For a time, me and my girl have been planning to climb Mt. Puting Bato. We’ve discussed it over and over. The things we should bring, schedule, safety and such. It’s not every other day that we go to climb a moutain. I mean just the two of us. I also consulted my friends about it and they said it was a good idea and a good bonding for a couple. I’ve been up there a few times already but with a mountain bike, climbing it with someone special is a different story. Not to mention it’s going to be the first time.
We had many chance of pulling out our plan but somehow some other stuff gets in the way. However this month offered so many chances and we were beginning to get bored just being in the city. We agreed to pull it off after our little Christmas party. I already started to pack our gear days before our climb. That’s because we have other things to attend to and yes, I was really excited. There’s no harm in preparing ahead of time right?
Early morning of December 15, Sunday, we went back to Davao from our Christmas party in Samal to attend a morning mass. Then after the mass we went straight to the mall to buy some stuff and of course, food. We just took a quick time to change clothes then we were off the bus terminal at Sta. Ana and then were off to Samal island again.
The bus took us as far as Peña Plata and then from there we took a motorcycle ride to Tayapok. However, our trip took a turn we didn’t expect. Instead of taking us to Tayapok junction, the driver took us to the other side, which was the other trail to Mt. Puting Bato. Technically it was still Tayapok but it’s not the trail that I’m familiar with. I was beginning to worry but oh well. I guess were on for a traverse instead of a chill climb.
The trail was very different from the trail that I used to take. There were many steep climbs and some parts where you need to cross split parts of the mountain. We trailed through tall grasses and cliffs. There was a moment when I din’t knew where we were heading already. Luckily there was a house there. He gave us water to drink and directions. It was funny though, one of his dogs went along with us. It was like the dog was already accustomed to climbers. The dog was like our guide. He knew the trail better than I did.
Little after 5PM we arrived at the peak entrance. It was a surprise that the gate wasn’t locked. The man from the house that we passed said that it was closed. He didn’t say why. So yeah, we went in. We setup camp same place we camped during our S24O ride. We finished setting up just before sundown. Unluckily we didn’t appreciate the sunset much because the sun was overlapped by rain clouds.
During the night, we ate and had our dinner. We pretty much stayed in the tent the whole time but we didn’t close the tent windows so we could see what’s outside. We could see Davao lit up like fireflies in the night from there. The moon was so bright and there were no clouds in sight. However it didn’t stay that way for long. The rain clouds formed and it started to rain. It was a good way to test whether the new tent we bought could hold out from that kind of rain. It rained for hours, although not too strong, but it was way too long.
Around 10PM we were still awake. Then we heard voices. Some people were nearby. At first I thought it was the caretaker of the place but later on we realized they were kids. Boys and girls who went there to drink some booze. I don’t know but for some reason the first thing that came to me was to get my knife. Well just a precautionary measure. They didn’t harm us though. They didn’t go anywhere near us. I remember one of them saying “Agi lang mi bai” (were just passing by).
It continued to rain until dawn. Everything around a 15 meter radius was covered in fog and our hopes of capturing a time lapse of the sunrise was covered with it. We just hoped that the rain would stop anytime soon so that we would at least ‘not’ get wet on our way home. The rain did finally stop after a few hours, and although we didn’t get to capture the sunrise we still managed to take pictures and a time lapse of the rain clouds.
We started to hit the trail around 9AM but this time we took the trail that I’m very familiar with. Yes, we traversed Mt. Puting Bato. Not bad for our first climb in my opinion. I finally took my girl with me and share the magnificent panoramic view of Samal from the peak.
On the way down we came by a store were we ate snacks and bought some drinks. The locals are very accommodating if you ask me. It’s a complete opposite of what I’ve been hearing. From there we took a motorcycle ride back to the bus terminal and went on home. It was an experience that I know both of us would never forget. Until our next adventure.