How does it feel to be on top? I love mountains, their vegetation, their landscapes, their forms, their slopes and their heights. Climbing a mountain for me is not just tiring myself for a long hike. It is escaping away from everyday's humdrums. It is panting fresh air. It is communing with nature and appreciating its Creator. And for somebody like me who is extremely in love with heights, it's truly a different feeling being on top.
So how does it really feel to be on top? . . . Well, it simply makes your knees shake.
Here are the list of my ecstatic experiences of being on top (rated based on their KNEESHAKING and BALLSQUEEZING FACTORS):
TOP 20. BATAD RICE TERRACES. The exhilarating view of Banaue's Batad Village in the middle of rice terraces is worth the long whole day hike.
TOP 19. CORON. The view deck to Kayangan Lake in Coron, Palawan makes everyone stop and pose for a photograph.
TOP 18. CORAL ISLAND. A big sharp rock in Coral Island, Bucas Grande, Surigao del Norte tests someones rock climbing ability.
TOP 17. MT. KALATUNGAN. The Swine's Spine Ridge to Mt. Kalatungan Peak offers a magnificent view of Muleta Falls and the lowlands in which its height is clearly emphasized.
TOP 16. BUD BONGAO. Bongao Peak is a prominent view in Tawi-tawi. Wonderful seascape fills your eyes. During clear weather, one can even see the Island of Sabah.
TOP 15. MT. PALAOPAO. The small mountain close to the main highway of Bukidnon offers a scenic view of the lowlands. Its rockies are a temptation to the daredevil posers.
TOP 14. MT. APO. The highest peak of the country gives a feeling of being THE KING OF THE WORLD.
TOP 13. MT. BATULAO. This saw-tooth ridged mountain in Batangas is a nice playing ground to height lovers.
TOP 12. MT. HIBOKHIBOK. The 90 degree cliff at the summit of Camiguin's active volcano tests one's fear of height.
TOP 11. MARAMAG FALLS. My newly explored falls in Maramag, Bukidnon has a very strong fall enough to make a howling sound that makes my knees shiver.
TOP 10. SAGAYARAN PEAK. This unpopular peak in Kalatungan Range has an almost untouched vegetation, amazing 360 degree view and relatively high cliffs.
TOP 9. MT. PARKER. Upon the final descent from Mt. Parker after a memorable Lake Holon trek in South Cotabato, this scenery where the outlet of the lake is seen magnetized me for the second time to sit in its 90 degree cliff and pretend to be relaxed.
TOP 8. MT. LUMPANAG. The partner peak of Mt. Kalatungan, also known as Mt. Wiji has boulders area and a cliff once known to be a home to Philippine Eagle.
TOP 7. MT. KITANGLAD. The most famous mountain in Bukidnon, Mt. Kitanglad has deadly cliffs just beside its trail. The mountain range for me is one of those with the most beautiful lanscapes I've seen.
TOP 6. MT. KITANGLAD. The tree that sways above the sharp cliffs of Mt. Kitanglad is one of my favorite photo spot at its peak. The tree is known to have died more than 30 years ago. The view of Mt. Dulangdulang makes a good background.
TOP 5B. GANTUNGAN FALLS. Gantungan Falls in CEDAR, Impasugong, Bukidnon is not that high. However, the howling sound, the rocky wall and pool and the word how this mighty waterfalls claimed the lives of 3 tourists are more than enough to make my knees shiver and give me goosebumps all over.
TOP 5A. DILA FALLS. Another waterfalls in CEDAR, Impasugong invites tourist to trek in the area. It is high and has a strong discharge. Posing on the slippery rocks above it is dangerously kneeshaking.
TOP 4. MT. CAPISTRANO. This small mountain in Malaybalay City has a rocky peak so impressive. My feet itched at an instant I saw a pointed rock where the depth of the ricefields is clearly visible. My knees shook for fear and excitement when I posed for photo.
TOP 3. SALAHAPONON FALLS. My newly explored waterfalls in Kitaotao, Bukidnon is about 100 meters high. Kneeshaking as it is, I also received reprimands from my photographer who instantly required me a Waiver of Liability.
TOP 2. ECHO VALLEY. On our way to the Hanging Coffins, this rocky cliff in Sagada was a real temptation. It challenged my daredevil instinct. This is the most kneeshaking experience for me. I actually shivered when I posed at the top of the rock which is more than hundred feet high (look at the red arrow at the picture above). I felt like being gulped in the air. And guess whose balls were squeezed the most? It's the photographer's... Hahaha!
TOP 1. MT. KANLAON. Posing at the crater's rim of Mt. Kanlaon was the most dangerous deed I've ever made in my entire outdoor life. Upon seeing my position, my guide scolded me like a real criminal. But I convinced him to continuously press shutter as if he is shooting a real criminal with a real gun.
The view of more or less 200 feet depth of the crater almost made me faint. My knees were obviously shaking on loose rocks. But I knew that I love what I was doing. Honestly, this pose squeezed my balls so hard. Can you see it in my fake smile?