One had to take a swim just to get to this hidden gem of a waterfall which is popularly called Languyon Falls. It is located in Barangay Pugaan, approximately 14 kms from the city proper. The name of the falls itself comes from the Bisaya word ‘languyon‘ which means ‘to swim’ in English. Therefore someone, make that everyone will have to take a dip just to see the waterfall itself, unless you can fly.
We started our trek around 7AM which was supposedly earlier than that but we hit delays that time. We were a group made up of seventeen sturdy men and women with the zest for conquering new lands! I was looking forward to this adventure because it has been a long time since my last trek and this one had rainbows at the end caused by reflection, refraction and dispersion of light in water droplets resulting in a spectrum of light…okay enough with the geek speak, I will continue on with the story. (p.s. no visible rainbows were involved actually)
A couple of minutes into our trek, we passed by a community of locals who we greeted cheerfully. After that, we had to cross a bridge. Little did I know that would probably the most easiest thing to do for the day. We passed by a farm which grew passion fruit at the entrance. The view was refreshing with a farm to one side and the opposite, a flowing body of water. Up ahead we had to pass by a Durian tree, I will admit that it made me think of the possibility of dying in a freak accident by a falling fruit. You should check out this post so you’ll know what i’m talking about! Our route was to follow the river. It would probably be the preferred path since it’s safer and you get to cross streams and having your feet soaked by cool water is a blessing while walking an arduous trail.
The river was laden with rocks of all sizes from boulders you had to climb on and even fossils. We also had a marine biologist on our flank, he told us that some of these contained fossils that were millions of years old.
You can either climb the side of the gorge if you prefer to not get wet (for a short time) or you could do an 80 meter swim to the opening. I chose the latter, except that I floated. This time, I safely placed all the things that should be dry in a resealable bag and placed my backpack in a large dry bag I brought along with me. It was relaxing just floating along the way, the current wasn’t so bad. I held on to my dry bag and even want back and forth just to help out a fellow trekker by handing him a random log which served as his flotation device. Here’s the silly part though, I lost a shoe! I don’t think I tied them up tightly and I may have dropped it on my first crossing. I was worrying at the back of my mind about how difficult this was going to be once we turn back and head home considering how challenging our traipse was going here. The jagged rocks and wicked boulders… What is a girl to do? Take a leap of faith! One had to also bring a rope once you get to the opening because the current was slightly stronger and the waters were deeper. We left our things to the pit stop rock. Here, we prepared for the next course. It is best advised though to use a life jacket in case you’re not that much of a swimmer. A rope had to be used and you had to use your strength to carry your weight while going against the current. I found this part yet another challenge of fun! It’s not as worse as Gollum though. Once you reached the opening, you had to carefully step on the rocks because some parts were quite slippery. We did not forget to also look out for our fellow trekkers. Keep in mind that it isn’t just your adventure but the adventure of the group as well. I caught sight of Languyon a couple of backstrokes later and it was very well hidden. I couldn’t reach it because the waters seemed slightly deep already and the rock faces looked slippery. The height of the falls was at about 15 feet and I could say the trek was worth it with all the challenges involved. It seemed like a secret cove where only the curious will ever reach. This was also said to be one of the main water sources of the Tubod river. Rock faces on both sides and not a hint of human alterations. There was even a medium sized python resting in between the rocks. I remember the pebbles there were quite smooth that it tickled my soles.
After taking photos and just simply resting there while absorbing the tranquil feel of the place. We went back to the pit stop rock one by one with the help of the rope. We excitedly had lunch and talked about our personal experience of the day’s activity. Thankfully, our trek friend Dotdot offered to let me use his sandals because he wanted to practice barefoot trekking for an upcoming marathon. Thank you Dot!
I was very thankful for that. I need to stress this out though, do not forget to always remember this saying…
Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints
So please, whenever you go to places like these, just bring your trash with you and don’t just throw your plastics anywhere. Always pick up after yourself. The weather was starting to get balmy so we hurriedly made our way back before it got even hotter and by the time we reached back to civilization, we were already tired as ever but the feeling of accomplishment was very much felt. Be prepared from head to food but always anticipate many unexpected things to happen!