January. February. March. April. May. June. July. August. September. Whew, we’re now down to the ninth moth of the year and in a few ticks, we’d be bidding goodbye to another year full of adventure and roller coaster of emotions. Time has gone too quickly that what came trending a few months back have been totally forgotten by many – say, the growing number of hikers and the ever daunting concept of being a millennial. But nine months have passed, what happened to us? What has become of us?
Through an invitation of a fellow vlogger, CJ Estrada (formerly known as @foureyedlaagan), I was able to hike again the trails of Spartan (Banawa to Pamutan). With us were some Facebook friends whom I have come to know for so long but have never hiked together with – Reymund, Jovy, Ofelia, and Kevin. None of us was a first timer on such trail, however, as we commenced the hike, we agreed to take it slow and steady, for most of us have been on a hiatus for quite some time. True indeed, it took a lot of effort to ascend on what was fondly called as the “Grand Entrance” – an open, directly assault trail to the former construction site of Monterrazas. Apparently, it took twice the pain upon going down to Baksan River as the path was mostly mossy and muddy thanks to the rainy days. Nonetheless, instead of complaining, we somehow found ourselves recollecting our early hiking days – back when a huge wave of hikers would go in traffic along the trails, back when we love taking numerous momentous photographs of ourselves, back when everybody wanted to be called a “mountaineer”.
And just like them, sooner or later, you’ll no longer find yourself excited to hike the mountains that you, most of the time, frequent, too. The sense of thrill is no longer there and the friends that you once promised to hike with (forever) have pursued other dreams. In a split second, life goes back to where you started… alone and longing. Take a pause. Rest over the weekend. Read a book or finish marathoning movies or series on Netflix. Practice cooking or baking. Pursue other passion, but never forget the mountains – how it made you feel, how it allowed you to connect, how it transformed you into someone who feel deeply in love with nature, whose eyes were opened on how we have been destroying it. The mountains will always be there, waiting. Some friends, or probably a few, will always be a message away. Do not let your love for adventure die together with those dreams of yours. Surely, there are things that needs to be done, as per adulting, but it’s never wrong to feel the beating of the earth, view the city from afar, and smell the scent of nature. Pause. But never stop. People might forget the word “millennial”, “mass climb”, “Facebook mountaineer”, but the mountains will always remember how it made you feel.