Thursday, May 29, 2008

i was in the middle of nowhere off the cost of zambales in the middle of a tropical cyclone trying to enjoy nature and the great company of friends

now, wasnt that a mouthful for a title :) was incommunicado for a good 3 days as me and 11 other brave souls trekked out to the middle of nowhere to face the elements and enjoy nature in its most glorious form.

the trip was organized by my client as a team building session for her new company, a wellness center. i have been preparing myself for the trip for at least a week by hitting the gym more diligently since most, if not all of her team would be gym trainers. i certainly did not want to be the flabbiest of the bunch when it came to shirts-off time :)

the journey was long since the resort was quite remote, on the edge of the the country to the east. upon reaching the bay, we had to haul our stuff to bancas that would take us eventually to the cove on the other side of the shoreline, around 30 mins. away. the boat ride was particularly nerve wracking since im rather aquaphobic and we were also riding into a cyclone, the skies were dreary and the winds strong and the waves, not as quiet as i wanted it to be. but since everyone seemed calm about it, i really could not protest.

anawangin cove sits in between the granite rock face of two hills, hiding it from plain view. quite a good reason actually since as your banca turns in to the cove, your breath is taken away by the sheer beauty of what lies before you. in sharp contrast to the dark cliffs, u have a burst of green as anawangin is covered in trees, pine trees of all things. the forest drapes the entire camp grounds and all the way up the mountains that form the backdrop of what is probably the most beautiful scene i have ever seen. a friend described it quite aptly... like it was taken from the lord of the rings.

after disembarking on the beach and unloading our gear, we started assembling our tents. this is my first time actually to go camping so every single bit i do is new to me. pitching tents, building a bonfire, cooking on the bonfire, looking for firewood and tending the flames. we also went hiking in the forest in search for the source of this river that had the sweetest tasting water. we ended somewhere up in the mountains in front of this waterfall. the trek was quite a feat as i got gashes and bruises from tripping, slipping and falling a few times. the route we followed was mostly dried river bed that we presumed would be fully submerged when the rainy season arrives. our way back to camp was rather interesting. instead of taking the same route we took (where i got injured at almost every stage) my client, a 50 something swiss lady decided to let nature show us the way, she started following a trail of carabao dung. true enough, we were back in camp faster and not as badly bruised :)

our private hut with my client busying herself to prepare dinner

my tent

there wasn't that many things to do in a deserted cove really. we had a few team games and taught our swiss host how to play patintero :) it was fun seeing a european play a pinoy kids game really :) a friend of mine also got me playing ultimate frisbee again. the last time i played was way back in high school so it took me a while and a couple of bruised fingers to get the hang of it again. i managed to get an even tan on my arms. unfortunately, to do so, i needed to bake my entire top and back in the process. im a bit burnt right now so moving is a bit painful :)

on our last night, we had a BBQ around the bonfire and had a gung-ho receptionist perform rihanna's umbrella for entertainment. things were fine and was ending at a high note until so had a little bit of a situation. the weather was rather erratic all throughout our stay so there wud be times when it would rain and then a few minutes later, the sun would be shining. that night, our clear night sky soon started to show rain clouds. while we were all huddled around our bonfire, a stranger out of nowhere popped out. he was shirtless and obviously intoxicated. slurring and incoherent, he kept pestering us to sleep in our camp and that he wont go away until he gets what he wants. he wasn't really a threatening figure, besides, we were a bunch of big fitness trained men and he was just one drunk. still though, the idea of him lurking about at camp was rather unsettling. making things even worse i guess was that someone allegedly saw him having a companion. that night, all the guys were on the lookout. someone made booby traps and had perimeter lights around camp. a bit of an exaggeration really but the guys too were a bit intoxicated and overly paranoid i guess. later that early morning, we had the strongest downpour and gale like winds. it was quite scary actually especially with the sound of the roaring sea. despite the fright, i found myself thinking where that drunk spent the night.

the following morning, i found him nearby, under a hut, sober and well, quite apologetic.

overall, the trip was quite a great experience. i made a lot of new friends and had a fun time as well. i have braved the elements and have proven that i can at least stick it out in the wilderness, even for a short while :) i however don't have plans of doing it again anytime soon. i don't think my sunburt skin would agree anymore :)


Mei said...

I cant believe Philippines has places like this!!!

jamie da vinci! said...

i cant believe it either :)