Finding my Freedom...

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte: The Malinas Peak Exploration Series, Part 1.

"We are actually preparing ourselves to cross the swaying bamboo bridge"

The town of Kapatagan is one of the 21 municipalities in the province of Lanao del Norte. The name "Kapatagan" is derived from the local root word "patag" which means "plain" or "valley" therefore, "Kapatagan" means "plains" or "valleys." Since, its a "patag" place its primary commodity is rice. This town take covers from typhoons through the mountain ranges located in the southern and eastern part of its territory like the Malinas Peak in Brgy. Malinas. Offsetting the presence of mountains are the flat coastal lands and valleys in the eastern part. There are five major rivers that flow through Pangil Bay, the Maranding, Panoloon, Botadon, Kitados and Balili rivers. Two waterfalls are found in Kapatagan, the famous Cathedral Falls located within the boundaries of Brgy. Cathedral and Brgy. Waterfalls and the Sta. Cruz Falls located in Brgy. Sta. Cruz.

"The mountaineers taking a break at the Malinas Brgy. Hall"

How I arrived there? I received an invitation from the local Tourism office with regards to the upcoming climb with the group of mountaineers from Iligan Computer Institute. I am not a mountain climber nor a trekker, but I am an adventure seeker! It was a blessing for me to be invited in such opportunities to explore the neighboring towns of Iligan as Iligan is used to be the capital city of the province of Lanao del Norte - now Tubod.

"A climber taking her moment reminiscing and enjoying the view at the peak of Malinas"

After a two hour and a half bus travel you will arrived at the newly inaugurated Kapatagan Town Center which I considered the most modern Bus and Jeepney Terminal I've visited in this part of the country. Its comfort rooms are well cleaned and ventilated though it comes with a price because if you use their public toilet you will be charged, but I don't mind paying as much as P5.00 for a clean toilet and a comfortable waiting area. The waiting area is air-conditioned and its actually a wi-fi hot spot. No street vendors scattered along its vicinity and those people whom you would suspect as snatchers who will try grab your personal belongings and charge you some amount for carrying your luggage. I think thats something big cities should achieve like Iligan and Cagayan de Oro.

"Photo ops and meeting new friends"

The climb to Malinas Peak was set to explore the hidden treasures of the town. That is the magnificent caves that are scattered in Brgy. Malinas which will be told in my next article. The trek was scheduled at six in the morning to avoid the much heat of the sun, but due to some delays we started the trek at eight which really made the climbers suffer. The pathways are really challenging, I remember one part of the trek when we are made to choose between to options, first crossing the river by walking through the waters which means you will get wet or cross the hanging bridge which has missing floors. The first choice was easier right, but you bet, no one from the group choose that, which means all of us cross the slippery hanging bridge which really took us time to get to the other part of the river.

"Having fun with the group after a tiresome exploration of the caves at Malinas"

For me it was hell-like during the trekking part of the climb. The mountain was not so steep, but a prolong climb for three to four hours carrying an approximately 10 to 15 kilos of back pack is something that would make one surrender. I remember, when I was already near the peak where we will erect our tent I was about to pass out it was just good thing when some of the locals who guide us offered to help me carry my backpack. What a relief!

"One of the prize when at the top is glorifying the marvelous and alluring beauty of the Malindang Mountrain Ranges"

Look at that! Isn't that a site to behold? Definitely, gazing the colorful sky during sunset over the Malindang Mountain Ranges made all pains and sufferings disappear. Everything is paid off! This one is something priceless. I could not exchange this view with something more precious like a piece of chocolate cake. Being at the peak of Malinas made me realize that there is really a Creator who cares about me, who cares about you and who really cares about the world.

In my next post "The Malinas Cave Explorations." Follow me @bagdokondaroad!


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