I didn’t like my first Mt. Talinis major climb. No clearing. No proper camping gear. No meal planning. No proper orientation on what to do and how things should be done. I could have chronicled years back how awful being left behind by the pack, getting drenched under the heavy down pour, meeting a snake along the way, not being able to see clearly the trail because of headlamp malfunction, struggling with two injured co-hikers, and being left behind by our guide given the four-hour delay; but I chose to see such as a learning experience which then became my foundations as I went along into longer and more strenuous major climbs. Then an opportunity came, I was invited to join a two-day hike to Mt. Talinis via Apolong-Bediao trail. It would be easier to decline, but my curiosity took over: Would I like Mt. Talinis this time? Would it still be as difficult? Would love be sweeter the second time around?
Friday evening I found myself around individuals who are very much eager to experience their first major hike to Mt. Talinis – Sir Tony, Mme. G, Sir Dom, Sir Javy, and his wife, Mimi. Fear and excitement enveloped the air; it was too difficult not to recall my early hiking days. We arrived at Dumaguete at 4am and had our early breakfast on one of the fastfood chains around the area. We’re supposed to meet the other members of the pack who’d be joining us at the historical bell tower located in the city. There I met the organizer, Sir Eden, who coincidentally hiked Kanlaon the same day as us a year ago before it was closed. We had a short introduction and short photography workshop (aka how to take panoramic shots HAHA) before we went to the jumpoff station of Mt. Talinis.
Nothing much changed on the trails of Mt. Talinis. The vegetation was still thick. There is an ample amount of water supply. The Twin Falls are still astoundingly beautiful. And Lake Nailig couldn’t have been more alluringly serene. Truly, first love never die. While I was silently trailing behind the pack, I was actually recalling the music played by Jet while battling with ascents. I remembered how Tatay of the Ranger Station fed us when we were left by our group and we couldn’t cook rice because the cookset was with the lead pack. Memories of how amazed I was with the Sulfuric River and how we laughed our asses out because of the perfectly-sculpted “lucky charm” on the way to Lake Nailig came flashing one by one. We were blessed with a good cook but nothing could compare to Jumz’s maling and Badeth’s sikwate during my first Mt. Talinis climb.
When I was left alone on my tent and the wind came hitting the fly sheet, a lot of realizations fit into the pages. One: The difficulty of the hike depends on how prepared you are and how long have you been hiking. Talinis was beyond comparison to Baloy and Apo, but my first-timer mindset would always find it the most difficult until the recent visit. Two: Happiness is real when shared (yes, from the famous Alex). No wonder I didn’t find it necessary to complain about our first major hike; it’s because I enjoyed the bliss and pain of it. The camaraderie it built was way beyond any teambuilding event could make. Third: Every hike offers new experiences, new acquaintances, new insights. I was blessed with a beautiful clearing and a wonderful set of companions on this hike and I couldn’t ask for more. I’ve also learned the misconceptions brought about by people on Mt. Talinis which is actually Nacolon. The real Talinis is located near Lake Yagumyum and is accessible via Bediao trail.
There are times in our lives when we have to face our own demons; we have to face our past; and we have to acknowledge the things that once hurt us. For it is through reconciliation that we are able to let go and breathe from the unnecessary nuisances they brought. Probably, love is sweeter the second time around because this time, you are more mature to accept that your ideals don’t live in reality, you are more understanding of the circumstances that we are dwelling with, and you are more courageous now to take the risks because you fully know that much of the things we regret are the ones we didn’t make. This revisit to Mt. Talinis, Nacolon rather, didn’t only reminded me about my capacity to grow as an individual, but as well enlightened me on why things happen as they are. And to that, I’ll forever be grateful to my company, the organizer, and the rest of the pack. Hope to see you again on trails!
Day 0 – travel from Cebu to Dumaguete
5am – Meetup at Bell Tower
7am – ETD to Jumpoff Statio (Casaroro Falls)
8am – start of trek
12pm – lunch at Ranger Station
1am – Rancho
6pm – Camp at Lake Nailig
7pm – Dinner
5am – Painit
6am – Trek to Summit
7am – Summit Pictorials
8am – Heavy Breakfast
9am – ETD to Lake Yagumyum
12pm – Lunch at Lake Yagumyum
1pm – Resume Hike
4pm – ETA Bejao Base Camp / Washup
6pm – ETA Dumaguete
Inclusions: Transportation to and from Dumaguete; Guide Fee