The Beauty of the Outdoors

For the longest time, I have been overly concerned with academics. Since high school, I have always strived to ace my quizzes, papers and other requirements because I wanted to get high grades. I would always be busy reading academic books, writing papers, doing homework to the point where I can’t find time to do non-academic related matters. I would find myself extremely exhausted because of the workload and the pressure I put on myself. However, no matter how exhausted I get and even when I say I have given up, I would not stop working. I never found it important to give myself some time off to unwind and find ways to de-stress. In a way, my life has been monotonous. I have submitted myself to a routine life that was difficult to escape.

Yes, working hard has numerous advantages, but if we become too blinded by how we do things and when we are no longer focused on why we do things, we lose sight of the meaning of our actions. We become mechanized.

What Philosophy has taught me, however, was the importance of taking time. It is essential to give time for reflection and to be at leisure. Philosophy has taught me that we shouldn’t be impervious to what is going around us. Philosophy is getting out of ourselves and allowing ourselves to experience. It’s indulging in the affairs of the world and not being too preoccupied with our own world. The moment we transcend and get out of ourselves, that’s the time we begin to wonder and we see meaning.

This is exactly what came to mind when I was having second thoughts about joining a twin day hike. Last April 2 (Sunday), I climbed Mt. Sapari and Mt. Binutasan. The climb was scheduled way around a month ago and I signed up for it, assuming I did not have a lot of requirements by the first week of April. However, when the day of the climb came closer, I realized I had a lot of tests the following week. I didn’t want to spend a whole day climbing when I know I could use the day to study and work on my requirements so I thought about bailing on the climb. However, I also felt like I needed the time off so I could give myself a chance to just relax and see the beauty of the outdoors. I also knew that I was already too focused on my academics that I forget to spend time with other people. I decided, then, that I needed to take my time and to give myself a break. I went on with the climb and I am beyond thankful I did.

The twin day hike was a beautiful and magical experience. I was with people I just met and they were all passionate about climbing and witnessing the beauty of what has been created for us. They were all smiles and their fascination could be seen in their eyes. It rained the whole climb, but everyone didn’t seem to be concerned about it. It was tiring, but everything was definitely worth it. We also had the chance to talk to the guides and learn about the mountain. After that climb, I knew hiking was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. The view, the exhaustion, the company, the locals, the cramps, the cuts and everything that goes with the experience are things that can never be replaced. There’s a majestic world out there waiting to be seen and appreciated. That’s what I will do. It was difficult to forget such an experience. I’m glad I didn’t bail. I’m glad I took time. Now I’m on to the next mountain.

Alyssa Racho, JTA – A, 153453



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