The first time we climbed this mountain was with the EMBO Mountain Climbers and few acquaintance friends. It was the time when we were waiting for the next climb that Noemi Amador, who used to be my companion in all of my outings and major trips, tried to visit for the first time Majayjay Falls in Sta. Cruz, Laguna dated May 16 and 17, 1998. We met friends there in the person of: (1) Alexander “Alex” P. Vilar of Asian Spirit Airlines; (2) Ma. Rozanah “Chen-chen” G. Irisary and (3) Emmanuel Provido “Nuel” A. de Castro II of Wesarv Systems International; and (4) Oscar “Onching” F. Azarcon. The four invited us to join their mountaineering club called EMBO which stands for Exploration of Man Beyond ‘Orizon. Alex, Nuel and Onching were founding club members. We also met there some friends like Leonardo “Toti” M. Villamor of Toyota Motors Paranaque, Diego G. Castillo and Arnel M. Evangelista
After a few get together and constant phone calls, our EMBO friends invited us to join their June 12-14, 1998 Pico de Loro Centennial Climb situated in Nasugbu, Batangas. This time, we invited Aldwin de Guia and Mon Crisol to join us including Noemi Amador and Jenny Ferrer. We were all sixteen participants of the climb namely: (1) Nuel de Castro; (2) Alexander Vilar; (3) Onching Azarcon; (4) Michael “Mhike” B. Fernandez – another EMBO Mountaineering Club founding member; (5) Chenchen Irisary; (6) Evelyn F. Varias and all the rest including myself were guest climbers, namely: (7) Jesus “Jojo” F. Borja Jr. of KLT Fruits, Inc.; (8)Emee P. Durban of UCPB Herrera Branch; (9) Mark Stephen “Mark” P. Endonilla; (10) Raymund Crisol of Allied Bank Edsa Extension Branch; (11) Aldwin de Guia; (12) Bernadette “Badette” C. de Jesus of Nesic Philippines, Inc.; (13) Noemi Amador; (14) Jenny Ferrer; (15) Diego Castillo; and (16) I.
It was not purely a mountaineering activity since we also experienced rock climbing using harness to reach the other peak of the big massive rock formation of Pico de Loro. After descending the mountain, we went to Kutad Cove where we had night swimming and socials in a bonfire. We pitched our tents along the beach line. The following day, June 14, we almost spent our day in the beach together with the famous actor, Aga Mulach who’s enjoying jetski. He had with him his relatives boarding a private yatch.
The second time around, I was supposedly joining a qualifing test for the March 26-31, 2002 Mt. Halcon Major Climb and so I joined the March 2-3, 2002 Pico de Loro Climb in Nasugbu, Batangas. I thought then it would be less exciting for the second time but as the climb progressed, it turned out to be more challenging since unlike before this one was only a day climb. It helped us gain more stamina, endurance and strength as seasoned (?) and professional (?) mountain climbers. Together with me were my fellow PNB Mountaineering Club members, namely: Erwin C. dela Cruz (Expidition Leader); Christian Tagle (Lead Man) and his father, Arthur; Eduard “Jun” V. Mangyao, Jr.; Ricky Eslao; Connie Vasquez; Enrique “Ike” S. Abad; Jing Gumba; Menchu Segovia; and Antonio Alcaraz. Jun Mangyao served as my inspiration in the whole duration of the climb. Our entry point was in Sitio Hamilo, Brgy. Papaya boarding a jeepney from Nasugbu town proper. We started from the jump-off point at 11:00 A.M. of the first day and was at the peak at 2:38 P.M. We were back in the jump-off point at almost 5:00 P.M.
We boarded a jeepney to Brgy. Papaya proper and hired a motorboat to cross to Kutad Island in Hacienda Look owned by Henry Sy and Associates through a 20-minute motorboat ride from Brgy. Papaya port. We had our overnight along the beach of Kutad. Our socials was quite memorable in the sense that both Jun Mangyao and I were identified with each other during the body shots game. That game really gave me a sort of emotional satisfaction and hoped then it would not end. And at the same time, the game gave us an opportunity to know each other and became closer. It was on that night that Ricky and Connie confirmed their intimate relationship. I slept earlier at 12:00 midnight while the rest at 2:00 dawn. For the second time, I shared with the tent of Ike Abad together with Anton Alcaraz. The following day, we started our activity in cooking our breakfast and had swimming. It was such a very refreshing morning filled with so much fun and thrills. The sun was as playful as the group as it was not too hot to our tanning skin. Finally, our excitement diminished as our service motor boat arrived to cross us to Brgy. Papaya proper at almost 11:00 A.M. After our late lunch in Nasugbu, we boarded an airconditioned BLTB bus at 4:30 P.M. and arrived in Manila at 6:40 P.M.