dahil sabi noon sa lobby ng masci,
brevity is the soul of wit.
sabi ng wit ko, WANTED: SOUL.
(i’m so sorry brievete blog. i’ve been cheating on you with ze wedding blog. let me make it up to you with this post. wag ka nang magtampo. labyu.)
last weekend, nov. 29- dec. 1, i conquered mt. pulag with 9 friends (and 300+ other brave souls, it looked like a rave party at the peak!). it was a much anticipated trip: a few months ago, mako and katsy enjoined Crevin Media to take their prenup photos and video, and we toyed with the idea of climbing Luzon’s 2nd highest peak to make their prenup memorable. challenging, yes; but definitely unique. we also invited other friends to join us and ended up with this motley crew: (jojie, jeb, mako, katsy), jai, aia, ken (all the way from new york!), pochay, drew, and ian.
the climb to the summit of mt. pulag is not an easy task. it entails the following: 4-5 hour drive to baguio, 2-hour bumpy jeepney ride from baguio to the badabak ranger station in benguet, and then walking and hiking. lots and lots and lots of it and in different variations: small steps, big steps, gapang, gapang na may iyak, gapang na may panalangin, iwas sa putik, tapak sa bato, dulas ng konti, at lakad pa uli. a quick google search will show you lots of articles that describe the logistics of the pulag trek and hike (like this one from Star); as for me, i’d share my reflections and realizations during those long hours of walking and listening to the voices in my head talk to each other and pant in enlightened exhaustion.
- it’s a good thing that i borrowed sturdy hiking shoes from dai. my modest rubber shoes wouldn’t have cut it. the trail had a wild mix of pavement, gravel, grass, woods, mud, and deeper mud. wearing a comfortable pair of hiking shoes increased my confidence that i could make it to the top without slipping, bumping my head on a rock, and dying even before i reached the first pitstop (camp 1).
- i should’ve gotten an old school ipod or music player (madaling maubos ang iphone bat) and listened to music during the trek, parang si ian. he and jai hiked to camp 2 in just two hours. whut?
- pero dahil nga wala akong music, kapag hindi ako hinihingal, kinanta ko ang mga ito: (theeeee hills are alooooyv, with the) sound of music, i believe i can fly, nothing is impossible, love on top, go the distance, at noong malapit na sa tuktok…
kalangitan at bituin
unti-unting kinabukasan ko’y magniningning
hawak ngayo’y tibay ng damdamin
bukas naman sa ‘king paggising
kapiling ko’y pangarap na bituin
… pero hanggang mga putol-putol na chorus lang ako dahil nakakapagod kumulot at maglakad at the same time.
- nakailang moments rin ako nito: kung hunger games ito, magkunwari na lang kaya akong deds para dumating na ‘yung hoverclaw mula sa langit at pulutin ako mula sa kabaliwang ito?! huhuhu. whyyyyy am i doing this whyyyyy?
- while i wouldn’t have chosen to climb pulag in my own volition, i’m happy mako and katsy thought of that idea, and that Crevin Media was part of that trip. i’m also happy that our group of ten was a good mix of ten: trips like that require an effective gel, and i’m blessed with great and supportive friends who understood my hika and kabagalan.
- jeb is my forever crush. during our pulag trip, he was a photographer, videographer, finance manager, camp master, cook, navigator, and my personal tungkod. i love him to bits and pieces.
- climbing a mountain really pushes your limits. sa mga panahong parang forever ka nang naglalakad, at pagod na pagod ka na, you are faced with no other choice but to press on. o sige, napagod ka midway… pero hindi ka naman makakatigil e. hindi ka rin makakabalik. like many other circumstances in life, sometimes, when it’s the hardest, you just have to suck it up, remember your purpose, and just move towards your goal one step at a time. may mga times din na nasa gilid kami ng bangin naglakad at pipili ka ng iisipin: yung lalim ng bangin o yung taas ng inaakyat mong bundok. your perspective will either frighten you or motivate you.
