the (mis)adventure at cambais falls

cambais falls, alegria, cebu, philippines

it’s the perfect place to wake up to: the steady sound of the rumbling river bringing with it a breath of cool mountain air; roosters crowing at the break of dawn to welcome the sunrise you probably wouldn’t see as this town sits on the western side of cebu; the slight rustle of the leaves so loud and so quiet at the same time.

the deafening silence. which may or may not be a good thing depending on how friendly you are with the demons inside your head.

looking at this little bamboo house in the middle of our hike, i imagined myself living here and i thought, yeah, i could live here. if i was running away from the law or something and need a place to hide. growing sweet corns and a beard to make my disguise look legit.

i mean, no offense. i’m an average basic bitch but in this day and age, even average basic bitches are creatures of comfort. in my case, that means unlimited broadband internet, hot & cold running water, and a decent toilet. that’s not too much to ask for, is it?

cambais falls, alegria, cebu, philippines

you’re probably wondering what we were doing here in the first place. can’t blame you. i asked myself the exact same thing on that 20-minute walk to go to cambais falls only to end up not going there. a classic example of the phrase, “so near, yet so far.”

okay, so el2 wanted to take us all on a spontaneous adventure while we were staying in moalboal. alegria wasn’t that far so, why not?

“it’s very child-friendly,” she said.

“it’s just a short walk,” she said.

cambais falls, alegria, cebu, philippines

i’m all for adventure but when i saw the narrow uphill footpath with the somewhat steep cliff on the left, i had my reservations. i mean, it’s one thing if i were single, but it’s another thing if i have a baby to think about. although not so much the thinking part as it is the carrying part.

mommy to the rescue.

she stayed back in the van. i didn’t wanna miss out. i wanted to check out the waterfalls too.

cambais falls, alegria, cebu, philippinescambais falls, alegria, cebu, philippines

so on and on, we walked.

on and on and on and on, it seemed.

behind me, my dad was muttering under his breath. talking about how isolated the place was that if some random drug addict suddenly went crazy on us, we were doomed. (i would’ve personally used the word ‘f%cked’ but my dad rarely swears, if at all. that word would’ve been more appropriate for the occasion.)

can’t blame him, though. with his three daughters and two granddaughters, he was definitely on full-on protective mode. not to downplay his concerns but looking back, it was quite funny, actually.

could be zombies too, daddy.

could be zombies too.

cambais falls, alegria, cebu, philippines

with el2 leading the way, may-ann carrying adie on her back the whole time because she didn’t wanna walk, and aeva collecting mud on the back of her legs because she hasn’t yet learned the art of maneuvering muddy grounds in flip flops, i was there taking pictures of the scenery. behind me, my dad was hurrying me to get going so we could get the ‘adventure’ over and done with.

but, yeah, it was a beautiful place. maybe because it hasn’t been infiltrated by tourists yet.

cambais falls, alegria, cebu, philippines

the reason we didn’t get to go to the waterfalls might sound lame but it was sincerely an oversight on our part: we didn’t bring any money.

because we thought it was free.

which i thought was kind of stupid because in the first place, aren’t waterfalls publicly owned? apparently, it’s private property. you need to pay entrance fee blah, blah, blah… typical filipino transactions. it’s all about the money.

el2 negotiated. said we’d pay the man after and he agreed but as it was late in the afternoon already, my dad was like, nevermind. he wanted to get out of there asap while there was still light to guide us back to civilization.

so that was that. maybe next time again.

cambais falls, alegria, cebu, philippines

i did manage to get aeva to believe my stories about river gods and fairies, though. even got her to gather tiny flowers as an offering to them to please grant us a safe journey back home.

i watched her flowers gently floating away with the current, taking with them the intentions i silently prayed in my head. prayers of love, peace, and happiness.

i can be quite sentimental when i want to.

cambais falls, alegria, cebu, philippinescambais falls, alegria, cebu, philippines

walked back to where we started from to see raven greeting us all with a smile. mommy greeted us with an “i-told-you-so.”

meanwhile, aeva had to go to the river to wash off all the mud in her legs.

*raven at 1 year and 3 months old

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