I did not expect it would push through. But after planning it with my two nieces and friends, plus in coordination with a generous family in Kapatagan -- the Osorio family -- we hopped in to an hour ride going to Digos on a Metro bus one hot Saturday afternoon.
Upon arrival, we didn't know where to take the van going to Kapatagan. Thanks to generous people around, we were told to take a tricycle ride going to the old terminal where later we discovered that the father of the Osorio family who owns one van, was already waiting for us. It was raining then.Another hour of waiting for the van to be filled up seemed an eternity. But we managed to keep the spirit alive with some jokes and humorous stories inside the van. The camera did a lot of work.
Finally, our drooping spirit was revived upon contemplating the verdant and lush vegetation, plus the scenic spots going up the hills of Kapatagan. Most of us wonder where the name came. We can hardly see "patag" around.An hour ascend and that brought us to a total of three hours of travel to the much desired place of the second longest zipline in the Philippines (according to the research of our "not-so-excited" companion). But we had to settle in the house of our friend, Bong, because the day was over. Most of us suffered from "itchy feet" and wanted to trek the dark paths going to the parish church where we paid an unexpected visit to the parish priest.
The drizzle had stopped, replaced by strong downfall. (In Visayan: "Mohunong ra nang taligsik kung mag-ulan.") But thank God we were already enjoying the native chicken soup courtesy of Bong's mother. The viand that night was of three kinds -- chicken soup, fried chicken & chicken adobo. Yet the majority never paid much attention to it. After all, not all had taken lunch (like Aries, Jason and Junel). Another bonding session over bottles of RH (just to warm our bodies), plus some acoustics (from our lead guitar, Aries) and smoke sticks, and soon we were driven by lethargy into deep sleep, taking refuge in thick blankets amidst the freezing cold of the night. (Well, this next photo does not picture what I mean...)We had to wake up early for the 6:30 am mass since it was Sunday, a day of obligation. During the 6:30 am mass, I was tasked to give the homily. Two of my friends came in the middle of it. Well, perhaps due to the cold weather...
After the mass, we were entertained by the great sight before us: the majestic Mt. Apo. Then, after contemplating the beauty of the enchanted mountain, seen from the terrace of the parish residence, we proceeded to what excited every nerve left unfrozen in us.
Breakfast was quick, we didn't know why. Was it because of the "batikulon" that one of us dreaded most to eat? But the ride on a 4-wheel drive multicab was not that quick. We got stranded in the middle of the muddy and sloppy road, that most of us preferred to walk rather than to dive into the mud! (This photo was taken two seconds after Jason's dive...)After the fall, what should be done? Be sad? Lament about it all your life? After one unintentional mistake, what to do? Forever lamenting something you don't even intend? Of course not! Get up and DANCE TO THE MUSIC, yeah! That's what they're doing...joining Bro in dancing with life. For after all, life must go on...to the zipline...
Uncle Father and nieces, BonBon and ChaCha...enjoying each other's company. What an opportunity for bonding!
You think we're in Baguio? We're on the way up there...we opted going there on foot coz the 4WD got stranded somewhere down there...
You can't notice the tiredness, only the excitement. And the camera can't wait.
Well, we enjoyed taking photos along the way, anyway. Then, suddenly there appeared before us the signboard that says "Welcome to Camp Sabros".
SOMEONE FALLS AT TUDAYA FALLS. It was Junel who said: "to go to Tudaya falls is to die". Exaggerated, I know. But for the first timers in steep descent and ascent, it could be true...metaphorically speaking. For literally, one may just suffer from sudden falls...just like Aries, who in this photo just got up from the Fall.But we have to be thankful to Aries. Because of him, we were able to learn the lesson in mountain trekking: you have to take it seriously, especially the slopes and the slippery. Well, Bong seemed to be used to it (though it was his first time to come to Tudaya falls). Jason was just observing as Cha-Cha danced her "cha-cha" way down all the way.
That's my boy! Not even how many falls could dampen his energetic spirit. He stood up and proudly faced the camera with a renewed smile. Don't touch me, BonBon said, reminding Aries of his soiled hands, courtesy of the Fall. Well, everybody had fun, and that's what is important.
I don't know why. But every time the group passed by some boulders of rocks, we felt the urge to take photos. I know it sounds strange but we didn't have time to decipher how it sounds. The flash of the camera seemed to banish the lethargy and to bring us back our draining energy.
Everybody smiled and screamed for joy as suddenly the falls appeared before us. It has successfully kept us in suspense as we only heard the noise it produces. Now, it's there, said Bro and Junel. But for BonBon and Aries, the camera is more important.
They say, "you'll forget the pain once you get the price". All the troubles along the way seemed insignificant as soon as we contemplate the beauty of nature: the Tudaya falls. Have you seen that look in Aries' eyes? That says it all!"Hurry up, Bro," Aries seemed to say. "I can't wait to relish it!" Let's see what we can do with this gigantic falls. One can only enjoy its peripheries.
Well, Junel seems to be enjoying it so much. He's quite playing it as if he wasn't aware of the camera. Atik na, nel. Kumita na yan!
You see, even from here you can get drenched.
Going up takes less time than going down. This was the group's sentiment. And it was quite true. Of course, the secret of staying alive and kicking is the camera flash. SMIIILE!