Saturday, May 5, 2012

Mt. Banahaw, Cleanup Crusade - Kinabuhayan, Quezon - May 2012

The Kabanahaw Clean up drive is an initiative headed by KABAN (Kabataang Binuklod ng Kalikasan) Mountaineering Society to enlist and organize groups of mountaineers and freelancers to pick and clean up garbage from the still recovering Mt. Banahaw after each years holy week-when devotees flock the mountain for pilgrimage and all sorts of religious reasons.
This year is the 7th Kabanahaw Clean up Crusade.

 Mt. Banahaw from Kinabuhayan Dolores Quezon has a community at its foot. There is also a DENR station where we were allowed to pitch our tents during the overnight activity.
After the registration, we were divided into three groups. Yapak, Kalbaryo and Tatlong Tangke. These are areas where the three groups were dispatched.
Yapak is a 5minute walk to the nearby Yapak river.
Kalbaryo is a tormenting hike up the southwest side of Banahaw.
And Tatlong tangke, is a steep hike almost halfway the mountain.

Panting, lost and whacked- The Tatlong Tangke Team.
Somehow during the first 20minutes of the hike, I figured I have chosen the wrong  choice of choosing the wrong destination to take, regretting my personal challenges and ignoring the cause. (Yes an overflow of circular references and descriptions) Or was it the unforgiving fast paced group? Seems the latter. 
Starting 575MASL at the DENR ranger station, we were up the 1005MASL Tatlong Tangke in 1.5hours. That's almost the height of Mt. Makiling's Peak 2 in a fraction of the time. It's a never ending steep trail, like that of Mt. Maculot with little flat surface to appreciate. A view of Mt. Cristobal is almost always visible to ones left as well as cropped areas maintained by the locals. Occasional horses delivering goods to the town below pass by the same trail but has not compromised the trail soil like that I've heard of Mt. Romelo. It was an exhausting climb. I found myself short breath, sweeping the trail when I was initially at the groups middle. Just as Gerald always say, No easy climb. Ill take a 90 degree vertical climb any day than a 45 degree assault.

And I cant believe I'll thank God enough for a nearby water source. Actually there is a pipe running along parts of the trail. This is the water that comes from up the mountain and they are using the pipes to run the water to the towns below. We were fortunate there was a break near some crops where we politely asked the locals planting if we can have some water. My half filled 3L bladder was almost exhausted around 900MASL. The piped water was refreshing, cold and ionized. (It should be, its the authentic Mineral water. Besides, Banahaw's water is known for its healing miracles that may be possibly and scientifically attributed to its ion content. It also supplies Batangas, Laguna and Quezons drinking water.)

Tatlong Tangke's steep and slippery rock terrain contains three water basins found at certain levels of the formation, Tatlong Tangke basically means Three Water Basins. We spent some time to scale and appreciate the area before having lunch. Jonah and I shared our lunch with the 3 Ateneo boy scouts who tagged along with the group. Nearby shouts flourished and eventually, the second group that managed to get lost in a fork made it up the campsite.

There is a small hut with dilapidated tarp as roof at the campsite which provided shelter to some of us when rain eventually fell. It was cold. 22 degrees. Mon took out his stash of 2 GSM Blue long necks and passed a cup within our broken circle. I was chilling and it helped a lot to generate some heat. Looking at my fingers at one point, it looked like it was soaked in vinegar. I cant help but think about my tent down camp. It definitely will gather water as a failed seam project made me remove all the sealant I have initially brushed on it.

When the rain subsided, we started cleaning up the area picking up foils, wrappers, sachets, bottles, cans, cigarette butts even plastic food containers. All these, if not visible on the ground, we had to fish out from underneath the grasses and soil.

The descend after the rain left our pants and shoes all muddy, although the trail has been kind enough to let us pass with little difficulty. I trailed the same route with a different group and it took us 2hours to reach camp at a relaxed pace. I was fortunate enough to have brought my trekking pole and the trusty old New Balance shoes allowed a non slip descend. I brought down with me a heavy sack of bottles which eventually took a toll on my shoulders.

True enough, my tent got submerged. But lucky enough, I sacked all my stuff in a garbage bag before the gig and it helped retain my stuff dry. And there's also that KR was able to spot the incident before it worsen. Baha daw sa tent ko, pwede mag swimming. "Thanks pare, I owe you big time."

