the charming-est scavengers
The sun was dying by the time we went back through the same route going to the Cambugahay Falls. But we had to stop along the way at the Lazi Convent and the St. Isidore Labrador Church, both built in the 80’s [19th century] and just across from each other in the small town of Lazi. Acacia trees framed every possible photograph and created the feeling of being as if in a vast auditorium that is simultaneously within and without, an indoor sanctuary that was most improbably outdoors. The low, wide walls marking off the metes of the properties made me feel like a giant kid as I leapt easily over them. I also remembered to make a mental note of landmarks leading to the area in case of an aswang outbreak later on during the trip.
Although I only asked our tricycle chauffeur-guide to take us to see the Convent and the falls, he nevertheless had us make pitstops at the viewpoint for Crocodile Island… and the island’s 400-year old balete tree. Which happened to have a wake at the house fronting it. It lent something to the atmosphere, along with the full moon that night.
We finally reached our resort at about 8 in the evening, where a parrot greeted us while we were checking in. Dinner was by the sea and the great beyond, the stars in the deep endless sky melding with the water until you didn’t know where one ended and the other began.
The last of the falls’ tourists were ascending the steps when we arrived at Cambugahay. I was praying like mad that we would make it with some of the glorious afternoon gold still in the sky, since I had forgotten to research the best time perfect light conditions. Yes, I’m anal about light and I time my visits accordingly. The witchery of the trip was wreaking havoc with my plans, but I was not a Boy Scout
for 1 week with a Pitch Tent Fail, Ants in Sleeping Bag and Poison Ivy badge for nothing. My heart sank when I saw the stairs going down… the falls were in a valley of sorts.
But light will always find a way.