My 5th Climb: Treasure Mountain Experience

The choices we make lead up to actual experiences. It is one thing to decide to climb a mountain. It is quite another to be on top of it.

Herbert A. Simon

Reaching the top of any mountain is a goal reached for me. As for other people, they climb for various reasons — to gain experience, to take their mind away from stress, to challenge themselves, to heal from a broken heart, to be near to God, or to prove that they can make it. For me, my sole reason I’m climbing mountains is to see the stars at night when we do overnight camping, and be in awe of God’s majestic creations. When I reached Treasure Mountain, I was surely not disappointed.

A quick backtrack: Year 2013, my officemates who are part of the Buhawi Mountaineering Club invited me to hike Mt. Pico de Loro in Cavite. I was excited, yet a bit nervous. Back then, I was going in and out the hospital for checkups. I remember I was not able to walk for longer distance without having difficulty in breathing. So, I accepted the invitation to challenge myself and prove one thing: that I can reach the summit with my lungs still intact. I did reach the summit of Mt. Pico de Loro and marveled at the beauty of God’s creation. Since then, I promised myself to join mountain climbing trips at least once a year.

Going back to Treasure Mountain, I cannot consider it a major or minor climb since we have easy access to the summit. My Buhawi friends and I made a commute — van from Cubao to Cogeo (35php), then jeep from Cogeo to Kurambai (46php) in Tanay, Rizal. Once we are in Kurambai, we rode a motorcycle at the trail going to Treasure Mountain (50php) and was dropped off at the entrance of the place. It is actually a private area but the owner took advantage of the place and made it a tourist destination. We paid overnight camping fee (200php/head) and then pitching fee (300php/tent). We don’t have a car, but those who do also have a parking fee (50php). The place is easily accessible by car and reaching the summit will only take you about 15 minutes from the entrance, so I cannot fully say it’s even a minor climb. Hmm, I can safely say you have a 15-minute hike at that.

Once we’re on the summit, we pitched our tents and fortunately, my other Buhawi friends already pitched theirs and were already fixing dinner. I did help a bit, but once it’s dark and the food’s ready, we started our night socials.

It has been a tradition for Buhawi members to introduce ourselves for the getting to know portion. I did introduce myself and was a bit astounded upon realizing that this is already my 5th climb. I already made friends that I only see once a year (only every anniversary climb) and that my introvert self has now become comfortable in their company. (I think it took me three years before I actually memorized their names!).

After the socials, I had time to gaze up at the heavens and talk to God. I thanked Him for a wonderful creation, with the stars so many and I feel like it’s so easy to grab one. The wind’s getting cold, and I was enjoying my alone time. I remembered those times when I cried and I just didn’t feel God hearing my prayers, but at that very moment, I was just in awe at the beauty of the heavens. The moon was so bright, the stars so many and so beautiful I couldn’t take my eyes off the picturesque view of the universe. I remembered the scenes I’ve read from the book “Every Soul a Star” by Wendy Mass and wondered where could be the North Star, and if the brightest stars were actually talking to me. I just felt peace. I’m hoping for things in my life and at that very moment, I just felt so close to God and felt everything would be alright. I wonder if this was also what Jesus felt whenever He went to the mountain to pray during his time here on Earth πŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ€”.

As the night went deeper into the darkness, I again joined the group for more socials. It was very cold this time, good thing I brought my sweatshirt with me. We shared stories and by around 3am, we called it a night.

Early in the morning, I heard voices outside our tent. I didn’t want to get up yet, but I remembered I wanted to witness the sea of clouds. Treasure Mountain is famous for its sea of clouds so I immediately fixed my things and grabbed my phone. As I went out, I saw the beautiful mountain ranges, without the sea of clouds πŸ˜”πŸ˜”πŸ˜”. Nevertheless, the view was breathtaking so I took some photos. In case you’ll visit Treasure mountain, don’t forget to bring jacket as it’s cold especially at night. 😍

So there. Basically, after the breakfast, we fixed our tents and started our way home. We didn’t have a major nor climb for Buhawi’s 15th anniversary celebration. However, the fact that we met together and shared stories about the mountains for an overnight camping is already a relaxing time for quite a busy and stressful week at that.

