I Was Killed at Mt. Puting Bato

4:15 PM

It's been a while since I did something strenuous. Well blogging is actually giving me a lot of stress but its way different than the stress given by outdoor activities. There's nothing more self-satisfying than achieving something physically (for a lazy, fat-assed geek like me) - things that requires physical effort like rigorous activities such as cycling, swimming ,mountain climbing and other sporty shit.

 It goes to show you're capable of doing nearly everything in the world. And that's what I have always been craving for since I went to College. Back when I was still in high school, I would say that even I was very fat (as in super duper fat!) I manage to do lots of physical activities. I attend physical fitness tests, Jamborees, school camps, BLS (Basic Learning Support), SFAT (Standard First Aid Training), Solidarity Trainings and Earthquake Drills (lols) - you name it! After graduation, I bid goodbye to all the aforementioned activities but in the irony, I also bid goodbye to my old fat self.

Then came later that I realized I was almost eaten whole by indolence. There came night and days wasted facing the computer while eating either double cheeseburger or junk food not to mention a diet coke which does nothing on my diet. I almost feel like I have not contributed anything to the real world at all and apparently I was getting heavier. Then came an opportunity which induced me to go outdoors. I got an invitation by Kuya Olan to do something kickin’ last summer. So I didn't hesitate to sign up for an island adventure where the highlight was mountain hiking.

The mountain we're going to was called Mt. Puting Bato. It's the highest peak of the Island Garden City of Samal and my first mountain to climb/hike whatever - but one thing's for sure, I'm all for it! It wasn't actually the first time that I've done mountain hiking. It's the second time, if and only if it was really a mountain that we climbed up to when I was in Junior high. That was really a fun and thrilling experience so maybe after this post I'm going to tell you a story about that. So it was around 3 pm when we started to travel from the downtown of Samal to the foot of Mt. Puting Bato.

 It was really a loooooooong travel that I was able to take a good naaaaaaaaaap and there were also a few boring moments which almost got me snapped. But my temper cooled down when my friends started some random conversation. It sure did kill the time. But as we near the foot of the mountain the atmosphere started to change. The air has gotten cooler and along the way I saw some poinsettias on its red Christmas glory. It reminded me of Christmas and it got me also excited about how it would feel on top of the mountain. Ohh. . . I could imagine seeing weird looking plants, see islands from above, see the horizon once again and feel the wind as it caresses my face. It was near twilight when we started our journey; a journey towards the sky if you ask me - it's up for you if you'll take it literally but hold your breath because some things have never turned out to be as crazy as our journey.

From my lonesome paces up a steep mountain slope which momentarily shook my knees when rest, I could plot a thrilling story. A story which might probably bore you to death or a story which might lay anyone of us to rest. I was among those who already looked exhausted on our first 20 steps up a mountain slope. But since it was my first time to climb up a mountain then I fixed myself and showed everyone a gush of enthusiasm. Just when I thought I would be able to keep up with the lead's paces, I paused and said "I couldn't do it".

Moment by moment, a group member would walk pass by me, and in the back of my mind - I thought "Hey, it’s always the last person who will die in a horror movie". Indeed, the horror-enthusiast within me arouse not only because my imagination can sometimes go too far but someone from the group jokingly said we're gonna die one by one just like in a horror movie.

Though I was hoping not, it echoed inside my head that I started thinking there's a man with a razor knife waiting for us at the peak.

And as we near the peak of Mt. Puting Bato our life also gets closer to its end. We were halfway through when we chanced upon a creepy looking shack, abandoned, devastated, and unliveable. Because of that shack, my imagination went wild that instead of a psycho killer with a razor knife an aswang would have to kill us all at the peak of Mt. Puting Bato. Then came more obstacles up ahead, you know, rocks, tall stupid itchy grasses, unpleasant smell and animal shit. It couldn't have gone worse when we saw a creepy looking man going down the mountain.

He reminded me of the psycho killer I was imagining awhile ago. The eyes, the built, the long creepy stare - No, way!! Isn't that all I have imagined was becoming real? I continued hiking, 3rd place, among the 17 other hikers behind me. LOL. Then there was this part of the mountain where all the trees were mirrored from each side of the road, as their branches, twigs and leaves meets up on your head. It created an eerie atmosphere, the air filtered densed green as we passed by the area then from a distance we saw two people, maybe around their 50's, going towards us.

 Oh my, I shouldn't have imagined of Aswangs when I saw the shack. Forgive me but they look really scary. In fact, we just bowed down my head as I walked towards them. The one behind me greeted them with a "Good Afternoon" to show politeness or to save her from being victimized. In my mind, oh my I should have greeted them also; maybe if I did I would not be killed at the peak. Maybe they're going back to that shack and cover their bodies with oils and by nightfall they'll get back to us as hideous monsters. According to rumours, some places in SAMAL ISLAND is covered with mystery, in fact, it is being considered as the Siquijor of Davao.

 That's why if ever Aswangs are really real; I would say that at least a village of them lives there. Scary! Still I continued my steps. As we got closer to the peak I got nervous maybe because I don't know what awaits us. Then there was this part of the mountain that's almost covered with tall grasses, we stopped by there to take pictures because the scenery behind it was simply amazing. While others are busy taking pictures, I noticed something moved somewhere in the grasses. It scared the shit out of me that I continued my steps up together with some of those who were done taking pictures. In my mind, what could the hell was that? Probably a rat? chicken? or a snake? No, I imagined it worse than that - it might be an anaconda. Now that's probable and that made me feel even scarier!

We're at peak now, almost. There was a gate and behind was a beautiful garden. It really seemed like a resort. Then out from nowhere, a man appeared. He's not just a man, but a familiar looking guy. He was that man I imagined to be as a psycho killer. How the hell, did he just went down the mountain? How come he's there already? We got all confused, he sort of mumbled something but after writing my name on the logged book I hurriedly got inside and didn't wait for an answer. From the way it looks, he's like the caretaker of the place.

AT THE PEAK. So, as I walked around the peak, looking at the plants, my friend’s happy faces, feeling the wind, I feel a heart-warming kind of sensation, it felt like I was having a heart attack out of too much happiness. I felt so great about getting there finally. And I can't help but to feel so emotional within that even though I plastered smiles my heart lifts up as I behold the majestic purple sky. It was place like no other, a place which offered a 360 degree view of Samal Island and its neighbouring islets, cities and even some provinces in the Davao Region.

IT KILLED ME. It wasn't any pyscho, it wasn't the Aswang, it wasn't any snake. It’s the scenery! The scenery from above Mt. Puting Bato, it killed me.

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  1. nice one mark..wla nay continuation?bitin mn..hehe