Not long ago, Team Buwad (James, An Jurvel, Shandy and I) headed north to visit some of its waterfalls. This time, James took us to what he called the LIGID trail, a moniker for the hike starting from Licos Peak in Danao, traversing to Mulao River in Compostela, and exiting in Lanigid Hill in Liloan. Along with us are Shiela and Bryan.
Admit it or not, fear still creeps in your spine whenever you are faced with uncertainty. It is terrifying inasmuch as it is exciting. It takes your breath away for a second or two; it makes your heart skip a beat faster. Think of the last time you proudly called yourself brave — the day you stood up against your boss, the day you told your parents you’re gay, the day you told yourself ‘enough’ or the day you welcomed love. Whatever it is, you didn’t really know will happen next. But you did it anyway.
As for me, my recent hike with friends was nothing short of uncertainty… and yes, of fear and excitement.
After climbing Ormoc’s Alto Peak last May, we talked, with eager and hopeful hearts, about how we’d target climbing Biliran’s Tres Marias next. The thought dragged on but there was no definite plan or word from anyone to carry it out. It was not until a month before the event that we decided to make it happen. With a short time to prepare physically, mentally and financially, the our organizer Shiela looked for heads to join the fun. Of course, the casts and crews of Alto Peak were present, with the exception of some and addition of others. By November 23, fifteen fun-loving folks headed to Pier 3, all geared for another major climb.
None of us knows what awaits in Tres Marias. We’ve read blog posts, seen pictures, and heard stories but uncertainty still sits at the back of our minds. The first jolt came when we are still in Cebu. Unfortunately, for safety purposes, Cebu Port Authority no longer allows carrying of butane canisters. So, we are faced with a dilemma on whether we can find one in the province or we’ll have to go back to the age of campfires to cook our food. The second jolt came a little later. Most hikers would opt to reach Biliran via Ormoc but we decided to take the ship that sails straight to Naval. What we thought an 11-hour travel time became 13 and a half, kissing our fixed itinerary goodbye.
However, in the midst of the uncertainty, dawn breaks with a gorgeous sunrise. With it came a promise of a beautiful day ahead. And so we forgot our little mishaps.
Lately, memes about Titos and Titas of Facebook have been making rounds in social media. In essence, this is a millennial term used to describe “old schools” who have embraced the domestic lifestyle and content themselves with nostalgia and throwback posts. It’s funny though that most of those who claim to be “titos and titas” nowadays are millennials (born between 1980 and 2000). A generation known for its vibrancy and zeal, what happened to us?
The easiest explanation is aging in the digital age. We tend to be drained by too much loud and crowd. In the height of social media, we crave for genuine connection — with a person, with nature, with ourselves. And until we find these, we’d rather stay in the comforts of our homes.
But just because we age doesn’t mean we have to settle into the doldrums of ordinary. As what Anne of Windy Poplars once said, “There is so much in the world for us all if we only have the eyes to see it, the heart to love it, and the hand to gather it to ourselves.”
Starting off with this…
Away from the colors and grandeur of Sinulog, my friends and I (Team Buwad as we fondly call ourselves) went out of town for a weekend escape. Travelling 60 km northward from Cebu City is the municipality of Sogod. It is said that the town gained its name from the Cebuano term “sinugdanan” which means “beginning.” For its geographical and historical reasons, Sogod is where the stretch of white sand and the conversion to Christianity going north began.
As for us, it’s the beginning of a new adventure.
Getting to Bagatayam Falls is very easy. Just a few hundred meters from Sogod poblacion, we passed by the Bagatayam Bridge in Brgy. Bagatayam. Here’s a sneak-peak of the waterfalls from the bridge.
It is a lot easier to attribute the cityscape when you think of parkour. The rails, the stairs, the ramps and the elevated structures easily became hotbeds for the nascent enthusiast. But how would you feel about parkour in the forest floor?
I’ll tell you what— joie de vivre.
But before we head onto the climax, let’s start with the [not so] easy walk.
