Mt. Batulao 2018: Seeing the Big Picture

“Great things are done when men and mountains meet; This is not done by jostling in the street.” — William Blake
The summit of Mount Batulao!
Ahhh, Sunday morning! It’s the perfect time to reflect about the past week, be grateful for the present moment and take action plans for the days ahead. It’s the perfect window to slow down coming from a fast-paced week. Whew, that previous week went by so fast! I highly encourage everyone to use this space and do the same! It’s a great chance for us to digest our thoughts, re-center our focus, and make sense of our experiences. In addition, choosing to have relaxing moments like these lower our cortisol levels, which for sure are spiked throughout our busy weeks.
My friends from left to right: Aj, Rod, Joel and Sonny. A quick photo before we start the climb!
If we were on horseback, the summit probably wouldn’t be as rewarding.
You won’t get lost!
I’m still on a high from the hike me and my friends did yesterday. We conquered the majestic Mount Batulao in Nasugbu, Batangas. It’s only two to three hours from Manila, and hiking it is great way to get a quick break from the city, enjoy a cool breeze and breathe fresh air! The hike ranks a difficult level of 4/10 according to most reviews but, for me, it was quite a challenge! The dangers of slipping and falling into the abyss was real and hiking here for the first time both excited me and made me nervous. The path involved narrow and steep trails, slippery slopes, single-file columns and rope-guided ascents. Because of the mountain’s venturesome course, the whole trip experience breathtaking and worth it and witnessing the view on the summit became even more rewarding.
As we traversed, I couldn’t help but think about the people who at one point in time blazed a new trail for others to follow.
Single file up to the peak.
Resting a bit before the near vertical ascent. Spectacular view!
Goals vs Intentions
As I sip on my coffee and review the photos of our climb, I can’t help but recall what my friend AJ told me when we reached the summit. She said, “Talagang mas lalong sumasarap yung mga bagay na pinaghihirapan.” It means that the more you work hard for something, the better the results feel. She’s right. If, for some instance, we were on horseback, the experience probably wouldn’t be as rewarding. The scenery would be just as majestic, but I doubt if we’d have the same level of appreciation.
The path has been set. Just keep on walking and we’ll get there.
“Intentions give you purpose, as well as the inspiration and motivation you need to achieve your purpose. The practice of setting daily intentions can change your life.” — Marla Tabaka
What she said made me realize that simply having the goal of reaching the summit wouldn’t be as fulfilling as setting an intention to overcome hardship. It dawned on me that by setting intention, we focus on the values we uphold on the long-term rather than the results we achieve on the short-term. Setting an intention, therefore, makes us feel more grateful in the moment and not too stressed out on the goals we have yet to achieve. Goals are still important, but should only be used a guide to direct our everyday actions.
Abandoned rest house.
It’s great to spend time with people who have a deep passion for adventure!
In Fitness and In Health
Much can be related to our journey in fitness and and in health. Setting a goal to achieve 10% body fat within the next two months isn’t as important as instilling an intention to live healthfully everyday. Focusing too much on our long-term goals makes it difficult for us to prioritize the task at hand. When the scale is not moving, we stress out despite our hard work in the gym. On the contrary, when we simply intend to uphold our values—of living a healthy lifestyle ever day—it becomes easier for us to relax and trust the process. We don’t worry about the results two months from now because we are already satisfied and fulfilled with our daily grind. As Ben Bergeron puts is, “confidence is knowing that giving our best effort is enough.”
That highest peak is the summit! Long way to go!
The view from the summit. Batulao dwarfs her siblings.
As I finish my Sunday morning routine, with all the caffeine running through my veins, I can’t help but feel grateful and satisfied for what I get to do everyday—push hard, eat well, have meaningful relationships and slow down and recover. Climbing Mount Batulao gave me and my friends an opportunity to pause and take a look at the bigger picture.
The best things in life are those you worked hard for!
I’m really thankful to my friend Sonny for gathering us. It’s such a pleasure meet his friends Rod, Aj and Joel who all share the same passion for adventure, health and a life well-lived. Can’t wait til our next climb!
“Don’t change the mountain. Let the mountain change you.”
On top of a mountain, under a rain cloud! Thankfully, it didn’t pour until we got back safely to the bottom.
Until our next climb!
“Somewhere between the bottom of the climb and the summit is the answer to the mystery why we climb.” — Greg Child

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