|Lake Kabalin-an @ mirandablue
My third trip to Dumaguete in September 2008 was a memorable visit. Not only because I met new-found relatives I never knew existed in Dumaguete, but because I had the ride of my life on board a habal-habal (a motorcycle that can carry up to 8 passengers) through the rain forest, on steep, twisting and rugged mountain road. The meeting with relatives was great as we traced our roots from our great-grandfather who came from Spain in the late 18th century.
But let me tell you about my death-defying ride to the lakes in the rain forests of Sibulan.
To reach Sibulan, we took a 25-minute ride in a multicab (a modern version of jeepney) from Dumaguete. When we asked some townfolk how to reach the lakes, we were advised to rent a habal-habal because the road was only accessible to motorbikes and 4-wheel drive. There were 3 of us and nobody was willing to sit on the gas tank in front of the driver so we needed to rent 2 habal-habal. The motorbike drivers were charging P600 for each bike to bring us to the lakes and back to town. I used my rustic haggling ability and a bit of my charm until we all agreed at P800 for 2 bikes.
|Borrowed from http://ylai.tumblr.com
Getting to the lakes was an unforgettable experience. Sibulan is a coastal town and the tip of Cebu is seen across Tanon Strait. From the sea breezes at the start of the ride, the road to the lakes took us to the rain forest filled with scents of trees and sweet mountain air. But the steep, rugged road as well as the elevated slopes were scary at the same time exhilarating. My cousin, Franzia, covered her eyes when the slopes became too steep and our motorbikes seemed to have lost control, while April held on to their driver with both arms and legs. Their poor driver was almost mangled from their grasps. It was a hilarious sight! My driver, Edison, assured me that he’s been driving through these roads for the past 14 years---it still didn't reassure me. At some point, I had to beg Edison to stop so I could walk because it was too bumpy and scary.
Riding a motorbike is not my favorite thing. Motorbikes make me extremely nervous. And riding a habal-habal in a rugged terrain with no helmet, no protective clothing, you’d never believe the bloody scenes running through my mind. But I reasoned with myself that anticipating an accident was pointless, so I prayed harder and steered my mind to enjoy the lush mountain ranges, feasted my eyes at the unobstructed view of the sea, and inhaled the fresh air.
After a 45-minute bone jarring ride (that felt like 3 hours), we finally reached Kabalin-an, a crater lake. It’s a scenic little lake, very calm and the water reflected the green mountains around it. At the center were trees that have sprouted from the bottom of the lake, giving it a mystical feel. Enchanting Lake Kabalin-an was a peaceful haven after our arduous bike ride...a perfect place to catch our breath.
Posted for Nostalgic Marveling