Some mountains really do change everything we thought about life – just like Mt. Naupa.
I have held the mountains accountable for whatever I have become right now. Compared to many, I am but a novice in the field of mountaineering – I don’t even have the proper gear and equipment, to begin with. I don’t know what spell has been cast by the mountains upon me, that no matter how tired or lazy I am, I just couldn’t resist the call of nature. Just like what happened last Saturday.
I was already sold out to the idea of staying at home over the weekend – to unwind and… just to stay at home. For somebody who has been outdoors, staying at home becomes a new experience – free food, comfortable bed, and movies to go with it. However, by the afternoon, I began to feel bored and restless. I knew deep down, I have to go somewhere. And just like a fatefully twisted chapter of a story, the people I have been recently hiking with insisted on going for an overnight camp at Mt. Naupa.
To be honest, it didn’t spark anything in me. First, I don’t favor going to the same place over and over again. Second, as aforementioned, I don’t have proper hiking and camping equipment. But you see, when the traveler in you comes in, you don’t have any choice but to give in. And so a memorable journey began.
Camping at Mt. Naupa
We met at Sto. Rosario Church at 7:00 in the evening and rode a jeepney bound to Pardo where we rode another jeepney bound to Tungkop, Minglanilla. Because it was rush hour and the people of Talisay City were celebrating the feast of St. Theresa of Avila, we arrived at Cogon Chapel – the jumpoff area to Mt. Naupa – at 9:15 in the evening. Jet and Lawin were already there, hanging with the locals over a bottle of liquor. By 9:30, we then commenced the summit. Most of my colleagues inquired if we were not scared of what we did and Dakilanglaagan as I am, I answered a resounding NO.
First, it wasn’t my first time doing a late-night trek. Second, I witnessed the beauty of Mt. Naupa when the stars were gathered together to give light as we headed home during our previous visit last February. Third, I have experienced enough creepier things in life to entertain wild thoughts and stories of locals. Fourth, I knew I was with a tightly-bonded group. Whatever reason it may be, that late-night trek allowed me to witness the beauty of being both scared and elated at the same time.
Of course, it’s hard not to entertain crazy thoughts along the way – much more of you are leading the group. But again, the moon was shining brightly, the city lights were totally heartwarming, and the thought of camping gradually became exciting to me. Our desire to reach the summit heightened upon seeing groups of campers at the peak. A sigh of relief came out from all of us. I knew we were all geared for the final assault.
By 10:00 in the evening, we arrived safely at the campsite. Yes, it only took us thirty minutes! Can’t believe it myself either. Probably because there was no sun to bring too much exhaustion or we were just scared of what will happen if we took longer hours on the trail. HAHA.
We then pitched our tent, cooked for dinner (egg and hotdog that does not look like a decent egg and hotdog meal at all 😂😂😂, and spent the rest of the night looking at the view exhibited in front of us. Words began rushing through my head. I can’t even get a hold of them. It was too overwhelming, plus the music played on Jet’s speakers was too sentimental. It’s hard not to cry. HUHU. Because of such sight, instead of squeezing ourselves into the thin sheets of the tent, Lawin, Idas, and I, decided to sleep outside the tent.
My body clock woke me at four-thirty in the morning. It was all dark, but the hues of the rising sun started to envelop the gloomy skies. It didn’t take long for the sun to start showing its hidden glow and began illuminating the sleeping province of Cebu.
MT. NAUPA PHOTO DUMP
PRICELESS MOMENTS AT MT. NAUPA
For the concluding statement of this entry, I’d like to quote the schmaltzy exchange-slash-bromance thoughts of Lawin and Jet.
Jet: Wa jud ko nagmahay nianhi ko bai. (I didn’t regret coming here, bro.)
Lawin: Ako sad. Mao ni ang mga priceless moments sa atong kinabuhi. (Same here bro. These are the priceless moments of our lives.)