“ONCE is Not Enough,” the movie theme of the same title by Henry Mancini and His Orchestra would just be the romantic pitch for my newly discovered love, which is climbing the highest peak in Cebu, Osmeña Peak, accessed through Mantalongon, Dalaguete.
I recall that my first trek fell on the first Friday of this year, 2021. The atmosphere was still pitch black, but I had a flashlight in hand to light the foggy trail. The terrain was rocky, slippery and the air was getting thin as I carefully climbed higher altitudes.
Most people suggest that a day or afternoon climb is best for sightseeing (and selfies, of course), but I thought of just doing it before the break of dawn to give myself some solemn time to praise God at 1,072.6 meters above sea level.
The scenes were rather “dramatic” for photography, with thick but moving fog covering my vantage point at one instance and then, opening a clearer view of the panorama for a few seconds, then back to zero visibility again.
Fleeting sceneries like in a dream, I marveled at God’s art! Then as sun rays peeped through the gray clouds to light the day, they were like curtains unfolding the beauty of other scenes.
I felt short in capturing the majestic visual experience on my first climb. Once is not enough. So I did my “second time around” for this year, hiking up early this month and this time on full daylight. The patches of cabbage plantations along the trail were a sight to behold, making me crave for fresh coleslaw.
On my second climb, I had a great time romancing the breathtaking, scenic views with my camera, like waltzing in 360 degrees as I carefully made my steps around to frame my shots.
Like the evocative melody of Henry Mancini’s “Once is Not Enough,” the majesty of the mountains, valleys overlooking the vast sea and the feeling of boundless freedom will always beckon.