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Litrato. kwento. Pakakaibigan. "a self impose hardship, climbing is a humbling experience that something, hopefully by the end of the day makes me a better person we are not teacher out there,we are not eng'rs,we are not a lawyers we are all climbers"

Mt. Baloy 2010

PHILIPPINES | Saturday, 12 November 2011 | Views [3065]

Kwento ni Summer Solstice:

Situated between Iloilo, Antique and Capiz, Mount Baloy proudly stands at 1900 meters above sea level. This mystical mountain holds the prestigious name as one of the tallest mountains of Antique and Panay.

This is my third climb this year and all I can say that this climb is a mixture of everything extreme. This experience is indeed priceless for what we experienced is far more than what we bargained for. A group of 8 people began their journey at the break of dawn of March 17, 2011 not knowing what's in store for the next 24 hours. Little did we know that for the next 12 hours we are about to experience the most extreme habal-habal ride ever, the muddiest track you could ever imagine and the warmest people you could ever met. It took us 3 hours of heart stopping motorbike ride before we reached the last barangay where motorcycles are accessible. After a few minutes of rest we started our muddiest trek ever and for awhile we are actually enjoying it. But as our feet grew tired and our backs are hurting we are dreading every step that we took. 

We arrived at Manong Artem’s house (our guide) at around 6pm smelling like carabaos, like seriously and man I could almost swear I was thinking to go back the next day. After a nice cold bath, a full dinner and a massage I doze off like a baby. The next morning I found myself getting ready to experience Mount Baloy. We were informed that the river crossing is extremely dangerous due to heavy rain for the last few days and so we decided to go the other way and avoid the river. We know that we are short of time and so the group decided that wherever our feet takes us at the end of the day that’s where we are going to camp and head down the next day. 
At 3pm our group decided to camp near the water source that our guide found. The place is not even good for camping but since we are already freezing our ass off we started fixing our tent while our guides are busy fixing our kitchen and dining area (check out the pictures if you don’t believe me, only in Baloy I guess). Yep, first class all the way . After we had our sumptuous dinner thanks to our Master Chef Anton we started hearing different animal sounds and our guides even told us that there are some centaur (tayho) sightings. Even Edz is excited to see one and she even asked how we could lure the centaur to come to us. Not a good idea Edz hehehehe. But the highlight of the night is when our guides introduced the organic smoke, a rolled tobacco wrapped in a leaf. So the four of us; Lance, Anton and Renel had our first organic smoke session 1500 feet above sea level. 

Our trek down the next morning is nothing but easy. Each of us are watching our steps as we descend and there are times that I need to crawl my way up and then slide my way down. After the gruelling trek we came face to face to the dreaded part of the trail, the river crossing. Our group decided to do it all together and just like the phrase “there is strength in numbers” we hold hands together and conquered our fear. We passed by almost 6 rivers that day and we had a blast all the way back to the house of our guide. 

A home cooked eel greeted us with special spaghetti on the side. Thanks to the birthday celebrant Niel. We had our last minute repacking and head our way to our next pit stop of the day. But before we could even begin our hike down Hadji had an ingenious idea. He proposed that each of us should get a porter if we wanted to have a head start the next day. And without even blinking everybody said yes. But even without our bags it was still hard walking in the sea of mud. We arrived at the school where we are supposed to spend the night at around 6pm. Before we get there we met the Ex-barangay captain and he said that there’s some rumours going around that we are a group of treasure hunters. Like dude, seriously? We just laughed it out and continued walk with a big a smile in our face.

Our last day began with a big breakfast and I have some croutons dipped in a tuna spread as appetizer. We finished packing at around 7am and I can’t believe that I am wearing the same clothes for the last four days. But oh well whose complaining. And so we started walking in the sea of mud again until we reached the Barangay Karatagan where the motorcycles are picking us up. 

To the guide and porters, thank you so much. To Edz and Niel, thank you for planning this climb. And to the rest of the group hope to see you guys again in another place and in another mountain. Be safe everyone!  

Tags: calinug iloilo, haji amsi, mt baloy

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