Waves. The last day of our very own so-called Lakbay-CamNorte (hailed from the epic Lakbay Norte J) consisted of surfing in Bagasbas Beach, a visit to the first Rizal Monument in the country in downtown Daet and a get-away to Malatap Falls in the nearby town of Labo.
Only Chie, me and Ivan braved the waves that morning. It was low-tide and the waves were as calm as a beginner surfer can wish them to be. It was my second attempt but it felt like it was my first. My stomach was in knots as my instructor and I approached the shore. Silently reciting all the reminders I have learned from Baler and the new ones here in Bagasbas, you would think I am a Hogwarts student from the House of Slytherin, silently cursing and calling on all the gods, sleeping or awake, to help me in this life-changing mission! All hell broke lose when my board slowly took a 360-degree turn, the waves gently hit my board, softly lifted it, making me forget all what is happening to the rest of the world.
And even without the gods’ help, thankfully I was able to stand up, an undeniable proof that my Baler attempt was real and authentic and genuine. Hahaha! Wisdom. With our skin-tone now obviously darker, we left Bagasbas Beach, ate lunch and had a short visit at the very first Rizal Monument. I started counting the days when I found out this was part of our itinerary, got excited and prayed badly it will not rain.
The first Rizal Marker was made of coral stones. It is not similar to the other Rizal monuments we see nowadays. My first impression upon seeing it is it looked quite odd. Bereft of the normal Rizal statue, the landmark is painted white and very shapely, reminding me of polygonal masonry. Erected two years after Dr. Jose Rizal’s passing, this landmark holds a great reminder how strong Dr. Rizal’s memory and influence is to the early Filipinos. Because of its historical significance, the National Historical Commission declared this as a historical landmark n 1961.
|NHI marker depicting the heroism of locals of Camarines Norte|
I have found an informative article about this marker. To read, please click here.
Waterfalls. Our last stop was at the unique Malatap Falls in Labo. This body of water is very accessible from the main road, just a few minutes of walking will do. We were excited about dipping in the waters for a final swim but we were disappointed in seeing the pool littered with trash. Still, we made most of our visit here and captured her warm beauty with our cameras.
|L-R: Elal, Chino, Ivan, Me, Chie, Rop, Casi, Vincent, Jonas|
Our Lakbay CamNorte is one of the most memorable trips I have so far this year. I have gained new friends, traveled to new places and has become a witness on how beautiful and rich our country is. I am grateful to have been part of this wonderful journey.