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Father and Son Bonding: Hiking and Camping in Mt. Arayat

Sugarcane plantation near the base of the mountain.
Kassy and I had the whole bedroom to ourselves for the first Friday and Saturday of the year (January 3-4, 2014), a situation that rarely happens because we're known to be a close-knit family. As in literally, ganun talaga kami, always magkakadikit. Ang lakad ng isa, lakad ng lahat. Haha.

Rev.Fr. AP, my brother-in-law, called Thursday evening and invited us to climb Mt. Arayat again. My husband and his siblings have been there a few times already, but this time around they wanted to spend the night at the mountain. I couldn't go with them of course, as I have misgivings about hiking and camping with a one-year old baby with me. They said the hike takes at least 3 hours, so I said no, I definitely wouldn't go.

Dirk wanted to go with them, though. Since my husband promised to take care of our little boy, I gave my consent. That night, I packed his clothes with all these items included:

Cap;
Sunglasses;
Sweater;
A pair of pyjamas;
Blanket;
Towel;
Green Cross Insect Repellent Lotion;
Sunscreen;
Hygiene Kit;
Kiddilets - Chewable Paracetamol Tablets;
Biscuits and Water; and
Crayons and Coloring Book.

At the base of the mountain.

Rice farming at the base of the mountain.

Morning view from the camping site.

Husband says this particular trail is steep. Dirk was scared he'd roll downwards and preferred being carried on his back.

Picture muna bago bumaba. :)

Ang higpit kumapit. Hahaha.
They stayed in these little tents.
They drove to Gapan after lunch to meetup with Rev.Fr. and 4 other hikers. They reached Arayat by 2PM and hiked for 3 hours before setting up a camping site. My husband said Dirk kept on complaining halfway through the trail, so he had to carry him piggyback the rest of the way. I think he did just great. I'm sure if I went with them I'd require frequent rests along the way, too!

He had a lot of stories to tell when he came home Saturday afternoon but was so spent he slept until dinner. His eyes were shining whenever he tells me that he saw beautiful birds, monkeys and other animals in the mountain. He wanted to test the water and swim at a mineral spring they passed by, but he said his Daddy did not allow him to. "Sayang", he said, "I wish we stayed longer."

I'm glad my son was able to experience a taste of nature with the big boys. He'll be bragging about this trip to his classmates, for sure.

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