I pulled myself together, groggily, determined to wash out sleep that keeps insisting itself on my tired eyes and limbs. The events of the previous night felt like a dream – a dream you would cringe upon recall and would rather forget. But my neurons are active now and my puking fit became as vivid as it was four hours ago.
I swallowed the headache pill and hoped that it would calm down my throbbing veins soon. There is a mountain to climb.
Literally. And Kan-Irag is waiting.
So, with barely four hours of sleep, I braved the estimated seven-hour trek to its peak. What the hell. I refused to chicken out because that’s what brokenhearted people do, I guess. Kill themselves in any other way to distract themselves from the internal pain. And I am a self-confessed escapist. (Such drama. It sounds ridiculous now.)
After over an hour of waiting for the group to assemble, we rode a hired jeepney to a fork section in Barangay Busay. I don’t remember the name now, but it must have been eskina Buslot. Hihi. From there, we began the trek.I expected it to rain, but the sun never gave up on us. Thankfully, because the trail would be much more difficult with the downpour. And I’m exceptionally good at slipping.
There were 28 of us. Not necessarily acquaintances, but connected in some way or another – a friend of a coworker, a student of that friend, a neighbor. Others are first timers, some probably just curious, and perhaps others just happened to be available on a Saturday. But whatever. We were there for the same purpose and that is to accept the collective fate of being confined home the following day for severe leg cramps. I was there to burn my heart, punish myself, probably.
Cebu can surprise you in so many ways. To the adventurous, there are mountains to climb, rivers to discover, birds to see, scenes to photograph. And of course, there are always people to meet. During my ascent to Kan-Irag, I marveled at the majestic falls.
I’ve first seen Kabang within the pixilated frame of my computer screen. First impression wasn’t so great. The water was too green. The falls looked lacking in height. I guess we just harbor too many false judgments until we come face to face with the real thing. Authentic experience fixes bolts, rearranges angles. The moment I caught my first glimpse of the falls, I dropped Flenn’s bag, soaked my shoes in the water and just swam to my heart’s content. We were ahead of the pack so we arrived there first and we had the little cave beneath the falls to ourselves. Yes, the water was green. It was a cool welcome. And the falls was lofty.
Before coming to the big drop, our group passed by some smaller waterfalls. The first one dropped to a mini-lake and we dipped there for an hour before moving on to more rock-hugging, soil-crawling, and steep-climbing.
We passed by rose farms, a tabay (natural spring well), stopped a bit at a sari-sari store, and resumed with a little more determination to the peak just a few kilometers ahead. The silly laughters died. People were already too tired to crack jokes. Yet, we still stole a few more minutes to lie on the grass, pick horsetails, salvage some leftover mangoes (it was mango harvesting season) and poke fun at our Japanese fellows.
I traveled light. Dared Kan-Irag in leggings, shorts and a sleeveless shirt. No arm suit, no backpack. Not to mention that I left the DSLR and had to make do with my 49% charged smartphone. I didn’t care anymore. I never wanted to. I just hoped the trip would give me the sense to.
Will I come back? The hell. Definitely. Perhaps more sober, more sane and with more food.
PS. All photos are shot using Xperia Z1