Camiguin Travel Blog› entry 3 of 6 › view all entries
December 31st, 2007 – by: Isabetlog
The adventure started at 9am, meeting up with a small group at the Camiguin Action Geckos Resort. We drove towards the mountain and the excitement in everyone escalated as we approached the starting point.
We forged on to the top and toward the first of a series of waterfalls. Before carrying on, our guide gave us a brief how-to on the principles of rappelling for both body position and rope handling. “Lean back, relax, legs straight - and keep them apart.” It sounded simple enough, but not when you’ve got the wrong footwear on and trying to get a grip on wet, mossy rock. Needless to say, there was some body-crashing action against the rocks and a few bruises as a short-term souvenir.
I repeated the task two more times with each falls we encountered until we reached the last two. This time there was no rappelling involved as we were instructed to slide down the rocks instead. Sweet, easy and fun, and we were rewarded with a bird’s eye view of Katibawasan Falls - all 250 feet of her. We had made it to the top of the falls!
There was no way they were going to make us rappel all the way back down. Instead we had to make our way up the same route we came from - a reverse of everything we had just done. The most challenging bit was hoisting myself up the first two falls by pushing my back up against the rocks with my legs stretched out across. Inching myself sideways and upwards was probably the most strenuous physical activity I’d done in a while but I managed to make it through all five falls, albeit with a few laughable scratches.
Lunch for all including the guide and his assistants were waiting for us back at the resort and we devoured the native cuisine with much gusto. There was some time to kill until making way for the ruins of the Guiob Church that had been destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 1871. Of all the ruins I’d seen in the Philippines, this probably was the least impressive one, and one that can easily be stricken off your bucket list. An unfinished church erected in recent times immediately accosts your vision as you enter the church grounds only to be in the midst of some of the church walls and belfry that have been swallowed by vegetation. It should’ve been an alluring sight but I just somehow failed to see the drama in what had been left behind by the catastrophe.
I made my way towards the Sunken Cemetery as the sun began its decent into the horizon.
Right when I thought my day was through, I remembered that someone I had met earlier told me about stargazing up at the Philippine Institute of Volcanology & Seismology (PHILVOCS). I made my way back to the Treehouse for some dinner and a little rest, and by the time I knew it, I was sitting somewhere at the top of Mount Hibok Hibok. It was a clear night though there wasn't much to see. At least not initially. Then ever so slowly, with a little sparkle here and a twinkle there, the sky was aglow with a billion beautiful stars. I may not have experienced the usual display of fireworks and the noise of fire crackers this year, but this sure made quite a New Year's Eve for me.
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