Philippines Travel

Finding Courage at Kalayaan Twin Falls





I saw a man about to jump and in my mind I was telling him to “just do it.” I repeated this in my head like a mantra, willing for the person to take the leap. He was up there for more than 30 minutes and I could only imagine what was running through his head. If I were in his position I’d probably be scared shitless, but I was just a spectator and I couldn’t stand the suspense. If I were his friend I might have given him the much-needed push, but I wasn’t so I waited. I readied my camera, set it on video mode, and then at last, the man has finally conquered whatever misgivings he had. No, I did not just wish someone to jump to his death; I was cheering for him to take the plunge from the top of Kalayaan Twin Falls.

kalayaan-twin-falls-coffeehan (4)

Kalayaan Twin Falls can be found in Laguna. The trip was part of that momentous climb that I had at Mt. Mabilog. We were all sweaty and dirty, didn’t look or smell anything human so I was dying for a bath. When they said we were going swimming in the falls, I was all for it. [Read: Conquering Mt. Mabilog]

The path that leads to the falls was muddied and slippery, but the trek didn’t take forever if you know what I mean. There were other tourists taking a swim, some were even using those black floaters that can be rented for PHP40. The place is surrounded by cottages, which can be rented.

kalayaan-twin-falls-coffeehan (3)

It seems like we were all about twins that day because after seeing the twin lakes, Pandin and Yambo, we went to see the twin falls. As you can see in the picture below there are two falls flanking each other, a big boulder separating them.

kalayaan-twin-falls-coffeehan (1)

After we changed into our bathing suits, we wasted no time and immediately went into the water. The water is cold and dark, but it’s clean and the shallow parts are bedecked by big rocks. I am not a good swimmer, but I didn’t want to be that person “on the sideline” or the one who doesn’t leave the side of the pool so I rented a floater. I did try to get closer to the falls because I wanted to get some hydro massage; well not really, actually, I was just trying to look like a total badass, but the force of the falls was so strong I couldn’t get any nearer. So much for trying to be cool.

So I just did what any non-swimmer do, spend the better part of our time there drifting on the water. [Read: Lake Pandin, Laguna]

There is a sari-sari store in the area that sells chips, booze, and rents out the floaters. It is owned by a woman who looks to be somewhere in her 40s. We had a little chitchat with her daughter who seems to be no more than 12 years old. She said that she and her friends like to swim and dive in the river. I had no doubt that she could do it, but my friend, Alchris was cynical. So he dared the girl to take a jump and she did, like a boss! I watched her and wished that I’d been born close to water.

kalayaan-twin-falls-coffeehan (2)

When I’ve had enough swimming, I went to the makeshift shower area; a few stalls that have bamboo sticks for a roof, and covered by tarpaulin and plastic sheets. It is manned by a scrawny 11-year old boy named Reillan. He’s the one who fetches the water that the tourists use to take a bath. He does it singlehandedly for the whole day on weekends. At first, I felt sorry for him, no boy his age should be doing a task as difficult as this. In my little interview of him, I was happy to learn that he goes to school. The pity was soon replaced by admiration. Here’s a boy who should be playing yet he was there helping his parents earn some money. I pray that hat this boy would be able to finish his school and make something of himself someday.

kalayaan-twin-falls-coffeehan (6)

kalayaan-twin-falls-coffeehan (5)

I hope that he doesn’t lose courage and I hope that he doesn’t let any obstacles stand in his way. I hope that great opportunities would come his way and that he wouldn’t be afraid to jump at them when they are finally presented to him. I hope that when he gets scared or when he starts to doubt himself, he would meet someone or some people who would encourage him to just do it.

 

 

maggie-beer-the-farm-lake
A Delightful Lunch at Maggie Beer Farm
grand-palace-bangkok-marjorie-gavan
Bangkok, Thailand Travel Guide 2020
sydney-opera
How holding on a little bit led me back to Australia

Comments (33)

  1. Cai
    Cai

    Even though I can jump from the top of that Falls. Hindi sya agad-agad. I know I can swim pero pag nasa ibabaw kana Its a different story. Yet, If I was there. hindi ko papalagpasin yan 🙂 hahaha

    Reply
  2. rochkirstin
    rochkirstin

    Jumping off the falls is a thrill but I think I also can’t do it because I’d be like a scared cat. 🙂 The water is just nice to look at.

