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Upsize List: Go Mountain Hiking (and Take a Power Pose Photo)

Upsize List: Go Mountain Hiking (and Take a Power Pose Photo)

Are you looking for something to fill your weekends? Do you want to exercise but don’t want to do it in a confined space like the gym? Are you bored out of your mind with the daily routine of school or work? Do you want to see the world from a different perspective?

I once had the same questions two years ago. The answer came when a friend told me that there’s a mountain in Batangas worth scaling. So one Saturday, we grabbed three more friends and off we went to Mount Batulao to make the most of the weekend.

The hike did not disappoint. Here are 5 reasons why my love affair with the mountains, unlike many others, did not fizzle out.

1. Fresh air in abundance. If there is something that is sorely lacking in the city, it would be the presence of fresh, unpolluted air. Forget the heavy traffic; the stench of the Metro is enough to stress you out, yes? In the mountains, you’ll be doing your lungs a favour by inhaling something that’s not smoke or recycled air. Try Mount Daraitan and the Tinipak River, in Tanay, Rizal.

2. Toned body? Of course. Plus-sized women do not necessarily want to lose weight, right? Everyone, though, wants a toned body; one that do not easily get tired and one that can run and jog if need be. Of course, for the first few climbs, your legs (or whole body) will hurt really, REALLY bad. Eh, it’s all part of the process. It’d be worth it.

3. Dance with nature’s unforgiving, unpredictable terrain. A relationship usually loses its appeal when boredom settles in. Rest assured that that wouldn’t be the case should you decide to take up mountain climbing. Don’t be too adventurous though, extenuating factors can affect the mood of your hike so I highly recommend that you check out weather bulletins before scheduling one.

The Beautiful view in one of the peaks of Mt. Batulao.

A photo posted by Jery Jimenez (@jeryjimenez) on

4. Gain new friends and acquaintances. You can never be too sure where you’ll meet your next best friend or even “the one,” so discovering new places is really more of an incentive to your social life. One thing that struck me as something extraordinary when it comes to the ambience when scaling a mountain is the friendly atmosphere among hikers. Good mornings and take care would greet you whether you’re on your way up or you’re on your way down. Hikers are also usually willing to lend you a helping hand.

Case in point: I was a few feet away from the summit of Mt. Maculot, but between us was a very steep, slippery boulder of rock and I was having trouble moving forward, when a good-looking, 20-something guy offered me his hand to hold and his foot to step on. That sealed it for me.

5. Source of physical and philosophical accomplishment. I must admit; a two-hour to four-hour hike is really tough on the body, but once I did it, there was something fulfilling that a trip to the mall couldn’t just give me. It was in my climbs where I discover epiphanies, where I feed the creative art of my mind, and where I nourish my soul. After all, sentimentality is usually the loudest in the quiet.

If you’re wondering what mountain to hike first, I suggest Mt. Batulao. Relatively, that mountain is close to the city, a short climb, and its summit has an excellent view. Also, try to schedule your trek this November or December; and wait for the sunset. You’ll understand why it was named Batulao.

Take up mountain climbing and cross that one off your bucket list.

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