Introductory Climb

Mt. Kawa-Kawa / Hidden Falls, Pangil, Laguna
August 2 - 3, 1997

Expedition Leader: Jonalyn Cabrera
Assistant EL: Jessie Carcha
Camp Master: Dandan Beltran
Purser: Jophen Lopez
Scribe: Jon Linao

Since MESAU was born, it had been making history for itself and this climb, an introductory climb for the new applicants, would go all the way down to another colorful history of MESAU. Mt. Kawa-Kawa or Hidden Falls, as it is fondly called, have been a favorite climbing spot of MESAU since January 1997. It is a two and a half hour ride from Pasig to Sinoloan, Laguna, a five minute tricycle ride going to the jump off point and a one hour trekking to the camp site. Due to its accessibility to reach, there's no reason to not to choose this place as an introductory climb to the new comers. Aside from offering an alternative climbing site, Mt. Kawa-Kawa boast of a water falls that is almost twice as high as the Buruhisan Falls in Famie.

For this climb, participants are divided into three groups: two groups from day trek (morning and afternoon) and night trek. Each group has an average of twenty participants, that number alone is worth noticing by the fact that this is the first time that MESAU climb with this number of participants. Official count of the total participants is eighty four, not counting those who catch-up and are not in the list. During the pre-climb, problem arosed on how to accommodate the huge number of participants, it turned out okey because some of the participants have their own equipment like tent and stove. The only real problem encountered is controlling the huge number of new applicants. Since the new applicants undergone an orientation and basic mountaineering course, there is no reasons for them in not knowing what to do and not to do during a climb.

One of the general rule in climbing is observing a low impact climbing. To compensate for that, the big group is divided into three so as not to damage and widen the trail. Everyone is asked to trek in single file. As for the camp site, fortunately it is big enough to accommodate our large group.

Upon settling at the camp site, all of us took a ten minute down-trek going to the falls and to visit the grotto that we put up there in honor of Mama Mary. There, we spent the whole afternoon enjoying the cool water of the Hidden falls and the relaxing breeze of the wind. Lots of things happened during the afternoon, like we held a contest on who could make the most ugliest and wackiest form of diving. Everybody had a good laugh on that. After five in the aftrenoon, we wen back to the camp site to prepare for the evening. While others were preparing dinner, the rest of us already started the much awaited socials. Hik! Cool.

Finally had dinner at eight and continued once again the traditional socials. We held the usual ceremony in welcoming the new applicants like the get to know each other stuff, why did you choose this organization and what do you think so far this climb. We got the usual response from them and after that, we, the members, started the traditional way of welcoming them that would be the shock of their lives tonight.

The night trekkers finally arrived before midnight and after settling down, the socials, its about time, went full blast. The night is young, so little time, so many shots. As if the world is going to end soon, we truly enjoyed this night. We were singing and dancing even if most of us don't know how to sing and dance. It only started to quiet down at around four in the morning. What a night to remember.

Those who were not able to see the falls the other day got the chance to see it today. As if nothing happened last night, everyone is somber. Break camp was after lunch and before leaving we took some group pictures. And because we are a big group, the cameraman is already to far from us and he still could not include everybody in just one shot. That big.

After reaching the jump off point, we proceeded to a resort where we could wash up. And it is still too early to go home, we decided to have some fun more at the pool. Before six in the evening we finally left Pangil, heading back to Pasig. As though we're not contented yet, we raced to SM Megamall to catch the last full show. There we saw other mountaineering groups. We were thinking the same thing: go watch a movie.

At twelve past midnight, early monday morning, everybody finally concluded to call it a day and go home.


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