When I read the fb posts on some of my friends stating 'booked' i knew it was for a trip, either just a mere sightseeing trip on a beach or a climb or could be both. Curious, I asked bugs, 'headed where?' she replied "Mt. Talinis.' Booked my ticket as well, went home for the holidays with a thought that I will finally climb the mountain that I see everyday of my life as I was growing up the province.
|Sunset view from Triad, Mt. Talinis from afar|
True, I grow up seeing the mountain ranges of Negros, the peaks of Mt. Talinis, every single day of my life in Siquijor. Who will not, where we live is a six kilometer road that leads to the town and almost a kilometer of it is a boulevard by the shore that gives a magnificent view of Dumaguete. But of my more than 30 years of passing by Dumaguete every single time that I go home and of my more than 10 years of being a mountain lover, I never really had a chance to pass by and climb Mt. Talinis.
Until a group of my AMCI friends organized one lead by Mher and I set it to my mind that 7 months from December I will be able to climb the place. August 24, what was suppose to be a fun climb turned out to be a major one. Despite the bad weather, 13 climbers from Manila were all excited to board the plane headed down south. It was really a bad weather, this is the most turbulent trip I ever had on my countless flights to Dumaguete, the stewardess had to stop serving drinks in some instances for the ride is so bumpy.
|View of Mt. Talinis from the boat to Apo Island|
We arrived Dumaguete Airport greeted not just by the organizers of the Silliman's 110th Founder's Day Celebration but also by the cool weather due to the rain. Our trip coincides with the tropical storm Mina which all of us thought it will not affect down south for the direction of the storm is up north, to the mountain ranges of North Luzon, that's according to the weather forecast.
Our guide and companion on the climb already waited for us outside the airport on a jeep big enough for the 15 of us to fit with our fully loaded packs. We travel to the town of Valencia for almost an hour and stopped at the police station where we had to register. Policemen and civilian people alike who were present at that time were really curious what comes to our minds climbing the mountain on that bad weather. They said, if it's raining where they are posted all the more that weather up in the mountain would be worst and dumpy, rivers could swell and leeches could be alive. That made me think, what could be the worst scenario that could happen to us.
|at Valencia police station picture from Julius album|
They made sure that we put all the necessary information especially our contact numbers and our guides contact numbers, in case of emergency. They made sure that the group has enough basic gear needed to cross a river and to open trails in case it will close due to fallen trees. Be it the weather nor that policemen's concern did not stop the group from climbing the mountain. After the registration and taking a late breakfast the group on jeep proceed to another 20 minute ride to the jump off of Apolong Trail.
|at Casaroro Falls|
After almost an hour of rest, the group started it's ascend. It was through a trail that follows the big water pipes that supplies drinking water in the lowlands of Valencia. As we slowly gain elevation, we also felt Mina's fury as rain and strong winds constantly hound us. As the rain did not stop, we follow the trail that passes by farm lands and forest trees and lush bushes cold and wet. Sometimes we pass by trail that's full of water it becomes stream and at times muddy area that we call it kumunoy.
|Rancho Yayong serve as our muddy campsite|
|At sulfur area, beside the trail|
|Nailig Lake, picture taken by Jeffrey Ledesma|