Head for the Hills Men

Occasionally (on second thought perhaps all too often), a Bilbao teen would commit an infraction that would have him and a company of cousins (who were given to emphatic support and camaraderie) scramble and hurriedly head for the hills. This fleeing had morphed into something of a knee-jerk reaction, perhaps due to its frequency, and was done chiefly to evade the wrath of their parents, uncles or aunts.

A vociferous “head for the hills men” would be bellowed out by the offending teen (shamefully, exclusively by yours truly) as a peremptory call to flight.  A nucleus of  like-minded cousins would hurriedly form, then briskly proceed inland up a hill about a kilometer distance.  Reaching the summit—the majestic Sulu Sea in full view—they’d sit out the tempest and return home after some hours had passed, hopeful that aggrieve’s anger had sufficiently subsided that they’d be spared a scolding.

Reflecting on our head-for-the-hills modus operandi, I’ve understood the motivation to be twofold:  fleeing a difficult situation, and enjoying the spectacular vista atop the hill.  In retrospect, those teens weren’t wont to exhausting uphill hikes. But just once having been so thoroughly enthralled, were hopelessly predisposed to mischief, if only to have an excuse to head for the hills. 🙂


4 Responses to “Head for the Hills Men”

  1. Primo that hill that we climb the 1st time was already a mountain. We did not bring any supplies like WATER so went down that mountain ready to collapse. The only consolation to me was i went with Big boss Cheton that day not with Marty and Bulilit, because they got caught smoking.Lucky me

  2. Geb:

    You’re right. Reflecting back on it, that was no small hill.

    Moreover, I believe we’d climb her wearing only our tsinelas and nothing else but the shirts on our backs! Is it any wonder then that we were all exhausted?

    Ah, but they were glorious hikes weren’t they. In your esteemed company and that of Peter, Paul, Jimmyboy, JJ, Chuck, Michael, Frankie, and Dinny (Yon, Toy, Marty and Bulilit were too young to join), I’d climb her again tomorrow, this time wearing hiking shoes and packing water, beer, or perhaps some gin with a spot of lime. 🙂

  3. The question that bothered me, and that which Marty pestered me with all the time, was precisely how high that lone coconut atop the mountain was? I went through hell trying to find a route to where that solitary sentinel stood. After repeatedly stumbling, I slipped and fell into a washed-out ravine! Not being able to get back out, I detoured, negotiating my way through an impossibly dense thicket of kamoteng-kahoy. After a hellish couple of hours, I emerged onto a grassy knoll. It was there that I came upon this patch of pristine rain forest that was so incredibly beautiful! Mesmerized as I was, my jaw dropped when a flock of green parrots gracefully swooped down and perched on a tall tree. Surveying the area a bit more, I soon came into contact with some locals who were kind enough to point the way home. Reaching Pook, I hurriedly sought out Cheton, knowing that he would not believe my tall tale unless he saw it himself. The next day we (Cheton, Jimmyboy, and another fellow who I don’t recall) embarked on an expedition dubbed ‘In search of the Virgin Forest.’ Arriving at our destination we all stood silent for a moment, awestruck by the scenery. To my dismay however the parrots weren’t around.

    We spent the night on the mountain. Huddled around a campfire, we drank to our heart’s content, falling asleep under the stars (I’ve always wondered why we did that since we had a tent). The next day, reeling from a nasty hangover and a bout of the shits, we struggled our way back to Pook.

    A few days later I finally got up that mountain with Marty and Caloy and that nagging question finally got answered. That lonesome tree wasn’t very tall at all. In fact, it was less than twelve feet! Was it worth suffering the thirst, scrapes, and bruises? Or the constant annoyance of Marty trying to convince us to turn back? My answer is YES! Yes indeed, however the only way I can justify this answer is to tell you to go up there and experience it for yourself.

  4. Chuck:

    The fellow who you “don’t recall” was Jorge O.

    The “bout of the shits” was due to our having lunched on some leftover lobster that had sat at room temperature a wee bit too long… 😦

    Great recounting btw of some of the most memorable adventures we’ve had surrounding that mountain. I’d almost forgotten about that pristine grove—that was just plain out of sight!

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