I grew up with stories of “engkanto” and “di-ingon nato” used by my parents and elders to force my playmates and I to go home before six in the evening after hours of chasing each other. Years later when those stories became irrelevant, the “dark forces” still terrorized me – this time they have taken the forms of drug addicts, gun-for-hire, and thieves. And even with the robust campaign of the administration on “War on Drugs”, it’s still difficult to freely walk and stay up late outside our homes. This is the reason why I hesitated on touring around Ormoc City at night when we chanced upon to stay there.
After our seemingly unending hike to Lake Janagdan and Alto Peak, we were once again welcomed by Kuya Ramil and his family on their simple abode. He shared that after dinner, we’re supposed to stay with our “foster parents” – locals who were assigned to host us for the evening. However, upon the request of our fellow, the group agreed to spend the rest of the night outside Kuya Ramil’s house. It was a spur of the moment decision, and of course, the paranoid in me began to raise several queries about such idea. Though I have tried sleeping out at Mt. Naupa several months ago, the fact that Cabintan was an unfamiliar territory brought reluctance on my part. But the group was so solid with the decision. And I was up for… the best night of my life.
On one segment of Filipinos’ all-time favorite real life TV show, “Maalaala mo kaya”, it has been deliberately claimed that the dining table is one of the most important possession of any family. According to the show, the dining table mirrors what kind of family is living in the house as it has been the witness all through the family’s abundance, scarcity, and all sorts of events that a family can go through. Same goes with the night that we spent at Cabintan. With the “budol” feast prepared by the family of Kuya Ramil, all the struggles and exhaustion that we have undergone on the climb has been literally erased. Though the meals prepared were simple delicacies, to us, it was one of the best for the world. Truly, the best meals happen every after climb! HAHA.
Sila na ang may love life. HAHAHA. Photo credits: Sean of http://www.hishiddenletters.wordpress.com Model: Debby and Frexel
No Face. HAHA. Thanks for this Patatas
Milky Way Viewing
Because most of the residents of Cabintan are in the agriculture sector, they sleep early and wake up early as well. So by eight in the evening, lights were out in most households. And unlike in my place where I feared the lack of illumination, I began to appreciate the darkness. With lesser light pollution, we were given the opportunity to witness with our bare eyes the vastness of the universe from the floors of heavens – the Milky Way! With the use of SkyView application, we easily navigated amongst the stars and heavenly bodies and formed several constellations (and make believe stories) from them. This provided us a venue to unleash our creativity and enhance some photography skills.
Socials at Night
I don’t usually drink liquor on climbs. But it’s fun to just stay with the group, listen to their confessions, and watch them lose their wits. HAHA. (Then you can have something to blackmail them for the rest of their lives). *insert evil laugh* HAHAHA. This was actually the first legit socials I experienced from all the major climbs I had. Aside from exhaustion, the weather wasn’t cooperative on the previous climbs which resulted to an automatic shutdown of interpersonal connections and individual hibernation in our tents.
Sleep out with the group
This was my most favorite part. Though the landscape of Kuya Ramil’s garden wasn’t suitable for camping and sleepouts, we forced ourselves on those uneven and rocky surface which eventually resulted to back pains the day after. No complaints though as it was one of the best night ever. Why? Well, imagine that one movie where the main character (and his/her beloved) lie on the grass, whisper to each other nonessential things, and smile like crazy while looking at the stars above them. Yes, that was exactly the scene. Obviously, the area wasn’t enough for us so we have to squeeze each other (and hug each other) to survive the night and it was… good. Amazing rather.
“Good morning,” said a husky voice. It was Alto Peak peeking at us.
Chase Sunrise together
And probably the most inevitable thing to look forward for in every outdoor activity is the promise of a new adventure everyday – sunrise. With a very fair weather, we once again saw the grandiose Alto Peak hovering around the entire place, showing its glory amongst its people.
Of course, for those whose bodies aren’t attuned to the outdoors, staying outside can cause threats for the body. However, with proper preparation and practice, it’s ultimately difficult to miss staying outside. Aside from making sure that the weather would be fine, it’s also a plus if you have your own insulator to avoid getting wet from the early morning dews of the grass and provide your own durable sleeping bag/ thermal blanket/ down jacket so as not to experience hypothermia. Above all, safety should always be of utmost consideration. Before you decide to stay outside, make sure that you have the permission of those who are experts of the place (local/ guide/ guardians) most especially if there are issues on animal attacks, fraternity pranks and many others.
I wish you’d get to experience sleeping under a billion star accommodation. It’s life-changing. Special thanks to Kuya Rodel, Kuya Ramil, and family for allowing us to experience this kind of activity, if not for your hospitality, we wouldn’t be able to bond together more as a group. And of course, to my companions, “Let’s get EASY guys.” To more outdoor adventure we go!
Have you tried sleeping out as well? How was it? Share your experience below or let’s check out each other’s activity on Facebook and Instagram!