Thursday, May 29, 2003

Mother's Day and Tarzan's Nest

The rest of the wedding night was spent in heartfelt conversations with new and old friends, dancing to Beatle's songs on the beach, delicious seafood, wine, and Pasoy Dos card game complete with lipstick faced losers.

Many of the guests are going home today. A few of the guests are taking the 15 passenger plane in the afternoon. Merci and clan are staying an extra day. I finally spoke with Ros. We are to meet her at Tarzan's Nest Resort for lunch, along with the Davao folks. Merci asks the manager at Tia's about getting a jeep to take us around some sights then to Tarzan's nest. The manager seems surprised as to why on earth we would want to go there. She tells Merci there are all these strange things there like a swimming pool in the shape of a penis. Now we're all intrigued, and that much more determined to check this place out.

But first it's off to Katibawasan Falls, Underwater Cemetery, and the old church ruins.

Katibawasan is this gorgeous 256 ft tall waterfall. This, like Ardent Hot Springs, is pretty developed with nice steps leading down to it. The water is cold, practically freezing, compared to the hot springs, but is really nice once you're totally immersed. The water is fairly shallow and there's nothing that keeps you from walking right underneath the waterfall, but I keep my distance enough to feel the power of the spray and the wind. There are only two small signs that say "Danger Area." There is one other accessible waterfall Tuason and a third one that can only be hiked to.

We are swimming at the falls. Norma points and we watch a tree's seed helicopter it's way to the water. She swims over and picks it up. The seed has one arching leaf that gently guides it's way down. She collects it for Arnold. Arnold is a seed collector. This is what he does. He loves to pick up seeds and plants them, just to see what kind of tree grows from it. Sometimes in his enthusiasm he forgets to think about how BIG the tree will be 20 years from now, but he leaves those kind of problems for his children.

Underwater Cemetery is marked by a large white cross offshore. Unfortunately the tide is too high to see anything. During the low tide, you can see the tops of the rich people's tombstones. It makes for an interesting dive spot. There is a sign on the land we pass through, "the owner is not responsble or libel for any injuries that may be sustained..." It's a very strange sign for the Philippines. The local guide there says the land is owned by a German guy, who leaves the gate open so people can get to the cemetery. That explains the sign.

In the U.S. even if you sign a waiver releasing any kind of responsbility or liability, a person can still sue for injuries. In the Philippines the blame doesn't go to other people, it tends to turn inward. This happened because I wasn't careful, because I didn't watch out. This happened because I have sinned or am reaping the punishment for something I did before. If you get hit crossing the street, well it was probably your fault for not seeing the car. Grant it the Philippines has some of the strictest laws in Asia, but those are more like guidelines for living.

Down the road is the Ruins of Gui-Ob Church. The church was decimated by an earthquake in the 1800s. Now, the trees grow from its stone walls. Big trees about 2-3 stories tall. The trees branches make for the church's roof and their roots weave in between the stones. I am facinated by this. The way life grows out of every possible crack and crevice here. Only nature could architect such a structure. We are also enamored by this huge tree standing at the cliff's edge. It takes 4 of us with outstretched arms just to make it around one side. There's a small structure and altar where I presume masses are still held. It sits under the shadow of the Old Camiguin Volcano.

It's nearly noon and I txt Ros that we're on our way.

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