Camari Hills: Pilgrims on a Journey

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“What if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise.” – Blessings (Laura Story)

Everybody is fighting a battle inside them; that’s why we have to always be considerate and understanding to those people who sometimes causes us trouble – the passenger that pushes you on your way to the jeepney, the driver who does not let you ride in his automobile, the lady who stamped you foot, and that person you so dearly love who cannot love you in return.

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Just like you, I do have my fair share of misfortunes. Last week was one of them. From Monday to Sunday. To be honest, I felt like breaking down. I mean, a day is too much, how much more a week of consecutive disasters. I won’t enumerate everything that happened. It’d be a waste of time lamenting over them (the truth is I don’t want to remember them anymore). Just to make the story short, I was scolded by my boss, burnt my hand and face while cooking, got late several times even if I left the house hours earlier, got lost looking for a store, drenched by the rain, failed to meet important people along the way, and was reprimanded for not being able to comply to the request of a client.

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Bus ride to Carcar

By Sunday, imagine how frustrated I was. I couldn’t wait for the week to end already. I practically needed an outlet for my outbursts. I decided to go somewhere.

It was three in the afternoon when I decided to ride a bus bound for Carcar and visit Camari Hills. I don’t exactly know where it is located; but, what’s new? This has always been my way of wandering: mastering the art of not planning and not following any itinerary. I haven’t seen any picture of the place, I just came to know about it because of the upcoming event organized by different Cebu-based mountaineering groups this December 3 – Friendship Climb.

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Carcar Rotunda

I stopped by Carcar’s rotunda and was instructed by some habal-habal drivers to go to the parking area located near Arbee’s Bakeshop where the habal-habal drivers that goes to Calidngan, Carcar station. Indeed I found drivers that bring guests and locals to Camari Hills; however, since I was alone, I have to pay twice the usual fare. I have to haggle – a skill I have quite mastered overtime. HAHA.

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For thirty minutes I was at the back of Kuya Jeric – the driver – wondering what the place looks like and what have gotten into my mind for pursuing this wanderlust. I mean, I don’t get paid for this and the roads that we are taking seemed too secluded, not to mention that it’s almost five in the afternoon and the darkness has slowly enveloped the skies.

When we arrived at Barangay Valencia and saw the signage that say’s “Calidngan – 2 km” I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But the thing is, getting to the end is not always easy. The road that leads to Calidngan, Carcar is steep, rocky, and slippery. And it’s too late to stop now. HAHA.

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After several minutes of battling with the rocky roads, I was finally greeted with “Welcome to Barangay Calidngan”. Finally! Finally! Finally! I could hear the marching bands playing in my head and started to imagine confetti being released on air.

I was about to celebrate my victory when Kuya Jeric shared that I am still halfway there. He pointed the peak on top of where we stopped and said that I have to hike alone to the peak. It was another set of steep, rocky and wet trail. A more difficult and heavier trail (Note: It’s not that actually difficult. I was just entertaining the complainer side of me). And I was on my jeans, cotton shirt, running shoes, and 30L backpack. I no longer have the right to complain. I started it; I have to finish it.

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Yep, that’s the hill. Way to go Dakilanglaagan! HAHA

I was already gasping for air when I arrived at the peak. But my mouth could no longer complain for it has been left ajar upon seeing the beauty set before me. A mass has been held at the peak and the sun was setting in the background. It was celebrated by a few, but it was so solemn. It’s like a spell being casted and nobody wants to break it. It’s too astounding.

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Celebration of the Holy Eucharist at the peak
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Isn’t it lovely?
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Choir and priest rejoicing over the first week of Advent

Camari Hills is actually a pilgrim site where devotees can celebrate mass every first and last Sunday of the month. The place has been known to locals for via crusis or Stations of the Cross held every Holy Week for the repentance of sins and spiritual reflection (just like Maasin City’s Hanginan). It has an overlooking view of the mountain ranges of Danao and Valencia, Carcar that leads to Aloguinsan; while the other side offers an amazing 180 degrees view of the strait and seas that separates Bohol and Cebu.

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Hills all over the place! And yeah, that topmost part is already the seas. 🙂 🙂 🙂
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Hi Kuya Jeric! HEHE 😀 😀 😀
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Campsite 🙂 🙂 🙂
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Love at first sight.
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I had nobody with me for the mandatory squadgoal pics so I had to ask this group to pose for me. 🙂 🙂 🙂
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And yes, thanks for allowing me to take photos of you. 🙂 🙂 🙂

It’s difficult not to ponder, think and reflect. The view is exploding with much goodness and beauty. Faith, hope and love. And it is in this moment that I felt that no amount of bad luck can hinder the Mighty One above us from showing His love and mercy to His beloved. There’s always a reason for everything – even the not so good ones that happen in our lives; but we always have to keep in mind that no matter how hard the trials maybe, He won’t give us problems that we can’t solve. I survived the week of bad luck. I survived the short dayhike. I’m still breathing. I’m still alive. And there are more plenty of places that I can go, I have to go.

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I don’t know what is installed for me this week. I hope it’d be a good one. Nonetheless, I know a light will always be waiting for me at the end of the tunnel – showing the way, encouraging me to keep going, to finish my story.

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🙂 🙂 🙂
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Oh yeah!!! HAHAHAHA 

Having a bad day? Let’s talk it over! Share your thoughts on the comments portion below or message me on Facebook.

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