Sunday, September 21, 2014

WAT 3.0's Last Supper at Villa Sabarre

Three days. Five waterfalls. Seven Waterfalling Adventure Tour (WAT) participants. Put it all together and what do we get? A bunch of tired strangers turned tired friends. But not too tired to celebrate with the admirable organizers (Iligan Bloggers Society) and the generous sponsors of this event.

The third and last Waterfalling Adventure Tour (WAT) 3.0 dinner was not in a restaurant but in Villa Sabarre, a house (located in a quiet village) that had been turned into an events venue.

Hermit Street, Isabel Village, Pala-o, Iligan City
0939 920 3183
Email: villasabarre@gmail.com


We are glad, too.


Entering the gate, we were greeted by "Welcome IBS" written on a chalkboard. Off to the right, in the garden: the buffet table. And a few more steps across the buffet table, a small, well lit stage, and four tables for our small party of 25. It was a night of good food, some tears (this event—WAT—is the result of IBS's blood, sweat, and tears..and the tears came in late), lots of laughter, and new friendships.

Thank you Villa Sabarre for letting us have this charming venue all to ourselves. And congratulations Iligan Bloggers Society for a successful event!


Waterfalling Adventure Tour (WAT):
Waterfalling Adventure Tour 3.0 by the Iligan Bloggers Society, Inc. would not be possible without the following partners: Iligan City Government, 4th Mechanized Infantry BattalionIHARRA, and Iligan Chamber, and event sponsors:
https://imenchu.com/https://www.facebook.com/villasabarre

 
With the support of:
Keepsakes Iligan | Adventist Medical Center- Iligan | NPC Nature's Park | Bob NY USA | The Good Type | Margeuries House of Goodies

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Nagkalisod Para Limunsudan

In English: the trouble everyone had to go through to see Limunsudan Falls.

1. Getting up at 3AM. Lisod? For someone whose body really wants to be glued to bed? Yes, lisod, but our itchy feet kicked ourselves awake to get ready for our five–hour journey to Limunsudan Falls (and another five hours for the journey back).

2. Getting up earlier than 3AM? It must have taken more will power and/or many cups of strong coffee for these 30 soldiers who were waiting for us across the pension house, ready to load us into their three army trucks.

Three army trucks, thirty soldiers, one prayer
Photo by Jeffrey Wong

3. Convincing these soldiers to accompany unimportant people like us? No trouble at all for they weren't there to be our bodyguards but to answer a call of duty—to bring supplies to the Higaonon Tribe living in Barangay Rogongon. We were just the burdensome excess baggage, hitching a ride. (Actually, the Iligan Bloggers Society went through all the trouble to arrange transportation in the form of an—as in one—army truck because the long road to Limunsudan Falls would require a sturdy set of wheels. Hats off to Iligan Bloggers Society (IBS) for the transportation arrangement!)

At DSWD to load the supplies

4. Limunsudan Falls is, according to various web sources, just 55km from Iligan City but to cover that distance, one has to go on foot which would take at least three days of hiking up and down mountains, and in and out of jungles. To cut the travel time to five hours, we took the long way round: from Iligan City (Lanao del Norte) to Cagayan de Oro City (Misamis Oriental) to Talakag (Bukidnon) and through a small portion of Lanao del Sur to reach Barangay Rogongon, which is a part of Iligan City. We drove through three provinces just to get back to Iligan City!

 The long way round mapped by Pinay Travelista

4. Five hours of sitting on the wooden truck bench or on the flat truck bed or on lumpy sacks in an army truck that's rolling over partially smooth roads but mostly rocking over bumpy roads? A big pain in the butt. Literally. And machine guns pointing at my feet? Toe–curling. Yes, I had to curl my toes try to make my feet as small as possible in case one of the machine guns go off, it wouldn't blast my toes off.

Crossing a river

5. The entire Higaonon Tribe gathering, the datus (tribe chiefs) performing the ritual (IBS had to prepare white chickens as offering), and the chiefs giving a welcome talk. These humble and welcoming people went through all that trouble.

