Damu di gwapa sa Bacolod! The Mt.Kanlaon YearEnd Climb Part 2

Blowing winds from the sea, much like that of Cat1, slams across our faces. The continuous 30minute trek uphill made it much more difficult. I almost stumbled to my right.
You could tell from our faces how thin the air is from up above. We’re gasping everytime we stop. We’re that high from our campsite (dotted white just at the treeline). And that’s the mystique Margaja Valley, an old crater as told by the locals. That’s where I dreamt of spending the night. I’d say “no, thank you” the next time.
Then came this Mars-like environment. You’d totally feel alienated once you set foot in this area. I thought of bringing with me a volcanic rock but later decided against it. I’m afraid I might bring someone with me. No other world entities please.
“Congratulations!”, a warm handshake has been imparted to us by Sir Larry. Smiles filled our faces just like the usual Bacolod masskara’s, stretched til our ears.
And the usual photo-op ensued.
That pointy crater brim is the highest elevation of Mt.Kanlaon. Too bad it’s inaccessible. But dare to try and you’ll be part of history.
A huge bowl waiting to be filled with molten lava. I failed to see a single hint of activity.
Johnny slowly peeking into the innards of the crater. I have to slowly crawl in my knees as I near the edge. I almost got my cam swallowed in by gravity. For once, I felt my knees tremble.
I left my wishes here hoping it will be granted. I shall return!
Edwin content with lying like Buddha. He’s waiting for that wonderful cloud nine shot.
But then again, we havent accomplished anything yet. Getting to the top is half the job. As they say, going up is optional. Going down is mandatory.
Next stop would be PMS and Samoc Lagoon. We broke camp just by ten and bid goodbye to the kingdom.
Going down a mountain wont be complete without slipping. I had one instance which covered my left arm in mud. As well as my butt. It’s all part of the game. One must go down and get dirty. To commune with nature, one must literally touch nature to it’s bare characteristics. To add some spice, I had my eye poked at by twigs and branches whipping my already sore shoulders. I wouldnt complain, we’re just starting.
We hurried back to Pagatpat then have to do a two hour assault via Makawiwili. The range behind Danlee is Makawiwili. The road to civilization can’t be like this. The trail for the good part is literally a soldier’s bootcamp. One must make his way into a very narrow trail with twigs, branches, and soft earth. A lady once took this trail and slipped. She went back to Earth from a 10foot drop and was rewarded with a severely sprained ankle. She refused rescue and made her way down.
A two-hour, 40-45degree assault only brought us a 30foot drop via an almost 90degree slope. And I forgot that shower was pouring upon entering Makawiwili so water was literally running along the trail making it much more dangerous to reach PMS Lagoon.
Alas, we made it as one in PMS. Thats me and Edwin carefully making our way into PMS. Notice the steepness of the downward trail coupled with dense foliage?
Wouldnt be caught dead in a place like this. Creepy!
The guys just took the time to lit some cigarette. We’re about an hour or so away from our intended sweet camp that is Samoc. PMS Lagoon is a swampy area covered in neat grass. It easily gets flooded when it rains.
It’s been downhill from where PMS is. But now, trees have grown a bit big and they’re almost like a puzzle snaking their way into each other’s roots. I got tripped before reaching campsite. I felt betrayed! Ahaha!
A perfect morning then peppered with rain and some precarious trail and then this gift. A beautiful nest hidden in an otherwise massive creation like Zeus.
Johnny all smiles. The group is to have a really wonderful night sleep and a cat nap. We set foot at Samoc at around 3pm. About five minutes into the trail is a cave where water can be fetched and endemic Balinsasayaw can be found.
Balinsasayaw’s nests are made into soup by Chinese, they call it Bird’s Nest or Nido soup. Their nests are stacked high into the walls of caves. They produce this high pitched chirps and they can be seen flying in groups every morning and before dusk sets in.
Things wouldnt be complete without the customary victory cigar and a glass of liquor. Cheers!
Just happy to know that we survived yet another day.
The evening sky embracing our tired souls.

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