When we reached Camp 3 of Mt. Maynoba, there was a throng of early climbers that is beginning to crowd the limited space. Everyone is awaiting their turn to take pictures on the rocks. To avoid the crowd, our group decided to proceed with the descent down the so called eight waterfalls. It was around 8:50 AM when we finally reached the first of eight waterfalls, the Natatagong Paraiso Falls.

At Natatagong Falls, we had our late breakfast, or early lunch. The waterfalls is a great place to cool off after a lengthy hike. The lush fauna that covers the area shielded us from the various elements that have so far addled our early trek. The waterfall is a picturesque one. Moreover, there’s also a small swimming hole where one can dip and cool off after a wearying trek.

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Hidden Paradise. Underneath that foliage is a watering hole that can invigorate the weary body. 

Noting that there was still a number of climbers resting in the place, my companion and I delighted ourselves by taking pictures. Our fellow early climbers were also feasting on their food but there were some who were enjoying the cold waters. But as the clock ticks, more and more early trekkers were crowding the area. Some begun unpacking and eating their packed food.

When there were too many people in the, my companions and I proceeded with the descent down the mountain, following the downward course of the water. After a short walk, we reached the second waterfall, Maykatmon Falls. Some of the trekkers who avoided the crowd at the first waterfall were unwinding in the area.

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Tranquility. These waterfalls, away from the pandemonium of urban living, are like flowing manna that rejuvenates the tired soul.

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“Water is the driving force of all nature.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci

In succession, the third to eighth waterfalls are Ayngas Falls, May Gugulong Na Bato Falls, Maynoba Falls, Lantay na Bato Falls, May Bangka Falls, and lastly, Magpantay Falls. Each waterfall is distinct and is individually beautiful. During the climb, I also learned where Maynoba originated from. Apparently it was from a plant used in making fish nets.

As we passed by each waterfall, we saw trekkers who were also resting their weary feet. Some of our fellow trekkers were also eating their late breakfast/early lunch while some were taking a dip on the cold waters.

 

While some were busy eating and dipping, there were those who were busy taking picture. But for me, the most captivating group is that of those who were just contentedly sitting on one side, basking in the tranquility of the moment and of the place. I am just content being away from the cacophonous noise of the city. If only I had no responsibilities to go back to in the city then everything would be fine. Unfortunately, that is not my reality.

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Gravity. What goes up must come down.
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Swimming Pool. And we finally reached the last of the eight waterfalls, Magpantay Falls, a big enough swimming pool where one can wade to cool down the weary body.

Fortunately, the trail going down is covered by trees and tall bamboo grasses that shield us from the heat of the risen sun. The bamboo forest, in contrast to the grasslands we passed through in Mt. Maynoba, is one of the things that I liked about this trek. In the midst of the bamboo forest, I felt like we were in Japan, and not in the Philippines. My companion, as awed of the scenery as I was asked me to take his pictures. I cannot blame him because this chance is too rare to pass up the photo op.

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Change of scenery. This is definitely one of the reasons why I enjoy trekking. Each mountain is different, each forest is different, each trek is different. But differences make the adventure all the more enchanting.
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Reflect. The tranquility that besets the mountains give one a chance to reflect to his inner self.

At the eighth waterfall, the rest of my companions took the last chance to take a dip before proceeding to our jump-off point. I am fine just watching them having fun in the water. I just breathed in my surroundings, how tranquil it was because I know that it would be a long time, a week at least, before I can find myself lost again in such a serene place.

And it’s time to go down! This is probably the saddest part of every climb, knowing that you are drawing closer to the pandemonium you have previously escaped from. If only I could stay a little longer to linger and marvel at this beautiful place. But alas, I must return to the big city to fulfill my duties.

At around 12 noon, we finally reached the jump-off point where we washed up to prepare for our journey back to the big city. It’s finally time to bid adieu to Tanay! What I’ve seen today just solidified the lingering curiosity I have of mountains and its various facets. Hoping to see you again in the near future. Till my next adventure!

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Beauty. Learn to get in touch with nature. It will be a floodgate that will open you to more wonders that will fill you with awe.

Itinerary

0100H Meet up at Madison Square Pioneer
0130H Departure for Brgy. Cayabu, Tanay, Rizal
0330H Arrival at Brgy. Cayabu
0400H Start trek to Mt. Cayabu
0530H Arrival at Mt. Cayabu summit
0540H Resume trek to Mt. Maynoba Camp 1
0610H Arrival at Camp 1
0645H Arrival at Camp 2
0745H Arrival at Camp 3
0850H Arrival at Natatagong Paraiso Falls. Early lunch. Dip on the falls
1000H Resume descent
1200H Arrival at base. Wash up
1300H Departure for Manila
1530H Arrival at Manila

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There’s no way but up. Life is a labyrinth where one can easily get lost and eventually, lose hope. However, we must always look forward to wonderful things that will happen. It is not because we’re stuck in the labyrinth that we must also stop longing for familiar comforts. Have faith and believe, in Him, and in yourself. Logging off for now. Until the next adventure!  ~ CLB

 

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