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Marianne Salazar, Contributor
 
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December 04, 2012

In the Playground of the Gods: My Mt. Pulag Experience

Mars, FN's editorial assistant, shares what happened on her journey to the peak of the highest mountain in Luzon. By Marianne Salazar

About a month ago, I decided to go somewhere new to celebrate my birthday (I’m turning 22 in a few days!). It was then that I thought of climbing a mountain to mark this new chapter in my life. And not just any mountain—I wanted to conquer Mt. Pulag, the Playground of the Gods. At 2,922 meters above sea level, it’s the highest peak in Luzon and the second highest mountain in the whole country.

After a couple of e-mails and texts, I managed to secure a slot with a tour group for a November 30 to December 2 hike. That was probably the most impulsive decision I’ve ever made, considering the fact that I’m not exactly in the best condition to climb. I didn’t have the necessary clothes, and I haven’t had a proper workout in months. I don't even have hiking shoes! Still, I was determined to pull it off. I went shopping for clothes and gear a few days before the climb (The ukay-ukay is a wonderful place. Where else can you get jackets for P65?). I was advised to jog every day to condition myself, but since I couldn’t do that, I resorted to walking at least a kilometer every day on the way home from work.

So, the big question: Was it worth it? My answer is a resounding yes. Check out the gallery below to see what happened on my trip!

(All photos by Marianne Salazar)

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