(Reissued. Tribute to Balisong and to Baba. At sa mga nagtatanong tungkol sa Ilihan)
Shared laughter creaks a bond of friendship. When people laugh together, they cease to be young and old, master and pupils, worker and driver. They have become a single group of human beings,
enjoying their existence.
-W. Grant Lee
They said no other mountaineers have been there before other than them, the Batangas Backpackers. They said only the residents of Ilihan trek to this mountain range to harvest the local fruit atis
during the season like this August. Some adventurous males climb to catch the remaining monkeys in the second or so generation forest cover. The daring ones upon orders of the local government hunt and kill the snakes for the safety of the barangay inhabitants. Kids and housewives wash laundry and dive at the waterfalls near the mountain approach combining both leisure and work.
This place gained prominence when Shell Refinery put up their facilities at this coastline property. Now it will gain greater prominence when the National Power Plant Corporation completes its power plant at the mountain ridge.
Ilihan is typical of the mountain ranges in the southwestern side of Batangas as Mt. Tilos in Lobo near Malabrigo, Mt. Banoy near the Smart Tower and Mt. Banay-banay. Common are: a second generation forest line, small streams and waterfalls, gentle assaults, 500 to
700 meters ASL altitude, cogon covered summits, abundance of fruit bearing trees as atis, santol, guava at the mid range, full view of Mounts Halcon, Baco, Talipanan, Malasimbo at the Southern Mindoro side, Malipunyo, Maculot, Banahaw, Cristobal, Makiling at the other side.
The climb that Kurt AKA Phoebus and his group of climbers staged was truly a fun climb, a climb filled with laughter contributed by the Manila trekkers and the host climbers.
We were only too glad to meet Tirtir who was a Brother for Singles for Christ when we were down and a macho dancer at the "Bahay Na May Aso" rest stop while we were up. When asked how he can reconcile, he simply said, when he sings for the church ministry, it needs choreography.
What about Jederico Jose, a student of Batangas University? Jeric for short is professed to be a good cook, the most kalog, most naughty, reliable trekker. He hosted portions of the climb and the
socials as if he was in "Ang Dating Daan." His facial expression alone will give Michael V. a stiff competition. Aarrre, aaarrre as he would shout repeatedly in true Batangueño fashion. It was Jeric
who pestered Kurt with the question let's swim, play billiard, sing and drink at the Shell Refinery. According to his friend JeBoy, his girlfriend left him. Even the rambutan market vendor couldn't stand him. His favorite pastime with his backpacker friends-nagpapalaki ng tiyan. It's easy he assures all of us, Val included.
The reason the socials held on from 11 PM to early morning Sunday was Kurt's unending explanation as to why they turned left not right and moved around and around midway in the trek. His famous
lines, "pagkahatid ko sa inyo, bababa ako para sundin ang mga MESAU" elicited so much laughter from his co-founders. Kurt killed three hours explaining to Val and to Jojoy the chemical composition of unleaded gas, premium and velocity. Cui threw in this phone in question as to what will happen to their vehicle meant for gas but was loaded with diesel. All rushed out of the discussion hall except
Val when Kurt was starting to explain technical terms. Very MESAU I would say.
Why do you think was the group named "Baba"? Because going up is not their specialty. Going down is. Ask JoRam how many times we attempted to get back to the track.
Bakit JeBoy ang name ng bagets climber? Kasi ng ipinanganak siya, namatay ang tatay ng kapitbahay na JeBoy din ang pangalan. Ano ang relasyon? Itanong mo sa nanay niya.
Bakit kulang ang description ng Ayala print ad kay Regie Pablo, mountaineer, hiker, rock climber, supervisor? Kasi walang tattoo, walang dark shades at walang hirap sa wall. Ikaw ba yan Regie?
Bakit tuwang tuwa si Cui sa climb na ito? Kasi hindi siya pinagsabihan ng "Taba, Taba" ng bata. Dahil night trek na siya at nawala pa. Higit sa lahat kasi nakasama siya. Ganoon din si Erwin.
Bakit deadma si ET sa mga mga Ilihan sa pag-akyat niya? Kasi panay sigaw ng "Taba, Taba" sa kanya ng bata.
Bakit Sound of Silence ang kinanta ni Val sa Shell Country Videoke Canteen? Kasi walang silence sa buhay niya sa katatanong niya.
Ano ang hinahanap ni Regie nang nagluluto siya ng adobo? Suka, suka! Ano ang binigay sa kanya ni Roderick, Kurt at Jessie sa umaga? Suka, suka!
Why should you avoid Jessie, the female male of MESAU in the early mornings? Because she turns aggressive.
Why do you avoid Regie, the mountaineer, supervisor, lover at early mornings? Because he turns passive. Sige na, pakawalan niyo na ako! Umaga na at kagabi pa ako umiinom.
Some famous lines from our lead climbers: George nasaan ka? ani Rodel. The answer is, Rodel nahan sa? ani George. Famous beeps from Kurt at 9:30 PM, "Chito, find us, we are getting lost."
What is the most abused camping equipment in Ilihan? The Balisong. Ask them. I wasn't in Maculot when the club was formed.
Bakit low bat si Mitchen sa climb na ito? Kasi naubos ang batirya sa kahahanap ng trail. Ilan ang flashlight nila? One for 3 climbers.
As in the past climbs, it appeared that Richard and Erwin were the most behaved. Appearance lang. But Rodel, the long haired lead, Rodel, the pamangkin ni Lola sa Ilihan, and Warren were really the
What era did we leave the waiting shed? The Ferdinand Marcos era. And what era did we catch when we went back to the shed? Still the Ferdinand Marcos era. O dakilang ama, abangan niyo ang tulang ito.
Why do these crazy urban trekkers climb? They climb for the same reason that they laugh. To quote an article in the Philippine Daily Inquirer by H. D. Tacio on laughing and getting healthier" . . . laughter is good for your health. Laughter reduces health-sapping tensions and relaxes the tissues as well as exercises the most vital organs . . . even when forced, it results in beneficial effect on us, both mentally and physically."
"Laughter is one of the best stress relievers in our society. It eliminates nervous tensions, which can definitely upset body function and mental functions. It clears the mind by releasing stress and tension." It is hard to feel annoyed and resentful when you are laughing. After you've had a genuinely good laugh, you have a feeling of well being, of personal satisfaction, of contentment of happiness. If you want to feel happy more often, try laughing more often. It is virtually impossible to laugh and cry at the same time.
And if you want a fun climb, climb Ilihan with the Batangas Backpackers. Make sure Chito, Cui and Regie are with you so you'll find your way laughing at the top. Truly a laughing climb makes everyone one. Val the inquisitive one blends with Regie, the sophisticated and the world renowned one. JoRam, the non drinker survives with the MESAU drinker. Even Balisong was made one with Baba only for the night. And Chito, the mature one manages with the Makukulots and the Macuculits.
Why did we fail to identify the mountain? Because it did not matter any more to us because we were enjoying ourselves.
-CBRazon 18 August 1999
From: Aye dela Cruz
Date: Wed Mar 24, 2004 10:51 pm
Subject: [mfpi] The Fun Climb to Ilihan Batangas in a Mountain we Failed to Identify
Salamat sa tribute! .., matagal na namin kayo di nakakasama sa climb, miss na namin kayo, pati mga donation nyong alcohol sa grupo. hehe.
BaBa is planning another Friendship climb this summer. Invite ko kayo pag natuloy.