For most, summer is a time for milestones. Some movies even give it the “time to remember” or the “most memorable times” feel. There is always something romantic about summers. Sometimes it will be something so temporary like back in middle school when I tried to convince myself that all the coming summers would add a full inch to my height. Sometimes it would include that summer fling one just can’t forget. And still, sometimes it can hold deeper meaning so as it affects peoples lives for the rest of their lives.
My summer is more like a “welcome home” kind. I hear it loudly in my heart and it warms me all over. I’ve taken steps toward a different direction after leaving my mountaineering days behind. I’ve tucked it away and decided to go on my own. I left home to try and find out what else is there in the world. I have always been moving. Ever since I got my bike, back when I was 13, I’ve been wandering as far as my bravery can take me. This summer I wandered back home.
The start of this year’s summer started with the notion of change and welcoming change that is as far deep rooted an acceptance of change can go. I’ve erased many of my notions and beliefs to accommodate changes. Maybe even to the extent of breaking molds I’ve set myself into. Some will say this is foolish, I say, “Thank you but this is my life.”
The summer just started. I’ve been spending a lot of time lately knowing new people who now constitute MIT-MC, The Mapua Institute of Technology Mountaineering Club, or simply MC, a club I also used to lead once upon a time. I attended the 23rd anniversary last November, last year’s MC Christmas party, graduation party and a whole lot of other events in between including taking some members to indoor sport climbing, eating ramen, and going to movies.
I have been formulating a plan of hiking up mountains again for sometime. The start of this summer just made that reality when I got to hike up Mt. Napulauan. I am truly thankful for the welcome and I’m so glad I’m connecting again to something I was passionate about and I wish to be immersed in it again. The number of people I know is increasing again and not limited to just a handful. I know it will be difficult to know everyone on the same level but I’m just happy and I’ll take it from there.
Mt. Napulauan is a cold mountain set in the middle of the Cordillera range. The most striking feature it has is its seemingly endless maze of mossy forest. There was bitingly cold wet weather during the climb. It got coupled with tired legs, cold hands, wet feet, burning lungs and an eerie calm feeling one gets when hiking through Napulauan’s primordial looking forest. Sagada was up next for a sidetrip, and then a few hours in Baguio just before going back to Manila. The trip was filled with a lot of events. The cold wet hike, the induction rites of the club’s batch 24, the deep dark cave, the warm bonfire, singing and stories shared over buckets and buckets of beer, and the list goes on but maybe some will be suitable only for my own memory. It is more than just hiking after all. It maybe the connections; it has made the trip all the more impressive. Once again I am proven that passions go deeper than anything else. When people with the same passions meet it will always be magical.
I see reflections forming a huge part of my summer this year. Every event will undoubtedly stare me down, look at me, and then ask me questions. Some I’ll readily answer. Some, I’ll just wait out until a fuller understanding is available to me. And maybe some, I’ll just pretend to understand for a while. In the meantime every moment that stirs me is keeping me awake and that is what matters.