I was born and raised in a city. I am a city girl. I’ve lived in the city for more than 20 years now. Though there would be times where my family would go on a vacation to my mom’s province, the longest time I’ve been there was 3 weeks. However, my mom’s province cemented roads and pavements. I’ve never been to a place where the cemented road is about an hour away by foot. I’ve never been to that particular place until last Saturday.
One of my officemates invited us to go mountain climbing. The goal was to climb the highest peak in Cebu, which was Osmeña Peak. At first I did not want to participate in the said “activity” — for a lot of reasons – like my being clumsy, my injured left ankle and my stepping out of my comfort zone. But through the coaxing of my friends, I decided “what the heck” and promised them I would come with them to the adventure. I am stepping out of my comfort zone for the first time in history.
Then, the moment I made a promise it seems life played tricks on me. I think it started to happen 3 days before the said climb. We were scheduled for a basic mountaineering course (since it was the first time for most of us, in fact only our mountaineer friend had climbed a mountain!) three days before Saturday. But on the day we were supposed to have that course, I was given a schedule for my part time teaching job. So I was not able to participate. The night before we were to climb, my cousins were in the mood for coffee and a little chit chat. Coffee with them will last for hours — and it did, in fact I got home at around 1 AM and I had to prepare for the things I’m supposed to bring. I finished preparing at around 2 AM, that meant I only have 3 more hours to sleep since I need to wake up at 5 or 5:30 at the latest to get to the meeting place at 7. I did wake up but I had a splitting head ache.
On Saturday, the weather seemed to have its own ideas. It was raining in the city. And when it was raining in the city it meant there would be more rain in the mountain areas. And it did not stop raining!! When we arrived at the foot of the mountain, there was rain. It was very cold, i bet it would have been about 10 degrees. There was fog. Everytime we would talk steam came out from our mouths (but it was fun to experience that since the Philippines is a hot country and you never experience that here unless you go to Baguio). But since we were at the foot of the mountain it was too late to back out.
So we began walking — so began the torture. We walked for about an hour to get to the last house before the peak. And when we arrived, the wind started to display its angst to the 10 people who were trying to climb the peak. Because of the rain and of the wind, our guides decided that we should spend the night there — a good thing since it was 5 degrees and you literally cannot see a thing! The wind and the rain prevented us from using our tents (too bad since it was heavy carrying them around). Before we slept all of us were hoping that the weather would cooperate the next day so we can climb the peak.
And the weather was good to us! At around 9 AM the sun decided to shine its marvelous grandeur! It meant we could visit the peak. The climb to the peak was about 20 to 30 minutes (sorry we were a bit slow since it was our first time). But the view from the top was really breath taking and it was nice experience, except for the fact the the wind literally would knock you down. But it was an accomplishment — especially for the city girl who was too afraid to step out of her comfort zone.
So lessons learned for this experience: (1) it’s ok to step out from your comfort zone once in a while; (2) a city girl can brave the mountains; and (3) life tends to play little jokes on you but in the end it let’s you gain a once in a lifetime experience.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, this is how the view from the peak looked like…