I have been hanging out with random hikers in Cebu and I could say that this group of people– put together to face the heights of Ormoc– makes a colourful weekend. Spearheaded by Shiela and Kevin, I along with Jovy, Idol, Ate Sherlyn and Paul were present from Team Bang. Meanwhile, Phil of Laag Bisaya led the pack with Chiara, Rell, Loche and Hardi. The nomads, on the other hand, were nothing short of dull with Shikienah, James, An Jurvel, and Shandy on the troupe.
Upon arriving at Ormoc City port, all 16 hikers from Cebu were geared with excitement for the major weekend escapade. After a quick breakfast and last-minute shopping for our trail and camping essentials, we set out on an hour-long drive to Brgy. Cabintan where we met our guides, Kuya Oheng, Kuya Danny, and Efren. Also joining the fun were two harkor hikers from Leyte, Dave and Ryan.
February has always been special for me— not because of Valentine’s Day but because it’s my birth month. Rumors say that most of the weird ones are born on February and, though I may not completely agree, I have to say they got some of it right. In fact, one of them was weird enough to make the list below. 😉
As a part of my #GrantMyWishThisFeb, I asked my all-time katkat buddy, Shiela, for a Naga adventure as a gift. Naga City is blessed with gorgeous hills and mountains, and it’s a shame that I haven’t set foot on its trail yet. Gladly, she was kind enough to give in to my request. Haha.
After my Bohol escapade we had our Naga adventure all planned out. Shiela and I managed to convince our officemate, Spencer, to come. I originally asked to chase only four peaks, Pangilatan Peak, Magdook Peak, Mt. Naupa, and Kabalas, but Shiela wanted to add Mt. Kabuwan to the list. So off we go.
We are all mosaic of broken little things, a patchwork quilt of mistakes and missed takes. Some people hide in the hems of denial while others try to embrace these flaws. Some run off to silence, others turn to noise. We’ve heard songs, read poetry, seen art about healing. But do we ever truly heal?
I ended my 2017 fleeing to Binabaje Hills for a sweet escape and I realize there is no better way to welcome the new year than to spend it in the cradle of mother nature. Tucked in the fringes of Alicia is another agri-eco space that is slowly making its name in the tourism scene. Cambugsay Healing Hills, located in Brgy. San Pascual, is a convention of beautiful rolling hills and still waters from the Malingin Dam.
If you could ask for one thing at a certain point in your life, what would it be?
On the last remaining days of 2017, I asked for an escape. But the thing about escaping is you never really can. What you get, instead, is a temporary break from life’s shackles and you just have to make the most of it.
Truth is I didn’t intend to write about this trip. I haven’t even shared much about it in social media. It was, of course, one of the sweetest escape I’ve ever had but I wanted the feelings and memories to cling close to me as much as possible. My friends, however, think I’m greedy. *eyes roll*
So here goes a little sneak peak.
On normal days, I could just use a long walk or poetry or books or music or coffee. But what happens when your outside world is just as chaotic as the world inside? Where do you go? As for me, I chose to slip away from the busy streets and head into the land of hills that I like to call my second home— Bohol.
I got the idea of this out-of-the-blue escapade from Marc of @theweekdaytraveler, who recently came from a solo trip in Bohol. When he posted the photo of the Binabaje Hills, I knew right then that I had to flee.
I often have a tendency to look at life from a poetic point of view. From sunrays piercing through canopies to a solitary mug in a coffee shop. I look at things, people, and moments— and poetry just comes easy at times.
Waterfalls, in particular, tend to draw my not-so cheery muse in. Maybe it’s the downpour but, nevertheless, these cascading beauties never fail to sweep me off my feet in the literal and figurative sense.
Working oceans away from home, I always look forward to my planned vacations. This time, I begged (yes, begged) my sister and cousins to take me to Karap-agan Falls. Thankfully, they gave in. Just two municipalities from my hometown, Hilongos, I went on a roadtrip with the gang.
Slowly making its way into the limelight is Matalom’s very own hidden paradise, the Karap-agan Falls. Locally known as Mahayahay Falls is the two-tiered waterfall tucked in the fringes of baranggay Caridad Norte.