At first, there is nothing interesting except for the usual muddy trail, common trees and bushes…but then small things begin to stand out along the trail - a white leaf floating against the blue sky, fallen flower against the gray rocks, tangled roots and vines and blooming mushrooms.
At the middle of the trail, I told myself, now I see the trail as it really is; and again see and hear inspirations on simple things around me – most especially when I met that sleeping parrot at the summit – it was as if this mountain is saying and reminding me something!
This mountain can talk. You just have to open your heart to hear the whispers of the trees and the streams and what this lonesome parrot has to say:
|The "parrot's beak" as if singing to the clouds|
1. Learn to unlearn
|Our lead organizer enjoying the view of the monolith from the summit of Mt. Pico de Loro|
|Tangled roots makes the trail going up Mt. Pico de Loro exciting|
|Souvenir group photo with fellow hiking enthusiasts I met first time during the hike|
|You have to carefully walk at the steep trails to enjoy the view - and to have some nice souvenir photos|
Anyway, the climb ends up fun and memorable.
|Local guide ensuring our safe climb|
This may sound too cliché but yes, Mt. Pico de Loro somehow reminded me to “conquer my fear and doubts” While I reflect during the trek I felt this mountain whispered something that makes me remember this story:
During my elementary days, I love going to the forest and climb trees to pick wild fruits such as duhat (plum) and guava. One day at the forest, I fell off a tree and can’t hardly walk and breathe.
While dragging myself back home I made a promise to myself that I’ll never go to the mountains again. Ironically, I am spending my life breaking it.
That day, I discovered something within myself and in that experience - been exposed to danger – I learned about fear, and live life unlearning that fear and so I continue climbing mountains.
2. Move your Butt
|Reminder along the trail: Move your ass!!|
Funny thought instantly occurred to me – that my butt could end up like this if I didn’t find ways to go out – if I just sit in the office working Mondays to Fridays most of the time even on weekends and holidays. Who wants a stone-hard ass anyway?
|Breathtaking view from the summit of Mt. Pico de Loro|
I can say this climb and this mountain reminded me that I’m still alive! Something a lot easier to achieve than I realized.
Here are other inspiring snapshots I took along the trail which gives me instant insights about life in general:
3. Appreciate nature as it is
|Bamboo forest before Mt. Pico de Loro summit|
|Even this dog can't resist listening to what this parrot has to say|
While staring at the parrot’s beak and admiring its beauty, I felt a sudden sadness. The memory of that beautiful bird I killed suddenly haunted me.
When I was 10, I got a slingshot or tirador. I was shooting lampposts, empty cans, fruits on a tree as target shooting, and occasional birds. One day I went on a duhat-picking spree with my friends in the forest.
I brought my tirador with me and there on the branch directly above me was an unusually colorful bird. Silently, I pulled out my tirador, aimed and let the stone fly. To my surprise, the bird fell down to the ground, lifeless
I brought home that beautiful bird as a prize, showed it to my playmates and instead of giving me credits, they said “Haay kawawang ibon,” (poor bird) in the saddest voice I ever heard.
Suddenly, the sad ramification of what I’ve done dawned on me: I killed something that a few hours ago had been so much beautiful and alive. Silently I cried. I buried the poor bird with a heavy heart. I throw away my tirador. It was my first and last hunting experience.
To this day, whenever I see or hear birds sing, I think of that colorful bird and wonder how many more beautiful birds it had produced had I not killed it. Maybe that is also why I hate zoos and caged animals. I go to the mountains instead – to have a chance to admire nature.
The taking of life is so easy, but the consequence is sweeping. It was a lesson learned; that I must appreciate nature as it is.
|Wild mushrooms blooming along the trail|
|Mt. Pico de Loro: A tree to give you a comfortable rest area and to guide you along the trail|
If this mountain could talk
Mountains can talk, this is what I realized. That is only if we really open our minds and heart to listen and see.
|Living on the edge|
When I finally reached the summit, I felt a mix of emotions: happiness for this great day, sadness for that memory of the bird – simple awe at sitting in such a place.
|Muddy and aching feet - but the breathtaking view at the summit all worth it!|
I believe we all have our own Mt. Pico de Loros in our lives – and I encourage you to find yours, wherever it may be. Just remember to savor the climb – and remember to listen.
If this mountain could talk what do you think it would tell you?
Mt. PICO DE LORO / also known as Mt. Palay-Palay
Maragondon, Cavite and Nasugbu, Batangas
Major jump-off: Magnetic Hill, Ternate, Cavite
Minor jump-off: Ternate-Nasugbu Highway, Nasugbu, Batangas
LLA: 14° 12.855 N; 120° 38.785 E; 664 MASL
Days required / Hours to summit: 1-2 days / 2-5 hours
Specs: Minor climb, Difficulty 3/9, Trail class 1-3
Features: Distinctive spire at the summit, forests, scenic views of Cavite
More Details about this Mountain here: PinoyMountaineer - Mt. Pico De Loro
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