Written by Joseph Cesar
Photos by Stephen Tantoco
As an individual who enjoys sports and physical games, something that I was only recently able to try was wall climbing. It’s just that I used to not see the thrill to it—slowly scaling a wall seemed too slow for me. But that was until I came across The Upper Deck, located right at the heart of Pasig.
Wall climbing there was an absolutely amazing experience and I have never been more glad to be so wrong about something. Really, this experience changed my entire perspective on wall climbing and introduced me to a world where speed does not equate to triumph.
At the beginning, seeing the walls that scale to five floors up was quite intimidating. But the unmoving walls suddenly seemed to come alive, challenging me to conquer them one by one. Putting the harness and shoes on were pretty basic. Within 5 minutes, I was already climbing my very first wall.
Although you would think that climbing would be easy, almost an instinct, actually being there could be overwhelming in the beginning. The sport will definitely be constantly demanding strength from your body, while also pressuring you to think as to what the next move is. It’s technical just as much as it is physical.
After climbing a few short walls, I decided to take a challenge. I climbed the level 12 wall, which is around 50+ feet high. I had a good start, climbing and clinging onto the small rocks efficiently. However, as I got higher and higher, my body started being uncooperative. My forearms began to feel extremely sore, sweat was collecting on my hands and feet, and, for the very first time, I let go.
But I let go not because I wanted to, I let go because my body literally gave me no choice. The feeling of complete defeat was bitter, but in the end was a learning experience.
Unlike the other sports I have played, speed doesn’t play as big of a role in wall climbing. But other important virtues do—like patience and perseverance. With my newly gained respect for the sport, I will definitely come back and eventually conquer the 65-foot wall.
The Upper Deck PH
6/F, Ortigas Technopoint Building, 1 Doña Julia Vargas Ave, Pasig
Contact: (02) 942 4585