Last few Sundays ago, I did an impulsive (and kind of crazy) decision to join my friends on a hike trail just a day before Sunday. You might ask, what’s crazy about it? It’s just a day hike anyway. Well yes but it’s not just an easy trail, it was a 20km trail from Balamban to Toledo! The beginner in me surely don’t know what I got myself into.
Been wanting to join my friends on their mountain adventures for a long time now but I was always hesitant at first because I don’t have the proper gear for it. My friends have been into this for almost 3 years or so (or even more) so I was honestly intimidated to join them, not because they were not welcoming but for some reason I feel like I will be a burden to them if I do join them (but don’t get me wrong, my friends are so much willing to help me out, it was just me really haha)
Then again I receive an invite to go day trekking on Saturday going to Sirao peak. I thought to myself, why not finally join them this time? I mean I heard Sirao Peak is a great trail to try for beginners. So I said yes! A week before that Saturday, I prep myself for the upcoming hike. I went to the gym almost every night and did a lot of cardio, squats, lunges so I can condition my legs especially for the hike.
Thursday and Friday came and the rain. poured. hard. So hard what we have to cancel our Saturday hike to Sirao peak. To be honest I was kind of sad because I prepared not just physically but mentally for this hike but safety is always a priority. I ended up staying in on that day. After reflecting at home I randomly remembered they mentioned another day hike on the next day, Sunday. I felt the itch to join them but the Sunday trail was not for beginners because like what i mentioned, it will be a 20km mountain trail.
After consulting my friends I ended up agreeing to really join them the next day. With only about 3 (or even less) hours of sleep, I manage to wake up early because call time was at around 5am. Me and my friends met up at Ayala Mcdonalds near the terminal, had breakfast while waiting for everyone to arrive.
We rode a van from Ayala Terminal to Balamban drop off. Then started to trek around 8am.
Overall experience: I still can’t believe I manage to trek from Balamban to Toledo. That’s a total of 20km in 8 hours! Not to mention it was my first time after a very looooong time. The trail itself is quite manageable really. There are maybe a few spots that’s challenging but nothing to worry about especially if you have people willing to help you get through BUTT it’s only the distance that’s making us (or me at least) very tired. Did I forget we were joining a group of trail runners? So there wasn’t that much long rest stop. So you can only imagine how every 5 mins break felt like. Also it sure was HOT. We were all walking under the scorching sun! This is personally what makes me feel drained that I had to always drink water to stay hydrated.
Would I do it again? Well definitely! Being on top of the mountain is a different kind of fulfillment. Also the view on top makes the climb worth it. I would definitely recommend you to try hiking. Now that I’ve overcome my fear of climbing, I’m now excited to try camping next!
After this first (and very tiring, I must say) trail, I manage to invest on a right hiking shoes and some other stuff. I have no regrets and I’m glad i said yes that day. Like what they said, “It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.”
Til the next one!
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