Our three women guides in Mts Cayabu and Maynuba and what America should learn from us Filipinos


Cupkeyk a.k.a Joel Donato Jacob on Mt. Maynuba’s summit. Cupkeyk introduced me to mountain climbing when I joined him in his birthday climb to Mt. Napulaun. Read: My Unforgettable 9-hour journey to Mt. Napulauan.

Only after more than a hundred years, we, Filipinos, have already had two women presidents. The US of America, after 400 years, has yet to elect a woman for  president despite all her avowals of gender equality. This is not about the qualifications of your candidates, America, but simply a statement of fact.


Sunrise on glistening leaves and beautiful women. Alexa takes Bea’s photo on Mt. Maynuba.

For months, women have carried us in their womb, fed us from their breasts, and taken care of us until we are able to go about our own ways. By ensuring their safety and security we ensure the future of humanity. Can there be a greater responsibility than this? Unless you still hold on to your archaic beliefs that women are inferior to men in intelligence and leadership skills, that’s why you allowed them to vote, why can you not allow a woman to lead your country? Why didn’t you?


Maynuboys: Angel, ako, Chino, Kendji, Miguel, Kevin, Abet, Omar, and Cupkeyk. On Mt. Maynuba’s summit.

Now tell me which society has lagged behind?


On October 2, 2016, I reunited with some of my climbing buddies (we were in Mt. Napulauan, Mt. Kibungan, Mt. Isarog, among others) to climb mounts Cayabu and Maynuba in Rizal. We met and left midnight of October 1 so that by 3 am of October 2, 2016, we were hiking towards Mt Cayabu, which we reached after 51 minutes. After about another hour of hiking, we reached the summit of Mt. Maynuba where we stayed longer for photographs using the cloud behind and below us and the sunrise as our background.


Cupkeyk showing the view from Mt. Maynuba’s summit.

Some call this place a poor man’s Pulag referring to that famous and highest mountain of Luzon in Kabayan, Benguet, where the clouds slide on top of mountains and roll at the edge.


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From the back: Angel, Chino, Miguel, Kevin, Abet, ako, Omar, Cupkeyk. Dee, Shay, Alexa, Frances, Kai, Bea, and Kenji

Mt. Cayabu is only 500 meters above sea level while Mt. Maynuba is 662 meters above sea level.


Me, Cupkeyk, Abet, Angel, and Chino in the waterfalls.

What’s so remarkable about this climb is, for the first time in my many lifetimes (Read: One Mountain A Lifetime…), we were led by Mary Grace, Rolylie, and Josephine: three young, responsible women who were with us throughout our climb. They picked up trash along the way and were so embarrassed not to have found Miguel’s cellphone which was lost while climbing.


Former Philippine Presidents Cory Aquino and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

On our way down and back to our jump off point, we were shown the waterfalls and its 7 cascades. We swam in the first and the last. By 11:06, we were back to our jump off point to change, have lunch, and get back home.


Former President and now Pampangga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo without her neck brace.

America should learn from us, Filipinos, how to treat women in society. We allow them to lead not only our lives but also our nation. Kayo, kailan pa po? In Hiligaynon, the language of my birthplace, san-o pa kamo iya?



Cupkeyk and I on the trail from Mt. Maynuba.

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