Learn from the Amateur Hikers

It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.  -Edmund Hillary

Caught in busy schedule at school or at work, but still made time to have a day hike. Pause and invite your friends to try something new, instead of typing in front of the computer, write an article as if you are already inspired, solve that mathematical questions if your mind had a time to rest, save that plates and paintings and let your eye get a glimpse of the sea of clouds.

Philippines is surrounded by numerous mountains. Mountain climbing is now the trend for the adults. It is a lifestyle sport involving trekking and hiking through rugged terrain, climbing over rocks camping and other struggles but it will be fun and will be worth your time and effort because it is truly fulfilling.

Trying these activities will change a person’s character by facing and conquering one’s own fear, it will leave a great memory that will lasts a lifetime and be able to experience a great achievement. In our country, a person who climbs a mountain as a hobby is called a Mountaineer


Photos from facebook.com/ajeloid


Ajel Bolina, 19, a fourth year student from Collegio de San Juan de Letran is an amateur mountaineer. She started hiking from 2013 until the present. She usually climbs with her friends and family. Ajel started hiking Mt. Manalmon in San Miguel Bulacan with her friends, she also climbed Mt. Daraitan, Mt. Binacayan, Mt. Pamitinan, then Mt. Pinatubo and plans to conquer all the Mountain Ranges in Rizal and dreams to climb as many as possible.


Last September 18, 2016. Even though the weather condition is threatening, Bolina and her cousins climbed Mt. Cayabu and Mt. Maynoba. Barangay Cayabu, in Tanay, Rizal is the jump off point to mt. cayabu and mt maynoba.

They started as early as 4:00 am in the morning to catch the sea of clouds which is one of the features of the mountain. Ajel shared, “Sobrang dilim nun, tapos hindi kami nakapagdala ng head lamp, pero buti na lang pinahiram kami ng mga tao dun, mababait sila.”

Photo from Ajel Bolina


It was very challenging for the group because it was a chilly overcast day. They need to be extra careful because they were not yet familiar with the place. It took them 2 hours to get to the peek and they were not crestfallen. Imagine the breathtaking views that the sea of clouds will give (write it to your bucket list!) the scenic views Sierra Madre mountains.

Mountain climbing requires a lot of composure and understanding, “test sya ng patience actually” Ajel shared. “Pero pagdating mo sa taas sobrang saya kasi parang nakita mo na yung buong mundo, ang aliwalas sa feeling, yung pagod mo nawawala.”

Ajel’s favorite is to have a buwis-buhay  pose for her photos! But the secret to a stunning photo is the angle.DCIM101GOPRO

Photos from Ajel Bolina ‘s facebook account

There’s a satisfaction that hiking gives to the mountaineers because they were able to achieve their goals.

Sobrang saya maka akyat sa taas” You will not know until you experienced it.

Why Hiking out of all activities?

There are many reasons why mountaineers keep on climbing. For example, the Nagmahal-Nasaktan-Namundok situations, depressed from work and relationships but some just want to appreciate environment and conquer their fears.

“Mountain climbing is the only escape in your workplace.” Jason Almazan said. It is not always getting there faster, but you should enjoy everything while in process. Hiking relaxes your mind and body while away from school works and the stresses in work.


Marina L. Labastida’s Photos from Hundred Islands (Governor’s Island)

It is necessary to have a background about the place that you will be climbing. “Alam mo dapat kung saan at anong meron dun sa aakyatin niyo,” Ajel said. Plan the budget for the foods and the guide. Prepare extra shirts, jackets (for cool weather) and toiletries.

Jason shares that hiking requires a lot of water to rehydrate your body. Bring canned goods, chocolates for energy booster, whistle, a tent if ever you will be camping. Tent must have a Fly sheet and Earth Pad. Earth Pad is for the ground of the tent; it will enable you to lay down when you are in a rocky mountain. You will need an LED lamp or Head light for walking on the night.

“Don’t forget your sleeping bag and bring some mosquito repellant.” – Jason

Jason Almazan, 26, working as a graphic designer at World Balance. Started early in climbing Mt. Apo in Davao last 2001. He usually climbs with his friends and colleagues. “The excitement of the hiking gives us a relaxing feeling as well as it enables us to have a break from office.” Jason experienced climbing Mt. Apo, Mt. Romelo and more mountains.

Always hike in pairs or groups because it is would be dangerous if you don’t even know the place. During the hike, you always think of your fellow mountaineers.

“Whenever you reach the top of a mountain, it is an achievement. Whether it is the highest or lowest, don’t underestimate it and just enjoy the hike and climb” Whatever you bring while hiking, you must also bring it down with you. Discipline is a must; respect appreciate the beauty of nature.

For the beginners or the people who will try to hike, it is good to try something new. Explore nature while your’re young, or you’ll regret it someday. and it can also strengthen yourself as well as your relationship and teamwork.


Photos from Marlowe Sarabia

Marlowe Sarabia, a Guidance counselor from Notre Dame of Greater Manila, started hiking last year but already conquered ten mountains. Mt. Batulao, Mt. Mamara, Nagsasa Trails, Mt. Maynuba, Mt. Cayabu, Mt. Malipunyo, Mt. Biak na Bundok, Mt. Manabu, Mt. Daguldol and plans to hike more!

Hiking is a very fulfilling activity, you overcome your fears be brave and take risks. When you go up, you plan for your goals and think of ways on how you achieve them. He finds it calming because it will take you to another world, a realm where you can escape from reality. This is where you will get to know yourself more.

“Climbing up a mountain is where I’ll be closest to nature.” – Sarabia

You will get to appreciate the nature more, and it will change you. It will turn you to a more appreciative, protective and nature loving person. Everything can change very fast.

From facebook account of Marlowe Sarabia

Leave no trace.

Leave nothing but footprints.

Take nothing but pictures.

Kill nothing but time.

Keep nothing but memories.

This activity, at first you will find it very interesting. But it requires a very dedicated manner. “Focus on the current steps you’re taking, dahil kapag nag-look back ka, malalaglag ka, kapag din naglook forward ka masyado, malalaglag ka din” said Sarabia.

Photo from Marlowe Sarabia

In life, you forget on the past and make the NOW the primary focus of your life.  -Eckhart Tolle

It will take a whole day to trek a 5/9 difficulty mountain. Prepare and Plan!

“Pwedeng magpahinga, pero bawal sumuko. –Marlowe Sarabia


Doc. Gideon Lasco Medical Anthropologist from UP Manila. He started at a very young age and at 27 he already summounted 120 mountains in the Philippines and 30 outside in different parts of the world.


To promote hiking in the Philippines, he created a blog because he thinks that mountaineering in the country has a very limited information, so he supplied advises and his experiences so the people interested in hiking will have the knowledge.

“Hiking just like any sport carry risks that’s why anyone who would like to climb up the mountain has to be prepared, Physical, material, dapat kasi kumpleto yung gamit mo at the same time mental

Watch the full interview  of Gideon Lasco in Sports Filipinas.

Magsimula sa maliit na bundok at maabot mo na din ang naiabot nila.

In summary, all of their experiences was unforgettable.

Want to try these activities? Visit their website for news, updates and tips coming from the professionals.

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