Sunday, July 1, 2007

Makiling Climb, October, 1980

It was hardly planned. With meager supplies we set off to scale misty and legend-shrouded Mt Makiling. Memories of the sweetest water I've ever tasted gushing forth from a mountainside spring remain etched in my mind. It was a moonlit night when the three of us, Buddy, Gabby, and myself were treated to a symphony of sounds from howler monkeys, owls, and hornbills set against the constant hum of cicadas and other insects and the incessant courtship croaks of mountain frogs. Clouds moved swiftly by, carried by silent high winds. We had a small cassette player and 'The Best of Bread' but we turned it off in favor of nature's music. A bonfire was lit and a few pictures were taken for posterity. A few beers, mindless chatter, and a pervasive awe set the stage for sleep...Reality set back in at dawn as we broke camp and continued with the ascent... The summit was covered with fog. Plants looked stunted, gnarled and shrubby. Moss and small ferns contrasted with the giant ferns we espied halfway through the climb. On the way down we tore the seat of our pants as we skidded on our behinds accompanied by raucous laughter. For souvenirs we had 'limatik' hitchhikers (forest leeches, genus Haemadipsa) gorging themselves on our blood, and a taste of that exotic mountain citrus, that super-sour 'cabuyao', guaranteed to make a brave soul convulse in revulsion. The best souvenir however, is the indelible mark Mt Makiling made in our hearts. I think that is the legend... © 2007 rauleramos, md

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Silent Beauty, Macatbong

Silent Beauty, Macatbong
The pond is teeming with freshwater fish. The trees in the background are home to brightly colored avians and occasional migratory birds. Ramos Pond is Eden revisited !