Mountain climbers conquer ‘Mount Kamuning’ summit in full gear ‘for fun’

April 2, 2019 - 2:39 PM
Mountain hiker in Kamuning
A mountain hiker in full gear holding a replica of the Philippine flag as he climbed the so-called "Mount Kamuning," an elevated footbridge along EDSA. (Screenshot from Facebook/Albert Labrador)

Two mountain hikers “climbed” the infamous Kamuning footbridge along EDSA for fun, which was previously criticized by commuters even before its construction was completely finished.

Albert Labrador and Mario Gregorio Aglipay went to the footbridge with Bong Manayon, a photographer, on April 1, Monday at 5:50 a.m.

They were armed in hiking gear with full backpacks.

They reached the “summit” or the highest point of the so-called Mount Kamuning after five minutes of “hiking,” just in time to witness the sun rise on Metro Manila.

Labrador and Aglipay joked that the only challenges they encountered were the personnel of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the lure of a convenience store nearby.

“The most challenging part of the climb was defeating the urge to retreat into the nearby 7/11 and just call the whole damned thing off,” Labrador said in an interview.

He also gave words of wisdom to the future “hikers” of the steep footbridge.

“Despite the altitude, supplemental oxygen is unnecessary. Bring a gas mask instead. If you suffer from vertigo or dizziness, do not be caught on top when the train passes beneath,” Labrador said.

In a separate report, they recounted that they felt the footbridge tremble due to the passing of an MRT-3 train below. The infrastructure is near the GMA-Kamuning Station of the MRT and passes over its tracks.

Labrador explained that they “hiked” for fun since “the world takes itself far too seriously.” Their post was also in time for April Fools’ Day on April 1.

“The world takes itself far too seriously and sometimes, comedy is a good cure for what ails the soul. There [are only a few] things that are funny anymore, so we may as well laugh at even ourselves,” he said.

The two hikers were not the only ones to have “climbed” the footbridge.

Facebook user Jeremy Layson on November 2018—days after the initial construction of the Kamuning footbridge was completed—shared a manipulated photo of his friend “climbing” the so-called “Stairway to Heaven.”

The reaction was part of the commuters’ mixed responses towards the steep footbridge which has received lots of criticisms even before it was fully constructed.

According to them, it is inconsiderate to commuters with disabilities, senior citizens, children and those who have vertigo.

The deal with ‘Mount Kamuning’ 

The Kamuning footbridge was constructed by the MMDA in October 2018 for the safety of pedestrians in the area, particularly those who need to cross EDSA.

MMDA spokesperson Celine Pialago previously shared that the area is accident-prone. According to their data, ten pedestrians get involved in accidents in the specific area per month.

Most of them walk below the MRT to cross the other side of the major thoroughfare.

To avoid casualties, the government agency decided to build a footbridge instead, where pedestrians can freely walk and cross EDSA without being apprehended or run over.

“Ayaw ho ng mga residente dito na pumunta sa may area ng Timog o kumaliwa dito sa may Quezon Avenue para makatawid. Kasi gusto ho nila maka-shortcut. So inuna lang ho natin ‘yung safety,” Pialogo explained before.

The height of the footbridge was attributed to the requirements set by the MRT management. It was elevated so that it would not obstruct the railway’s power lines.

A month after it was constructed, MMDA redesigned the footbridge to make it more convenient for commuters. A second landing platform was built so that commuters can “rest” during the climb. — Featured screenshot from Albert Labrador via Facebook