I got another taste of beautiful wilderness last “Araw Ng Dabaw” but not in the crowded streets of Davao. Together with my newly found mountaineering friends (Chris, Sir Joy, Mam Dianne, Yayan) I joined a small group of wanderers (Onin, Randy, Joan) on a trek to the waterfalls and caves of Marilog District, Davao City.
Marilog is seventy kilometers away from the city and situated in the mountains slopes bordering Davao and Bukidnon. I only passed this road twice during my elementary days, but never got a chance to discover the beauty beneath the jungle.
I was in awe and gasping for air at the same time while trekking. It was mostly a descent to a system of connected streams and waterfalls that at several points gone underground to form a magnificent cave system.
We first encountered Epol Falls, some 30 ft fall with a clear icy cold water that landed on boulders of rocks below like an arm catching a falling raindrops.We then followed the stream to several other beautiful mini falls that jumping in to bathe is tempting.
The Green Valley Falls made me shiver in cold, even underwater. We stopped and bathe there as if there is no tomorrow. We jumped, splashed, shiver, took pictures and jumped some more until we froze cold.
We then pitched tents at the higher ground, near the bunk houses. All I can remember that night is the hourly waking up because of the cold breeze. The rest is pure bliss. At daybreak we again trekked and descended to the Cathedral Cave and at the mouth of the cave left our stuff to wander inside the magnificent natural architecture.
It was the longest cave trek I ever had. I have to bend, crouch and even kneel and crawl to pass at some crevices just to fully explore the darkness ahead of me. But our flashlights showed proud stalagmites, nido bird’s nest, bats, and more cave systems.
Whats more exciting is that we never got any chance to dry our foot because of the underwater stream that at some point is waist deep! We reached the tributary and back trailed towards the cave opening. After we ate out hearty lunch just on top of the cave, we trek again back to the jump off point. We took a bath at a clearing were there was a flowing water then headed back to the bus waiting shed. In Davao City we celebrated our post climb socials at the “Seagull-id” beach resort and watched at our pictures in disbelief.