The datus performing the ritual

6. The datus and soldiers sparing some time to lead the short and easy hike to the viewpoint, where another ritual was performed, before we could take photos of the two–tiered 870–ft. high Limunsudan Falls. From the viewing area, it's hours of steep descent (that none would dare endure) to the waterfall.

 
Limunsudan Falls, so near yet so far


 Even my camera lens couldn't get too near

7. The Higaonon Tribe preparing a program of dance and song for us bwisitors. Oh the trouble this lovely tribe had to go through to welcome strangers.


8. The selfless soldiers getting soaked in the rain when they insisted in letting us sit under the tarpaulin while the trucks we were on rocked and rolled over rocks, puddles, mud, and slick roads on the way home.

I am grateful for Iligan Bloggers Society for making this arduous journey possible (and for letting me join WAT). I bow to the Higaonon Tribe for their hospitality. I salute the 4th Mechanized Infantry Battalion of Iligan for delivering the goods to the Higaonon Tribe and for letting us, the excess baggage, tag along. Thank you all for going through all that trouble just so we could marvel at this mighty body of water that is Limunsudan Falls.


Limunsudan Falls is in Brgy. Rogongon—according to various web sources, just 55 km from the city proper of Iligan. For directions on how to get to Limunsudan Falls, please visit Pinay Travelista's blogpost.


Waterfalling Adventure Tour (WAT):
Waterfalling Adventure Tour 3.0 by the Iligan Bloggers Society, Inc. would not be possible without the following partners: Iligan City Government, 4th Mechanized Infantry BattalionIHARRA, and Iligan Chamber, and event sponsors:
https://imenchu.com/https://www.facebook.com/villasabarre

 
With the support of:
Keepsakes Iligan | Adventist Medical Center- Iligan | NPC Nature's Park | Bob NY USA | The Good Type | Margeuries House of Goodies

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Hidden Beauty: Tinago Falls

A warning from an officemate: Good luck with the 400–plus steps to Tinago Falls.
I laugh and shoot back: Ah, you underestimate me. I am very fit... fit to roll down hundreds of steps.

After the 10–minute spins and bumps over stone and concrete (and sometimes broken) steps, Tinago Falls revealed itself and I am rendered breathless. Breathless from the sheer beauty of the place.


It was nice and cool down at the falls, with the surrounding greenery and the mist from the waterfall. We picnicked. We rode on the bamboo raft to get a massage (which felt like punches) under the waterfall. We climbed up the rock face off the side of the waterfall (I'm a liar. It was they, not we). They, realizing they were way way up, gathered courage to jump into the water. While I was content with floating around in the cold water.


The relaxing time at Tinago Falls had to come to an end and we had to pack up after just three very short hours. (We still had Maria Cristina Falls on the itinerary.)

I paused at the bottom of the stone stairs, took a deep breath, and stared at the neverending steps. And the real meaning of the warning dawned on me: Good luck with the 400–plus steps on your way back from Tinago Falls.

I huff and puff up the steps. I am breathless once again.


Tinago Falls is located 13.8 km from the city proper of Iligan. For directions on how to get to Tinago Falls, please visit Traveling Morion's blogpost.

For your information:
♦ No entrance fee but donations are welcome.
♦ Lifevest rental Php 25
♦ Table rental Php 75
♦ Raft ride Php 10 per person
♦ Bring food and drinks; there are no restaurants nor stores down at the falls.
♦ You can hire a porter to lug all your stuff to and from the waterfall. Rate per way will depend on the porter.
♦ Changing rooms and toilets are available.


Waterfalling Adventure Tour (WAT):
Waterfalling Adventure Tour 3.0 by the Iligan Bloggers Society, Inc. would not be possible without the following partners: Iligan City Government, 4th Mechanized Infantry BattalionIHARRA, and Iligan Chamber, and event sponsors:
https://imenchu.com/https://www.facebook.com/villasabarre

 
With the support of:
Keepsakes Iligan | Adventist Medical Center- Iligan | NPC Nature's Park | Bob NY USA | The Good Type | Margeuries House of Goodies