Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Remembering Tapulao 13

TJ Gonzalez, Martin Chambers, Ching I-Wang, Jaja Reyes, Val Roque, Larry Honoridez, Hermes Marticio, Mitch Soria, Jojo Ramos, Regie Pablo, Roderick Rebada, Marlon De La Cuesta, Chito Razon. What's with them? They initially set an open MFPI climb in far-flung Tapulao in June 1999 when only UPM and Action Asia knew where it was. Initiated by TJ and Chito in Alberto's on a mere whim asking where that is and saying let's go, we've set ground for a destination that has gained popularity.

As I remember this climb reviewing the articles in the PAL MC site inspired by the exploratory trek, it made me ask where are we now? We've lost the weekend company.

Martin has gone back to New Zealand after his contracts with PLDT and Smart ended. Last heard he was in Arizona.

Ching I-Wang was graduated from the Ateneo, worked for a call center Sykes and has since favored boardsailing than trekking. She is due to leave Manila for Taiwan for good this 2Q 2001. Jaja who finished from the same school claims she is a free spirit and just flows where the winds blow. She did volunteer work for an international boardsailing competition in Boracay this year.

TJ has dropped the recreation temporarily for serious wall climbing. He has been landing in 3rd place in both novice and open categories. Never 2nd nor 1st although he is capable of doing so. On his 25th birthday last February, he declared though that his true passion is for trekking and expressed his intention of going back (both for the recreation and for the company.)

His buddy Larry has gone a long way since Pico de Loro since his first Luzon climbs in 1998. He has accumulated rated trekking equipment, hiking mileage and cooking sense making him indispensable in important climbs. Summits of Guiting-guiting, Ugu, Tawangan, Tarak, Apo, Baler, Makiling Peaks 1, 2 and 3 are not alien to him anymore. He is yet to see the peak of Halcon with us.

Of course you know that Regie is very visible as the MFPI Secretary. Not visible though when he is on classified "personal" weekend climbs. Out of the Philippine soils as well are Mitch and Herms.

Mitch got married two Decembers ago and has now settled in California. He claims to have stepped on US National Parks on solo climbs. Herms on the other hand is in Arlington Virginia leaving Estor Cubao hurriedly last December 2000. He has claimed to have seen the path to his summit and declared to live a "serious" life. He has set his eyes on a computer education in California this year. The two are constantly in touch with each other.

As gleamed from his MFPI postings, Derek is working abroad. We only have clues on the whereabouts of the following: Jojo Ramos is said to have quit trekking. Marlon opted for an early marriage with a young lass. Val in his last MFPI postings months ago was disposing all his equipment and memories with us. We gathered he will pursue a Microsoft training in Silicon Valley.

Where is now our weekend company? Gone. The most recent reunion was the 15th MFPI Mt. Malinao Federation Climb in Albay last October 24, 2000 where the 6 met: Ching, Jaja, Hermes, Larry, Regie and myself. After Tapulao was the Halcon climb of Jojo, Mitch, Marlon, TJ and Chito.

The landscape has changed. So have our priorities and the company. These changes are wake up calls that we are merely walking through with this recreation. Each highlight and memorable moments imprinted in our minds in the scenic scenes captured on digital camera and memories, insightful socials and small shining moments are showers of grace encouraging us to keep on discovering new places and meeting new mates.

Nothing is permanent. Not even the freedom to climb. But there is always a wandering soul out there wanting to exploit the breadth and depth of the earth, treasure the experience and write about them. They will show up in the next trail to immortalize the moment. Once immortalized, it then becomes forever. Like our first Tapulao.

Chito Razon 19 March 2001
Tue Mar 20, 2001 8:50 pm

1 comment:

  1. You may connect with them on Facebook, our only way of connecting for now.