Friday, March 28, 2014

To The Road Less Travelled

I have always wanted to go to Limunsudan Falls ever since I saw a picture of it.  But for many years never got the chance.  In 2011 though, I had a chance to see it, in aerial view (my story with that trip can be found here).  

Aerial view of Limunsudan Falls, Barangay Buru-un

Then last year, when I started my business on souvenir items for Iligan City, I told Pat that we need to go to Limunsudan Falls so we could have our own picture of it which we can use in the souvenirs.  And I need to talk to the Higaonon women for some project. 

After waiting for  quite some time, on March 14, 2014, my goal was finally accomplished! :-D

Pat and I, and some other members of the Iligan Bloggers Society left early morning for Limunsudan.  But since the Iligan-Bukidnon Road is not yet completed, we have to take the other route - via Talakag, Bukidnon. 

Picture-picture with the junction sign.  
This is the Mamaon-Iligan Road Junction.  We have to turn right to be able to reach the Limunsudan community.

This is the road leading to Limunsudan.

Unfortunately, the bridge that we would have to pass through was under repair.  And our vehicle has a low body, it could not pass the alternate route.   We have no choice but to hire habal-habal (motorcycles) to take us to Limunsudan.

We walked to get to the other side of the bridge where our new ride is waiting for us.

This is the submarine bridge.  The rocks sure are big. :-)

Our ride for the rest of the way.  Two persons for one motorcycle.  :-)

All set to go!

From the bridge up to Limunsudan, the road is rough.  No cemented portions yet.  And some areas are really very rough. But even with the rough ride, I can't help but take photos along the way.  I want to document it.  I didn't know how my photos would turn out because of the bumps.  I just took my chances and hope some would turn out not blurry.  :-)

Balancing act of the driver with his motorcycle.

Selfie moment with Pat while the motor is moving.  It turned out just the way I want it.  :-)

Along the way, we also had some stops and hikes.  The motorcyle drivers would let us walk when the road is a bit steep and the rocks are loose.  This is to avoid accidents.

In this photo the road is ok.

In here, the road is muddy.  If it will rain, it would be very slippery for the motorcycles.  A 4-wheel drive vehicle would really be ideal.

Yes! After the bumps and the hikes, we finally reached Limunsudan community. :-)

Tribal Hall of Limunsudan where they hold their meetings and other gatherings. 

Visitors have to register in their record book.

Inside the tribal hall.  They have an area allocated for visitors. 

It was timely when we arrived because the tribal leaders were gathering for some important meeting.  We have to wait for them to be complete to do  the ritual prayer that they need to perform for the visitors who want to view Limunsudan Falls.  It is a way of getting permission from the spirits of the forest and to protect the visitors from the bad ones that no harm would happen to them. This is because the Limunsudan Falls is sacred to the Higaonons.

Before the prayer, each of us have to give halad (offering) to the spirits, any amount will do.   Though I don't know where the offering will go hehehe :-D 

The prayer ritual.  

Picture-picture with the tribal leaders before heading to Limunsudan Falls.  And it was good that we already had this photo before going to the falls because when we came back their meeting has already started.

The road leading to the parking area for the Limunsudan Falls.  Also bumpy and a couple of stops and hikes.  It is about 13 minutes from the tribal hall to the parking area, including the short hikes.

The 10-15 minute trekking starts here. :-D

I think this is about half-way of the trail.   We have to climb 2 short steep slopes and then go down again.  But less than 5 minutes on the trail we could already hear the sound of the waterfalls.  The guide told us about the sound that could already be heard, hehe :-)

Tada!  After climbing the first steep slope.  This is what we saw! 

After looking at it for a few seconds, selfie dayon! I didn't mind much the ants on the ground which were already biting me, hehehe ;-D

Jam took this photo for us. Thanks Jam. :-)

Climbing up for the second slope to where the viewing area is.

When we arrived at the viewing area, the rest were already silently watching Limunsudan Falls, mesmerized.

Prayer ritual to the spirits. 

After each prayer ritual, the Higaonons chew on ma-ma' -  a combination of a part of a seed from sort of a palm tree and a leaf.  The guide showed us the tree and and its fruit.  I forgot to take a photo of it.  Here, Jeff took a piece of the ma-ma' to taste it.  I wanted to taste it too but decided not to when the guide told us that it is very spicy and at times it will upset the stomach of first timers.  I was having hyperacidity then.  But I hope to really be able to taste it next time. :-) 

One of the steep slopes.  Here we are tracing back the trail going back to where the motorcycles are parked.

The resting shade for the trekkers! :-D

One of the hikes and stops in going back to the tribal hall from the falls.

A close up view of the river on upper tier of the falls.

A close up of the lagoon of the upper tier.

Given the chance to go back again, I would hope to get really close to the waterfalls.  The guide said it is a 3-hour trek to the bottom of the falls, to and fro.  Hmm.. maybe next time, hehehe...

I really had a sore body for two days caused by the trip.  But I didn't mind.  It was all worth it.  :-D

Picture with some members of the Iligan Bloggers Society :-)

With My Love, who made it all possible :-)

Me and Limunsudan Falls, with the big smile on my face :-D

The Limunsudan Falls  :-D

PS.  Pat and I would like to thank DPWH-Iligan City for their assistance. 

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