I love going back to Lake Maughan. That place brings back a lot of memories for me (and Ligaya). Thus, when Ronnie and the Second Seslong Festival Open Climb organizers invited us to join, I jumped at the opportunity. Together with Chris, Dan, King, Ron and Ali, we represent a full TAMAC “delegates” of outdoor enthusiast looking for a cure to our addiction. Our goals? Participate, socialize with fellow mountaineers of the south, commune with a beautiful environment, introduce our newbie climbers to outdoor hiking and see that “Holon outlet” we missed on our previous climb there.
We (and the organizers too) were surprised by the volume of participants that joined this climb. Hundred thirty three registered compared to the previous year of 23 climb participants! Seedlings for tree planting ran out too! There were other climber poppers who climbed Maughan that day but weren’t actually part of the group and had a camping of their own. Despite being overwhelmed by the influx of participants, I think the organizers tried their best and succeeded in making the climb participants feel they are being take cared off.
The trek to Lake Maughan is considered to be a minor one, judging from the “easy, rolling type” trail you pass through on your way to the campsite. It only took us 2 hours and half to trek thanks to the beautiful weather and tree canopies along the trail . There are ample, clean water supply sources along the trail and the campsite is well maintained . The glorious stillness of the place and the lake makes it an ideal place for camping . You can read my previous post of how to prepare for a climb to Lake Holon or better yet, enjoy the exciting narration of a newbie climber Joy, on her first climb to this site.
There were campers in the place since the day before and some, actually went back to the jump off already.We met a group of students (with their teacher) from one school in our place. They expressed interest in joining TAMAC and on a scheduled BMC. Surprise surprise! The rain poured right after we finished pitching our tents . me and my buddies went straight to sleep after an exhausting marathon trek. I even snored alone in the tent!
My group stayed on expecting a tinolang manok for dinner. Thanks to Dan, our chef for that night, it was one hearty meal. “Tinolang Manok” although not originally a TAMAC creation, is one traditional TAMAC dinner recipe during climbs
A gathering of participants was called that night, and we were all happy to know and be introduced to everyone. Most of the other participants we knew from previous climbs as well, but we its high time we associate faces and their ! TAMAC presented a choreo intro, as can be seen in this picture reenactment the next day.
I was supposed to introduce the group and video our presentation that night. A blopper happend and I totally forgot pressing the video buton while laughing my heart out! The C (played by Ron) got lost and went ahead of T (played by Dan) and when I shouted “We are…..We are….” I couldn’t finish the word (which was supposed to be TAMAC) because the C is running back and forth behind the letters TAMA. It’s like seeing a kindergarten presentation getting spoofed and we all laughed at it. At least we made them all laugh!!!
Then we went around tents to visit our climbing friends. Some of us stayed to share a drink or two. The rest went on picture taking, chatting and exploring the moonlit campsite and lake. When I finally laid my head on my sleep mat, I slept in less than 30 seconds!
In the morning after breakfast, we went straight to the famous lake outlet via a log boat- a wooden boat without the “katig” much like a long canoe. Most of us are totally scared of the ride since it entails extreme balancing or we capsize. Lucky for us we got two able paddlers and two Redcross/WASAR buddies. The rest of us sat without moving for almost an hour during the trip( lest we capsize). King wished we trek on land on our way back but to no avail. After we took a dive and swam along the shores of the lake near the outlet, we head back again using the log boat, to King’s frustration. I was more comfortable this time, sleeping on the boat without moving. I am quite intrigued why there were waves or currents on the lake since it is loacted 3,000 feet up, and is not connected into an open sea. I gues the “current” is coming from an underwater source, like a geothermal vent or spout. Nobody knew as this lake bed wasn’t explored yet ever.
When we reached the site safely, we packed our stuff and gears hurriedly and made a sweep of our site for leftovers and garbage. We made sure we brought every garbage back to proper disposal at the town area. It took us only around an hour to go down to the jump off. We cooked our lunch there and ate while waiting for the service truck. Our group was planning for a side trip on Hedak Falls some thirty minutes ride from the town proper. It was raining hard that afternoon and we were pressed with time. We canceled that plan and thought it would be our goal for our trip next time here.
As a tribute, I’m putting these pics into a video presentation. Enjoy!
(Sidenotes: Another group (a graduating class of criminology students mostly wearing police intern shirts and are not part of the participating mountaineers) of an obviously newcomers, ill equipped and ill mannered climbed that same day to Lake Maughan. To our horror and surprise, they wrecked havoc on nature and the sacredness of the site. They got drunk the first moment they got there, cut some young tree barks for pitching tents and fuel and went on boisterous laughter and shouting. One guy even peed in front of lady mountaineer-participants out of drunkenness. We were all shocked by their behavior. I’m in no way interested in meddling with their affairs but their acts really bordered human decency and trampled on the environment we so love to conserve. I recommend they’d be banned from the site for as long as they don’t apologize and do community service there.)