Kalayaan Twin Falls
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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 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 so when they said we were going swimming in the falls, I was all for it.
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.
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. There are two falls flanking each other, a thin big boulder separating them.
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.
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.
When I’ve had enough swimming, I went to the makeshift shower area; a few stalls that were only 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.
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