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Unleashing My Inner Daredevil

PHILIPPINES | Saturday, 9 May 2015 | Views [314]

Something in Siquijor made do it... Find out how.


"Wassup Siquijor", hooted Sharmaine.

"Sharmaine Ceballos", said everyone else.


Screams and taunts filled the void of the rusty old jeepney that was rented by Francis' father. It was our transportation in exploring the island of Siquijor. The unexpected trip turned out to be one of the most, if not, the cheapest fearsome adventure with awe-inspiring gambit. All thanks to the Cinco family that is - whom we lived with no charges, fed us sumptuous food, and paid our conveyance around the island.


Legend has it that screaming in the island is forbidden or else you'll be cursed, except for locals. But it was too late for Sharmaine as her vocal cords were already in action. She told us that she don't care since nobody knows her anyways. True. But everybody had a grin in their faces and bolted out in the open saying Sharmaine's name in vain. Bursting into laughters, Sharmaine warned us not to say her name again to protect her from the said curse. Nobody knows how true the legend was, well for starters, it is a legend- a narrative of human action that is perceived both by speakers and listeners, and somehow that process isn't working pretty well in the course of history.


As we headed forth to our next destination after stopping by the enchanted "Balete" tree, the clouds started to hurdle and changed to a darker hue of colour; seconds after, it rained. We started this trip with a mantra, "Rain or shine, we continue on to our adventure." And so we did, until finally, we came to a stop and jumped out of the jeepney. Everyone was excited to see the waterfall, except for Francis since he has been here many times. To our demised, there was no waterfall in our sight, only a sign that read "Cambugahay Falls, This way" pointing down. Ironic as it was, we rode uphill only to find out that we need to trek down the waterfall. It was one of Francis' surprise, no shock it is. We had no choice but to take the stairs down. I tried counting the number of steps it would take to reach the waterfall, but counting was so exhausting for it wasn't short, eventually I lost my count. The only signal we had to know how near we were was the boom of the water falling down.


It was an unusual sound. 

Far from the sounds we hear in the bustling city. 
It was soothing.


My heartbeat was at one with the tone of the splashes and the rhythm of the flowing water. The warm and humid air from above suddenly came into transition with a cool and rejuvenating mist produced by the impact of the water falling from above. All of my senses were kicking in that I can even smell a distinct aroma from the water. It wasn't pungent, rather fresh, sort of minty. It reminded me of the time I went to Kawasan Falls (loacted in Cebu). As we took our final steps, there before us was the three tier waterfall. We were standing in awe at the second tier where the stairs led us. It wasn't one of those typical falls that is long in terms of length. No, this waterfall was short, yet it was wide, even wider than Siquijor's roads. It spanned majestically in a curved fashion.


We found a rope tied to a century-old tree near a cliff. Walk pass that cliff, and you better be a hell-a-lot good swimmer. First one to try to jump over the waterfall was the ever fearless Ben. He grab the rope, went back a little bit away from the cliff and before we could even take out our cameras to snap a picture of him doing it, he ran towards the cliff and jumped. He grasped the rope and it swung him over the water. Centripetal force then slowly pulled him back to his starting point. We told him to let go, but it seemed like he was waiting for the right time to do so since he didn't listen to our warnings. Seconds before he goes back to the edge of the cliff, he let go and plunged into the deep water. As soon as the rope swung its way back to the edge of the cliff, I found myself grabbing it without knowing whether to swing or not. But it was too late for me to decide since as soon as I grabbed it, everyone cheered for me to do it. I got caught up in the moment and felt like I can do it, and so I did. I held back, grasped the rope tightly, and ran towards the cliff with eyes wide open. Despite mine and my friend's scream, the only sound I can hear was that of my palpitating heart. Excitement turned into panic and my body reacted to it. As a result I landed too early into the water without getting the chance to do a "chandelier-swing". Had I not let my fear ruled over, I could've made a good performance. And so I did it again, and with a little background on what's about to happen, I successfully jumped over the falls with the rope as what it should be like. Flawless! Who am I kidding, I could use some more practice. But overall, it was something I didn't expect I would be doing. My only excuse to my Mom for her to allow me to go to Siquijor was to attend to the island's annual Fiesta and to celebrate Francis' post birthday celebration. If she knew about my daredevil experience before approving, then I would've been laying in bed and just be imagining what's like to jump over a waterfall instead.


Plot twist. As soon as I posted in Facebook a picture of me doing the swing, she was the first one to give it a like. 

Tags: 2015 writing scholarship, adventure, friends, philippines, siquijor, travel, waterfall

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