Some of you probably know GMCI, one of the more blogger friendly PR agencies. I got a call a few weeks ago to attend an “event” with a “client” on an “out of town trip.” Wow! The last press junket I went to was 7 months ago for Nokia. So another trip would be great, especially since it was summer and as well see apparent, the heat is really unbearable.
As it turns out, I had to go for a “fitting” for clothes. This is when I found out that the client was Columbia, which all of us know to be one of the better outdoor apparel store (competitor would be North Face and our local Habagat). The “event “was an overnight hike up Mt. Daguldol.
No sweat right? I’ve hiked 4 trails before including Makiling, Makulot, Sto. Tomas and a trail in Lepanto. This would have been easy — except for one thing. There is a 6 year gap between my last hike and this one!
Jayvee’s Most Memorable Mt. Daguldol Moments:
.. once an hour before reaching the peak, and again, the next day 15 minutes before we reached the base.
Almost Spraining my Ankle
The shoes Columbia provided were kick ass. I slipped on sand though on the trek home and ended up in an Indian sit position with a semi sprain. Battle scars are always good!
Being a Makeshift Sampayan
At 9 PM, She wanted to wash up in the pitch black mountain flora. I accompanied her to the water source which was a short trip down a hill into a small slab of rock with a bamboo rod drizzling water from the lake. I stood and held the soap, towel, etc. (Not complaining!! 🙂 )
… ice cold! which never tasted so good after an overnight of hiking.
Thanks to Phoebe, Nina, AJ (especially this guy!) and Ferds and to the guys from Columbia, especially Dino the High Maintenance Product Manager (inside joke, folks) for making this trip exhaustingly fun!
Learnings: When I was much younger what made hiking fun was the company. More than the “event” itself, it was a great opportunity to get to know the others outside the confines of an indoor event that lasted one or two hours. This blog isn’t a travel blog like Ferds’ or Nina’s. It definitely pales in comparison. But if you’ve been a long time reader, I have always been fascinated by the local blogging community’s real-world interactions and I guess knowing who I would be spending an overnight in the mountains really mattered.
Phoebe said, “once and never again!” As for me, it’s something I’d like to do at most once every year, I realized. The equipment, to be honest, was not all that necessary (save for the shoes – really damn good traction) but the company — that was easily my most memorable event for the year. All I owe Columbia is a thanks for dragging my butt out to the wilderness once more. I’ve forgotten how free it feels to get away from technology once in a while.
….. annnnndd …..