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Honoring my Mother | The Mountains Win Again

I was not going to pass up an opportunity to visit the mountainous parts of the world’s largest city. After all, for the longest time, it had always been at the beach for us, with island hopping and snorkeling around Samal Island garnering our full attention. Last weekend I thought, a change was finally in order.

Davao City may be a lot of things, fruits and all, but when talking of sheer area size, it becomes an understatement when you see it as merely land and sea. We have giant malls, I’m kidding, I mean lots of land and a whole gulf of sea as our home and real estate. Travel more than an hour up the mountains and one is still inside the city’s boundaries. That’s how humongous the land is.

So, my pardner had asked me to accompany her and her workmates up to Bukidnon to visit a friend’s farm and I thought why not? The November month had been nothing but stifling and humid in the house anyway. Fresh mountain air was a welcome change, and just what I needed. First stop had been a private farm in the Marilog district, where they commercially grew veggies of all kinds. Interestingly enough, the farm’s cafeteria was full of walk-in, early-morning folks who had gone up to witness the sunrise over a mountain range fully covered in clouds. What a sight that must have been! We had hot coco and biko, same as with the other guests and I thought the combination really does the trick for weary and cold travelers (even as some children were having ice cream).

Over the years, the highway up the mountain in Marilog has slowly turned into one laid-back tourist spot, with slopes filled with lodges and resorts on both sides. At noontime, with a clear view of the greenery all around plus the cold air, one is instantly reminded of Tagaytay. And as it can get really cold in the evenings, some private lodges can opt to make a small fire outside available, where one can be warm, cook a bit, and then admire the stars overhead.

For some of these reasons, on our way back from Bukidnon, we opted to stop by Marilog again for dinner. Sure enough, the temperature had dropped below twenty, and my companions had been ready. Sadly, our driver and myself, lacking the Boy Scout spirit of Be Prepared, were not. City shorts, coupled with a cotton shirt, in mountain weather is the perfect uniform of those who failed the marshmallow test as a child, if you know what I mean. With them comfortably warm in their coats and parkas, the two of us idiots sat down, in the outdoor table with our fare of hot soup and pancit, along with a half a pint of hypothermia. Such is the life!

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