I decided to consume my remaining work leaves by visiting one of the most wonderful waterfalls in the country dubbed as the “Niagara Falls of the Philippines” – TINUY-AN FALLS.
Bislig is only a mere three hours ride from the minesite where I work in Mindanao, yet even after six years of working in the area, I haven’t had the chance to set foot in Tinuy-an Falls.
They say, people tend to visit far-away places first than those that are already in their backyard. Places that are nearby are always taken for granted, for they are easily accessible and available anytime. I believe this train of thought is also applicable to people. The thrill of chasing someone distant and unavailable has always trumped-up caring for those who are already close to you. It’s basic human psychology. You always want what you can’t have.
I have completed two journals (2014 and 2015) with a visit to Tinuy-an falls always on my bucketlist. So after a killer leg workout and a realization that I have three days worth of work leaves expiring by November, I made a spontaneous decision to finally see the place. The morning after, I filed for my leave. Come afternoon, I was already on a passenger van with other tourists from Manila looking forward to an unforgettable Surigao get-away.
We arrived at our destination after a long journey passing through rough roads and rickety, wooden bridges. We rented a raft to take us underneath the fall’s water curtains. As we were nearing, water splashes were getting painful, but I decided to shut off the part of my brain that signaled pain. After successfully numbing the discomfort, came the soothing and relaxing pleasure of getting soaked and drenched in water torrents.
In that moment of bliss, I felt the universe connecting with me and tugging on my sleeves.
So I sent a message to the universe.
Let the water wash away all my remaining pain, hurt, fears, uncertainties that hounded me these previous months.
Let the water cleanse and heal my bruised and broken heart.
Let the water purify and renew my crushed spirit.
I shouted all of these underneath the cascades. It didn’t even matter to me if my other companions heard me.
In that moment of time and space, I let the water to free me from useless sufferings. With all my heart and soul, I asked the universe for me to be able to forgive, and let go.
This ritual underneath the waterfalls gave me the chance to wash away all my negative thoughts and emotions. It is only fitting to use water as my medium since the cleansing and healing properties of it are already time-tested and immemorial. Since biblical times, water in the form of a great flood washed away all evil and disobedience leaving Noah and his family as the only survivors in the world. Christianity uses water too during baptism for redemption, renewal and rebirth of the soul.
I opened my eyes. Water droplets still made them feel uneasy, but I felt renewed and comforted.
My heart was still beating the same way it did. It is scarred, yes, but it is stronger, more open, and more fearless, ready to accept new beginnings and adventures.