- there is really something majestic about mountains that gives you that God encounter. this is something He created that is obviously bigger and daunting than mere man, and He reveals many things to people who dare to climb. moses found the burning bush in mt. horeb and received the ten commandments in mt. sinai; elijah succeeded over baal’s prophets at mt. carmel; peter witnessed the transfiguration of Jesus at a mountain too. as for me, while i was climbing pulag, i was either praying to Him for help, or thanking Him for the strength that He was giving. i knew that i couldn’t have done it without Him in me. Luke 1:37 says “For nothing is impossible with God.”—- and this nature-phobic, asthmatic brat who just conquered pulag agrees.
will i do it again? my aching joints and muscles want to say “not anytime soon maawa ka utang na loob!”, but when that day eventually comes, i know that it will definitely be worth it.
I believe that God has planted seeds of greatness on the inside of every one of us. We all have dreams and desires, things we want to accomplish; things we want to see changed. But so many times, life has a way of stealing our dreams. We go through disappointments, face adversity, things don’t turn out as we would like. Too often, people just end up settling for second best. But God doesn’t want us to settle for second best. He wants us to be determined, press on, and pursue the greatness that’s on the inside. We should never let “good enough” be good enough!
I want to encourage you today to stir yourself up and get your fire back. Start speaking victory over your future. If one dream has died, dream another dream. Put yourself in a positive, faith-filled environment. Get around people of excellence who live passionately. Fan the flame that is in you so you can move forward into all God has in store for you!
He will give: beauty for ashes; joy instead of mourning; praise instead of heaviness. (Isaiah 61:3, TLB.)
Everyone has experienced hurt and disappointment. We’ve all been burnt by life. But God doesn’t want us to sit in the ashes of the past; He wants to trade our brokenness for healing. He wants to give us beauty for our ashes. The key is that we have to be willing to give up the ashes in order to receive the beauty. You can’t have both because the old has to go before the new can come.
Today, are you willing to trust Him with your past hurts? Are you willing to let go of the pain, to forgive others and yourself so you can move forward in freedom? Don’t waste another day sitting in the ashes. The past is over, but your future remains. Let God give you joy instead of mourning, and let Him make something beautiful out of the ashes of your life today!
I will restore the years that the locust has eaten and I will bring you out with plenty and you shall be satisfied. (Joel 2:25-26)
God wants you to live a satisfied life. He has promised to restore all the things the enemy has stolen. However, just because God gives this great promise, doesn’t mean it will automatically come to pass in your life. You have to do your part to develop a restoration mentality. Expect things to change in your favor. Be strong-willed and determined, and do everything you can to recover what the enemy has stolen.
Remember, obstacles are simply opportunities for advancement. If you will do your part to have a restoration mentality, God will take every obstacle that comes into your life and turn it into a stepping-stone that will take you to a place of higher honor and greater blessing!
Dear Father, thank you for promising to restore to me what the enemy has stolen. Teach me to trust You more and develop a restoration mentality. Thank you for keeping me on the path to victory in every area of my life!
Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your bed and walk.” (John 5:8)
It’s time to get up! It’s time to stop living life on the ground, it’s time to wipe the gravel off your face, and go after your God given destiny. I don’t have to tell you that life is hard, I don’t have to tell you that life will knock you down, but I will tell you that we serve a God that is bigger than any problem we face, we serve a God that will give us the strength we need to overcome the struggles of life.
In this story Jesus came to a man who had been in the same position for years and had given up on life. Jesus asked him a simple question “Do you want to get well?” We have to make a decision. We have to get up and say “enough is enough, I’m better than this, I am a Child of God, I am more than a conqueror, and It’s time for me to get up and fight with every fiber of my being!” When you have this attitude not only will you overcome your difficulties, but God will open up new doors, show you his favor, and bring your dreams to pass. Pick up your bed and Walk!!
Getting up and strutting, if you may, Lord.
“I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns” (Philippians 1:6, NLT)
The last thing Jesus said on the cross was, “It is finished.” At that moment, it certainly looked like the end. It looked like it was over. But I believe that wasn’t just a statement of fact, it was a statement of faith. He was saying to Father God, “I’ve done My part. I’ve fulfilled My destiny. Now, I’ve got total trust and confidence in You that You are going to finish what You started through Me.” Even though it looked like the end, in reality, it was only the beginning.
Remember, when things look dark in your own life, dare to make a declaration of faith and say, “It is finished.” What you’re really saying is, “God, I know You are going to finish what You’ve begun in my life. You are going to turn things around.
I know that You are giving me the breaks that I need. Let Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven!” Keep looking with your eyes of faith knowing that He is faithful, and He will finish what He’s started in you!