Mt. Mago and My "Dolce Far Niente" Kind-of Day

"Dolce far Niente". I screamed this Italian phrase as loud as I could in my cerebral cortex. While hoping that my memory would store it like how I saved the phrase, "Hakuna Matata." Translated into the English language, it means "the sweetness of doing nothing". How did my hike at Mago make me say, "Dolce far Niente"? What sweetness am I referring to when I ran my way through the trails of Mago?


"The lone tree and my thoughts"

I have been unemployed since July 31 of this year. After resigning from a 45-hour-per-week job for more than 2 years, I felt the need to introspect about my life and my dreams. Admittedly, I was happy heading the school. The students and the teachers made me happy. But as the school grows, so does the stress. Further, I had to halt and trace back my path. I have dreams - dreams to prosper me and nurture my well-being. So, I quit. It was a big leap, but I did. And my "Dolce far niente" began in Mt. Mago.



"At the peak of Mago" 

August 12, 2018. At 6 in the morning, I met up a long-time friend, Jam, who would be my guide for this hike. We drove our way through Carmen with her motorbike until we reached Barangay Santikan (which by the way still part of Danao City). 

The rolling hills served as a perfect backdrop of this vagabond mind. I allowed my imagination to wander off the trails. My feet went with it; as Jam and I started our trek at 8:56 in the morning. 

My pace was slow - extra slow. My body was keeping up with my mind after almost two months of inactivity. My lungs were hungry of fresh air. I could feel these air bags the moment I began breathing Mago's breeze. 

After 20 minutes of ascent, we stopped by a lone tree. It gave me an ample time to contemplate. This is the kind of sweetness I have been wanting. A temporary disconnection from the busy world. A time to sit down, think nothing and appreciate the rhythm of time as it unfolds its scene in this tranquil Earth. 

Suddenly, a spark of high voltage bolted in my senses. I started to run and walk alternatively until I reached the peak of Mago. One hour and eight minutes. It took just that to savor the triumph of hiking another hill again.

Mago Peak may be a short hike, but it allowed me to enjoy its beautiful and magical terrain. It paved the way for an amazing appreciation of life beyond work. Nature co-exists with its soothing, healing power. That at some point in my life I was contented of leaving work. If "Dolce far niente" was this kind-of day, then, I am embracing it as I did with Mago.

After a moment of reflection at the peak, I ran down the rolling hills again. It took me 40 minutes to be back at the jump-off point. The experience I had? Boosted self. Recharged spirit. Calm mind. 

At the end of it all, the sweetness of doing nothing deepened my understanding that sometimes you need  to take that change geared towards nurturing and well-being. Indeed, it was my "dolce far niente" kind-of day at Mt. Mago. 
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About Marie Angelique Villamor

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