The guys had socials during the night while I laid wasted on my half damp tent only having a half rotten banana, a pack of nuts and a piece of bread for dinner. The Omega Pain killer I swiped over my shoulders and knees burned like hell, sign of its enduring beat-up state. I allowed my body to recover, giving it 12 hours of rest.

Broken Social Life.
The remnants of good times was still visible when I woke up at around 6AM. Sarge was lying on the ground, hugging the hammock he failed to pitch. Basically, I missed the highlight of my first overnight. But before mid day, some of the guys are once again passing shots in the small circles I visit to take photos of. It may vary but I suppose it's the established culture among mountaineers as even during home bound, the guys at the jeeps top load are passing shots of lambanog and even way before that, while waiting at Ka Domings, a nearby eatery with a Comfort Room facility, the guys already took down a few boxes of Red Horse mucho's. :) 

Overall, it was an activity I am proud to have been invited to. (Thanks KR.) I have learned a lot from new found friends and appreciated the value of camaraderie. Given that things fall into place, and that I have fool proof gear next time, I will surely join this yearly cause again.
On a side note, I cant help but GAS over stuff I've seen around the campsite. That Big Agnes tent from Sir Willy, even that one from Chris, a Conquer 2person tadpole, or that 70L topload pack... End tag, Gear Acquisition Syndrome.

Some Notes during the Socials. (Send me some if you remember any and would like to have it added on the list-kamalayan @ yahoo . com)
Sa bus, nag tatagay na ang mga loko. May naligaw na lola at sa dulo umupo. 
Monski : "Lola shot ka muna." Umiling at tumanggi. "Daig ka pa ng Lola ko, malakas uminom yun, kaso patay na sya."
Koi : "Ikaw nga mag hiwa (ng sili) baka ma ihi nanaman ako e." (Mahapdi sa manoy ang sili)
Marjorie-Moshi :  "Siguro, Karrraassss mo ko no!"
Marjorie-Moshi : "Dissappointed ka brad!" 
Monski-Marjorie : "Ligo ligo rin mam, Sayang pagka babae mo di ka naliligo."
Marjorie-Monski : "Nagsabon dito (sa kilikili) di naman bumula!"
Ronnie : "Nasan ang sinelas ko! Hudas ka!"
Enen : "Add mo ko sa Facebook a."
Enen : "Isa pa, isa pa, blurred." Kahit di nya naman alam kung blurred talaga yung kuha sa camera.
Reuel-KR : "Ano naman napala natin dito?" "Amats"
Nanalo yung isang group sa adventure race dahil nag tricycle pabalik. :D
Ronnie-Irvin : "Isa lang na perfect mo, na durog pa" "Matulog ka na lang ulit dun" Habang nag pe-prepare ng sardinas na dinurog na pinagulong sa itlog at breadcrumbs bago i prito
Ronnie-Marjorie : "Mukha mo! Mukha, mukha, mukha mo!"
Marjorie-Ronnie : "Panot ka!" "Ok lang, sweet naman."
Ronnie : "Si Enen amoy alak e."
Yung isang grupo, kumakanta ng Happy Birthday sa tono ng Abe Maria.
Ronnie : "Mam, Mahal na yata kita."
Ronnie : "I love you Ellen." Sabay habol ng halik sa umiiwas na si Ellen.
Monski : "Sir tagay." "Sige sir" (sa tono ng pagtanggi) "Oh bigyan mo nga si sir, sige daw e." 
May tumawag kay Monski - "Sir Mon, Sir Mon!" "O, aga aga, Sermon nanaman?"
Monski : "Engot kayo jan, engot." (Ingat) 
Lahat : "HHaaah!"

Roomate wanted.
At Tatlong Tangke, recovering from heavy panting.
Tatlong Tangke, steep, slippery and restricted.

GSM Blue, pang pa init.

Rainfall victims.

Crops along the trail.

Si Sarge, wasak.
KR- thanks pare.

Mess area.

Wasakan with Marjorie.
Ang binaha kong tent.

Moshi taking some beating.
Sardinas na dinurog na pinagulong sa itlog at breadcrumbs bago i prito.
Sacks of garbage gathered from up the key areas.
Hammock life.

Talong at itlog.

They are supposed to form KBNHW, but odd enough, all poses seem far from the purpose.

Ang makulit na si Ronnie.
Koi, mah mehn.

Sir Monski.

Sir Egay (Edgardo “Egay” Tenepere Jr.), Chris at Ronnie.

Ang love triangle ni Marjorie.



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