“Life is too short to miss out on being truly happy.”
Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuits of happiness and just be happy for the moment. To simply enjoy little luxuries and feel that we have chosen the right path, the right decision – like meeting the right man at the right time at the right place. To feel as if, everything has been fated to happen, like the universe conspired to make everything in order.
But this feeling doesn’t happen every day. Just like the day Bernadeth, Grethel and I agreed to discover a waterfalls that has been long-hidden in the mountainous area of Cebu City – Sudlon. I have always been fascinated on going to densely populated tourist spots and trekking; so when I come across this Himbabawod Falls while browsing the Internet, I immediately asked for directions on how to get to this body of water. Everything was set, with high hopes that the activity will turn out accordingly as planned.
But it was later that I realized that I was not actually the “planner type” and the directions given were not as thorough as they seem. Moreover, the locals of Barangay Bonbon, where we were dropped off by the habal-habal driver. We were only told to follow were the river would lead us. And so we did. No local guide, to trails to follow, no gears at hand. We just followed where the river would lead us.
We were enjoying the view along the way; however, after almost three straight hours of searching for the waterfalls, we felt agitated. We were in a secluded place, without community around. But because Bernadeth and I were not new to this kind of activity, we pursued even if Grethel began to doubt our so called “instincts on smelling the trail”. Our efforts were not put into waste because after several minutes, we heard a sudden rush of cascading waters!
Lurking into the dead-end of the river we were trailing was a ten-foot waterfalls hiding between boulders. It was scenic, at the same time creepy. Later did we know that a guy named Mìpì drowned several years ago on that waterfalls. According to the story, an octopus-like creature (Mantaga in local term) dragged him into the bottom of the waters causing his untimely death. To avenge, he’s now the one pulling unwelcomed visitors into the waters, giving them a taste of the fate he got himself into.
After spending sometime at the waterfalls and knowing that it’s not the one we were looking for, we decided to continue the journey. We followed a trail that leads to a direct assault to a mango farm where we met a local who lives nearby and was fetching water. We continued walking but upon seeing that there were no longer trails along the way, we gave up. Probably, it was not our time to see Himbabawod Falls. We met again the woman who was fetching water and asked her if there’s a water source nearby – we were running out of water and we didn’t take out lunch yet.
After fetching water, we decided to head back home. It’s almost three in the afternoon and we didn’t eat our lunch yet. We were happy with the experience and the discovery, but we knew deep down that we were saddened for not having to take a glimpse of the reason of our trek.
Halfway, we saw a group of children happily harvesting caimito. They offered some to us and we had a short chat. They asked if we visited Himbabawod Falls. We shared to them our misfortune and they share in return the legend of Mìpì Falls. Upon further discussion, we found out that Himbabawod was only 30 minutes from our current location. We asked them to guide us and they happily agreed – they also wanted to take a bath. Yes, it only took us thirty minutes to arrive at Himbabawod Falls. Thirty minutes of trail running, bouldering and rock climbing. We didn’t have the same stamina like the kids, but we need to keep up with them. It’s running late and we need to get back to our destination. The waterfalls was made up of four levels, each getting bigger and taller.
We had a short evaluation of the activity when we reach the city proper. It was a lesson learned for the three of us – an adventure we’d sure to bring with us forever. Probably, there are times when things don’t work the way we plan them, but it will always work the way God planned it. Maybe we were destined to get lost and discover Mìpì Falls and the water source. Perhaps, we won’t meet the “Caimito Boys” if we gave up earlier. There are lots of possibilities that could have happened along the way but when whatever God has planned, it will always be for the best for everybody. We just need to see things in a more positive perspective.
May we keep looking at the brighter side! Thanks for reading!