Friday, December 23, 2011

Lake Sebu: Discovering the Less Explored Seven Falls

And so my adventure begins at Surallah, where my coordinator Danny Antenor agreed to meet me at the terminal. "Are you afraid of riding a motor bike?" came his text. I replied, "No."

As expected, he came with a single motor. and I, with a 10 lb-ish pack on my back, was about to experience the bumpiest ride of my life!

Not wanting to waste any more precious time, we made our way uphill to Lake Sebu-- a good 30min to an hour trip-- exchanged quick pleasantries with a few locals and headed to the famed "Seven Falls". Two of these are easily accessible to any tourist. I was here to see the other five (5).. through an unexplored trail. "Which trail?," you may ask; to which I asked myself, "What trail? There's no trail at all!!!"

Midway through the hike. Taking a break with one of the Dongon brothers.

It was like that hike to kampung Semuti somewhere in the jungles of Sarawak (Malaysia), but this one is multiplied to the 3rd degree of difficulty!!! I slipped more, fell more, brought home more bruises and insect bites, and my knees were shaking halfway through.

My guides (the Dongon brothers, whose family own the land bordering the falls) were merciless! they just kept on going and going.

with the Dongon Brothers

There were moments when I wanted to give up, rest for a whole hour, or use my non-existent supernatural powers to fly, but every single time we stopped to enjoy each waterfall, I was instantly invigorated. The view was just glorious.

My favorite would be #5 and #4.

Mist from the waterfalls is totally invigorating

The water fell so strong (I'm not quite sure which words are proper to use to describe it) that it created mists. Imagine a giant Evian. Imagine it spraying not just your face, but your entire body, like a free shower. It was so refreshing. 

I wasn't totally prepared for it since I expected to take a dip in a pool it would create. So, note to travellers, waterproof everything. Get a waterproof camera as well. And if you're planning to take the unexplored "trail, eat a lot. And ask your guide to take lotsa break

I was amazed it only took us 4 hours back and forth. locals said it was a feat! Even seasoned climbers couldn't cover it that quickly. Also, if the idea of climbing a steep 90 degree angle clinging only to roots and crossing rivers don't scare you, then by all means, take this challenge!

crossing the mighty rivers via a bamboo pole they crafted

My waterfalls exploration was finished off with a trip to one of the easy falls (#1). There, we were met by the other Dongon family (who managed and maintained the falls) and were eager to see photos I took of the other falls. They haven't even gone there. After showing them some shots, they were happy that somehow they had a glimpse of it.

the rest of the Dongon family

Original journal entry written in 2007.


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