August 18. The coldness of the air made me reluctant to go out and excrete the water in my bladder. With my two tentmates tucked on my sides, I stayed still and tried to sleep again. When I walked out of the tent, everything was so quiet. The headlight of an approaching motorcycle let me see the fog that blanketed the lake. The grasses were glistening with rainwater. After my session with Nature, I immediately went inside the tent because it was so cold. My body was trembling with the frozen temperature.
We commenced the hike to Mt Tabayoc’s summit with high hopes for clear skies. Being not so well the night before rendered me weak. The sad thing was my inability to fix my whole body in sync with the prevailing environment. My knees trembled just by stepping over rocks with trappings of algae and mosses. With my sensitivity to the weather, I armoured myself with triple layer of upper garments (including a raincoat and jacket). At first, it was good because the layer trapped the heat released by my body. Further cadences produced heat that was incinerating my whole system. So I removed the two outer layers. However, my muscles shivered so easily with the flow of rainwater on my spine.
The summit of Mt Tabayoc is better than that of Mt Timbac. The locals installed a viewing deck over the canopies. Unfortunately, fogs dominated the surroundings. So there was nothing for us to see but eternal whiteness. It must have been marvellous standing on the viewing deck looking over the sea of leaves.
The descent back to the campsite was quickly accomplished. We were sliding and gliding with the slippery trail. After taking a bath with cold water, we boarded the jeepney for another washing-machine-ride. It was late in the afternoon when we reached the jump-off point for the Tawangan Trail of Mt Pulag. A wagwagan sign in the town’s centre cued us for the hunting of cheap goods.
We were allowed to stay in the barangay hall for the night. Electricity is generated via their local hydroelectric power plant from 1800H to 0600H the following day.