We all have our fair share of stories of being stood up by friends who committed to join a trip then backs out at the last minute. But what happens if the one who invited you does not show up on the day of the trip and you are already in the meet-up place? Would you push through with the plan or… go back home?
Suggested Read: Hiking Pranks we have surely missed
Sirao Peak (or Kan-irag) is one of my favorite hiking destinations in Cebu. Not only that it’s one of the most accessible within the city, the numerous trails leading to the peak offers a wide array of jam-packed adventures for those who are willing to venture into its boulders, rivers, waterfalls, and steep ascents.
Without knowing it, Sirao Peak changed the course of my life – by opening doors for adventure and fostering friendship that has lasted until these daunting days. But for years of trailing, there’s one thing that I haven’t done yet: to solo hike Sirao Peak.
While I’ve done a number of solo backpacking around the country and solo hikes in the familiar grounds of other local destinations, the thought of trekking the rivers and climbing those boulders going to Budlaan Falls still scares the hell out of me. What if I get wash away? Or slip and bang my head on those boulders? And no one knows I’ve been there! Bella ciao?
Those were some of the thoughts that kept nagging around my head when I realized that the friend who invited me to hike Sirao Peak that day won’t be coming. Should I stay or should I go? Should I head home or go solo?
And you know what’s the best thing to do when you’re indecisive? Eat. So I went to a nearby fast-food chain and ordered something to eat. As if heavens have heard my sentiments, there I found a group of familiar hikers who were as well waiting for that friend of mine. I guess you know what happened after.
So I tagged along with them. Listened to their stories of misadventures and hopes for their upcoming Madjaas major climb. My thoughts went a long way – secretly hoping I’ll have my own version of those so-called major climbs too. I was but a novice back then – and still am until today.
The rain poured hard when we were already on our way to the summit. And while it’s easy to complain about such fate, what happened after was life-changing. Instead of protesting against the universe, I saw a weird bunch of individuals who simply smiled and thanked heavens for the rain – for quenching their thirst, for easing the heat, and for making the trails a little more challenging than the usual. They only blamed the fellow hiker’s new pair of sandals for causing the rain. (Don’t know if you’re familiar with that superstition.)
Even if three years have already passed since that unexpected trip with them to Sirao Peak, the memory remains unexpectedly vivid. I can even still recall the taxi driver’s facial expression upon seeing us (his passengers) – all wet and wild.
I held no remorse for that friend who stood me up. I’m even grateful for the invite. Several months after, I was able to reencounter one of them at Mt. Apo’s base camp, the others during our practice hike for Mt. Baloy-daku, and the rest remained as good friends on social media.
Had I backed out from that hike to Sirao Peak, I’m not certain in what form will I encounter them. So, I guess what Yoon Seri said was true: that sometimes, the wrong train brings us in the right direction.