Mt. Kanlaon: Face-to-Face with the Mountain God

Among Mt. Apo, Mt. Pulag and Mt. Kanlaon, I must say that Mt. Kanlaon almost broke my spirit. It introspected my inner soul, and measured my will to survive and live.

Decisions and Hesitations 
It was a day after a Public Storm Warning Signal #2 in the Central Visayas that I decided to join the team for Mt. Kanlaon. It was a decision confirmed by other 5 members of the group. Luckily, the DOT head of Mt. Kanlaon confirmed our climb and the following day, we were heading to one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines.
"The proud and mighty Mt. Kanlaon"

Mind Over Matter
With a height of 2,435 meters above sea level, Mt. Kanlaon is the mountain one shouldn't underestimate. As an active volcano, it is sinister and as a mountain, it is deceitful. This mountain God slowly proved its might the moment I stepped on its soil. The Maput-Mananawin Trail started with a 1000-meter continuous and gradual ascent before submerging to the deeper jungle. 
"Maput Trail opened up with the warm sun"
"Ascending 1000MASL via Maput-Mananawin Trail"

Stories of Dread and Taboo Words
I was happy though that after we took our lunch in the jungle with the crisp cold air and rainy weather, we reached our campsite - Makawiwili Ridge. I have heard stories about it and the ones I knew were not really encouraging. Those were stories of accidents and deaths and further, those were disheartening.
"Margaja Valley as viewed at the shoulder of Mt. Kanlaon"
"Welcome to the mossy forest"

At this moment, I was already tired and weak but I needed to perservere since I didn't want to be part of the statistics.  We hurriedly pitched our tent and aching for the night to pass enduring the 14°C temperature, the chilling and howling wind plus the rainy evening. 

Face-to-Face with the Mountain God
After a quick breakfast and hasty dismantling of our tents, we headed to our next destination - Mt. Kanlaon's shoulder. I had barely a bottle of drinking water with me. I was severely dehydrated when we reached the shoulder of Mt. Kanlaon. 
"Mt. Kanlaon greeted us with a clearing."
"It slowly covered its view from us."

The proud God of the mountain in Visayas showed its enormous beauty. Looking at each side was the sea of clouds and the Margaja Valley. I came face-to-face with the mountain I had dreamt for so long. 

Back to the City
It was like an aftershock when we were already in the city. The night of the descent from the mountain had beaten my body and it was as numb as I could imagine. With sore muscles, mild fever and hungry stomach, I succumbed to the needs of each and finally, hugged my bed as if its my only refuge from exhaustion. 

Upon writing this blog, words were slowly deteriorating and therefore, incomparable with the reality. My story I had with Mt. Kanlaon was totally exceptional. It was beyond par of what these strings of words could offer. For I survived the steep ravine, the foggy and cold atmosphere and above all, I saw how majestic and mystical the mountain is!
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About Marie Angelique Villamor

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