Climbing Mount Pico de Loro with Stranger Friends

We were complete strangers to each other but the way we share experiences and the way we treat each other seem like we’ve known each other for the longest time. Well, I guess there’s “something” that unites climbers and travelers.

With my stranger friends at the monolith. In this photo (l-r): Reggie, Abby, Emilu, Raymond, Rxyz, Paula, Roxanne, Yours Truly and Ace.

How I Met My Stranger Friends 
I first “met” my “stranger friends” on Facebook barely two weeks before our scheduled assault to Mount Pico de Loro. I was looking for a group of climbers and travelers when JC told me that there’s a group of climbers climbing on Wednesdays. Excited, I joined the group right away and, viola, a November 11 climb to Mount Pico was scheduled and I was like “cool, this is just so perfect for me.” I sent my intent to join the club…I mean the climb…and I was given a slot right away. We exchanged phone numbers and the rest is history. [Big thanks to Abby and Emilu!]

The Meeting Place 
As previously planned, we met at KFC near Coastal Mall Provincial Bus Terminal around four in the morning. We left past four and we reached DENR Pico de Loro past six. I was with Abby, Emilu, Roxanne, Raymond, Reggie, Ace, Paula and Rxyz.


The Climb
We started our assault at 06:50 after the registration. [As of this writing, registration costs Php25.00.person. Car park costs Php50.00.] We did not hire a tour guide primarily because it will “minimize” the adventure and thrill of getting lost and, two, Reggie has been to Mount Pico before and he served as our guide. I mean he’s more than willing enough to guide us. Our climb was a combination of getting to know each other, small talks, photo shoots and, of course, some bench rest. We reached the camping site around nine. At the campsite, we met Kuya Jojo who eventually became our guide to the monolith. Guide fee is Php50.00 only. Here are some of the photos taken during our assault:

Mandatory registration prior to the climb. Registration is Php25.00/head.
Pricing as of November 11, 2015
My new found stranger friends, In this photo: (l-r): yours truly, Ace, Emilu, Paula, Roxanne, Rxyz, Raymond, Reggie and Abby. Photo courtesy of  Rxyz.
In this photo (l-r): Roxanne, yours truly, Emilu, Raymond, Reggie, Ace, Abby and Paula. Photo courtesy of Rxyz.
Facing my fear.
Groupie taken by our monolith guide Kuya Jojo.
The Death-defying Monolith Climb 
Prior to our climb, I was told that a Mount Pico de Loro climb is “incomplete” without climbing the monolith so I promised myself that I shouldn’t miss it. Although I felt nervous at first, I felt extremely happy when I learned that I’ve reached the monolith’s peak. It was a death-defying experience that I will never forget as long as I live.

The monolith.
Solo shot before our monolith climb.
Climbing down in preparation for the much-awaited monolith climb.
Getting ready for the most-awaited monolith climb. Photo credit: Roxanne.
Excited much. :)
This way please to the monolith. Yup, you must pass this hurdle otherwise you'll not make it to the monolith's peak. 
Ang lubid! Buti pa ang lubig hindi nang-iiwan.
At the summit of the monolith. We've conquered it! 


Walang Forever
 Dahil walang forever, bumaba kami ng monolith after the photoshoot. Malamang, hindi kami forever na magstay sa tuktok ng monolith kasi nga walang forever. We went back to the camping area and ate our “baons.” Ace and Reggie offfered their packed lunch to me and I simply couldn’t resist them. Ang sarap kumain ng nilang itlog sa bundok. After lunch, bumaba na ulit kami ng bundok and we reached DENR past two in the afternoon. We decided to drop by Boracay de Cavite.

Another solo shot before climbing down the monolith.
Time to leave the monolith. Photo credit: Rxyz.
Time to descend and return to the camp area for our lunch.
Lunch time! Photo credit: Roxanne.
The team with our monolith guide Kuya Jojo (in green). Photo credit: Roxanne.

P.S. I'll have a separate blog entry for our Boracay de Cavite beach escapade. Unless stated, photos here are mine.

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