Rivers are storied places. . . . Rivers tease the imagination. They are an important part of the remembered landscapes of youth.—Resil Mojares, “Remembering Rivers”
A place mostly originates its name from a unique character it possess. Mambukal, from the root word bukal, which means boil in Cebuano. Magpabukal og tubig. To boil water. Perhaps it derived its name from the famed hot spring. It is not surprising to find one in the area since it is the entrance to Mt. Kanlaon through Wasay trail, considered as the toughest route. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to journey this route—optimistically looking forward to it this year.
I don’t know how the management maneuvered the resort for less environmental damages. With the presence of a good population of fruit bats, perhaps it is not alarming yet.
I started the day at six in the morning walking around. A self-proclaimed river goddess I found happiness trailing the river up to its falls with the companion of a painter/fine arts professor/columnist from Cebu Radel Paredes.
The riverbed is slippery as well as the rocks. I know we were being reckless since we didn’t ask permission from the management to trek the river up, and we were strangers, geographically speaking.
Yet, I often rely on my intuition. After an hour of upstream, finally we heard the boisterous falls. We smiled. We made it.