Disclaimer: This post was originally written last year (2016) a week after November 11, 2016.
A couple of weeks ago, my family and I spent a 4-day weekend in Baguio City, Philippines to celebrate my Dad’s 50th birthday. Baguio City is the family’s refuge and my mom’s favorite city; the 6-hour bus ride is worth it because of the good weather, fresh air, serene views and a melting pot of people from different parts of the country. The crowd was never a problem. Though my dad’s 50th is still on November 12, he requested the whole family, which means me and my mom, to hike Mount Ulap, a mountain in Benguet with 1 out of 5 difficulty level the day before his birthday. This is a perfect opportunity for me to travel, to bond with my parents and to make November 11 or 11.11 memorable to me, as it is also memorable to those who believe in Numerology.
Since the year started, there was never a day that I never saw the numbers 111 and 1111. No exaggerations. I see the numbers every single day from clocks (digital and analog) to plate numbers, to receipts and anything with serial numbers since January 1 up to this day. I have even issued an alumni ID this year with an ID no. 1111. I started researching and Youtubing about this phenomenon and according to them, these were signs that I am on the right path. Some of the articles I have read said that the phenomenon is the Cosmos’ gesture of telling me that I am OK, that I am doing a good job. It’s basically the Universe tapping my shoulder. On the other hand, some of my spiritual mentors told me that I should not over-interpret it. But my “auto-pilot” is telling me that something grand will happen on 11.11.
And the much awaited day finally arrived. I have set my mind and my phone’s alarm clock to 11:11 A.M. My parents woke me up at 4:45 A.M. to take a bath and prepare for a quick breakfast so that we can catch the first jeepney ride to Ampucao, Benguet which is the location of Mount Ulap. I was weirdly grinning the whole time. I tried to make the day memorable and a bit spiritual. When we arrived at Ampucao after the 445-minutejeepney ride on an uphill zigzag, my parents and I gave away 50 packs of hygienic kits to the kids in the community as an offering. We then met with Benjie, our hiking guide. We started the hike with a prayer led by my mom followed by the hiking proper around 7 A.M..
Since this was my second time to hike the mountain, I asked Benjie and my parents if I can speed up my pace because my mom was having difficulty climbing because she cannot support her legs on long walks. I reached the first peak after an hour and saw the breathtaking view. While waiting for them, I took advantage of the serene view since this is my only chance to close my eyes, meditate and reflect for the entire weekend with my family. I was alone in the peak for less than an hour before my parents arrived (that’s how slow they were!).
Again, I took advantage of the opportunity to be alone while climbing down and to have my countdown before 11:11 A.M..
11:09A.M. I stopped because there was a grey dog in front of me, barking. “Shit!” I told myself, “This Dog will chase me and I will definitely fall down the mountain and I will die at exactly 11:11A.M.” But after a few barks, the dog left and took another route.
11:10A.M. I started walking again. I was smiling while panting after the encounter with the dog. Then my clock alarmed.
11:11 A.M.I took a screenshot of the time and date, the music on my spotify playlist and took a picture of the scene in front of me-the mountain range, the trees, the hiking trail covered with dried leaves, the cloudy sky and the cold November air. It was like the minute before New Year when we light up fireworks and kiss our loved ones. I spent the rest of that minute breathing in the fresh air, enjoying the moment. Finally, there came a point that I no longer expected something grand to happen. The moment I stopped expecting was the same moment when I realized the meaning of the 1111 phenomenon in my life. If I could make this minute symbolical, meaningful, metaphysical and special, then I can make every minute counts, even the minute after this.
And so my research were all right. 1111 is a reminder to be in the present moment. Wherever we are is the “RIGHT PATH”. Wherever we are is the place where we are supposed to be and the people around us are the right people to be with. On the other hand, my spiritual mentors were also right by not over interpreting it. When our minds over-interpret things, they will ironically lose their meaning. We will focus on labeling it, judging it and attaching to it until the moment is already gone.
I reached the base of the mountain at 12 NOON and waited for my parents again. When they arrived, I smiled at them and joked how slow they were.