Kalaja Waterfall Adventure
HERE IN SoCCSKSarGen adventure never ends.
I feel very lucky to be here in this part of the planet, where opportunities for adventure are limitless. I also thank God that he allows me to enjoy the wonderful gift of nature.
A week after our Mt. Matutum adventure, my team, Team Bundol Mountaineers, together with our friends from other mountaineering groups, once again embarked on a journey, where we explored the cascades of Kalaja Waterfall and entered a cave in the boundaries of General Santos City and the municipality of Polomolok , South Cotabato. It is one surprise-filled adventure I would always treasure.
Macky and I drove to Cassava, Polomolok on my motorcycle last Saturday. From there, we started trekking through the Dole pineapple plantation and then through hills that were beautifully carpeted with yellow-green cogon grass and sporadically adorned by trees whose trunks and branches have been shaped by the wind and looked as if they were in an act of worship.
The trek to the waterfalls traverses a private property. Although the owner doesn’t require payment, trekkers must have their names listed in a logbook at the trail’s entrance.
We started trekking at about half past 11 o’clock. The early part of the trail was easy. It was just a long walk – uphill at first, followed by a flat path, and then downhill. What made it a little hard was the heat. There weren’t many trees along the trail. We took some rest at a hut along the way and had some chat with the farmers. Their son, Dodong, later joined us in our Kalaja adventure.
We reached the campsite at about half past 1 o’clock in the afternoon. It was a perfect spot. It was under the shade of trees and there was a spring nearby.
We did not pitch our tents yet. Instead, we headed to the waterfalls to cool our bodies down. We started river trekking from the campsite.
The trail was refreshing, except for the part where there was a boulder sandwiched between the walls of that lined the river. It made the trail difficult because you have to do some rock climbing. Beginners will need a rope to get through. I was not prepared for it. I expected the trail to be just so easy as described by others who had been there. I had butterflies in my stomach when I took my turn because I was the one who took the ropes off, but I was so glad to have succeeded.
Kalaja waterfall looks like a large cauldron, hence the name. Kalaja is the vernacular for cooking pan. It looks like it was really designed for swimming. A pool of clear water is perfect for those who want to relax. According to Dodong, the water is 16 feet deep at the deepest part.
The next day, we went back to the waterfall for another dip. We also went further downstream to Amsikong waterfall, the tallest of the series of cascades. A steel ladder was attached to the rock wall, where we descended to catch a better view of the falling water.
We met Gensan Mountaineering Club (GeMoC) at Amsicong. They were also headed to the Kalaja waterfall. They took the Conel trail from Sanchez Peak to reach the area.
For those in SoCCSKSarGen, who are seeking for adventure and relaxation, you need not go far. Kalaja is waiting for you.