Satisfaction was already achieved even before we entered the park premises. The area surrounding Katibawasan Falls has been transformed into a park, with flowering plants and cemented stairs, by the local government but they managed to keep the natural appeal of the site. Beside the ticket office and the gate where the fees (P15 per adult, P16 per child) are collected, stands a small kiosk selling kiping, a popular delicacy in the Philippines made from rice. The kiping sold at Katibawasan Falls, however, is made from ground cassava, which makes it a little bit sweeter than usual. It was delightful — a foreshadowing of what was in store for us at the park.
There was a monkey tied to a bamboo stick right after the entrance to the park. The Poor Traveler didn’t bother to ask whether there were monkeys in the heavily forested island of Camiguin or whether the monkey was caught there but I was entertained by how nimble it was and saddened that it was not free. Still, we trod on and climbed down to the base of the waterfall.
The concrete path to the waterfall was fringed with flowers, which I ignored because I was so zealous to see the waterfall.
As the walkway got narrower and deeper, the more of the waterfall was revealed to us. The sound of the water both rumbling as it plunges from the top of the waterfall down to the small pool below and flowing along the river was a sign of how close with nature we were. As we reached the bottom, the mightier the waterfall appeared to us. Located at the foot of Mt. Timpoong, water cascades from about 250 feet above ground. There was not much water unlike what we had expected but that’s not to say it was anything short of majestic. Ferns and plants decorate the edge of the cliff while big boulders rest below, naturally arranged to let the water make beautiful movements around it.
There were other tourists bathing in the stream when we arrived. We were so tempted to join but we somehow imagined how cold the freshwater must be and we decided against it. We, however, walked farther along the river to take more pictures of this magnificent view before us. As I sat on a boulder and threw gazes of admiration towards it, I began wondering how it would feel to live deep in the forest with a waterfall just a few steps away. It must be so therapeutic to always hear the sound of the splash like a constant reminder that the most beautiful things in the world are those that nature itself built, carved, and nurtured. And then it hit me, maybe one day this waterfall will run out of water and this river will run dry perhaps due to natural causes or not. I looked up and thought how lucky I must be to be in the company of nature and to see this wonder even once in my life.
As we traced our steps back to where the multi-cab we hired was parked, we passed by the colorful flowers at the side of the walkway. I stopped, took a closer look, and appreciated just how vibrant nature is. It was time to smell the flowers, and even if they were not fragrant, there was joy in simply moving my nose closer to it.