Extreme Siok Falls Adventure: Chasing Waterfalls through the Rocks and Ropes


It seemed like an endless river trekking and falls hopping journey. A friend lost a toe nail. Clothes turned green and brown after butt-surfing in the moss and mud. Muscle cramps attempted to steal the fun. Knees shook. Bags floated. We depended our boulders ascent on household ropes. The afternoon sun couldn't be tamed.
See, oh! Siok!

The poster advertising Koronadal City's second invitational climb to Quezon mountain range through the multiple Siok falls said: hike, crawl, slide, glide, dive, survive! At the starting point in Barangay Mabini a couple of ambulances flashing red lights were standing by. I wasn't sure if it was all an invitation or a scare tactic to screen down the brave of hearts. One thing's sure - that all the verbs brought to life an extreme adventure designed for those willing to risk getting more than jut a bruised skin.


"Hold the rope tight!"

boulder hugger
Siok Falls, a series of raging streams that add multiple flavors to Siok River, is now on top of the city government's priority for promotion after its potentials were discovered two years ago. In an effort to promote the place in a sustainable manner the city government involved the locals in planning and project implementation.
One blow!

Julz finding the right perspective


Around 70 outdoor junkies dared and completed the arduous trail to the campsite atop the Quezon Mountain range during Koronadal City's second attempt to massively introduce Siok Falls as a tourism adventure destination and to put Koronadal in the tourism map of Central Mindanao. Siok Extreme Eco Adventure was part of the week-long celebration of the city's 73rd Foundation Anniversary and 13th Hinugyaw Festival held earlier this month.
I waited for a tree growing activity before the climb started. Nada! 

Oh, the rope! Snap!


We gave our eyes few minutes behind the camera eyepiece as we push our way to each falls of varying formations.

water vs the log
Seven raging falls. Time-consuming installation of tripods and filters.
Steep ascents. Narrow spaces between giant boulders.
Neck-level deep river. Floating dry bag housing three cameras and wallets.
Seven hours later we were done with half of the trek.
We reached the campsite with the hard sun and most part of the campsite were silenced by its scorching afternoon rays. The three ladies in our small group, Cheri, Mai and Lhiza, were nowhere to be found. We later heard one of them snoring. Hence, finding their location in an ample shade outside their tent.

waiting for the climb sweeper
I was among the late finishers of the climb. Nevermind, it's usual. Combining photography with easy spirited-ness in outdoor treks could put you at the back of the line. That's not a weakness to consider. Mountaineering after all is not all about the summit. The trek going there is half of what defines your climb. "There's no pot of gold at the end of the trail", local mountaineering icon Julz would always quip.
the two-tiered falls 7


Cherry, the youngest in the group, bid goodbye to her toe nail after accidentally kicking a river boulder. Her eyes were shimmering and she was still smiling when I saw her at the campsite.
The heavy night skies poured in a series of drizzles. At least it gave us brief chances of having a peek of the city from the campsite 600 meters above sea level. Koronadal City at night is like a hundred constellation of city lights in the middle of the dark pit surrounded by the fading silhouette of Roxas mountain range in the west. It's not that astounding a view but the perspective looked fresh. 
the kitchen and the kitcheneros

Koronadal City at night
Hugging a murdered snake for photo op. I don't think that's necessary . 
Second Day. 
Toppled cans of monosodium-packed foods.
More rain.
A six feet long black snake murdered by a brutal human...and abused while lifeless by more brutal humans with camera.
A defective Butane stove and a slight explosion that led to the demise of hundreds of arm hairs.
We were surprised by two more falls that are equally amazing as with the first seven.
More trekking. This time downhill in the forest and open grassland to Barangay Cacub.
Three climbers got lost in the woods. More than an hour of forever later...alas, they were found.
No more of those household ropes to depend our lives and limbs on.

Everybody went home in one piece the next day.
It was torturous but fun. 
time to summon the sun from the top of the falls
Second night.
Blaring speakers under the rainy night sky outside the proud city hall building.
I was young again...dancing in the rain with a bunch of familiar junkies in dreadlocks hair.
Reggae..reggae music evoking natural high. The three girls and the crowd of outdoor junkies went jumping in the mud in no particular direction. They didn't seem tired. They looked crazy.
I was with them. []

See you around!
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How to get there?
Koronadal City is an hour away from General Santos City and 3.5 hours from Davao city (by bus or private ride).
Barangay Mabini is just 15 minutes from the town proper by a tricycle or a skylab (habal-habal).
If you want to climb Siok, register in advance to the City Tourism Office or the Information Office (Tel num: 083-228-6095, or 09077132699).

2 comments:

  1. never had seen a broader and wider picture of KC at night, just this one .. aheee.. kanami tan-awun :)

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    Replies
    1. didn't have enough time to improve my shot because of the rain. but it's ok naman. shoot ka dun next time, mimi.

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