Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Howling Winds of Lepanto, Alegria, Cebu

I am home 14 hours late than I would like to be because of some logistic problems with my bicycle. To put it simply, no bus would let me board with my bike. It was weird because on my way there I just took off the wheels of my bike and placed it in the baggage compartment. I have done this so many times before in Cebu and in Mindanao but I never had this problem. I tried to catch the last Librando Bus trip in Badian but I arrived there at 6pm. I did not know that the last city-bound bus leaves at 4pm. Now we all know. I was forced to spend the night at Moalboal Backpacker’s Lodge. For 275 pesos, I got a dorm bed, sheets, and a towel. The staff were really nice though so I did not mind spending the night over there. This is an actual conversation between two guys, I did not make this up:

danish guy: so you've been travelling for a long time now?

french guy: yeah for about a year. i sold everything--my house, my car, and my girlfriend. i only got 1 euro for selling my girlfriend

He’s not the first European guy I’ve met who sold practically all he has so he can travel. Filipinos do not do that. We are always busy preparing for our day to day survival and for hopes of a good retirement. Is it because they’ve got better social security? Or are they just more care-free? Somebody should answer me because I’m not just throwing rhetorical questions, I am actually asking. It has been a fully booked weekend and I am yet to write about my journey to two waterfalls and my climb to Mt. Lanaya. I will start off with my short bike ride to Libo because I am more of a mountain bike rider than anything.

* * *

I got to know about Libo because my hosts at Sun Xi Mountain Resort asked me if I wanted to go to a picnic. They could drive me over to a hill that overlooks mountains on the southwest. I totally appreciate it but I had to overcome my Schweinehund, my inner pig, my lack of motivation (thanks a lot Edward for teaching me the term!). So I opted to pedal up the hill and it was a climb to remember, with my movie-esque degree of panting.

I did a couple of sprints up the hill because the air was so fresh I could just open my mouth as wide as can without having to worry about dust, smog, and plastic bags entering my mouth. I nearly ripped my jaws apart with all the panting I did. But the air was so pure I could do that every morning. I must have looked like a moron. But the uglier I look, the better it feels after.

The fog was just about to lift when I reached the hill that they meant. I could not have missed it because it is right before the center of Libo. I was still panting very hard and in between my breath the wind would howl, as if it is conversing with my longing for air. I’m just kidding. The wind does not talk unless you’re a lunatic and you think it does. That’s just me smacking into my poetic license. But seriously the wind howls wildly in that place.

It is so amazing because that only happens in Hollywood horror films with very grim milieu. But that morning was sunny and beautiful, I even played Reggae Sunshine twice when I was there. When the wind is stronger, it sounds like a train juggernauting through a railway, minus the metallic screech of course (the wind is not made of metal).

I did some trail riding up and down the hills but I mostly spent the time there staring into the scene that reminded me how big this world is—and that I need a GPS if I don’t want to get lost in it. If I’m gonna keep mountain biking for the rest of my life, it will no longer be to fight the Schweinehund, it would be keep experiencing this beauty. Schweinehund my battle is not with you. Just get out of the way and let me see hills like that over and over again.

I went back to basecamp drench with sweat and camouflaged in mud. I had a quick breakfast because one of the guys at Sun Xi was waiting to take me to Mt. Lanaya. My friends have been inviting me to go there for the past two years and I do not know why it took me that long to climb it. Wait for my post about it alright!


Glen Aldridge said...

Hello Bai, In response to your question - The Danes have one of the best social benefits in the world. There have been some cutbacks in recent years as foreigners were moving their extended families in & then living off the Government Benefits. The down side is they also have one of the western worlds highest tax rates. In regards to your friendly cow, that should be Ms. cow unless it's transgendered then you have me scratching my head. :)

Bal Marsius said...

hi Glen! thanks for the comment. i'll take that from you because i viewed your profile. haha. about the cow...you're right she's either a Ms. or transgendered. i'll put my money on transgendered. cheers : )

Bal Marsius