    Reply
  3. Alexandrea
    Alexandrea

    Looks like such a beautiful little spot to unwind. The Philippines has been on my countries to visit for awhile, little things like these just further cement it’s spot.

    Reply
    • Marjorie Gavan
      Marjorie Gavan

      I do hope you get to visit the Philippines soon Alexandra. My country has something for everyone, that’s why I always promote it to foreigners who haven’t been here yet.

      Reply
  4. Inma
    Inma

    Really love the blurry effect you edit your pics with! It help us focus on what matters 😀

    Reply
  5. Lucy
    Lucy

    Very beautiful place !
    ahhaahaaa I remembered the same thing happened to me in Cinque Terre, I saw a guy about to jump off a cliff and I stopped and though ‘do it, do it!’ :))))

    …oh and that 11 years old boy … it breaks my heart to see such things…and it makes me grateful for the life and childhood i’ve had….

    Reply
    • Marjorie Gavan
      Marjorie Gavan

      Yes, when you see how other people have it worse, you realize your life is something to be thankful for.

      Reply
  6. leticia
    leticia

    Beautiful way to end a hike!

    Reply
    • Marjorie Gavan
      Marjorie Gavan

      Maybe you’d be able to do it someday Nic. 🙂

      Reply
  7. victoria metcalfe
    victoria metcalfe

    We’re planning a trip to the Philippines in Feb – its been one of those places I’ve wanted to visit for so long! It looks incredible

    Reply
    • Marjorie Gavan
      Marjorie Gavan

      Ooh, I’m excited for you. We have many beautiful places to see here!

      Reply
  8. Natasha Amar
    Natasha Amar

    Sometimes when you’re in such situations, you might not end taking chances if you think about it for too long. My strategy is to not think about it at all and just do it!

    Reply
    • Marjorie Gavan
      Marjorie Gavan

      Oh yes, overthinking ruins it for most people; makes them more afraid to grab an opportunity.

      Reply
  9. Anita Hendrieka
    Anita Hendrieka

    Aww I need to get to the Philippines next year. Looks like the perfect holiday destination for a backpacker!

    Reply
    • Marjorie Gavan
      Marjorie Gavan

      The Philippines has many things to offer, so yes, it is a perfect holiday destination Anita. 🙂

      Reply
  10. Claudia
    Claudia

    Last summer, for the second time in my life, I climbed the arch at a beautiful beach I love going to. I was in my bare hand and feet. When I got to the top, I was so scared to jump. I did, eventually. But I swear I will never do it again.

    Reply
    • Marjorie Gavan
      Marjorie Gavan

      At least you got to try it. I don’t think I will ever have the courage to do it. It’s too scary for me and I’m not a good swimmer.

      Reply
  11. Angela
    Angela

    Just do it! I thought too, except if it was me I probably would have chickened out! The falls look so gorgeous and not busy. I love after ending a perfect hike being alone or only with a few others to enjoy the moment.

    Reply
    • Marjorie Gavan
      Marjorie Gavan

      If it were me I never would have gone up there in the first place hahaha…

      Reply
  12. dannielle - While I'm Young and Skinny
    dannielle - While I'm Young and Skinny

    Good to hear the little boy is being educated – so many doing manual work for the tourist trade aren’t. I know how you must have felt – there’s nothing worse than not wanting to be the boring one but just not having the balls to do something!

    Reply
    • Marjorie Gavan
      Marjorie Gavan

      Yes, that’s why I’m happy that he goes to school and I hope he finishes it too.

      Reply
  13. Stephen
    Stephen

    Looks like a great area! #ItsMoreFunInThePhilippines for real, huh?

    Reply
  14. Carol Colborn
    Carol Colborn

    A nicely-written short account of a less known destination in the Philippines, my home country; closing sentence neatly ties up with the opening paragraph!

    Reply
  15. Manic Pixie Girl
    Manic Pixie Girl

    Your blog makes me want to spent half a year in the Philippines to explore. 🙂

    Anyhoo, I can’t wait to read your post about your latest trip(/s) abroad.

    Reply
    • Marjorie Gavan
      Marjorie Gavan

      Thanks! When you do find a time, I hope you can explore the Philippines, there are so many things to see here.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll down to see next article
Food
Yumchee Raises the Bar in the Fastfood Scene
css.php