HAVE you ever hiked your way up a mountain and regretted it while in the middle of nowhere?
When the local guide says you are near the peak but you realize both of you have different interpretations of internationally recognized measure of distance.
In the course of the hike you look back at the point site you started from and squint because you can’t see it any longer... that is when it will dawn on you there is no turning back, you have nowhere to go but up.
The road atop the village we were aiming to reach was steep, providing a footpath not more than ruler’s width, making walking without cease mandatory least you hold up the entire cavalry you dragged with you to the trip.
It was hot, despite the headgear, umbrella, hand towel and bottle of water you lugged with you over and above the gear you choose of bring in the hope to document whatever spectacle will await you in the famed but secluded village where urban legends abound.
When you think you are about to give up, a hurried group of kids will pass you by, running, gleeful and oblivious to your plight, carrying boxes of things which in simple view will outweigh everything you are carrying, making you look like a sorry city dweller, left to hurdle the death defying stunt of walking.
So you trudge on, may it be because of a bruised ego or the reality that you cannot escape copping out of the self inflicted hike, with no choice but to finish, you walk on with thoughts of a heart attack and a heat stroke playing tricks on your brain.
Then another alien passes you by, this time, it’s a running fool hurrying to get to an invisible finish line at the top who inflicts another blow to your already trampled on ego, with a slang “Magandahhh Umagahhhh,” brining you to a point you want to whack him in the head with your bottle of water but think it would make matters worse and just offer a faint smile, short of saying “please fall off the mountain now.”
You reach the midway mark and allow yourself the dignity to rest in the designated pit stop, which doubles as a souvenir shop with benches, shade and cold drinks; it also offers a stunning view of the Calvary, which you have climbed, giving you a fake sense of accomplishment.
You survey the length of your hike and see ant sized people, which is proof of how far you have gone vertically, wishing the hapless group starting their climb at the foot of the mammoth trail all the luck in the universe and smugly convince yourself it is like you have climbed Mt Everest.
After the pit stop rest, you are now cajoled by your guide to return to the trek, saying it is the halfway mark, you stubbornly move, bracing yourself to another long haul.
You walk not more than 20 steps and a gate welcomes you, signalling the start of the small, unassuming village, which treats small, black pigs like pets, allowing them to roam and mingle.
You have now proven the local guide’s interpretation of internationally recognized measures of distance is warped.
Welcome to Buscalan.