Bucas Grande Island, Socorro, Surigao del Norte
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"Taking the plunge" challenge
At Magkukuob Cave -- one of the main attractions in Sohoton Cove National Park -- spelunking ends with a cliff diving challenge. That is, for good swimmers. But for recreational swimmers, calling it "take the plunge" challenge is more appropriate.
Whether it's one or the other, one will have to do the challenge because it is the fastest way to get back to the water, where the boat is waiting nearby. The other way to exit the cave is to go back to the entrance of the cave.
In the end, it's not about how experienced (or inexperienced) a person that counts. It's about managing the crazy feeling that a scary stunt like cliff diving give that matters.
Being able to do that rewards one of an invigorating rush -- a quasi-euphoria kind of feeling, telling oneself that it's worth taking the plunge no matter how risky it sounds.
A basic but very helpful piece of advice that experts and first-timers can use is not to over-think things.
It's one of those just-do-it moments.
Thanks to Herson, one of our companions, I was motivated to do the challenge properly. He wasn't a good swimmer, and wasn't a professional cliff diver either. But his body was completely relaxed when he took the challenge. His stance emanated sheer calmness like that of professionals.
His right hand was stretched upward. With his legs closely touching, he had his right foot pointing downward so it could pierce through the water without incurring injury from the impact.
It didn't take long for him to touch the water, but the sight of his body so slowly and gracefully falling down to the water had made him look infinite. I was so transfixed at the sight that I felt it too that very moment.
I knew he did that to do the challenge properly, not to show off or inspire anyone - as was the effect on me.
As a result, my hesitance was replaced with a resolve. A resolve to jump into the water from a platform that is 12-feet above sea level without wearing a life vest. This is not only safer, but the proper thing to do.
And subconsciously, so that I too could experience the infinite feeling of being suspended in the air, which would take place very briefly after taking off and plunging into the water.
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