I‘m probably one of the last (if not the last) to announce my winner for the Bratpack Bag Diaries contest. Sorry about that, but I really had to think it through. My husband and I were at deadlock with two entries—he really liked one, but I liked another—we just couldn’t decide which of our two favorites to award.

After arguing our sides, we finally reached a decision. The winner of that nifty Hedgren bag is…

Janalyn Gainza!

i love bags – all sorts, all shapes, different materials, different designs. i love bags.

but my bag story does not identify my favorite bag.

instead, my bag story is about a mountaineering bag which I used in climbing mt. maculot (2007) and mt. pulag (2008). more particularly,the mt. pulag climb gave it the nostalgic effect.

last may 2008, me and my officemates answered the call of adventure and climbed the 2nd highest mountain in the philippines and the highest mountain in luzon – mt.pulag in benguet. we are not professional mountaineers and far from being classified as trained mountaineers. we are just makati office people, got bored in climbing the stairs from the ground floor to the 20th floor, and love taking pictures. so when the thrill of climbing mountains was hyped by the philippine delegation to the mt. everest, we delved into the trend and experience a part of adrenaline and embrace nature.

in both of our climbs, i used my deuter 40L bag.

in mt. maculot, our initial climb, i carried my bag with pride. i posed my with bag with a glimpse of smile amidst the perspiration. my bag contained provisions for an overnight stay at mt. maculot. when we reached atop mt. maculot, i was beaming with fulfillment that i overcome the trail and the hardships of climbing a mountain.

in mt. pulag, our second climb, i was more excited and eager to reach the mountain. from the pictures posted in the internet, i know that mt. pulag is far more beautiful that mt. maculot. a night before the climb, i was packing and unpacking things to my deuter bag because i could not decide very well what to bring and what to leave behind. sadly though, during that climb, i was not able to carry my bag. i tried carrying it for the first 10 minutes of the trek, but the thin air while we are starting to ascend, constricted my breathing. until, i could no longer carry on with the trek so i decided to give my bag to our guide. initially i was so frustrated because i could not feel the same satisfaction and pride since i did not carry my own bag while trekking to mt. pulag. it was a difficult climb for me. the thin air, the cold temperature and the steep trail made it even more difficult. but in the end, when we reached the campsite, it was all worth it. the view from the summit of mt. pulag is amazing. the grassland to the summit is perfect especially during sunrise. the serenity in that place is beyond words. our climb to mt. pulag is one experience i never thought i could accomplish.

and my deuter bag made the experience memorable.

Entry sent through email (Contact Form), Wed, Nov 5, 2008 at 4:29 PM

I particularly liked her story about climbing the mountain. Somehow reminds me of how Nina and I dragged ourselves up Mt. Tapias in Coron, Palawan. And to think Mt. Tapias already has paved stairways—her climb up Mt. Pulag sounds exciting. I’m already considering adding that to my list of destinations to visit for the next few months (all I need to do now is convince my husband and our favorite travel buddies for an all-out pee-behind-bushes adventure!).

Congratulations, Janalyn!!! I hope you enjoy your bag! 🙂 It’s definitely not for mountain-climbing, but I hope you would also carry it with pride as you trek in Makati’s urban jungle and climbing up 20-storey buildings 🙂