04 June 2007

Kinabuhayan: an afternoon of hushed wonder

Kinabuhayan is located in Dolores Quezon, at the foot of Mt. Banahaw. It is in this area that supernatural powers are at work. Stories of apparitions of saints, ghosts, mystical creatures, and even our local national heroes (like Dr. Jose Rizal) dwell and make themselves felt are widely spread. Many attest to feeling its aura. Indeed, the place is considered holy (and Banahaw is known as the New Jerusalem too; it is said that because of the unrest going on in the Middle East in the distant past, the four archangels uprooted the Holy Land and transferred it to the place we now know as Banahaw). Many religious groups take peaceful refuge in the area, the majority with mystic origins.

My officemates and friends planned this trip because they were enthralled to see my photos of Kubli and articles from other blogs enthusiastically narrating their wonderful experience there. All the plans were a bit sketchy up to the day before the trek. I so wanted to invite other friends too like the couple Donna and Bebert and a commenter in my Daraitan post but it was way too close to the scheduled trip to make announcements already (sorry po!)

At any rate, we were spent the Saturday afternoon at Kinabuhayan. This place offered a lot of sites to explore. For our part, we chose the nearby areas so we can visit nearby Sta. Lucia later in the day.

A hired jeepney took us to a bustling town in Kinabuhayan. I was quite surprised to find a community so far up the mountain. A leisurely walk led us to the place called Bakas ni Jesus (Jesus' footprint) residing in a quiet stream. We gazed at the crystal clear water before us. Coins thrown in by wishers scattered the bottom. But what was it we were trying to look at? The guide then pointed out what appeared to be a footprint on the solid rock. We gaped, amazed at what we saw.

Further off, we visited a shrine within a cave. We were to go in the cave and exit at an opening located nearby. The guide told us to respect the place and not make any unnecessary noise. If we were to bump our heads, it is best to silently endure the pain and take it as part of our act of contrition.

Before entering the mouth of the cave, we lit candles. Images of Jesus Christ and Mary adorn the entrance of the tunnel. To the right was another section of the cave, where a woman with a veil and her back to us sat on the ground, meditating in front of an image of the Virgin Mary.

I was wondering what he meant by us bumping our heads, when he pointed to the small opening to our right. You had to stoop real low to enter. With lighted candles in tow, we fell in line and groped about the cave.

If you were claustrophobic, this place would be the last place you would want to be in. We had to "walk" about with knees bent most of the time. The longer you stayed, the more you wondered how further off the exit was. I felt a couple of bats fly past us.

Soon, we reached the exit, stepped onto the crystal clear water, and waded back to the entrance where were alighted the stairs once more and left our candles by the altar.
It was my first time to go through a small cave. Really different experience. We compared how many bumps in the head we got while climbing through. The guide then later explained that if you received one too many bumps, you may be "makasalanan" (sinful). Hmmm... That abruptly ceased the counting of head bumps. :-)

We went back to the route we took earlier, taking us back to the footprint. The guide asked us to try tasting the water underneath the rock. It tasted like soda water. Each of us took turns cupping out the water with our hands and taking a drink. It was refreshing.
There were other places worth visiting in the area but with it needed more time and planning. It was best to camp at Kinabuhayan so there will be more time for trekking; I do hope we can visit again.


  1. Anonymous4:04 am

    wow!! mukhang fresh na fresh ang post mo ah... una akong magco-comment! nyahahaha!!

    ang ganda naman dyan!! kuya, yung sinasabi mong footprint di ko maaaninag kung may footprint nga, titig na titig pa naman ako sa picture!! sayang... sana, makapunta din ako dyan para makita ko ng personal!

    saan naman kaya ang susunod mong destinasyon kuya??!

  2. Nasa malaking bato sa may center ng photo yung footprint.

    Sa Baguio ang next kong punta hehe. Uwi muna ako.

  3. I'll betya I could win it if you were to have a head bump'n contest!

  4. That is so cool! Such a lovely place to visit. I am sooo missing Sagada right about now. Hehehe.. I saw your post on Cafe by the Ruins... mmmm.. I love their coffee and seafood pasta there.

    Love the new clean layout. I know the image on your banner, was that taken from CJH Manor? My brother used to work there kaya I visited often.

  5. Phil: I know you'll win it hands down! haha

    Alternati: I wish I can visit Sagada soon. YES! That chess set was taken from the Manor at John Hay.

  6. Anonymous3:19 pm

    Ang dami mo sigurong bukol...hahaha!

    Ang sarap naman ng mga napupuntahan mong place, related ba yan sa work mo or personal lang?

  7. Ann: quiet lang sa bukol! hehehe. Personal ito. Time out sa busy office schedule. Kelangan ng relaxation or else mababaliw ka sa dami ng work. hehe

  8. Anonymous10:52 pm

    bukas na ba ang banahaw for tekking to summit? i didnt know na may interesting caves pala sa banahaw.

  9. Anonymous10:57 pm

    bukas na ba ang banahaw for tekking to summit? i didnt know na may interesting caves pala sa banahaw.


  10. wow, andami talagang wonders sa pinas! taga-quezon ako pero di alam kung pano pumunta ng dolores, nakikita ko lang ang sign na "Dolores this way" pagkalampas ng san pablo. gusto ko syang puntahan, at marami akong tanong hehehe.

    me contact number ka ng guide? magkano ang jeep? o pwedeng mag-trek? daytrip o pwedeng mag-tent? nakakapote yung iba senyo, dahil lang ba sa ulan o mababasa kayo sa cave?

    daming tanong no? hehehe

  11. Anonymous3:14 pm

    Last year, galing din yung group ko dyan. Umakyat muna kami sa Mt. Cristobal tapos dumiretso kami sa Kinabuhayan pagbaba namin.

    Sarap maligo dyan ano? lamig ng tubig!

    may isang cave din dyan na para makapasok ka, literally ay gagapang ka talaga. Sabi nung matandang nagbabantay, kapag makasalanan daw di magkakasya.

    Di ko na sinubukan pumasok. hehe!

  12. bokbok: Hindi pa bukas ang Banahaw, may certain areas lang na pwedeng puntahan. Kung ako lang tatanungin, mas ok na hawg nang buksan kasi ang ganda ng recovery nung bundok noong isinara ito. Ituloy na nya yun kesa masira ulit.

    Thanks for visiting!

    Zherwin: hahaha ang dami mo ngang tanong! May kakilala kami na pwedeng tumulong kumuha ng guide. Pwede kayo mag-camp sa Kinabuhayan. Kapag marami kayo, mura lang yung jeep. E-mail na lang kita one time about it.

    Medyo malakas na ambon ang inabot namin nung papunta kami sa Kinabuhayan. Pero sayang ang oras kung hihintaying naming tumila. So dumiretso na kami. Yung iba naming kasama, always ready. Ayun may kapote sila.

    Apol: Yup, and lamig nga nung tubig. Pero ang sarap maligo! Yung sinasabi mo, Husgado yata yung pangalan. Hindi na rin namin napuntahan. Sana makabalik kami. Sabi ng misis ko, sasama sya sa next time.

  13. Anonymous10:21 pm

    went there last year
    and planning to return one of these days

    no picture of JB/Winston? :)

  14. hi nick, it's ok. mahirap nga pag last minute ang plans. am sure there will be a next time. well-documented naman ang trip niyo sa parang andun na rin kami ni bebert. =)


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