Why you must “AWRA” in the Boondock

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(c) Dakilanglaagan

The brain loves to complicate things and we always fall victim to it. In a split second, from a state of euphoria, anxiety takes over. Others label it as a “Hell Day”. It could be the “Manic Monday”, “Troublesome Tuesday”, “Wasted Wednesday”, or simply “Everyday” for most of us. Whatever way we would like to look at it, we also need to take into consideration that treating each day as another barrier can prohibit us from growing and enjoying each and every day of this borrowed life.

(c) Pierre Venice

On a certain holiday, in the middle of the week, my colleagues planned to hike Mt. Naupa. Had I been stern with my dictum a long time ago, I wouldn’t have gone with them. But the mountains taught me how every journey – no matter how seemingly simple – could lead into a remarkable reflection depending on how fate tries to play with it. And so, as per experience, I suggested an afternoon hike as to witness the magnificent sunset of the west.

(c) Dakilanglaagan

I was ahead of the pack – setting the pace and aiming to reach the peak before sunset – when I noticed most of the group catching for their breaths. It took a while before I realized that I was not with my Kanlaon and Pulag comrades; I had to slow down. That was then I decided to stay at the tail and asked Pierre (who has scaled the Naupa once) to lead. As the trek went on a steady rate, in between pauses and breaks, I began to rekindle the times that I had set foot on the renowned practice grounds: the first sunset hike, first time camping experience, wrath of weather, friendship built, silly laughters, and everything in between. Very melancholic.

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(c) Dakilanglaagan

“I’ll never do this again,” I heard one of them complain. It’s difficult not to burst into laughter. These were the same words, same remorse I had (we have) in every hiking activity. A statement that would eventually vanish the moment the mountains show its magnificence. Two of them wanted to just stay at the base camp. Of course, I didn’t allow them. One, it’d be difficult to check their condition. Two, I can’t (and shouldn’t) leave them. Three, they will miss the sunset – the prize for an hour of sweat and complaints which will then make them retract the first statement of this paragraph eventually leading to the next statement: Where to next?

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Hi, Mt. Naupa. :)

And just as expected on such perfectly fine weather, the view was astounding. They began to take numerous photos of the surrounding ranges, city view, and, of course, the sun setting. While some outdoor enthusiasts could not fathom the rationale behind every selfie and photoshoot taken on summits and trails, I realized that more than just for Instagram, they were opportunities taken by those who have braved to take the trails they weren’t familiar of. Naupa may have been an easy path for trail runners and longtime mountaineers, but its complexity may be at par of the 9/9 for first timers. Thus, respecting and understanding such diversity becomes a must.

Pretend-that-you-are-talking shot (c) Pierre
Close-you-eyes-and-feel-the-moment-shot (c) Pierre
Biglang-lingon-shot (c) Pierre
As-if-it’s-not-itchy-shot (c) Pierre
Tingin-sa-malayo-shot (c) Pierre
Feel-the-ground-beneath-you-shot (c) Pierre

Somehow we’d all get fed up with life, the way my colleagues did in the middle of the hike. And probably, that’s where a break comes into the picture. That no matter how steep the trails turn out, no matter how hectic the schedules become, no matter how towering the required documents grow… breathe. You deserve it. You deserve it, more than anybody else. So, prepare that coffee. Take that selfie. Book that trip you have always wanted to go. Buy that book everybody thought was silly. Text that person you so dearly miss. Talk to that colleague whom you badly want to make chika. It’d be crazy, but, surely, it’d ease a little of your daily grind of complication. Take that ounce of optimism and see that life is more than just battling with paperworks, demanding boss, and complicated relationship – as complicated as the spelling of ‘mountains’ in the title of this post. HAHA.

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Mandatory group picture (c) Dakilanglaagan

Click here for a detailed guide to Mt. Naupa.

For updates of daily conquests, let’s check each other’s story on Facebook and Instagram. Let’s complain together! HAHA.