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“Tatlong Krus” at the Summit of Mt. Humarap

“Tatlong Krus” at the Summit of Mt. Humarap

On my previous post you joined me on a trek. Taking 1,000 steps to reach a pilgrimage site called “Tatlong Krus (Three Crosses). After multiple stops, sweat, aching legs and a lot of motivation. With the stairs that seemed endless, we finally reach the top. Join me again today for the second part of our adventure. If you missed the first part, feel free to have a look at our exhausting climb.

A Thousand Steps to “Tatlong Krus”

 

“Tatlong Krus” at the Summit of Mt. Humarap

Seeing that light at the end of the trail gave us a burst of energy and excitement. Hearing the words from my wife “We have reached the top!” was so rewarding. We never gave up although the thought of going back down came to mind halfway on our journey. We pushed forward on our crusade and strengthened our will to conquer the mountain. I can no longer recall what it looks like up here and the second time around maybe sweeter. Reaching the top with my family is an amazing bonding experience and it opened up possibilities for us to conquer another mountain sometime in the future. This climb may look easy for experienced climbers, but for us it was a challenge.

At the top huts made from bamboo are erected. The residents probably helps in maintaining the place as the place is clean. Didn’t see any plastic garbage on the ground and only dried fallen leaves from the trees.

They also had a rest room for the hikers to relive themselves and you just need to leave a small donation for the maintenance.

The fresh mountain breeze welcomed us and along with the view provincial scenery. Time feels to move slower as I always say whenever we visit a province. Up in the mountain, here it is very calm, relaxing and the silence almost hums you to sleep.

Here I found out that there is another way up here. There is a road where vehicles are allowed to reach this point. Still it is very much rewarding in taking the hard trek climbing up. The experience is priceless and fulfilling rather than just taking the easy road. You could proudly say that you conquered the challenge.

The area is like a picnic ground with cottages around. I wish they sold home cooked meals here as it would be very satisfying for tired and hungry hikers.

A lot of trees are left to thrive in the area. This one has some sort of fruits that is unknown to me.

The site that has been the purpose of this journey, “The Talong Krus”. Not much information is known about this site, but according to one of the locals. The crosses used to be made of wood and was replaced with cement later on. I was also told that there are three priests that has been buried here. The three crosses was erected to remember them.

I am very proud of my daughter who never gave up. At this time we are still waiting for my son, my father and father in-law to join us up here. While waiting, we took the time to examine the crosses.

Looks like a mass is held here, possibly during the Holy Week.

From here the view is magnificent as it faces the Laguna de Bay which is the largest lake in our country.

Overlooking the town of Paete, you could see how far we traveled on foot. As I was told looking from above the shape of this town is like a flying eagle. Coincidence or a careful design? It is known that Paete is the woodcarving capital of the Philippines and the residents are gifted with artistry.

After a couple of minutes waiting, my son finally emerged from the trail. Tired and thirsty he said that the rest of our group is on their way. They had to take a long time to rest as my father in-law was getting dizzy.

It was a good thing that he stayed with them and even helped to carry his grandpa’s bag. He said that his bag was heavy and filled with unnecessary stuff inside. But I’m glad he stayed with them.

Here you could refresh and reward yourself with fresh coconut. There is a vendor here that sells them for 20 pesos or about $.37 each.

By the looks of it seems like he sells a lot of coconuts a day. Each hiker bought one coconut and from the looks of it he does not have any competition in this area.

Opening up a coconut looks easy, but imagine holding the coconut on one hand and striking it with the bolo on the other. It is a scary thought that you might slip and cut off a limb. Better let the experts do it, I’ll just stick with taking photos.

Our coconut man making it look easy with a cigarette in his mouth.

Fresh coconut from the mountain. I always love cool coconut water. It is very good in cleaning up your kidneys and has a lot of minerals that is beneficial to the body. After drinking the water, we had the coconut cut in half and using a makeshift spoon from the coconut. We used it to scoop out the sweet tender coconut meat.

After finishing up the coconut, I went around a bit to take a couple of shots around the area.

How would you like to live in a quiet place like this. Sweeping dried leaves in the morning and setting it on fire. Burning dried leaves is very common here in our country, it is said that the smoke coming from it allows the surrounding trees to bear more fruit. It is also one of the distinct scents in places in the province. It is hard to explain, but the smell of burning leaves in the morning or afternoon seems relaxing. You mind drifts away somehow making you forget about the stressful city life.

One thing that you would always see in provincial areas are chickens. Some raise them for eggs, but a lot raise them for cock fighting, which is a part of our culture.

I found these religious statues and I think they might have constructed it here.

These looks like the molds that were used in creating the statues. As I mentioned earlier Paete is filled with artistry and something I will share with you very soon.

I went back to the overlooking as everyone was there. It was time to take some family photos to remind us of this journey that we had.

My daughter @bearkid could not contain herself from such a a beautiful scenery. Feeling the breeze and just looking at this landscape is very liberating for the mind and soul. No worries or troubles to think about even for just this span of time.

I just wish they placed these power cables somewhere else to give us a better clear view of the area.

Another angle of Laguna de Bay. I recall there was a time when janitor fish became so abundant in this lake and was devastating the fishing industry. You could not eat it and has become a threat to other species. The local government worked to abolish the threat. They gave the fishermen a new source of income catching janitor fish that was turned into fertilizer. A brilliant way in controlling the population and at the same time earning from it.

Before anything else I took out my Olympus 40- 150 mm to zoom into the town.

Looking from up here I was trying to trace back the roads that we passed on our way here.

I could even see the back of the old church in this town on the lower middle part of this photo. Paete church which is a historical place that has a painting inside made from natural pigments. A place that I will also be sharing in the next couple of days.

From up here we can see that we are all just a tiny speck in this world. Although, we are all unique and each one has our own destiny in this world. The forks in our lives are the choices that we make. Either it will break us or make us, but with our mistakes we learn from it. We are visitors in this world and it is up to us how we stamp our names and spend our stay here. But we should always remember to live our lives in the best way that we can.

Now it is time to take some family photos.

My father with my two kids and I’m sure they’ll be seeing more or each other soon. I felt that they had a very good time together in this bonding moment. Priceless moments that I captured thru the lens and memories that will remain forever in our hears.

My wife and his dad. I never imagined that he could reach the top with us. He never gave up and gave his best. I could not stop him from taking this trek with us. I was worried because he had issues with his blood pressure and just found out that he had to take medication along the way. I’m glad he turned out ok.

It has been awhile since I had a serious conversation with my father. I’m glad we finally had a chance to talk, up here where we could see the world below.

My father is still a strong man at his age and he even helped my father in-law along the way.

Here they are, comrades in this journey. A bond that has become stronger.

More photos to remind us of this exciting adventure.

We had to have a photo of all of us together so we asked someone to take our photo.

It is great to have bonding moments with the family although a bit extreme. We hope to spend more time together and create more memories.

Time passes and we can no longer turn back the time that has been lost. But each time we open our eyes is a brand new day to make things right, learn, love and enjoy the company of those whom we love.

All journeys always leads back home. It is time to go back and again the trek down will be long, but I guess it will be easier on our way down. It was an amazing experience reaching the summit.

Thank you once again for joining our adventure. Join me again next time for the final part of our journey. You might think that you have seen it all, but there are still some pretty interesting stuff to share thru our journey back.

For the meantime have a good evening everyone.

 

 

 

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All photos are original and taken with

Lumix GX85

12-32 mm kit lens

Olympus 40-150 mm

Sigma 50 mm