laugh it all the way. However, I am pretty, really silent the whole time, hahaha, I just laugh on the inside. We were supposed to be there at 6:00 am, right? But we arrived at the summit at almost 7:30 am.

There are a bunch of lessons I gathered while trying to count my steps until I arrived there. I cannot forget when a friend named Ian was standing beside a small tree while we were in the middle of the hike, as we were walking fastly to catch the time. He stopped and said, “We forgot something.” Before someone could ask why, he answered, “We forget to stop and rest,” he smiled, and then everyone stopped as the statement was a domino tile.

True, it dawned on me. Sometimes we were so hyped to go and go because of the thought of wanting something to achieve that we lost the chance to step back, enjoy the scenery and relax for a while. At times, that is the reason why we are often burned out because we don’t honor rest, even just for a bit.

Another thing was when sir Ian ( sir Ian and Ian are different people. Ian without the ‘sir’ is on my age ) keeps on saying, “lapit na, (we’re almost there),” wherein fact it really isn’t it. He was just saying that we should be motivated to keep going until we can reach the peak. We were, for sure, annoyed with the idea of the “lapit na” since the real thing is we were still 40 or 35 minutes away from the peak. We keep on saying, “how many ‘lapit na’ for us to be really there?

But if Sir Ian didn’t do that, neither we can continue with the absence of that words of motivation. Sometimes, we need to get ahead of what our mind thinks otherwise. I believe that is a good motivation.

As anyone can say, if they reached the mountain’s summit, I have to say it too, “it was beautiful.

Seeing the whole scenery with eyes open as the sun gives light to every green thing we can see below.

It was huge.

The view was so promising.

It gives you an indescribable hope as you sight a river that snaked all its way in some valleys and the valleys that connect to ridges being clad with different shades of green.

Mountains to mountains, seem standing there saying, “See? It was beautiful up there.”

It was majestic. I cannot be an atheist.

There is really Someone Who designed it all.

On the way down, of course, it is different. We started at a dark time, so we couldn’t see the path we had been stepping, + we were oblivious of how HARD the trail really was. We went downhill with the sun gave us the privileged to see how difficult the road was and how far it is from the campsite.

Had it been we started daytime, I think no one would dare to climb because everyone sees how SERIOUSLY far and difficult the trail was. Even I could not begin to believe that was the mountain we climbed. It was seriously higher than I thought.

This is a good metaphor in life that sometimes we mustn’t see the whole road, or like the entire staircase because, in that way, it requires our faith and determination to keep going regardless of how dark we see our life beyond the corner of our eyes, and isn’t it beautiful that when you reach your own summit, you can say,

 “So that’s it, heck, it was hard, but here we are.

Sometimes the struggles in life, whatever aspects it might be, can be our dark sky for us to shine like the stars we admire seeing every night.

At almost 2:00 on the afternoon of 30th of January 2022, I opened my messenger to see the response to the birthday greeting I sent back on that last day. The lesson from the mountain trek that was carved in me that day mirrored the message’s content.

So it is true that in someone’s struggles one can be that dark sky for them to shine, and regardless of the distance of two people from each other, like how far was the campsite from the summit of Mt Kiamo, if you just don’t give up when the hard part comes with the person you are trying to help to reach their peak, you can really say, “It is indeed beautiful up here.”

you know… when you are heading to the mountain, you realized a lot. I did, a lot.

Whether it is remembering Ate Quincess’ selfless act of taking pictures of Kuya Erbee even if it meant she couldn’t have one (because kuya Erbee only took three photos of her at one spot she really wants, but fails to capture her best shot, plus the sunset ‘shot’ she really wants to have, but then by the time she positioned herself to pose, the sun literally just came down fast), or Ate Joy’s gentle approach towards our tour guide that almost lost us, plus her amazement when she saw some group of stars, or her boyfriend, kuya Aaron’s natural jokes that keep everyone laughing… also, Sir Jes’ bravery to save my hat when it was blown by the wind when we were at Natigbasan Falls (Cedar), Kuya Erbee’s iconic “fall” when we went down from the summit, yet he manages to overcome it by Kuya Aaron’s company. Who could forget ate Kwine’s determination and humility to continue even if her stomach was against her in the middle of the trek? And Joana Marie’s kindness to wait for ate Quincess on the hard part of the trek. It was also good remembering kuya Jaye’s sudden ‘overtakes’ just for him to keep the trekking harmonious because we were getting slow already in our steps. Lastly, Ian and Sir Ian’s “we should rest for a bit”, and “lapit na ta sa patag”.

So much realizations, but maybe I should keep it at bay now, because what’s next? Lake Holon?!? aahhhh.



Kryzylle Nicole

hebrews 11:16


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