If you haven’t climbed a mountain, maybe this is the time to challenge yourself and experience the beauty of nature. πŸ™‚

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2017: A Year I’m Thankful For

Year 2017 is nearing its end, and soon enough, we will be welcoming a brand new 2018. What are you grateful for the past year and what are you expecting for the year ahead?

I have 3 things I’m grateful for, and another 3 things I’m looking forward for 2018.

Things I’m Grateful For 2017

  1. Healthy, and Contented LifeThe year has been one of those I thank God because when I look back, I realized
    • I haven’t used much of my sick leave from work, hehe
    • I can buy most of what I like to eat, compared 10 years ago when I was broke and sickly as a student
    • I have healthy family I can always go back and spend time with and friends whom I can share my ups and downs

    I know there are those people who might not be as blessed as I am. But one thing I’ve learned in life is this: being thankful for whatever life has given me will change my perspective in life big time, and eventually, will give me hope for a brand new day. So, I hope you will also be grateful that the year is ending, and a brand new year is coming up ahead.

  2. Things I Learned that Made me a Better Person

    Year 2017 has been a year where I had my share of disappointments. I have accepted my fate of staying here in the Philippines for good, and letting go of people who have not realized my worth. I’m thankful because there are other things I can do from just studying abroad, like enhancing my professional career and saving up to invest in the future. This has been a year of pivot for my dreams, and so I’m excited for new and unknown things in the year ahead.

  3. Time to Correct Mistakes and Enjoy Life
    Several times, I’ve encountered people who have regrets of the things they have not done, or things they have done in mistake. It’s as if time has eluded them. For this year, I am thankful because I’m still given the time to correct mistakes and enjoy life as a single person, do things I love to do without another soul trying to demand his way for my life, and without thinking much as how to survive in a war-torn environment. Just this year, our country has experienced terrorist attacks with the Marawi crisis, and I’m blessed enough to be on that part of the country where we are protected from being attacked. I’m also thankful because even as a Filipino, I’m given the chance to contribute to the development of our country, even in my own little way.Β 

 

Things I’m Looking Forward For 2018

 

  1. Professional AdvancementIn a few weeks time, I’d be on my 3rd decade in this life, and I’m looking forward to doing things that will certify my professional experience.
  2. Financial BreakthroughAll these years, I’ve had my share of financial obligations for my family, but I’m looking forward to saving up and adding my own investments for the future.
  3. Fulfilling RelationshipΒ 

I’ve been saving my heart for that one special person I’ll be spending the rest of my life with. I’m being honest, though I’m not anxious enough to jump into any relationship that would give me heartaches in the long run. I’m taking my time because I know my worth and I’m looking forward to meeting that guy who is brave enough, bold enough and courageous enough to meet my standards. Mind you, my ultimate standard is based on a God-centered relationship so I’m also thankful God has been taking care of my heart for so long. πŸ™‚

 

Lastly, I’m mostly grateful for all of you who have taken the time to read my posts this 2017 and accompanied me in this journey called life. I’m looking forward to sharing bits and pieces about me but for now, I’m gonna take the time to re-design this blog for a more focused meΒ come 2018.

 

Enjoy life as always!

My Love Letter to FL p2

Dear Future Lover,
How are you tonight?

You know, I’ve been missing you even if I don’t know you yet. But nevertheless, I have been enjoying my life so far. πŸ€—πŸ‘Š

In the previous years, I have been asking God for contentment and a change of heart for my career. Do not get me wrong. I love what I do but projects and the dream of going abroad to study had consumed me for the past three years that I just look forward for the future, not realizing I have not been living in my present reality. But through God’s grace, He allowed me to stay at my current company even after being rejected for scholarships and not regret after all. πŸ’Ÿ

Just these past weeks, I have been in Visayas and Mindanao for work, doing what I love — sharing about new technologies and elearning, training teachers and learning more about my industry. I have traveled from one place to another, and my colleagues are all a joy to work with. Only lately that I realized I have been blessed in my career.

So, when I meet you,Β  I’ll make sure to tell you all about my work, and what we do to make a difference in the area of education. I’ll be sharing about the places we’ve been to, and the smiles of the students and teachers we’ve trained. I’ll be bringing you pasalubong every time we’ll go out of town, because I know you’ll be ecstatic to receive a gift from me. I know that once we meet, it would be a joy to share to you my travel experiences, and hopefully, someday, I get to travel with you as well.

