Part 5 of 5 series of #RuthGoestoBukidnon #OABloggerAko Series sponsored by the Agricultural Training Institute.
We had a quick briefing headed by Sir Ben Maputi, Sr. regarding the farm which is the main supplier for Human Nature’s Citronella Bug Spray. We had a tour of the 22-hectare farm and I never realized that it would be a long trek at the belt of Mt. Kitanglad. The farm was awarded “Most Outstanding Farm Family of the Philippines” during the 2006 Search for National Gawad Saka of the Department of Agriculture awarded by former Madam President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on June 21, 2006.
We passed by the rich plantation but what really caught my attention are the Tropical Fruit garden, Eucalyptus plants and the Tea Trees.
Mt. Kitanglad is also a perfect venue for Bird-Watching. When we reached the entrance point of the trail, we just said yes to the invitation to explore the rain forest, not knowing what was in the wild.
I read somewhere that we needed to get a cleansing ritual, like a sort of drenching chicken blood which should serve as our identification so the spirits would allow us to enter. I thought since we were with the great farmer who welcomed us in the forest, we were all good to go and explore.
Half-way through the trek, we spotted a Ritual Ground. That spot sounded a bit scary. I was just waiting for local tribes to show up. That didn’t happen.
We continued with our journey. I was not prepared for the trek. I was wearing polo shirt (you could imagine how hot I was feeling), pants (thank God I wore pants!) and slippers (Havainas should get a good review from me!).
We didn’t have a guide or clear pathway to go to. We walked in slippery soil with old trunks and dried leaves. I never really know the rules of mountaineering and trekking. I wish I had someone to hold my hand while doing the crazy stunts (like Rey and Cristelle Haha). My camera was not even of help to document my little adventure.
I just felt the need to survive.
I calculated each step – checking each branch and tress – and silently saying a prayer. It was an adventure that I didn’t expect and I didn’t prepared myself to.
At around 3pm, we were still in the wild. Lou told me that the spirits are at their strongest at 3pm. It was starting to rain and it was getting dark.
When we saw the wide plantation and greens, we knew we were close to our “home”.
Lou and I were excited to have coffee and snacks.
Just when we thought we could all relax after the tiring trek, we were surprised to see everyone packing their bags and our drivers getting our luggage.
“We need to leave the place before it gets dark”
I just sealed my bag and took all my stuff from the bed.
It was like a scene in the movie where everyone was in full panic mode, packing their bags and leaving the place.
It was as if there was a demolition, a fire and volcano eruption.
It was as if Manilyn Reynes already warned us to not stay in Mt. Kitanglad.
Is there an aswang?
Lou and I were frantically laughing as we walked down the steep slope going to our vans.
It was a crazy adventure!
Thank you Enzo, Mother Ruth and Lou for sharing the trek experience with me!
It was indeed a fun day to get to know Mt. Kitanglad and the people who are taking care of the farm. It is a place that I didn’t realize I would ever get to visit. It was an adventure I didn’t know I would experience.
Thank you Agricultural Training Institute for always having me and for the enriching Agro-EcoTourism Tour!
PS. Wondering why we needed to leave the Mt. Kitanglad before it gets dark? Our drivers are not familiar with the place and they worry that we get stranded when it rains hard. We had our flight back to Manila the following day. 🙂