Monday, May 12, 2014

A Not So Usual Mother’s Day Treat (For Less than A Thousand Pesos)

If you are follower of this blog, you know by now that most of my travels and adventures are done together with my wife Malou. As long as time and budget permit, we travel together not only to de-stressed from our respective day jobs but also to have more bonding moments together which, I believe, would further strengthened our marriage. Because of this, I always feel blessed and fortunate to have married someone who share and support my life’s passion.

So during last weekend's Mother’s Day, instead of buying her gifts or taking her to the usual dinner date, I thought of something inexpensive yet more adventurous and fun: I took her for a day of hiking, waterfalls chasing and swimming at the Center for Ecological Development and Recreation (CEDAR) in Impalutao, Impasugong, Bukidnon.

CEDAR is a reforestation project with a lush, green forest which is home to clean rivers and three natural waterfalls. It is only 18 kilometers from our home in Malaybalay City so we don’t have to travel too far to enjoy its natural attractions.

From Malaybalay, we took a bus bound for Cagayan de Oro City and disembarked at the entrance of CEDAR along Impalutao Highway about 20 minutes later. Going inside CEDAR, tall trees on both sides of the dirt road dwarfed us and immediately the coldness of the air can be felt. 

Entrance fee is only 10 pesos per person. From the entrance, we just followed the wide path descending down to a man-made pool. We then crossed a short bamboo bridge, walked through a narrow footpath until finally we’re face to face with Gantungan Falls. We took a brief rest at the riverside on top of the falls and marveled on its raging emerald waters.

We then crossed the bamboo bridge over Gantungan River and followed another narrow trail to our left. This trail leads us to the spot where we can view Natigbasan Falls. Though the falls is partly concealed by trees and vines, its gorgeous drop can still be seen from where we stood.

We continued our hike until we reached the spot where the trail branches out to two sides. Since I’ve already been to CEDAR a number of times, I told Malou that we would follow the trail going down. It was a steep and slippery descent and I have to remove my outdoor sandals because of its poor traction. Going barefoot gave me more grip to the ground and kept me from getting off balance. On the other hand, Malou’s trail shoes gave her no problem in descending the trail all the way down.

After sweating it out at the tough descent, we finally made it to Dila Falls. It was actually Malou’s first time to see this falls from down below. Due to the on-going dry season, there is lesser volume of water cascading down. Still, Dila Falls is a beautiful sight to behold.

Surprisingly, the climb back to the top was faster (and easier) than our descent. When we reached the trail’s junction, we did not go back the trail we previously passed through. Instead, we followed the path going up until we reached the middle part of the forest where the trail once again widens. We just hiked through this trail until finally, we made our way back to the bamboo bridge over Gantungan River.

We then turned to our left, trekked upstream and in a little while found a perfect spot where we can dip our tired bodies. Though it is a bit shallow, I find it more safe than the deeper part of the river which is already close to the top portion of Gantungan Falls.
So after taking photos, we wasted no time in soaking ourselves in the ice cold water. We leaned on the rocks where small but strong cascades passed through and enjoyed some kind of massage and bubble bath! It was indeed the perfect reward after more than an hour of hiking.

After enjoyinh clear and cold fresh water, we walked back to the swimminh pool and changed clothes at the makeshift dressing room. It was already noontime when we started to walk back to the highway. To temporarily stave off hunger, we ate chips and bread while walking. We did not bring more food as we planned to eat our lunch elsewhere.

Upon reaching the highway, we waited for a few minutes until another bus bound for Cagayan de Oro came along. We rode this bus and in about ten minutes, disembarked near the place where we would eat our luch: the roadside Kafeneio Restaurant.

It was past 1 PM and we were already hungry. Good thing, though, Kafeneio’s service is fast. In less than 15 minutes after placing our order, our lunch of roast beef and baby back ribs were served. It was a delicious and filling lunch which definitely satisfied our growling tummies.

After our lunch, we just walked towards the other side of the highway. In a little while, an airconditioned bus bound for Valencia City passed by. As we traveled back home, I felt happy for the not so usual treat I gave to my wife on this special day. Though we did not travel too far and I did not spend too much, I know I made her happy, for the adventures we had created another memorable moments for us to cherish together.

Bus from Malaybalay to CEDAR – P20.00 x 2 = P40.00
CEDAR Entrance Fee – P10.00 x 2 = P20.00
Bread and Chips – P50.00
Bus to Kaffenio – P10.00 x 2 = P20.00
Lunch – P530.00
Bus back to Malaybalay – P40.00 x 2 = P80.00

TOTAL = P740.00 (!)

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  1. Perfect journey. I love to visit there on my next vacation. I'm so glad that I've found this post. Thumbs up!

  2. perfect mothers day gift, keep the love burning..:)

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