Immediately after lunch, we assembled with the other trekkers in Labangon. The jeepney we hired to Minglanilla was full- packed with almost twenty people. From Tinong’s Bakery in Tungkop we hired a two-person capacity motorcycle to Cogon Chapel, he jump-off point.
Pushing forward, we saw the countryside and witnessed the simple life of the people living in the mountain barangays. The ascent took us almost an hour just in time to reach the campsite at about five in the afternoon and then climbed a few more steps to Naupa’s peak to see the sunset.
We had the socials night after eating where we got to know a little bit of each other. We then had some rhum to fight off the cold while singing popular heartbreak songs.
I slept like a baby until dawn when I felt like someone or something was moving outside like a large bird flapping its wings.
I thought it was a “wakwak”, “ungo”, “aswang” or “manananggal”.
Then it dawned on me that I was actually in Naga, the town, old folks warned me about when i was a kid, the town rumored of having creatures of the night.
Though I haven’t seen one in real life, I just know, feel and believe that they exist lurking in the shadows.
When the hair-raising noise finally died down, I mustered all the courage to take a quick peek outside my tent.
My logical brain reasoned out that it was due to the strong winds hitting other tents and since there was no sign of any creature in the vicinity.
It was definitely just a false alarm, or was it really? You be the judge.
It took awhile for me to see another lady all alone outside since it was still dark at four in the morning.
As it turns out, she also had trouble sleeping as well. So I talked to her for awhile and then went back inside my tent to squeeze in a few extra minutes of sleep for energy.
A few hours later, the majority of the group woke up and prepared breakfast with non-stop questions on what transpired last night.
Some of us climbed back up to the highest peak to have a glimpse at the sun’s morning rays. Hours later, the heat was already unbearable.
We decided to take our tents down, pack our bags, started our descent and went our separate ways back to our own realities. It was indeed a weekend well spent.
A few days after the event, I tried to gather up all the pictures online. The weird thing was that I can’t seem to pinpoint the girl who I was talking with at dawn in the numerous group photos. Forget about it, maybe it’s just me and my poor memory for names and faces.