Mt. Halcon: the 7-day Adventure
"Nakagat ng ahas si Ganny!"
32 AMCI members and 11 inductees left for Mt. Halcon in Mindoro Oriental.
One of the jeepneys got stuck in the river on the way to Bayanan. The team helped out in pulling out the vehicle out of the water.
It was a short afternoon trek to Camp 1 at Mangyan Village 2. There was a bit of commotion in the evening when someone shouted, "Nakagat ng ahas si Ganny!" Arlene and Patrick were quick to respond. It turned out that Ganny was bitten not by a snake but by an ant.
"I think we better do some planning. Who has a tent?" – Pedro before reaching Aplaya
Egay slipped and fell on his way to Dulangan River. He suffered scratches and bruises on his arms and at the side of his head.
Egay and Jay went back to assist Pedro in his night trek to Camp 2. Egay carried Pedro's backpack while Jay relieved the sweepers and stayed with Pedro.
The soil and water ceremonies were conducted in the evening.
"Tey! Teeeey!" – Dolly witnessing Tey's fall.
"Itali mo na lang sa leeg mo!" – Egay on Xenon's refusal to climb the ladder
Jim got separated from the team; he took the wrong trail going to Balugbog-baboy. He recovered and caught up with the sweepers 1 p.m. at Mag-asawang Ilog.
4 p.m., Tey had a bad fall while on his way to Durungawan; he sustained a knee injury and could no longer continue to the summit. Dolly and Marc stayed with him and set camp near Big Waterfalls while Eli and Pedro continued their push to Sialdang.
Egay and Ige arrived first at Sialdang.
There was a bottleneck at the wall leading to the Knife's Edge. Climbers queued all the way back into the mini forest. Jay, Patrick and Egay facilitated the ascent to the summit ridge.
11:30 p.m., Eli and Pedro setup a bivouac with Jim, approximately 30 minutes before Sablayan. Eli was surprised to find Jim along the trail. Jim did not have a flashlight and ceased trekking by 9 p.m. (?). He was with Chad and Ganny earlier.
Chad and Ganny were the last to arrive at Camp 3 around 11:30 PM.
The lowest recorded temperature was 9 degrees Celsius.
"Congratulations!" – Old members to newly inducted members.
"Si Mar lasing na!" – Members glad to see Mar and the welcoming group.
Jim arrived at Camp 3 in time for the induction rites. He informed us that Eli and Pedro have started their descent to Aplaya.
The induction rites were conducted at the summit of Mt. Halcon. Inducted at Sialdang were Anna Blanco, Chad de Loreto, Paolo Defensor, Alaxan Genanda, Lui Genato, Jenny Luy, Jay Panlilio, RJ Saison, Lovell Sarreal, and Ganny Tumbaga.
9:30 a.m., Marc and Tey went ahead to Camp 4. 1 p.m., Jay caught up with Dolly, Eli and Pedro at the Big Waterfalls Dolly and Eli were instructed by Jay to go ahead to Aplaya. Jay stayed with Pedro.
7 more AMCI members arrived at Aplaya to welcome the team. They were led by Mar and Momoy.
Despite his injury, Tey paced well and arrived, together with Marc at Aplaya 5 p.m.
Eli, Dolly, and Eloy's Group reached Aplaya 7:30 p.m. Rain started to pour.
Xenon together with members of Tey's group- the Ponkanas (Anna, Cheryl, Alaxan, Ganny, Chad and Mike G.) ran out of batteries for night trekking. They spent the night at the Dulangan River campsite.
Jay and Pedro setup camp approximately 30 minutes before Balugbog-baboy.
Rain started to fall early in the evening. It got stronger and went on throughout the night.
"Maliit na bato lang!" – Jim on Jay's rope weight thrown at him.
"Dolly, Dolly, there's water seeping in at the side!" – Pedro in the wee hours of the morning.
"We're cold and hungry!" – delirious Ganny on his cellphone
Jay and Pedro started their trek early to overtake the swelling of Dulangan River and its tributaries. They arrived at the Dulangan River crossing around 9:00 AM. It was no longer safe to cross. Jay setup his tent so that they would have shelter while waiting for the river to recede. Calls from across the river were heard a few minutes after setting up the tent. Jay saw two men going across the monkey bridge. The two men were Momoy and Jim. Momoy told Jay that two Mangyans passed by Aplaya and told them that there were still two trekkers across Dulangan River. Momoy also informed Jay that Xenon and the Ponkanas were on their way to Aplaya. Jim carried Pedro's backpack while Momoy and Jay assisted Pedro across the monkey bridge. Momoy went ahead to Aplaya so that he could get down the mountain, and return to Manila the same day. Jay and Jim setup safety ropes across the tributaries so that Pedro could cross it. Jay and Pedro arrived at Aplaya around 2:00 PM Eli, Dolly, Marc, Ayen and Jim welcomed them. They spent the night at Aplaya.
The rains continued to pour, and the wind pounded their tents relentlessly.
Xenon and the Ponkanas could not cross the first water source in the itinerary for DAY 2. They setup camp approximately 2 hours from Mangyan Village 2.
The Oscars made it down safely at Bayanan around 5:30 PM. Tey arrived around 8:30 PM all by himself. RJ assisted Tey in cleaning and dressing his wounds. They all spent the night there.
"Sayang ang Pangat. Kinain ng pusa." – supposed dinner of Pedro and Eli at Bayanan
"Pedro, dumating ka na!" – sweepers waiting for Pedro at the Bayanan
Jay, Jim, Ayen and the sweepers inducted Pedro Syquia before leaving Aplaya at 8:00 AM.
Tey and the Oscars left for Manila in the morning.
Xenon and the Ponkanas arrived at Bayanan by 12:00 PM. Gerry and Francis welcomed them. They left for Manila around 3:00 PM.
Jay, Dolly, Marc, Ayen and Jim were at Mangyan Village 2 at 1:00 PM. They stopped for a 2.5-hour lunch break. They arrived at Bayanan around 4:30 PM. The locals informed them that a group left earlier. Abe Alcones gave Jay a note written by Xenon.
The group spent the night at Bayanan while they waited for Eli and Pedro. They stayed in the home of Antonio and Fe Tusing.
Three locals were dispatched to meet Eli and Pedro. Nobody came down Bayanan until the next day.
Eli and Pedro could not cross the second water source in the itinerary for DAY 2. They set camp just above it at 3:00 PM.
Neither Eli nor Pedro had a tent. They just setup a tarp overhead and covered the ground with another one. They were at the mercy of the limatiks.
"Kita-kits sa Jollibee!" – Jay to rescuers.
A Mangyan was sent to bring food and assist Eli and Pedro.
Eli arrived at Bayanan ahead of Pedro at 1 p.m. Pedro arrived 4:30 p.m.
The group left for Calapan at 5:30 PM.
On their way to Calapan, Ayen was able to get in touch with Jo via cellphone. Jo informed Jay that Arnel and 5 other AMCI members of a 6-man rescue team are already in Calapan. The two groups met at Jollibee. They stayed at the house of Bryan's aunt.
After 7 days in Mt. Halcon, the remaining climbers accompanied by the rescue team left for Manila. They took the 7:15 AM SuperCat ferryboat to Batangas City.
The group arrived 11:30 AM at LRT Buendia – Taft. Some members came over to welcome them at KFC.
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