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 person 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.
Unfortunately, this feeling doesn’t always happen every day. Just like the day Bernadeth, Grethel and I agreed to search for a waterfalls that has been long-hidden in the mountainous area of Cebu City – Bonbon in particular.
I have always been fascinated with going to densely populated tourist spots and trekking. So when I came 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.
I forgot to mention: I was not actually the “planner type”. And the directions given were not as thorough as we hoped them to be. Even the locals of Barangay Bonbon weren’t even certain with the instructions they’ve provided. We were only told to follow where 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 actually enjoying the view along the way. But after almost three straight hours of navigating through boulders and rivers, the excitement eventually got worn-out.
Who wouldn’t? We were in a secluded place, without a 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”.
After another hour of hoping and praying to get into the spot, our efforts paid off. Like heavens opened and Hallelujah Chorus was played in the background, we heard a sudden rush of cascading waters!
unexpected find: mipi falls
Lurking into the dead-end of the river 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 led to a direct assault up to a mango farm where we met a local who lives nearby and was fetching water. We continued the hike 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 eaten our lunch yet (we thought this would just be a half-day activity).
HImbabawod falls found us
After fetching water, we decided to head back home. It’s almost three in the afternoon and we were literally starving. 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 back to the jumpoff, we saw a group of children happily harvesting caimitos. Despite their childhood mischief, they offered us some of the fruits that they got. In the middle of our short chat, they asked if we just came from Himbabawod Falls.
Fetching for sympathy, we shared to them our misfortune. In turn, they shared the legend of Mìpì Falls. Upon further discussion, we found out that Himbabawod was only 30 minutes from our current location. They volunteered to guide us. We felt hesitant at first – but I guess the dilemma of ‘now-or-never’ overpowered upon us. So, off we went for that 30-minute trek to Himbabawod Falls.
What we were not prepared for was that it would only take thirty minutes if we run after them. Deym, kids. It was legit thirty minutes of trail running, bouldering and rock climbing. Imagine how we tried to keep up with their stamina.
We had a short evaluation of the activity when got back to the city proer. 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. Getting lost probably is one of the universe’s way of telling us that the right path will make itself known once everything is ready, when we are ready.
May our journeys be filled with more moments of discovery, hope, and faith. As they say, life is too short to have an itinerary. Enjoy the journey – even if it includes not knowing where you are headed.