SAGADA | Splash From The Big Falls
The Long Trekking And The Big Reward
" Buwis Buhay" or death defying, the term Pinoy's love to use when they do something that pushes them to their limit. The long trekk along the Aguid Rice Terraces just to get here in the Bomod-ok Falls (Big Falls) of Sagada is tiresome, being in an open rice field expose to the sun. It's no wonder people would call this "Buwis Buhay, likened if you have been missing on cardio exercises as this would likely burn all the calories taken at breakfast prior to trekking. The big reward awaits, and while I push myself, struggling along with my water bottle and heavy camera to witness this wall of cascading natural wonder, I relent while taking a lung full of the freshest Sagada air.
After a long exposure to sun, the cold splash was the big reward for trekkers. The falls for this day boast a heavy downpour of fresh water fed by a heavy rain yesterday, being located in a depression between two rock walls, strong wind is passing through making the air misty and cold, it doesn't help that the path near the falls is mossy and slippery, it adds up to the challenge. Most didn't expect much, but I came ready, this is anyway off the DSLR range, you can't bring it any closer so my amphibious camera came to my rescue as it dipped to the sub zero temperature of the pool. If you want to come closer, there is no choice but to get soaked, the mist would make sure you do, so before a dip, a chattering teeth is the first sign that the falls will not easily let you go without a challenge.
It's not everyday that we can get to enjoy Nature Trekking. Passing thru Aguid Rice Terraces, going through the tribal community with paths well established for tourist. This is probably one of the most eco friendly tourist trip I've ever taken. The fees that will be paid to our guide provides another source of income for these people and the environmental fees make sure that the path is maintained and well protected, as guest we are to take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints behind along with a lifetime memory of this place in the Mountain Province.
This is not your off beaten path, but one would be glad to have taken this venture before leaving this quaint town of Sagada. Mind you, I got sun burns when I got back to my corporate life. I'm the kind of tourist who doesn't mind being exposed to elements, it's not very often that I get to places and promote tourism in the Philippines. But when I do, I make sure I get the most out of it. My skin would heal and it's color will be back in a few weeks, by which time, I'll be off for another adventure. It's the kind of junk that keeps me sane, the pragmatic sense that allows me to think and experience wonder, it's the perfect setting for a story I'd like to share to my future children. Oftentimes, I think of my future and what it beholds, but to get there then I have to live every moment of today.
Along the way, I met a girl vendor selling beverages. She says that she's doing it so she could enroll in this school year. An admirable feat really considering that she's too young as compared to myself when I did summer jobs in college. As is with people, you don't know what your gonna get. Her Gatorade bottles maybe pricey, but I bought two so we can help each other out, that's for my thirst and for her schooling. She's so young, but as a guiding principle, one needs to allow room for people to learn and grow in there own. Who knows, in her own way, she could become a great entrepreneur, she doesn't know it yet.
As for me, I've sealed this adventure to my memory bank. The hills of Aguid Rice Terraces is a sweeping scene of beauty, feeding hope and inspiration to anyone who is receptive enough to accept it. The powerful cadence of the Bomod-ok Falls reminds me that things always lead to another, just like the heavy rainfall yesterday that fed this powerful flow of water, I have this moment to reflect.