“Imagine waking up on top of a mountain with the sea breeze kissing your face. Reminding you of last night’s starry encounter. Summon all your senses please.”JIL DIAMANTE
Mabini, Batangas | Philippines
I was about to quote the number of quarantine days but figured does it matter? Instead, I’ll be counting forward; however, that means in my weird little gray matter. With my eyes closed perhaps? While imagining that wistful wind against the early morning warmth of the sun on my skin again. And oh a grass field has a particular calming smell, right? One that eludes you of any momentary woes.
My body longs for this place and vividly pictures setting up camp here. Imagine waking up on top of a mountain with the sea breeze kissing your face. Reminding you of last night’s starry encounter. Summon all your senses, please.
Although this was a rebound mountain born out of our spontaneity and expected tardiness then, it was worth the sudden change of plans. Because this mountain did not disappoint at all. Even for a mountain with a lackluster unassuming name after a pig’s spine, the view at Mt. Gulugod Baboy proved to be one that remained etched in my memory to this day.
The steep cemented road leading towards its sprawling grasslands and rolling hills imposed a challenge under the sun’s glaring heat. But we made a few stops to catch our breath. And like any good curious souls, the three of us (my office colleagues, Alex and Gretch) indulged ourselves in novice fruit picking amongst rogue trees along the trail.
This hike made me relive my childhood in Cebu during summer breaks. Reminiscing those vivid memories of climbing trees of Guava, Siniguelas (Spanish Plum), and Aratilis (Kerson Fruit) with unintentional lack of caution and grace. A little side trip among Tamarind trees only to get bitten by a huge army of Hantik. But my brave little heart back then knew how to throw every caution to the wind.
But my brave little heart back then knew how to throw every caution to the wind.
Taking it down a notch these days, there’s this funny innate desire for me to see things in perfect order. Which of course is downright absurd, I know that. On the summit, it’s a struggle to take a decent photo as I was initially bothered by the wind. I can sense Alex’s frustrations in taking these photos too, endearingly hesitant because I might not like his shots. Or similar to that effect.
The poses and faces I conceived in my head were far from the frizzy hair reality. Funnily enough, I was smiling. And this ended up as one of my favorite sets of photos.
But the view, the view is uncontestable, right?