Take a Hike During a Dry Spell (The Haven “Amsikong”)

Take a Hike During a Dry Spell (The Haven “Amsikong”)

Our hearts bled when we heard that Mt. Apo was on fire. Our anger burned like flames when it was found out that the cause was the irresponsibility of the fire-responsible campers. We probably sighed, cursed and asked “another one?!!” when a fire broke out at Mt. Kitanglad range. Probably, cursed the scorching heat for what happened. Things got more serious when another mountain, Mt. Matutum, my hometown mountain, caught fire. Volunteers were utilized to help in containing the fire. I even tagged my fireman brother on the Batang Polomolok Page to let him know the need for volunteers, which He politely declined because they were battling grass fires in Tantangan at that time too. When my first love, Lake Holon caught fire, my heart bled for her, but just as quickly the post in facebook came out, in as quick as 5 days, Lake Holon declared fire out. The rest of the places followed. It was indeed a relief. These places are treasures of my beloved Philippines, some are proudly Treasures of Sox (SOCCSKSARGEN). They were places I want to go to and show to the rest of the world. The places are beautiful in their own rights and the experiences they brought and will bring me were and will definitely be unforgettable.

Lake Holon caught me at Love at first sight. It sparked the adventurer in me and sent me to my newbie wanderings. Mt. Matutum always reminded me of home. It was already on my list of must-climb places along with Mt. Apo and Kitanglad Range.

With these beautiful places burning, the news was disheartening. This is not just an issue of irresponsible mountaineering or the weather gone really hot and bad because of El Niño. It was an issue of a changing earth. My fear is that with this degree of change in climate, planet earth may find it hard to recover.

We climbed through rocky cliffs on our way to Amsikong.

With these thoughts, I took on a hike with a few friends because I wanted to see how this earth has changed since the last time I dreamed of green mountains and wonderful sights during a hike. We went back to Sanchez Peak at the boundary of Conel and Olympog to see the neighboring places and how they were. We took a night hike to a dusty trail, which I already anticipated since it hasn’t rained in a while. I took it as one of the signs. By the next morning, we went straight to Amsikong, then traversed to Polomolok through Casava.

Here’s what the whole experience brought me:


The Scorched Trail (Not the movie) to Casava Trail from Amsikong Falls.

You’ll see that this earth is dying.You’ll walk in a trail where there are more brown dying trees and grasses than the green resilient ones. You’ll tread on a parched and dusty trail covered with dead brittle leaves that crunch under your feet. You might need to pass on terrains were the soil is too loose that your hiking shoes wont grip. With carelessness, you might slip, injure or get yourself killed.

Clambering for our dear life.

The weather will be hot. You will sweat a lot and burn your skin. You will see that rivers were sucked dry. Where water once flow, boulders now abound. You might think that you’re in a desert but no, take a look, you’re surrounded by withered and dying trees. You’ll be walking over fields of dry grass and corn plants, some portions of it burned to the ground. Their ashes will stick to your shoes and sandals. You’ll walk through fields of baby’s breath, their flowers crisp and dry, not even a single breath left. You’ll see trees that once stood tall and mighty but now barren and lifeless. The sight will be horrible but you will be too tired to notice it nor even reinforce the fact that the earth is really dying.

River beds drying up during a dry spell.This one has water flowing in it while some are totally dry.

Brown will be the new color of nature. Green will just be an accent. The mountains that tower above you will have patches of brown, black and grey. You’ll soon realize that it’s the color of a dying nature.

Tracces of grass fire. There’s alot of these in the trail.

Take a hike during a dry spell.

Somewhere deep in the mountains, you’ll see that life still existed. That your dismay will then be changed into delight the moment you’ll see that rivers still flow and small greenish cool waters serve as an oasis in this hot weather. It’s a promise to every hiker. It is a place to long for. The gentle sound of the river flowing will be pleasing to your ears.

Finally! Amsikong! A Haven amidst the eye-sore the dry spell brought.

Take a hike during a dry spell.

You’ll see that even when the earth is dying, it still pushes itself to live. You will find a growing plant amidst scorched soil and frolicking birds in the air.

Take a hike during a dry spell.

See that though nature changed its color, its wonders didn’t fade, just transformed. Then you’ll begin to think that amidst it all God takes hold of everything in His hands. As a mere human being, you’ll begin to ask yourself, what can I do to help save this dying planet? What small step can I do not to remedy but to make this planet a better place to live in? You will then fight for it for you will also realize that these will not be the sight you will want your children to see when they go for a hike someday.


Take a hike during a dry spell.

The earth might have looked odd but it will be the present reality that if indeed you hike for the love of nature you will not reason out that it is a natural phenomenon but instead as a lover of nature you will think of every crazy thing and idea to make this dying earth live again…that it is not the task of one crazy blog post  to change everything…nor the task of a noob travel blogger…but the task of every nature lover to converge and change the outcome of this dying world.

Take. A Hike. During a Dry Spell.

A mighty resilient tree and the lofty Mt. Matutum at the background.


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  • Jeff

    June 25, 2017 at 3:57 pm Reply

    One of my best thrilled adventure @ amsikong.

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