I Found Love at Mt. Talinis

Dear Mt. Talinis,

Words are not enough to describe what it felt upon meeting you. Excitement and fears raced at the same time. Who would have thought that I’d be scaling your majestic trails this year – never in this novice’s wildest dreams.

Your trails are beyond comparison. Casaroro Falls stood in might, proving why it remains as one of your best assets. The Sulfuric River reminded me of how powerful nature is – has been and will be.

And of course, Lake Nailig, which served as our temporary comfort for the night. Its cold breeze ironically ignited the warmth of friendship, laughter, and camaraderie among our fellow hikers – whom most I reckon as strangers when we started at the jumpoff.

I went home sore from all the bruises and cramps. Had to catch a flight thirty minutes right after arriving home. But the exhaustion felt subsided upon seeing all the photographs taken, videos recorded, and a number of friends earned.

And I can’t thank you enough for being my Mother Mountain – for baptizing me into the world of outdoors, for allowing me to see the world beyond the horizons that I exist in.


Thank you for making me realize what ‘grace under pressure’ meant – that even failed romances can teach so much about life and even uplift the despondent souls to keep going and keep living.

Bai Kido

For reminding me to choose my battles – that you are not meant to win in all of your fights, that there is victory in conceding, that you can remain calm amidst the struggles because panic will bring you nowhere.


For showing me that no one has the monopoly of the great outdoors – anyone is welcome to explore its trails, fall in love with nature’s charm, and even go summit and finish the entire course without having to brag about all previous accomplishments.


For making me believe that a smile can still change the world – that it’s not expensive to encourage others, motivate people to do good things, and remain as an inspiration to others.


For reminding me that speed does not always win – that taking things one at a time hurts no one, that there is wisdom in taking the time to smell the flowers.


For allowing me to ponder on things that I have been long neglecting – that there so many things to be grateful for, that each day presents in itself a blessing on its own.

Jeff of “Bandana Stories” and “Illegal Laager”

For allowing me to meet people whose dedication serves as a foundation to others to keep the fire of adventure burning – that fortune indeed favors the bold.


For demonstrating how scarcity can engineer innovation and spark creativity – that some heroes don’t wear capes, some of them are in the wilderness doing survival shenanigans to bring life to others.

Jumz of www.jumzchino.wordpress.com

For bringing back my faith in humanity – that chivalry is not dead and that acts of kindness do create ripples of goodness from one person to all.

For showing me that love bears all things, hopes all things, and endures all things – no matter how antagonistic the conditions may be.


For proving to me that great things indeed come to those who wait – that no matter how long the journey will be, there will always be people who will be there for you, to support you with all anticipation until you finish what you started.


For giving me a companion who understands my insanity and endures with all modesty the wrath of time just to make sure that I’ll never feel alone, lost, and left behind.


For allowing me to meet people who do not conform to the willful demands of society – who stand true to their beliefs, even if that means leaving one’s comfort and blazing paths alone.


And more than anything else, thank you for showing me that not all knights are in their shining armor – that some of them are on trails, wearing worn-out trekking shoes that have stood the test of time, carrying loads of baggage (literally and figuratively), leading the way so to make sure that no one ever gets left behind.

Chillin’ at the Ranch Photo credits: Jumz Chino
Mandatory Group Picture at the Valencia Casaroro Falls Jumpoff
Photo credits: Jumz Chino

All these memories will remain treasured in my heart. And in the years to come, I hope to look back on all these with a happy heart – that I’ve made the right choice of joining this hike, that everything I was made for began with You.

Likewise, having been the last to arrive back at the jumpoff, thank you for making me realize how important it is to treasure every step of the way – that I don’t necessarily need to always be in a hurry. As Belle said: “Love comes when it has to and love leaves when it needs to.”

With all the love definitions of love that I know right now,



If you’re looking for a detailed Mt. Talinis guide, check out the more updated blog here.