“Channeling a triumphant spirit seemed overrated and out of place then. But the thing that recovered me from the throes of fatigue and a dubious sense of fulfillment was the sight of Tinipak River.”

JIL DIAMANTE

Tinipak River, Tanay, Rizal | Philippines

Five years ago, I conquered my first mountain. I was merely a kid fresh out of the academe. In my head, I would have asked you to conjure an image of me with big bright curious eyes. But my Asian peepers will betray that and aren’t exactly the ideal portrait of such curiosity. So just think of me brimming with joy and a ludicrous load of courage typical of youth.

Now, add spewing profane words at an unimaginable rate to amplify that image. Because climbing my first mountain was an entirely different animal to discuss. And I don’t have the untamed words to describe it.

Yet.

But to give you a glimpse, it was an experience that left me accomplished although more of scathed at the time. Channeling a triumphant spirit seemed overrated and out of place then. I don’t know. It made me question the whole feat. But the thing that recovered me from the throes of fatigue and a dubious sense of fulfillment was the sight of Tinipak River.

Staring right through my worn-out body were these majestic white rock formations scattered in grandiose piles with an artistic balance against the river rapids. All naturally created.

I was immediately drawn to it. Not because of its glistening limestone that gave the impression of perfection. No. Fuck perfection.

No. Fuck perfection.

*Scoffs.

It had uneven blackened walls and jutting odd-shaped boulders too, it widened and narrowed according to its caprice and gave a sense of calmness despite its raging waters. This river soothed more than my eyes. Enough to know that I’ll return someday.

It took me three years. Nothing much has changed except that this river has gotten more beautiful than when I first laid my eyes on it. Perhaps, blame it on my blossoming love for the outdoor?

Isn’t it amazing that our sight tends to mature along with our mind? How our perception of an unchanged environment shifts through the years because of how we’ve grown as an individual?

Sometimes, it scares me what will I love soon.

Cheers to youth, eh?

Author

Either on the streets or top of the mountains. Jil is a hodophile and a storyteller in pursuit of colors.

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