I have come across a fellow marine engineer who is really into climbing mountains. Apparently, it is the new trend of traveling places and seeking adventures amongst millennials these days.
After seeing his photos, and listening to his stories while on the hike, I realized that I should’ve tried it when I had the time. More talking and I eventually got him to share with me some of his insights about climbing mountains and the awesome feeling of achievement atop the summit. I discovered new stuffs about his hobby and really got interested into trying it some time.( Hopefully soon)
So I’m sharing with you a feature about my awesome brother-traveller, Engr. Orlando Labios.
How did you start climbing mountains?
I was invited by a comrade in 2016, and lured me into a free transportation and food into hiking mountains. I was bored and joined the trip and from that moment on, I decided to climb some more. So far, I was able to climb Mt. Maynuba, Mt. Paliparan, and Mt. Daraitan in Rizal. Also after one contract at sea, we climbed Mt. Arayat in Pampanga, Mayon Volcano in Albay, Mt. Mandalagan in Silay Negros Occidental, Mt Purgatory in Benguet, Mt Batulusong, Mt. Romelo, and Mt. Makulot in Batangas. In two years I had great adventures climbing ten summits with nothing but pure thrill seeking as the main motivation.
What is the most memorable experience you’ve had so far?
I’d say it’s the Mayon day hike that we did on Alert Level 1 status. I was part of a group of 31 hikers (Mayon 31) that braved climbing the summit of an active volcano. We were caught ofcourse and paid PHP 5000.00 for Illegal entry violation. We were in the local news and it was not cool.
Were you scared of going to jail for it? Or regret doing it?
At some point yes, but the experience was priceless and it was just first offense so we were just obliged to pay the fine. We took on the four camps before we reached the summit, the challenges of climbing and going down all through out took us almost twelve hours, and luckily we survived the long and arduous hike. It’s something I’d do again given the chance, only that I’ll make sure that we’re not breaking any rules next time.
Would you recommend it to your fellow millenials?
Yes, Ofcourse. I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to experience a new kind of adventure. I do it just to get out of the city. I like running up and down plain mountain trails, giving in to the wind as it passes through my body, it’s a different kind of rush plus the air weight is really lighter on the mountains compared to running into parks and stadiums at the city. It’s healthy and fun at the same time. Though the body pain will follow after the hike but the experience will make you stronger, and even tougher .
What are the things you prepare for before the hike?
The basic preparation usually focuses on your personal health. You must undergo some body conditioning to build stamina while doing the hike like road runs and routine exercise. No alcohol intake weeks or days before the hike. Balance diet and well rested body. Like all physical tasks, your body needs to be prepared for it and your mind ready for any untoward incidents so you could act fast in times of emergency.
No matter how many mountains you climb, never underestimate the trail, always ready yourself for the anything unexpected.
5 things you need to bring with you:
Basically the organizers will give you notes of what to bring and what not but it’s safe to be prepared for the unexpected things that may come your way. When I hike I ”hike lite”, I would just bring…
1.Extra clothes especially parkas and blankets for cold weather
- Trail foods like water, boiled egg, jelly ace and some sugar bits like chocolates just to get me going.
- First aid kit is very important too.
- Hiking gears like spiked shoes, hiking poles, tents if you plan on doing overnight hikes.
- Phones for emergency communications and Identification card.
Is it dangerous to go on adventures such as this ?
It is, but we’re climbing trails that mountaineers had climbed ahead of us, local tour guides accompany us into the peak, sometimes in a 5:1 ratio. They usually know the trail and would advise us safety rules and tips before and along the journey. I’d recommend that before climbing any mountain, coordinate with local tourism office for permits for proper briefing and to ensure your safety.
“Yes the climb will be difficult but the view at the top is great!”
Is there a goal or number of mountains to climb?
So far I’ve climbed ten summits but I really want to one day reach the summit of Mt. Makiling, Mt. Kanlaon, and when it’s open again the summit of Mt. Pulag.
How much money do you need to go hiking?
On a minimum you need around PHP 1500 to go for a mountain climbing, ofcourse extra cash is really recommended but depending on the mountain that you want to climb a starting cash of PHP 1500.00 will already get you there.
Emergency Blanket- PHP 100
Trail Foods- PHP 200
Meet Up point transportation- PHP 200
Registration Fee (Inclusive of tour guide, transportation, organizers and tourism fee)- PHP 700
Extra Cash- PHP 300
Total= PHP 1500.00
Where can you find fellow mountaineers? And how much are the membership fees?
I found my group through the facebook group of TARA KAHIT SAAN. You can easily access informations about scheduled hikes, meet up points and call time from organizers and clubs through their page. You can coordinate if you are interested and join the hike. Registration and membership fee varies depending on the trip. Souvenir shirts are also available courtesy of the clubs.
It’s PHP 500- PHP 1000 max fee for every hike.
What are your thoughts when you finally get there?
The regrets I feel when my body is tired during the hike goes away when I reach the summit. It’s a fulfilling experience, having undergone hardships climbing up and finally looking over the great view at the top. I can only think of enjoying the view, those challenges along the trail are nothing compared to the rewarding feeling of reaching the peak.
Any parting words?
It’s a way of living , climbing mountains connected me to new people who later on became my friends. Strangers became allies and friends became closer than ever. I’d do it again soon as long as my body could endure the toll of hiking, I’ll still climb mountains.
I’d say it’s a challenging way of enjoying nature and I’m impressed with how this trend of climbing mountains rapidly captured the interest of the youth. If I’m to relate it to life, I’d say reaching the summit of any mountain is never easy, the struggles are real and the sacrifices are way more than just the body pains. The risks are real as well because it’s a fair game of chances, you win some you lose some, but it’s with perseverance and fighting spirit that gets you on top of anything you wish to reach. That the glory of being on top is not about how fast you get there, it’s with how much you give of yourself to actually reach your destination.
I’d really try this one when on vacation, maybe when Orlando gets a free day to hike the mountains of Negros.
Orlando’s last note to me was that no matter how many mountains you climb, never underestimate the trail, always ready yourself for the anything unexpected. True enough, and I think if you plan to venture into this kind of adrenaline rush, first rule is “Be prepared”!
“Yes the climb will be difficult but the view at the top is great!”