For now, I’ll document all the ups and downs of my career because I know, you’ll have a glimpse of how I work and enjoy life at the same time. I’m keeping tabs at how I live my life — making sure I enjoy the blessings God has given me so I’ll be contented just as what God says and I’ll be sharing how God has provided enough for me. I know, when that time comes that we’ll be together, we’ll be sharing all about our faith and how God has been so good to us during the waiting season of our lives.

For now, I’ll just wait for you and enjoy life to fullest. God has given me enough to be thankful, and yet, I know, when I meet you, God has answered my prayer for an overflowing blessing to love and be loved in return.
And so, Future Lover, I’m looking forward to meeting you soon! For the mean time, I hope you enjoy life as well as I am enjoying mine. πŸ˜πŸ˜†πŸ˜πŸ€—

Sincerely,

Yza 😘

Thank God for Friends

I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster ride for the past weeks and if not for my friends, I may have gone crazy.

 

You are better off to a friend than to be all alone, because then you will get more enjoyment out of what you earn. 10 If you fall, your friend can help you up. But if you fall without having a friend nearby, you are really in trouble.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (CEV)

I’ve had a broken relationship with my sister and lately, I’m feeling at a loss. I’ve also been so busy with my tasks that I think, if I have gone through all this alone, I know I can’t take it. God just knows and provides what you need, exactly when you need it.

 

So here, I wanna introduce you to my friend Venice. She has helped me through my most emotional times this year.

Our Story 

I’m attending Victory Makati since 2013 and every week, we have what we call a Victory Group (VG) . It is a support group where we talk about God, our careers, relationships and dreams, and all relate it to how God wanted us to live a life pleasing to Him.  When our group leader Yasmin died in an accident in 2015, I took over and led these women here in our journey through life.

Our Victory group, with Yasmin in orange as our leader

The women I started leading in 2015

 

Eventually, life brings us to our destined purpose and we separated ways. Some of them took another job, and some went abroad to pursue a graduate degree and career. I thankful enough I get to influence their lives at one point in time.

 

As it is, Venice and I were the only ones who remained in the group. Since we also wanted to share the love of God to other people, we started our own Victory group in her dormitory. After a year, I have gained new friends and together, we are walking in this journey with God’s guidance.

 

Why am I sharing about them? Well, I just wanted to honor these people and make them feel special in this online space that I have.

 

For today, I just finished talking to Venice and I’m thankful enough God gave me friends who can rebuke me if needed, help me and encourage me when I’m down, and also, celebrate with me if I’m happy. I’m thankful enough to God because the relationships I have with these people are not disposable. I’m just thankful because I realize, if your friendship puts God at the center, you know that friendship will last. Lastly, I’m thankful enough because I know, I’m not alone in this journey called life.

 
PS: I’m still hoping my relationship with my sister be fixed in due time, and that my friends will also get to know my future partner so they can hang out together. For now, I’m thankful because even if not everything is sailing smoothly, I have friends I can count on most especially when I needed them.

 

How about you? Are you feeling down, discouraged or you just needed someone to talk to? I hope God can also give you a friend you can cherish for a long time. But if you haven’t met these kind of friends yet, you can talk to me and I can introduce you to the greatest friend of all.

 
Really, I’m here to help and talk to you if you need one. Just tag me in Twitter or Instagram @itswyza and I’ll do my best to help you out. πŸ™‚

 

Trip to Bohol

I had the opportunity to visit the beauty of Bohol last year, where I’ve seen the Chocolate Hills in person, chilled in Panglao Beach Resort, and toured the Bohol Bee Farm, where I’ve tasted the very delicious iceΒ cream.

Since I’m on reminisce mode, let me share to you my journey and pictures (no filter) of my travel: πŸ˜€πŸ˜

 

Bohol Bee Farm: Buzz Ice Cream

 

Bohol Bee Farm: Ocean View

 

Panglao Island: Public Resort

We found a place to chill here without paying too much! I think we only paid less than a hundred bucks for the entrance fee.

 

Bohol: Chocolate Hills

We went there 1st week of October 2016 and at that time, the hills were not so chocolatey.

 

Ancient Church

I forgotΒ the name of this church but it is one of those churches during the year that was affected by the great earthquake.

 

So there. I’m trying to document all my previous travels so pardon me if some are dated years ago. But heck, I enjoyed life by traveling once in a while so I wanna have some documentation to inspire others, and that includes you!

πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€