[This is a late post which is actually both an account and a reflection about our block’s Banaue-Nueva Viscaya trip. It was my first time to travel northbound.]
Many things have transpired within the last few days. As for me, we were in fact at the mercy of what I call miracles. For the past days in Banaue, life has been as fragile as a glass. Thanks to the guide and the drivers who toured us around their place. I had to inject into my mind that these people are already experts of their terrain, meaning to say, the winding road that we are traversing are not anymore new and difficult to them. There are two things I have observed among the people of Banaue: their eyes, which make most of the people look alike, and their ‘moma’, which make the some of their surroundings really red.
I never imagined myself hiking on several mountains or to be exact, edges of mountains. I am proud to say that I conquered Banaue. I wouldn’t be able to finish it without Kuya Dandy and my blockmates. We hiked for hours to reach the Batad area as well as the Tappia falls. The trek started in the morning but unfortunately reached the sheer darkness of the evening. I will never forget that darkness when we were on the edges of the mountain, holding each other’s hand, hoping to survive and pass each step safely at the mercy of our cellphone’s flashlight. It is really hard to reach a goal even if you can see it already, especially when you are climbing on foot. That was my thinking when it was already dusk but the Saddle Point where we started is just virtually above us but is actually still afar. Twice the 3 or 4 hours of walk even if with an hour of ride will sure make your gastrocnemius painful and weak. But then, a miracle again. The next day, we visited the View Point, where we had the best panorama of the terraces, and the all-white Good News Clinic, where we met the humor and wisdom of Dr. Antonio Ligot.
Days in Nueva Viscaya were the actual work for Management. Nevertheless, we were able to enjoy it. We stayed at the clinic/house of Bea’s family at Solano. We studied the Pharmacy of Veterans Regional Hospital at Bayombong. We met Maam Gigi Bautista and several other doctors and personnel. We had free flu vaccines, where we were able to administer it to another for the first time. We also got our souvenir PNDF manual. We also visited Pisay-CVC.
Going home, I realized what a larger-than-life experience the whole journey is. The road I never saw when we went there was indeed serpentine and encompassing mountains. I just thank my God for everything, hoping that I will remember this when I get old, since I may never go back to such place again where risks were my tests of faith.