Mt. Talinis, or also known as “Cuernos de Negros” (Horns of Negros) is another mountain that the Negros island can boastfully add in its portfolio. The mountain is located nearest to the municipality of Valencia, Negros Oriental. Standing 1,903 MASL, it ranks second tallest mountain in Negros next to Mt. Kanlaon. Mt. Talinis is not just an ordinary height. At the same time, the mountain itself is a potentially active volcano.
Most climbers treat Mt. Talinis trek to be a major climb since it requires more than a day to traverse the trail from one municipality to the other. But I heard that some seasoned climbers and mountaineers can do it just within a day. Several mountaineers have already climbed the mountain and the number continues to rise as days pass. Of course, the fresh breed and bloods of NCR Trekkers Club also wanted to savour and bask in the glory of successfully conquering the mountain. Bringing home the achievement as a trophy which we can be proud of. With several pre-climbs prior hitting Mt. Talinis, everybody seemed to be ready and thrilled to hit Mt. Talinis.
Am I really doing this?
‘Twas 10 PM when I arrived home from work. I hurriedly prepared myself, had a quick shower and re-arranged my bag I prepared and packed days prior then off I went. Of course, I did not forget to grab my camera and did a quick documentation for my VLOG. #paraSaVlog #vlogIsLife LOL. As I was about to tie my shoe, it was only then I realized “Holy crap! THIS IS A MAJOR CLIMB“. Days prior, while my friends got ecstatic and excited for the upcoming event, I felt nothing. It really did not sink into me. I was neither thrilled nor nervous. Nothing! As if I was only about to go for another climb on a nearby mountain. The moment my backpack touched my back, “Fork! This hella is seriously heavy!” as I said to myself. My bag weighs like a boulder. Few steps away from our door, was when it all came to my realization. “What? Is this really it? Am I about to climb Mt. Talinis? This will be my first major climb for this year and my second major climb ever.” Many things got into my mind as if I had delayed rush of flashbacks.
The Early Rush
11 PM was our assembly time. Everybody seemed to be already at the meeting place while I was still at our doorstep. I hastened my pace, got into a taxicab and rushed straight to Cebu South Bus Terminal. A text message from my friend asking about my current location painted grumpy faces on my mind. To my surprise, the taxi driver knows how to make the cab fly (LOL), that it didn’t take us more than 20 minutes to arrive. As I stepped outside the cab, I rushed straight to the assembly area. Yes, I was the last one to arrive, but thankfully, they weren’t as disappointed as I imagined.
Recharge and Recompose. The sleepy cat got a battle ahead.
1 AM when we were able to board the bus which departed for Lilo-an, Santander 20 minutes after. Moments later, everybody went into their individual dreamland. I slept the entirety of the ride. After around 4 hours, we arrived at the port of Lilo-an Santander where we waited few minutes for the next ferry trip to Sibulan. Four hours of sleep isn’t enough for a slothful cat. My eyes begged for more snooze the moment we were inside the ferry. I was about to give in but, Alas! The seas contradicted. It was a hella wavy ride that I got dizzy. Good thing my guts were still composed that I did not puke. From Sibulan we went straight to Dumaguete City where we had our breakfast, bought our packed lunch and took a jeepney ride to the municipality of Dauin where we start our trek.
Another hour of jeepney ride to Dauin gave me a window to catch forty winks. Upon arriving, we got into a “sari-sari” store where we bought our remaining essentials. Prepped-up and ready, we got on again for another 30-minute motorcycle ride to the main jump-off point of Malungcay – Apolong trail. Assembled and hyped, we did a bit of trail orientation, stretching and warming up before taking our first steps.
Conquer the mountain. Conquer ourselves.
Let’s go! as I said to my camera. I don’t know about the others but with just 4 hours of sleep, I thought I couldn’t make it. But nothing can extinguish the fire that built-up into a flame of desire to conquer the challenge ahead as I made my very first step. The very first section of the trail was already an open trail of consecutive assaults. Thankfully, the clouds and fog filtered the sun’s rays. Step by step, we gained altitude. The very first part was already energy depleting. Top that with our stone-weight carry-ons. Sweats dripping, hearts pounding, and mouths longing for the touch of water, we can’t help but start consuming our water. There are just few water sources on the mountain, but you can’t help but be thankful that there is at least one to replenish your jug.
With several breaks, our guide estimated our trek to last at least five freakin’ hours. “You better be worth it Mt. Talinis!” my mind mumbled. We went through different kinds of trails. There were grassy and open sections, a trail with mossy boulders, muddy tracks, death cliffs, and the jungle like ones. With those types of trails plus the views along the way, the trek was never a bore.
One step at a time. There’s no need to rush. -Jordin Sparks
Few steps, pause, another step, break. That was our pace. “It’s not the destination, but the journey itself. So enjoy the moment.” That’s what I said as a defense of our slow pace. LOL. The assault continued. Tired and ailing for the campsite, we were like walking zombies already. At least our humor hasn’t left us yet. Every now and then, jokes started spilling. Somehow it became our energy refresher. Complaints and the usual “Why did I join this climb?” lines started surfacing. I, myself, was not exempted. I rarely complain during climbs, but this one was an exception. Regardless, one thing was for sure, I cannot let the day pass without vlogging it. “Bahala ug nagkalisod, video gihapon.” #paraSaVlog.
At last! Campsite at Nailig Lake.
After several hours of leg battering assaults, we arrived at Lake Nailig where we will be camping for the night. It was a big relief once we got the glimpse of the lake. Complaints and murmurs turned into big sighs. The view of the lake did not fail. It was a love and hate part for me though. I love the view of the lake and the relief and the thought that we already reached the campsite and we can finally rest. But, on the contrary, I hate the atmosphere. The air was effin’ cold. The winds even teased me further. As I mentioned several times on my previous blogs, I am that cold guy. Cold weather is my mortal enemy and I couldn’t stand it unless I put on layers of sweaters to warm me up.
Now here’s the ridiculous part. Most of the group went straight to the camping grounds which was distance away from the entrance trail on the lake. Me and CJ were left behind because we were still capturing “instagrammable“ shots and of course, VLOGGING. Seeing our guides changing from their shoes to slippers, we also did the same thinking that we might be crossing the water. I endured the cold wind through my toes as we continued walking towards the camping grounds. Never knew that our guides changed just for the sake of changing footwear and there’s no need to cross water for there’s a dry path. Since I already changed, might as well seize it. I stepped into the icy cold water and didn’t give a single f*ck.
Snoring competition was the night’s game.
As we arrived at the camping area, everybody has started pitching their tents already. It was already around 5 in the afternoon when we arrived and pitched our tents. Fog starts descending as the air slowly freezing my limbs. We then started preparing our dinner before it gets too late. Right after we had our dinner, it’s time to mind our individual human necessities. By that, I mean pooping. Looking for the perfect spot at night is always a challenge especially when visibility gets limited. It was almost zero visibility, nevertheless, we all successfully had our relief.
Socials night turned into a slumber party. It was too cold to get outside and gather for the socials and we were too drained to stay up for the night. Instead of the usual fun and loud games, a different offering and better alternative was on our platter. This time we had the snoring competition. I don’t know about the others but I dozed off pretty early. At around 8 PM I am no more aware of what happened for I was already asleep. I don’t know if I did snore but I am pretty sure that the last person awake witnessed the choir of Zees. I might be one of the contributors too but I actually have no idea.