To reunite with the people who mentored me on this thrilling sport called mountaineering is always something I look forward to since 2009. That was the year I got to meet Red, Paul, Kat, Rhov, and the rest of the now Sabit-Sabit Mountaineers on the mountain trails of Batulao, Tirad, and Timbak. Talking to these people each time we’re on the wilderness just brought so much fun. I couldn’t deny how thankful I am for what they’d imparted me. Lessons that are to be learned from the short course called Basic Mountaineering Course (BMC)turned out shorter because of them. I’ve learned a lot—firsthand—about climbing preparations (e.g., the suitable outdoor apparel [which I admittedly disregarded until my fourth climb], trail food, water discipline, etc.) to packing of equipment (e.g., light packing [which I repeatedly failed to do until my fourth climb also], ground equipment, water proofing, etc.).
And, on issues surrounding environmentalism such as holding firm to the Leave No Trace principles. I’ve always admired these people because they share the same concern to the now collapsing ecosystem. Hearing what they have to say about it had always been enlightening. I suddenly remember how I was called upon by one of them because of my habit of, for lack of a better word to describe it, mindless spitting on the ground. I was lectured on the ripple effects of such…I was never the same since. They’re the kind of people whom everyone would love to hang out with especially on the mountain trails. I’m proud to say I owe these people BIG time.
That’s the reason why our reunion climb (after two years) in December 2011 at the verdant Mt. Banoi in Batangas Province became the most anticipative one on my list.
On the 18th day of December 2011, this reunion climb was held at the pristine and bushy mountain of Banoi in Lobo, Batangas. Apart from the fun we had during this reunion climb, there are three things I vividly remember about the mountain: its clean streamlets, lush vegetation, and the encounter with the locals halfway to the summit. The Wandering Feet is but flabbergasted with the mountain’s preserved beauty. I take my hats off to the people living atop 400 MASL because they know their responsibilities to Mother Nature.
And, of course, my new friend whom I met at the saddle. This is to prove once again that I can talk to animals–as cute and deadly (or so I thought) as this fella. I thought I couldn’t convince him to give this unforgettable moment. Well, this is one of those moments that require my ability to talk to animals, especially if it’s as daring as what you can see on the photo.
Mount Banoi is a preserved mountain perfect for hiking and adventure. It is located in the province of Batangas where its major jumpoff is at Sitio Malabnig, Brgy. Balatbat, Lobo. The mountains elevation is 960 meters above sea level (MASL) for the Main Peak and 850 MASL for the Two Towers’ Peak. It only requires 3-5 hours to reach the summit and a lesser 2-3 hours of descent. Mount Banoi falls under the category of a minor climb.
Mt. Banoi is my fourteenth conquered mountain.
For more information about Mount Banoi (how to get there, sample itinerary, trivia, special concerns, etc.) please click this site: www.pinoymountaineer.com.