Have you ever experienced this uneasy feeling of regret that eventually resulted in frustrations that haunted your mind for days? I hate this kind of situation, full of what ifs, loads of wondering why and many thoughts are unsettled. The thing is, I regretted what I had done in this venture.
I may be exaggerating but this is what I feel. OK I’ll stop this dramatic intro. Ha! First things first, here’s my trekking diary in Mulao River in Compostela, Cebu.
On May 1,2015 at 8 am Nina, Joy and I took a ride in a Ceres bus at the North Bus Terminal. Note: Any north bound bus will pass by the Municipality of Compostela.The fare going to Compostela is Php 30.00 It took us 45 minutes to reach Compostela Public Market, the drop off point. As we stepped out of the bus ,we noticed that there were many “Habal-Habals” in the area. “Habal-Habal” was our mode of transportation in going to Mulao. The fare was Php 35.00. It took us 30 minutes to reach Mulao.
Before heading to the river, we went first to the barangay hall where we were welcomed by the amiable barangay captain. Hon. Asterio Tanjay welcomed us very warmly. He told us some facts about the Mulao River and what to expect from there. He added that the Mulao folks are good natured.
To follow their SOP, we wrote our names in the logbook and we were told that tour guides will be provided for us. Our guides were Ren, Yeng and JL aged 12, 13 and 14 respectively. They are used to trekking the place.
We set off toward the river. We passed by lots of coconut trees and saw many carabaos.
In less than 15 minutes we reached the river bank. Again we saw carabaos cooling themselves by taking a dip in the waters.
Trekking a river is impossible if you don’t get your feet wet. In exploring Mulao River,we really had our feet soaked in the water especially when we crossed it because the trail was on the other side. We walked with difficulty through mossy rocks which were very slippery.
Tip No. 1 Wear proper footwear, like shoes or sandal to prevent from slipping on the slippery moss when wading in the river.
As we continued, we started to admire the natural beauty of Mulao River . First we trod on pebbles and then on bigger pebbles and after that on rocks which became larger and larger as we moved down the river.
Tip No. 2 Be extra careful in climbing over or crawling under a number of huge rocks. One wrong move might get you injured.
As we continued our trek we came to one of the highlights of Mulao River, the gigantic stone art called the Golden Ship or some call it the Stone Ark. It really looked like a ship and it was huge. The guide told us a folktale that at night time, the golden stone ship sails toward the sea carrying ghost crews. Creepy!
It was 12 noon when we got there. We rested, then ate our lunch below the Golden Ship.
Tip No. 3 Bring extra food and water, in our case we had 3 guides, to whom we shared our food.
After lunch,we made sure that no garbage was left behind.
Tip No. 4 Don’t throw your trash anywhere. Let’s be responsible people and make this place eco friendly.
I looked around and was mesmerized by the view. Rocks of varied shapes and sizes, formed artistically millions of years ago by the natural flow of the river captured my sight. Among those amazing artistic forms were boulders with hollow parts shaped like circles, flowers, hearts or any name you can think of. The shaping of the rocks by nature will go on since the water continues to flow in between them.
I wonder what was the appearance of this river millions of years ago. The rocks we see at present were obviously formed by the rapids of the river making their texture smooth like marbles. The occurrence of earthquakes may be the reason why just a little amount of water is left in the river. Still mother nature is to be thanked and appreciated for such wonder and an unusual beauty revealed by this river which never ceases to amaze us.
Then it hit me! Due to the scorching heat of the sun, I sweated profusely. The 1.5 liters of water I brought was not enough. I was dehydrated. I did not feel well at that time. So the only option was to head back. This really depressed me 😦 😦 😦 .
Tip No. 5 Dont’t spend too much time taking pictures. Aside from time being wasted, it also drains your energy.
Tip No. 6 As much as possible take your trip early so that you can avoid the sun’s hottest rays.
Tip No. 7 Bring a lot of water to avoid dehydration.
Sad to say, we headed back and missed a lot. We only saw the Golden Ship and the other rocks described in this blog and there were still many more scenery down stream. 😦 😦 😦
We rewarded our tour guides with some amount of money.
Tip No. 8 Give compensation to the tour guides. This will make them happy and they will look forward to do more tour guiding and improve their task Php 100.00 – Php 300.00 is good enough.
We went back to the barangay hall and thanked the barangay captain and his companions. He requested to share our Mulao experience so that tourists will be attracted to come to this place. And booyah!!! I am sharing my experience now!
“Habal-habal” were just around the corner so it was time to wave goodbye to Mulao: but first let us shoot the ball in the ring. HAHA we played basketball before leaving.
Along the highway we took a jeepney going to SM Cebu and the fare was Php 25.00
Until now the faulty decision of cutting short the trip keeps haunting me. I really want this feeling to vanish. I resolve to go back to Mulao to tread my untrodden paths. At least I realized the flaw in our trek. Hopefully by next trip there will be no more room for regrets.
Tip No. 9 Enjoy Mulao, though ours was an incomplete trek we still enjoyed the picturesque mystical scene of the river.
Shown below are the estimated expenses in this Mulao River Feat
30.00 Php/pax – Bus Fare from North Bus Terminal to Muncipalilty of Compostela
35.00 Php/pax – Habal-habal fare from Municipality of Compostela to Barangay Mulao
100.00 Php/pax – Tour guide
35.00 Php/pax – Habal-habal fare from Barangay Mulao to Municipality of Compostela
25.00 Php/pax – Jeepney fare from Municipality of Compostela to Cebu City
A total of 225.00 Php/pax
*food, souvenirs and miscellaneous fees are not included
Thanks Niña and Joy for the company. I sincerely apologize for that wrong turn-about instead of courageously trekking forward. 🙂