Learning from Mt. Ugo

I was once given the special task to help promote my hometown’s tourism industry. The job was a blessing in disguise because I always loved traveling, trying out adventures and meeting new friends. It wasn’t that hard to adjust to the expectations of this undertaking.

The task introduced me to experiences worth remembering. One of which is the Mt. Ugo Summer Climb.

I bet you have seen the well-known sea of clouds of Mount Pulag or you have gone to the New Zealand of Mount Ulap, but nothing compares to the uniqueness of Mt. Ugo. It offers you distinct sceneries with its pine tree forests, accommodating villagers, thoughtful local guides, and challenging trails. 

This climb was literally my first major climb.  I have never joined a climb with more or less two hundred (200) participants. What I usually had is a literal “walk in the park” or just some fun and short treks with friends.

The climb’s itinerary summed up to almost three (3) days. I thought it would be a long journey. Luckily, I was part of the team who organized the event. I didn’t have to worry about our tents, foods, and accommodations.

Along the journey, there were some pointers worth remembering:

FIRST: Hiking is boring if you Do it alone. 

Earphones with your favorite music genre are nothing compared to the stories, jokes and experiences that other people will share while striding the mountain slopes. By just looking at the mountains and trees, your eyes will be relieved of your stressful Facebook feed.  And yes, you may have thousands of friends in Facebook but do you even know how they really look like? The friends I met during this climb are real people; more than the faces, I came to know their stories.

When we arrived in the 1st Camp, everybody was tired. I didn’t have the strength to mingle with the other participants. All I wanted was to rest my exhausted knees and have a goodnight sleep. I knew, I had to prepare myself for the next day will be tougher. The Summit Assault.

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The next morning, I realized I was carrying too much. I had in my back pack a thick and heavy jacket. I doubted my climbing skill that I actually got rid of that jacket and gave it to the locals in order to lighten the weight I was carrying.

Distance away to the summit, I was really and deadly tired. But I was so confident back then. One participant passed by and asked, “Are you OK? Don’t give up; we’re just few meters away to the top.” And he was right.

Reaching the summit was the best feeling I ever had. The fresh air and the cool breeze numbed all the pain I was feeling that suddenly it didn’t feel like I just walked thousands of steps. That feeling was truly remarkable.

SECOND: Stop doubting yourself, stop saying it will be difficult because once you reach the top, you’ll be surprised how easy it was. 

I regret not staying longer in the summit because I needed to be back down quickly to prepare for the activities in the 2nd camp. With the 200+ participants, I wasn’t able to have the chance to meet them all.

THIRD: Enjoy every moment because every experience is different. After all, it’s not every day that you get the chance to an adventure like this. 

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