Tuesday, May 26, 2009


It was indeed a very memorable climb not only because of its side trips but because it was my first major climb in which I was inducted a regular member of PNB Mountaineering Club. The said climb was in Mount Napulawan in Hapao-Hungduan which is a part of Mountain Province dated November 28 to December 2, 1998. Climbing to the breathtaking summit of this mountain was really an endless trekking as we passed through several mountains. Notably, these mountains were all exciting and dramatic and immediately overawe myself as an onlooker. But I was prepared for this by all that I’ve known from the accounts given by the club’s members who already climbed this mountain. And I was keyed up to respond to that kind of beauty.

I was inducted along with 12 others as the club’s Batch 14 on its summit called Camp Dunuan at 7:45 in the morning on November 30, 1998 by Policarpo Gregorio Osmundo N. “Ding” Capunitan assisted by Rolly Villanueva. It was freezing then and all of us male initiates wore only short pants and our upper body was bare. The night before induction was extremely freezing and there was light rains. When I rested in my tent together with Roy Pison and Jun Galang, I wore two thermal jackets, with two t-shirts inside, two socks, hand gloves, muffler and bonnet and I could not sleep well because I kept on chilling. We were all thirty-two with thirteen members, thirteen inductees, two guests and four guides. The members were: (1) Rolly Villanueva – expidition leader; (2) Jun Galang – lead man; (3) Manny Llesol – sweeper; (4) Ding Capunitan; (5) Sandy Alhambra; (6) Sandra Reyes; (7) Chika Vite; (8) Norie Jacala; (9) Elmer Daus; (10) Tony Sundiang; (11) Fidel O. Mendoza; (12) Noel Dollentas; and (13) Abet Zapanta. The inductees were: (1) Noemi Amador; (2) Roy Pison; (3) Chris Ballon; (4) Jenny Ferrer; (5) Marie Jane V. Gumba; (6) Benjie Autencio; (7) Jun Banela; (8) Victor Victorino; (9) Jesie Sayas; (10) Neil Raymundo; (11) Janet Lazarte; (12) Henry Salazar; and (13) I. Lito Capuz and Judith Palero were the guests. Our group of inductees was Batch 14 and we were simply the best batch ever that PNB Mountaineering Club has produced.

After we descended from the mountain which was the eve of November 30, we stayed overnight in Hungduan Municipal Hall. In same venue, a cultural show was prepared by the folks of Hungduan for us hosted by the lady vice mayor. The show was an age-old Ifugao ritual entitled “Mumbaki” in which medicine priests offer animals like pigs and chickens to their gods for good harvest and good health. Dinner was served out of the animals offered in the ritual. The following day, December 1, we had a side trip to Banaue and Sagada. This was the second time I have been in this place since April 17-19, 1998 together with some PNB Makati Avenue officemates. In Banaue, we visited its Museum and Terrace View Deck. We also visited the Bontoc Museum and proceed to Sagada where we stayed in two separate groups in Country Inn and Restaurant and Masferre’s Lodging House. We visited the following: (1) Sagada Weaving, (2) Hanging Coffins, (3) Sagada Parish Church, (4) Sagada Cemetery, and (5) Echo Valley. I joined dinner with the group but slept early and did not join the evening socials because I was mad with Rolly Villanueva and besides I was sad because my favorite buddy, Abet Zapanta did not join the Sagada side trip together with Henry Salazar, confidante Neil Raymundo and Judith Palero.
The following day, December 2, I decided not to join the Sumaguing Caving and persuaded Jenny Ferrer and Janet Lazarte to join me instead in roaming around the place. Our group left Sagada and proceed to Baguio City and had a memorable evening socials in Fondue Café and Folk House. That same night, we pushed for Manila and reached home at almost 5:00 in the morning of December 3 but I managed to report to work just a little bit late because I washed first my dirty clothes in the climb.

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