Romblon | Chasing Waterfalls in Dugubdub

Sunday, May 05, 2013Ryan Mach

[Mt. Guiting-Guiting in the background]

THE SUN WAS HALF-HIDDEN BEHIND a bank of grey clouds when we emerged from the ankle-deep stream to find a small clearing before us with the intimidating panorama of Mt. Guiting-Guiting in the distance. The famous mountain refused to reveal herself to us, always veiled in mist and fog which never quite left her. Like an elusive but proud maiden, she only let herself be glimpsed and admired from afar.

Her distinctive jagged terrains would appear from time to time but they have never really come in full view.
She was always there, tall and majestic, fascinating but dangerous. As we reveled on its beauty, we promised ourselves, most of us anyway, that we'd get to know her better and closer somebody.
THE WAY TO THE FALLS started at a small village where the crowded jeepney we just toploaded on dropped us off. Children gawked at us by the road, eying us with slight indifference and curiousity as we retrieved our breakfast from the vehicle and deposited them at a small wooden hut.
While my companions were busy distributing the load among the group (Hey, who's carrying this caserole?), I engaged myself in a small photo session with the kids. Feeling like a generous politician, I dug a few coins from my pocket and handed them out to the tots, until our tour guide chipped my wings off by telling me rather sternly that I shouldn't give out money to the kids. "They might get used to it," she warned. A flush crept to my face.
After paying the entrance fee (Php20), we began the short trek to Dagubdub Falls carrying our breakfast, with our tour guide leading the way. We would stop occasionally to take photos of ourselves with Mt. Guiting-Guiting in the background.
As we traversed the rutted road which led to the foot of the mountain, a small drizzle started trickling down.
We crossed a small rivulet with knee-deep water.
There was no house in sight, only shrubs, trees and mountain.
DAGUBDUB FALLS CONSISTS OF FOUR small falls (also known as levels) and basins in between. The cascades were not grand but the water was clean, cool and refreshing. It was quite clear you could see the bottom. We were itching to jump off at the sight of the first level but we were hungry. We ate our packed breakfast at a hut near the river and left the food containers there to venture to the next falls ahead.

The second level had a cascade and a basin larger than the first. We a few minutes swimming in its cool water and jumping off from its rocky walls.
The next level was no different than the first two - it also had a small picnic cabana which came in handy when the rain started pouring. We just hung-out at the top of the cascade and jump off to the water below.
Time passed by rather too quickly we hadn't noticed it until our guide reminded us that we needed to be back before 11. The same jeepney that took us to Dagubdub would be passing by the same route at 11:30AM. So we took our stuff and ventured the last level.
We were expecting a far larger falls and basin this time but apparently, Dagubdub Falls had none of those. The last falls we visited turned out to be the smallest. We simply observed it from the rocks and took photos.

Our friend, Erpe, amused us with his funny impersonation of a ranger hunting animals in the woods. With his faux pas shotgun (tripod), he started aiming for a shot as if he was in the wilderness. It was quite believable until he burst into a giggle.

We took the same trail going back. The rain was now becoming stronger.
After doing a series of cliff jumping at the first level, we began our trek to the village a quarter past 11.

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