The first time under PNB Mountaineering Climb was an Initiate wherein we were all fifteen with six members, 8 initiates and a guest. The members were: (1) Chika Vite – Expidition Leader; (2) Abet Zapanta – sweeper; (3) Jun Galang; (4) Manny Llesol; (5) Sandra Reyes; and (6) Sandy Alhambra. The initiates were: (1) Neil James G. Raymundo – Abet’s friend; (2) Jesiebel “Jesie” V. Sayas of CIBI; (3) Jun Banela; (4) Victor Victorino; (5) Roy Pison; (6) Noemi Amador; (7) Maricris Ballon; and (8) I. For the second time, Joel Dimacali was our guest climber. It was my first meeting with Neil James and I find him a nice guy. He was such a witty conversationalist.
Our batch really missed mountain scaling. With this, we suggested to a few PNB Mountaineers who were close to us to organize climbs in preparation to major climbs. On February 7, 1999, eight of us, namely: (1) Jenny Ferrer, (2) Abet Zapanta, (3) Neil Raymundo, (4) Chika Vite, (5) Lito Capuz, (6) Sandy Alhambra, (7) Manny Llesol, and (8) I decided to scale Mt. Maculot in Cuenca, Batangas for just a day hike. This was the second time that I have been there and my objective for that time was to minimize the time in the assault and descending to the jump-off point because at least I already defined the trail and the required effort I need to successfully complete the climb in a minimum period of time. The climb, on the other hand, was very inspiring because the participants were all close to me. They were the few chosen ones for me. My favorites Abet and Neil were with me to attend the 5:00-6:00 P.M. mass in San Isidro Labrador Parish Church in Taft Avenue, Pasay City because it was Sunday.