After some idle time, I decided to cut short my account on Hinatuan’s Enchanted River. Perhaps its just boredom or maybe its the lure of another spot waiting for me to set foot on. Right now I’m salivating on the thought of going to Tinuy-an Falls somewhere in Bislig, Surigao Del Sur. I know, I’ve been focusing on this part of Mindanao but I don’t fault myself for it. Surigao has awesome spots that are just waiting to be discovered and broken in. Too bad that they’re not so accessible but who knows? Maybe in the future when things turn for the better, this part of the Philippines will be the next great destination. I just have to do my little share of opening it up so that others can see what they’ve long refused to see.
#2 An old woman that we spoke to during our visit said that if you have a video camera, you will be able to capture ‘unearthly’ beings in the background. She said this matter of factly that I just had to try taking a video of some kids jumping from the riverside trees down to the river. Nothing out of the ordinary appeared.
#3 One tale that’s oft repeated is about a few guys who left fine meshed nets in the deeper part of the river for three days (the local fishing term is “namukot”). This is a fishing lure that almost always guarantees lots of catch. When the fisher folks returned after three days, their fishing nets were hanging on the trees by the river bank.
#4 It is said that no matter how hard you fish in the enchanted river, you won’t be able to catch one. There was the case of the famous spear fisher who spent an hour and a half underwater only to come up with nothing. He can clearly see the fishes but he can’t hit them with his spear gun. Another was told of some folks from Mangagoy who brought with them their fancy fishing rods with the reels and all. One man in particular spent half a day fishing and didn’t catch a thing.
#5 The old woman in #2 said that you can catch fish in the river. You only have to “ask” for it.
#6 Frustration seeping in, some folks allegedly resorted to dinamite fishing just to get to the very big fishes that you can clearly see from the top. At first they thought they caught a lot because lots of dead fishes were floating around when they detonated their dinamites (the morons). But when they hauled their catch, there were only five fishes. The rest of the dead floating fish disappeared, just like that.
#7 At the very head of the enchanted river is a cave that’s accessible when the tide is low. Some foreigners were able to gain access and came to the end where there’s no water and they actually walked. The end of the cave was a small low ceilinged room where there’s a table made of limestone and a few limestone chairs as well. Apparently they took a picture of it but it wasn’t with the river caretaker when he told us this story.
After swimming for a while. We had to do some dangerous stuff. Jumping off from the river cliff. It’s not that high mind you but when you think about where you’re going to be jumping, looking down at that blue, blue, bottomless water, it makes you think twice. But we jumped anyway. Heck, you only live once.
When it was my turn, I summoned all my courage, closed my eyes and took the leap. I thought my eardrums would pop. I felt a stinging sensation in the inside of my arms (maybe because I was flailing too much) but I felt deep satisfaction for having jumped.
I’m not so sure if I will be able to return to this river again. I’m just glad that for once in my life I was able to see it with my own eyes. Not many Filipinos can say they did.