Climbing a mountain was one of those bucket list moments for me. I wanted to join a trek to Mt. Pulag in 2015 and Mt. Pinatubo in 2016 but the plans always get cancelled.
I have always been fascinated with the stories of Jesus purposefully going to and being at the mountains. More so, how God often reveals Himself on a mountaintop. Mount Moriah (where Abraham surrendered Isaac) and Mt. Arbel (where the Great Commission is assumed to have been told) are my favorite mountains in the world.
I am not sure how the idea of hiking Mt. Masungi came about but Grace and I were having a long and tiring walk with Fujickho that time when the idea was first jokingly talked about. If I am not mistaken, it is the nearest mountain from Manila where a group of people can practically hike in less than two hours one way. In mountaineering terms, it is level 2 in difficulty scale. There are man-made/well-marked trails, with easy to moderate climb difficulty.
The next day, we shared the idea to Eunice. We wanted to plan it but we were not really serious about it. We thought, “If God wants us to climb that mountain, He will let us climb that mountain. No worries!”
Then, come Monday, I googled “Mt. Masungi”. The reviews and details got me driven to actually take the plan seriously. So I spoke with Eunice and Grace, and we decided to invite four more ladies our age to climb with us.
The plan was pulled-off smoothly. Praise the Lord! Our reservations for the Discovery Trail were surprisingly in favor of our preferred schedules. Had we scheduled it a week before, the plan would have been cancelled because of the recent typhoon.
Nine ladies confirmed to join. Had we scheduled it a week before or after, not everyone would have been available because of school and work commitments. We were able to rent a van for use, too. Everyone was excited!
No one got hurt though I slipped on some rocks twice or thrice. We learnt facts about some of the trees and plants in the mountains, even about rock/mountain formations and the ecological relevance of Masungi. The staff of Masungi Georeserve are all so kind. The sun was out so beautifully! Though our legs got so tired, we had so much fun! I am not sure if our photos could justify our experience.
I enjoyed it not only because the site was breathtaking but also because I hiked with this group of women. After the hike, I told Mar, “I am thankful because I climbed my first mountain with you all. You girls made it memorable. God allowed us to do this today.”
The mountains and trees in its forests made me feel so small not just before them but before God. When we reached the peak of the “Tatay” mountain, I saw how huge the surrounding mountains were. Seeing one side of the foggy Sierra Madre took my breath away. The skies were so clear. Then I realized that these are just small creations in this vast and complex universe. I am so small like a dust in the wind.
The trees we saw were obviously higher than us. The flying bugs and spider webs between branches kind of freaked us out. The colors of the flowers amazed us. The caves we explored were huge and dark and a little scary. Seeing all these was humbling. We humans assume control in our lives but before all these living things and God-molded scenery, we are only human beings — small and whose lives are just a mist in the air.
And yet the God who created all these beautiful things, out of His love, decided to create us in His own likeness — fearfully and wonderfully made.
Today was special.