June 4, 2016, Saturday, marks the 3rd National Mountain Clean Up Day. The annual movement, I believe, was first started by the Pinoy Mountaineer group. In participation of the movement, NCR Trekkers Club headed the Cebu – Mt. Babag/Chalet Hills leg. My friend who has been on the club extended the invitation to me and my travel friends. As a give back to mother nature, we joined the movement.
Meet-up was at the Guadalupe Church. Several club members and few invites were present. Attendants then filled the attendance list. A brief introduction and orientation were given. The whole group was then divided into three sub-groups, the front, mid, and the sweepers. Each group proceeded to the jump-off location by batch. We went to the sweeper group since my friend from the club was assigned to the group.
Climbing Mt. Babag the second time.
Upon arriving at the jump-off location, a prayer and brief stretching were done by the group. We were then reminded of the goal of the climb, that is to pick up trash from the trail especially the non-biodegradable ones. As my eyes laid out on the familiar trails, I remembered the very first time I climbed the mountain together with my other set of friends. It was years ago and mountain climbing was still very new to our ears. We were not fully prepared and equipped that time. We were wearing improper attires. Shoes with no traction, cotton clothes, and plenty of unnecessary loads on or bags. It was raining and getting lost while taking the wrong, steep, and slippery trail made it even worse. I guess first experiences always teach us the most lessons.
Clean Up Starts!
Trash after trash we picked them up as we ascended towards the peak while carrying our trash bags. We took our quick lunch at one of the resting areas. The food offered and available was chicken and rice. I’ve been trying my best to stay as pescatarian as I can due to personal reasons, but not this time. I have no choice. I am not the type of person who easily gets hungry and thirsty, but the unforgiving heat of the sun made me want to devour anything.
As we got to higher elevation on our trek, trail trash appears lesser. It helped somehow so that we can focus our attention more on the climb. After hours of trek, we reached the peak at last. At the peak is where the RCPI towers are located. We took group photos near the towers then proceeded on trekking further to Chalet Hills to meet some of the club members who were assigned in the area.
The two groups then merged for another group photo. After the whole day activity, we then walked towards Cebu Mountain View Park where we can ride jeepney or motorcycles back to the city proper.
The day also marks the day I started as a “joiner” to NCR Trekkers Club trekking/climbing events.