This blog won MovePH’s #SharePH 2017 summer contest. This originally appeared on X, Rappler’s self-publishing platform.
MANILA, Philippines – It was always a dream to visit Malibiclibic Falls.
Three years ago, I was part of a team that explored tourism gems of Cavite. There were countless amazing and truly beautiful places, food, and people. We worked with local government offices to document and showcase these attractions.
But that one place that I just could not forget was in a town surrounded by Maragondon, Magallanes, Indang, and Alfonso.
Bailen’s Malibiclibic Falls was as breathtaking as it was spitritual. I vowed to return soon.
But weeks turned into months, and eventually 3 years went by.
Rappler’s #SharePH gave me the perfect opportunity to go back.
Bailen is a two-hour drive from General Trias, where I live. On a good day, it will take about 3 hours from Manila. Public transport is also available with buses to Naic or Maragondon at the Coastal Mall Terminal in Pasay. From there, scheduled jeepney rides reach Bailen’s town proper.
We left General Trias at a comfortable 7:30 am. We used Waze most of the way or wherever the signal allowed us. The Saturday morning traffic got us there at around 9:30 am.
We parked in the field just above the entrance to the trail. Trail, yes. There is a 30-minute hike to the falls. Every step of it adds to the anticipation and makes the trip all the more worthwhile.
The downhill trail is easy enough for a child or an out-of-shape adult (like me) to tread. It was wreathed with fallen leaves, twigs, and the occasional sign. We then reached a part where we had to navigate through huge rocks and boulders.
Then, the falls.
I had an image of it in my mind, and although the place hardly changed, it was very different. The air is sweeter this time as the trees seemed to knowingly welcome me. I dove into the cool water and was revitalized.
As I floated on the surface, I realized it was I who changed. The 3 years saw monumental milestones in my life and in a way I could not have come back sooner than I had. I would not have been ready. It would not have meant the same. It was that kind of place.
After an hour or so, we were ready to leave and enjoy the rest of Bailen with its good but cheap food and friendly, accommodating people.
I made one last look at the falls. In my heart I knew that the next time I return, I will be a different, better me. – Rappler.com
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