BAGUIO CITY -- There has been a lot of effort put into the preparation for a walk that would bring a couple of media persons in May to Mount Pulag, second highest peak in the country, next to Mount Apo in the South.
It will be my second chance to walk through the mystical mountain. The first time was in 2007, also with a group of journalists, mostly from the Northern Dispatch. I did not finish that climb up to the summit. By choice, my walking buddy and I could not make it to the top of the highest peak in the North because one of us had to manage an asthma attack. I volunteered to keep him company, because I was also an asthmatic and I thought I knew how to manage a subsequent attack if there was one.
While our medics and some journalists were already taking photos from the summit, most of us kept praising the beautiful creation laid before our eyes. No camera could capture the feeling of contentment I had just lying there on the grass, viewing the summit most of the time, and filling my lungs with cold air.
Gentle warmth from the dawn sun that has just pierced the white clouds from below told us that it was time to continue the walking journey, lest we were ready to find ourselves in the meadows at midday.
The walk started at around 1:00 AM from the forester's station in Bokod. Before the break of dawn, we were rushing past the junior summit to catch the sunrise at the Summit. From a fast pace at the start, we adjusted to wait for the slow-paced ones to catch up from the tail. I preferred to join the lead team for fear of getting lost along the trail if I were at the tail.
That particular walk taught me that pollen, sudden change in temperature and altitude can trigger an asthma attack but the fresh air can reverse it. As for me, I felt my lungs were cleared of the toxins from living in the city in the past 23 years before that climb.
My asthmatic buddy and I promised to return to Mount Pulag but we could not go there as unprepared as the first climb. From the social network I learned that this guy has improved a lot, health-wise. He had been in a number of climbs, runs and cycling expeditions since our first Pulag climb.
To name a few of my recent preparations before this particular climb, I went swimming on the beach once or twice. I keep walking the half-kilometer distance from my house to the jeepney terminal and vice-versa daily. I also went on a leisurely walk to Mount Sto. Tomas last weekend. Unfortunately, I had to hitch a ride home because it was getting dark when we finally decided to go home.
Health-wise, I will return to Mount Pulag with a stronger immune system, courtesy of oriental medicine, healthy diet and enough sleep. My pre-walk diet consists of high-protein tofu, peanuts and milk. Huh! Got to sweat it out if I were to avoid a hypertensive attack.
Mind you, I took a crash course on out-door photography after the first climb. This time, I promise to charge digi-cam battery before starting to walk again to Mount Pulag. I can't wait to smell the mossy forest blossoms or the woodsy smell of dwarf bamboos on the prairie, and take all the pictures I could get this time around. #