*In a trance: Cebu’s effortlessly majestic landscape, adventures like never before in my life, high school friends I’ve always wanted to go away with all coming together
Oh, what I wouldn’t give to be there again right now; what I wouldn’t give to be doing again what we were doing back then.
Following a jampacked Siquijor escapade, my friends and I immediately headed to Cebu the next day for another round of adventures.
What else could possibly be worth spending half a day of travelling and transferring from boats to buses then tricycles to single motorcycles than a full dose of adrenaline rush in our system courtesy of canyoneering?
Canyoneering in Alegria is fast becoming popular among tourists because of its intense nature. From the starting point at Kanlaob River in Alegria, adventurers go through more or less five hours of nonstop rappelling, trekking, swimming, and jumping through huge rocks and strong water currents up to Kawasan Falls in Badian. But due to our late arrival and long struggle at the first cliff, we had to cut our trip short and exit somewhere in the middle of the river since the sun was already setting. It was still all bits of crazy and unforgettable, though.
Truth be told, I wasn’t prepared at all. During the planning when I learned about all the jumping off rocks and cliffs, I instantly blocked the thought off my mind. I didn’t want to torture myself with worries, as they might scare and stop me from trying. The personal mantra became come what may and whatever will be will be.
But that moment on the edge, one foot on the soft, muddied soil and the other on that little rock that seemed to have just protruded, calm and cool were immediately replaced with dread and panic. Looking down at the violent gush of water matched with the uneven form of the cliff caused my knees to shake and weaken. Things were worsened by the pressure felt not just by me but by everyone. But despite them all and a hundred nerve-easing, life-on-the-line, at-the-top-of-my-lungs cursing later, I finally got to let go and be 15 feet off the air.
Let’s get this sh*t over and done with.
That was what was in my head minutes before I let go. I badly wanted to do it. What was the point of even going if I wouldn’t try, right? Also, everyone was screaming at me, and I was doing the same to those who came before me, so I was feeling peer pressure. I had to prove to myself and to them that my words weren’t hollow. Besides, I also wanted to make sure I get my money’s worth, so I already knew I was going to do everything that needed to be done. And I did. Courageously. Successfully. HOORAY!
I know others will see this as petty stuff, but this is one proud moment for us all. It is something we were able to own up to, something not everyone will get a chance to do or something not everyone can have the guts to get done, so yeah.
Caution: To those wishing to bring their action camera during their jump and canyoneering, be sure to grip and seal them tight to your hands. You don’t want to lose your gadgets and spend money just to find them.
We stayed at Joson’s workmate’s home that night, but only her grandparents were there to accommodate us. What came before settling down in their place was like something you would see on a horror movie. Imagine six stranger girls in what looked like a deserted barangay, total darkness except for the moonlight and very few lit bulbs in some houses, dogs barking and howling while cornering us, very few vehicles passing by, and no person outside we could ask for help. Oh, no! Until two kindhearted persons heard us and led us to the right house.
Huge thanks to Lolo and Lola for all the kindness, care and love they had shown us. They made us feel so at home, like it wasn’t the first time they met us. Thank you also to Kuya and Ate, the two persons who had been nice enough to assist us until we were able to get all settled down that night. We forgot to ask for their names, but that’s okay. God knows who they are.
Whale shark (butanding) watching was my most awaited Cebu adventure. It has always been on my bucket list, and to have finally done it gives me a different sense of happiness and fulfillment.
The contrast between the whale sharks’ enormity and docility has always been amusing to me. In my eyes, they are just like any other pets, very cute, like rabbits and dogs.
|At the Whale Shark Briefing Center|
The next morning, we were set to meet with the so-called gentle giants. They were swimming just a few meters away from shore. They were that near ashore. Only their heads were exposed above water while they grabbed food being thrown their way, still cute. But the first moment I saw them underwater, I gasped in fear because they looked magnified. They were too close we could already touch them if we wanted to and so very huge they could swallow and chew us and our whole boat like chips.
My initial fright turned into amazement when I saw how calm and comfortable they were around people. They would swim around us, no problem. Some of us would even accidentally get in contact with them, no big deal. They were that awesome. We spent a good 30-45 minutes playing with these babies. To say that we had fun would be an understatement because the truth was we had way too much of it.
This escape was very different from all my other travels since this was the time I had really been most adventurous. I would usually go away for some rest and relaxation, but during this one, I opted to seek action and excitement where they were plenty. There was something so fulfilling about discovering new things about one’s self, extending one’s horizons, and going beyond the limitations one had set for one’s self. Amen!
Aside from my first time on a plane during this Siquijor-Cebu trip, this was also the first time I got to travel this far with my high school girlfriends which made it absolutely one for the books! Special thanks to Joson for bringing me up in the air and to Faith for taking care of my needs the whole time. I owe these angels a lot.
I wish to go back to Cebu again because, apparently, all that we have seen hasn’t even covered an eighth of this splendid island yet. I heard that it still has many other beaches, natural spots and attractions that need much exploring.
You know what they say, live a little. Well, I’m trying.
*Photos by Erika Pablo, Katrina Tolentino, Justine Dador and Faith Ugates!