SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews / 2 Oct) – First, you need to have strong knees. But worry not, the ascending footsteps that are threatening vertical high are cemented, all 340-plus. It can be a pain in the neck to the less physically active types. But worry not, the ascending footsteps that are almost vertical, all 340-plus of them, are cemented. It can be a pain in the neck to the less physically active types.
“Don’t they have a helicopter here?” my friend Ritchie, the lazy nearly losing his patience, grasping breath and sweat falling like waterfalls, complained even before reaching the first station.
“Maybe we should have pursued the weekend jog and we’ll be happier, contented creatures now,” realizes too late our company, Alex, she who loves to eat anything under the sun and has never any idea of stretching up (once a year) a mountain trail, until now.
“Oh, it’s not really a mountain, not the way you imagine like Kota Kinabalu (in Malaysia), it’s more like a hill to wander on a lazy day,” assures another friend, Benny, who considers being married to the gym.
All told, Mt. Baragabon of Barangay Mabua, in the outskirts of Surigao City, known as the city of islands, is to Ritchie and Alex “all worth it, and no regrets, definitely worth it, especially when you reach the other side, you forget why you initially wonder why you came here.” They congratulated each other.
The other side which is descending presents images of the deep blue sea playing hide and seek with the trees. “I’m glad I came here, really. The sight is beautiful,” confirms Ritchie, no longer dreaming of flying machines.
We snake down the trail. “Is that a dinosaur’s back?” inquired Alex, pointing the huge boulder in the ocean below. Maybe, I thought, a prehistoric giant stuck between the earth and sky. We marched towards the beach made of pebbles.
We dive into the sea and while swimming, someone asked if we had indeed been through that cliff seen above us. We clamber up the dinosaur’s back and jumping, clambering up and jumping…
“I hope this place remains like this forever,” wishes Alex. Indeed not commercialized, remains hidden and rustic. But if one likes to go there, one must get his knees strong first.
Thank God it’s that way.