Article 5 of the Palawan Chronicles
Palawan Day 4: Inland tour
Apparently, Nessa’s motion sickness during the tour to the Sons of the Sea made her think twice into taking Tours A, B or D. So that date with Henchman Dudz at Doy’s Restaurant was actually a secret meeting to plan another visit and what to tell the God of the Sea about not being able to meet all his sons.
Henchman Dudz told us about the El Nido Inland Tour, the visit to the son and daughters of the El Nido Mountain God. And the destinations seemed promising. But since this was a favor for another god, Henchman Dudz asked for a fair price for it. We told him that we will think about the offer.
On our way home from the secret meeting, we met a female enchantress, Ate Jhona, who offered a lower price to get us to the Mountain God.
And so the next morning, we had our trike again, ready to explore the mountains after a day of exploring the seas..
We drove along a road lined with Palawan Cherry trees. Kuya Orly, our trike driver for the day, told us that these trees are in full bloom, with its aromatic red flowers in May. Now I know the best month to be back in El Nido. Oh yes, I sure am coming back.
Our first mission was to meet the nymph of Nagkalitkalit falls. To get to her, we were accompanied by another enchantress, Ate Maricon. And then we started our trek at around 10:15 in the morning.
To get to the Nagkalitkalit Nymph, we needed to go through The Nine River Guardians.
The first river guardian was the laundry central of the place. The second maintains the same height and strength of the water.
On the third, we met a man with two carabaos carrying what-seemed-to-be newly-cut wood. And then Ate Maricon said that he might be an illegal logger. The fourth river guardian had rocks for its defense. The fifth was a wider one.
The sixth river guardian housed a tree of life.
The seventh river guardian offers a stronger current. And rivers eighth and ninth were connected. And after a few more walks, we saw this:
The water was a bit chilly but it was worth all the effort. And was where I saw the most beautiful dragonfly I’ve ever seen. It has a blue shiny body and black wings. Maybe it was just a disguise. That dragonfly could have been the Blue Fairy and had given me a wish. Or maybe the Nagkalitkalit Nymph.
On our way back, the Rain Goddess seemed to have followed us again. And it was one heavy rain that did not stop until we reached our trike.
We traversed again the dirt roads for 20 minutes until we came to a sea of greens.
We were told that there was a hot spring a few walks away from the field, from where I realised I was wearing a camouflage. Ate Mely was our tour guide. And her house was the one on the entrance of the field.
Until everything in the path became hot. Water from the hot spring was flowing out. We came along a muddy path where we saw pieces of wood lined up as pathway. Since the water was so hot, stepping on it would mean being boiled alive. Plus, even the residents were not sure how deep the waters were, so stepping anywhere could mean sinking.
Until we came here.
The water was really steaming! It was like a God was hiding at the bottom, transforming all its wrath for the world into hot, steaming water. And Ate Mely, our tour guide said that up to now, no official studies were made in this virgin hot spring. Students came before saying that it must have been sulfur. And up to now, they did not know how deep this water was. She also said that this spring was already here even before she was born. And she told us another secret. They were the original owners of the spring and the surrounding land. Some time ago, the government took over the spring, during the time of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. When the administration changed, the property was bought by the Ayalas. Apparently, the El Nido airport was also an Ayala Property. I just wish that the Ayalas would not make too much development in this place. I like it as it is now.
But the wrath of the hot spring seemed to have not stopped here. As we were walking back, a reddish golden wasp came attacking me, leaving me with two stings on my left leg, two stings on my left hand and one sting on my right hand. This wasp sure was angry. Maybe I accidentally toppled over his nest or whatever. And the sting sure was really painful.
And then as we were nearer to Ate Mely’s house, a carabao came running after me. I was not wearing red, I was wearing green camouflage so I did not know what attracted him. The insects and animals here sure were fond of city fairies.
There was also a very pleasing beach nearby so we decided to visit the Sea God again so he would not think we were disregarding his invitation.
And this was Nacpan beach.
It would have been so nice to just sit by the shore and listen to the songs of the sea, with pen and paper handy. I’ll do this, when I come back to El Nido.
NEXT ARTICLE: Fever and Farewells: The Ruins of Stalactites