Open Letter to Mountains: Where It All Started
Maybe it’s just hiding somewhere. Or gone on a trip to come home. But falling in love is always a pretty crazy thing. It might appear out of the blue and just grab you. Who knows — maybe even tomorrow?”
― Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart
In 2014 on the foot of Mt. Halcon (Baco, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines)
The truth is I never saw it coming. I never liked your type and I never dared to meet your type. You were out of my league, and so I was of yours. I knew from the beginning that we can never be compatible. You are too outrageous, very unpredictable, a bit edgy, and a little rough; while I am too sweet, too comfy and too laid back. I had absolutely no plans to see you (nope, never) but fate played along.
I met you by chance. I met you when I was trapped in my comfort zone. I met you when I was afraid to try. I met you when I was in the crossroad of whether to take a risk or just stay where I was, and savor the convenience of what was familiar. It has been six years now ever since I first saw you. The first meet up was never easy (even has never been and will never be). You were a bit rude and hard and intimidating. You gave me the impression that you were not the easy one. The process of knowing you was a truly hard. But it was all worth it though, because you are amazing.
On top of Mt. Ulap in Benguet when I ended up solo hiking because my best friend who was supposed to hike with me ditched me (just when I was on the bus).
I still couldn’t forget how you mesmerized me. I couldn’t forget that moment when I laid my eyes on your beauty. I wasn’t exactly sure when it happened, or even when it actually started. All I knew for sure was, that right then and there, I fell in love with you. My desire to see you became more frequent than I have ever imagined. One hike led to two. An overnight hike led to multiple day hikes. You have this charisma that I couldn’t resist. It was inevitable and I couldn’t control.
As our relationship goes, you continue to prove me wrong. You debunked all my ideas about you. You unraveled yourself to me without hesitations and you offered yourself to me without a doubt. With you, I found peace. With you, I saw my worth. With you, I learned the true meaning of womanhood. With you, I realized that life is much better. With you, the world is amazingly beautiful. I saw you for the second, third, fourth, almost countless times; you totally loosened up. You made me feel nice. You made me feel secured, when I felt troubled. With you, I found peace. With you, I found friends – worth cherishing all throughout this lifetime.
The day we got lost at Mt. Kalisungan
I didn’t mind the hard work just to see you, because I know then you are a good catch. Being a woman didn’t really matter, because I am
strong and independent enduring and resilient. I loved the challenge. It made everything more exciting.
Scaling Luzon’s highest, Pulag, by myself. 2015
So I heard that people have been going crazy over you – competing on who’s strongest by scaling you in their fastest. I could imagine that you are overwhelmed. I bet that your trails are never the same. I wish they see that there’s more to you than reaching the summit, running fast on trails, and bragging rights. I wish they get the same tranquil feeling I had on countless times I set my feet on your paradise.
My favorite Cordillera rice terraces, Maligcong
It’s been a year since the last time we saw each other. But those years that we were together, you left me feeling renewed, more content and positive than I’ve been in my whole life. As if something has been given back after a long absence. As if my eyes have opened once again. As if I was born again. You spared my mind the burden of too much thinking, you turned myself outward to experience the world and inward to savor the pleasures it has given me. I will keep on coming back to you.
I may have not taken a leap to travel, had I not taken a leap to hike Tarak Ridge, 6 years ago.
About the writer:
She is a young teacher-writer-wanderess from the Philippines. She blends her passion to touch lives with her lust to wander and with her love for life. She’s consumed by all things pertaining to places, people, culture, and words. Follow her adventures on Instagram@pinaywanderess and on Facebook.