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Well, it was fun when we got to Anawangin. It was such a pain getting back from there that’s why we called our trip Survivor Anawangin. XD

Actually the road trip to Zambales and the trip to Anawangin was already worth it. We were so noisy it was like we owned the buses we were on. Plus we got to stay in a lovely house by the rice fields, filled with lovely people. =)

FYI, this was our first team building ever. It almost never got done because not all of us were available on certain weekend dates but we did manage to decide on which date to go. And so on January 12, after we got off from work, we started our trip to Zambales. We stayed at our teammate’s lovely lovely house. Ganda super.

 

We never expected it to be that nice. Out of the ordinary kase, tipong di mo makikita madalas sa Pilipinas. Hehe. And mas maganda sa loob shempre. Parang Japanese/Western inspired yung design. #ahluvit.

Nag-bonfire pa kami at nagpalipad ng paper lantern aside from the booze and videoke session.

bonfire

  

Anyway the next day, after a sumptuous breakfast (teka, di ba dinner yung sumptuous sa itinerary? haha~), we started our trip to Anawangin. We left early, halos wala pang araw. Well it was kind of cloudy so at least we didn’t get all sun burnt or anything. We did use sunblock just in case.

  

  

As soon as we got to Anawangin, we took pictures and prepared for our “lunch”.

Mind you we got there early, i think 8 or 9am? (I’m clueless, i didn’t have a watch and i didn’t really care. XD) After eating, we took more pictures and swam and all but when we checked the time it was only 11am or 12 noon! Wow, time was really slow in that place. We already did a lot of things and yet time was moving slowly for us. Nevertheless, we had fun eating, swimming, taking pictures and all that.

Aside from having fun, we also learned something about ourselves and each other during the outing. Things we never thought could happen happened. Everything was going well except for the trip back from Anawangin. We never imagined we’d have to go over the mountains to get back to town. The hike down, my friends, was hell.

Had we been prepared we would have really appreciated the mountains more and how beautiful it looks and all that. Sadly, we were only wearing beach wear – tube/tank tops, shirts and shorts plus slippers. At least we still had lots of drinking water, but alas, we had to endure the pain of hiking until we could step on solid ground again.

On top of that, we started our hike at around 5pm since the guides never told us the sea condition ahead of time. We would have been willing to leave early if we’d known we were gonna be hiking to get back home. We were actually just waiting for them to come back for us by 2pm. We spent the time left playing ball games, laughed at the jokes and games we played then talked about our life and how we felt at work. By 4:30pm, our scheduled pick up time, we looked for the people who were gonna bring us back to town and were told we had to go up the mountains due to the dangerously big waves we’d encounter if we go back by sea. They told us it would just take 2 to 3 hrs so we felt it was ok.

Imagine, most of us never hiked up a mountain before (I did experience it once, somewhere in Santa, Ilocos Sur for a school trip but that was way back in ’99 or 2000). Only a few of us have an active lifestyle, those who went to the gym and always traveled to different places. We didn’t eat any big meal before leaving since we didn’t really prepare for dinner at all. Some of us ate some form of merienda then off we went.

Good thing Kuya Randy advised us beforehand to travel light, otherwise we would have brought the whole world up and down the mountains, which would have caused us more pain than we had endured.

Before we left Anawangin, some random girl told us the hike was medium to hard level terrain. Her friends said she was a mountaineer and she told us to spend the night there instead of leaving. She probably knew we had no experience hiking/trekking whatsoever but her warning fell on deaf ears. We didn’t have any food left, plus we only had the clothes on our back and almost nothing else, we had no choice but to leave the place then and there.

And thus started our unexpected hiking adventure. It was a pain but it surely was an experience we will never forget.

At first we enjoyed the hike up even though it was difficult. We still had time to appreciate the beauty of the sky and the mountains. It felt really good. We were smiling in the pictures but pain started to set in. Our muscles weren’t used to such exertion and so everyone was starting to feel some aches and pains.

Most of us didn’t have walking sticks but were carrying stuff. By the time we reached the summit we were all tired and it was almost dark. The wind was really strong it felt like several aircons and giant fans blowing at you at the same time like it would blow you off the mountain if you didn’t brace yourself. We thought that was because there was gonna be a typhoon. And we were on top of the mountain for God’s sake! Thank God it didn’t rain at all. While we were resting at the summit i already set myself up to expect that we wouldn’t finish the hike down in 1 to 2 hrs.

Thus started our hell trip. Of course at the time we thought it was hell. It was torture – oh the pain, the agony – but come to think of it, each of us learned a lot from that hiking trip, especially while we were already going down the mountain.

By the last few hours, no one was laughing anymore, everybody had their temper on a leash. Some of us tripped and fell, two of us had our slippers snap along the way. Someone from another group lent me their peep toe shoe, but it was a pain to wear, the skin on the side of my right foot was starting to peel off from all the rubbing from the shoe edge so i decided to try walking barefoot, but lo and behold it was more excruciating to walk on bare feet. Luckily, manong guide lent me his slippers (otherwise we might have taken longer than 6 hrs to get down the mountain). I didn’t bring my glasses and it was really dark so i had a hard time seeing all the rocks and deep “steps” down that i had to be helped by the guide when it really got dark. The light we had didn’t really help much so i was squinting while slowly and painfully stepping down each rocky step. It actually took us 6 hours to get back to town so imagine how dark it was hiking down the mountain. We only had a few of our cellphones as light at first, then some more guides came around with emergency lights to help us safely get to town. The lights we had served as our hope from all the pain we were experiencing and the darkness surrounding us. By that time most of us were already thinking of how soon it would be ’til we got to walk on the plains again. The guides kept telling us it was only an hour away or only 30 minutes more. They kept stringing us along with that kind of spiel that some of us started hallucinating of seeing lights from houses from afar. (Note: We were in the rocky mountains. It was really dark and there was no one around but us.)

light

I was just focused on getting down the mountain, i had to look hard at where i was going since my eyes were all blurred aside from being tired from hiking and everything else we did during the day. I was just focusing on each step, since i didn’t want to fall off and roll down the mountain due to carelessness. Not only was the trail very rocky, it was also kind of slippery as it was pebbly.

Imagine hiking down the mountain, being guided by someone while you had a walking stick on the other hand – talk about being “disabled”, hahaha. I didn’t care about where we were anymore, i just concentrated on stepping down carefully causing the least pain to my leg muscles. All i could see was rocks, soil, and tall grasses. The tall grass were sharp edged, there were shrubberies everywhere (No one got off the mountain without a scratch).

Finally after what seemed like an eternity we reached the plains! That was almost heaven to me. I didn’t need to be assisted to move forward anymore. I could walk on my own without worrying if i might fall down or miss a step. After we began walking on sand again i felt relieved!

To cut the story short, we were able to get back to Kuya Randy’s home and finally were able to rest and get back to our own homes. Even
if we went home in pain we’re thankful to him for being so accomodating. Salamat s masahe! Nakatulong yun ng sobra. 😀 Happy na kami ngayon.

(Most travel photos are copyright of Lyo Mar. Well, some of us did take his photos with us but he owns the camera so there. Lol.)

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