Climbing Mount Calavite is classified as minor with a 4/9 difficulty (PinoyMountaineer.com). Starting with a 12-hour agony with our boat ride to Port Abra de Ilog was never expected by anybody in the group. Those wasted hours of sleeping in the pier were offset by the magnificent morning view offered by the Arabe Cove. The hospitality of the people of Paluan, Occidental Mindoro were more than enough to soak us in great happiness.
The next day that we woke up, everybody wanted to swim. Little did we know that it could push us late in accomplishing what has been planned.
|The main star of our morning.|
We were still glad that Sgt Aurelio Arabe took some time off from his duty as a peacekeeper and gave us a ride to Sitio Ulasan.
|While on the rocky and hot road, the kind policeman noticed that one of the tires needed replacement.|
|Right there amidst the super-hot road, he moved under the vehicle and changed the flat tire.|
At Sitio Ulasan, we were greeted by a Mangyan community. We hired two guides, Oliver and Sherwin, who are also barangay policemen.
|No children were harmed during the picture-taking.|
When we were about to start the climb, a lady asked me and Albert where we are headed. We told the lady that we are going to climb the mountain. She became hysterical! I did not expect her reaction. A little explanation of her authority over the place should have been a nice gesture. But she was freaking like she owns the place by virtue of a divine what-not while exclaiming, “Pag sinabi kong hindi puwedeng umakyat, hindi kayo puwedeng umakyat!” Demmit! So I called Sgt Arabe and asked for his help. After the lady choked from the presence of the policeman, she allowed us to climb.
|The sun was really naughty that day. It was too hot for us to handle.|
Along the way, we divided the group into two: the first one was composed of Oliver the guide, Jayson, Marlon, Albert, Toto the chef and me; the second one was composed of Jayson (again), Bimbo, Cookie, Pathy, Alvin, Bibeth, Jay, Jesse and Sherwin the other guide. The first group was instructed to go ahead and cook lunch and dinner at the campsite. The second group stayed and waited for the sun to calm down.
We camped at a grassland area. Little did we know that it was part of the trail of carabaos. So when an herd appeared right before our eyes, we tried our best to scare them away.
|And so we had dinner with the big, bright moon.|
And yes, the assault to the summit was scheduled the following day.
[Some of the photos were taken by Jayson Lizardo.]