I never thought I would be lucky enough to see such mesmerizing and majestic beauty of nature.
When we were planning for the Nagcarlan roadtrip, I admittedly asked myself: “ano bang makikita ko dun? Parang wala naman kakaiba sa Nagcarlan. [What can I expect to see there? It seems like Nagcarlan is just an ordinary place.]”
The official November roadtrip began at six in the morning. We rented two jeepneys for the trip as we were all 33 roadpersons who joined the roadtrip. It was really exciting. We’re all stoked to see and learn from the trip that we’re going to have.
The travel period lasted for only 30 minutes or so since the starting point was at Los Banos which is also a part of the Laguna province. Nagcarlan and Los Banos are just neighbors.
Our first destination was at the Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery. When I first heard of it, I thought it was really creepy. And it was haha! Anyway, the space for the cemetery under the chapel was very limited although I hunched that there are other passageways around the area. Maybe it was closed due to some reasons.
Locals say that some of the bodies of the old Spanish friars were buried somewhere there. The ‘caretaker’ of the chapel also shared stories regarding some supernatural phenomena every Tuesdays and Fridays.
After witnessing the cemetery, we went up inside the chapel. We were amazed with the preserved ceilings as it was still the original one when it was built according to the ‘caretaker’. However, some walls were vandalized. And it was something that we’re advocating to avoid. We need to preserve our heritage sites as it defines who we are as Filipinos.
As an action, we took a photo of the vandalized wall and discussed how will we try to resolve the issue. With that, we’ll try to reach out to the local government and report the incident. Tell them how important it is to preserve the authenticity of our cultural heritage sites.
Moving on to our next destination, we traveled to the twin falls of Bunga still at Nagcarlan, Laguna. Bunga Falls was said to be guarded by a sea creature that drowns unsuspected dayos in the area. Although it was just a local folklore, I always believed in such stories. I know it’s a bit baseless, but it’s a culture that we Filipinos tend to have. And it’s something we are almost always curious about.
There we went swimming, diving, and even had a bit of team building. It was really fun chilling out with the roadpersons. But the most memorable part was when we welcomed the new members.
The Nagcarlan trip was their first trip as official roadpersons. And that is a mark in the organization’s history. They’re actually the first batch to enter UP ROAD TRIP aside from the charter members. They call themselves as batch Balangay. There, we were able to build up our bonds with our brods and sisses.
After the welcoming ceremony, we went on to pursue our advocacy on environmentalism. We picked up unnecessary things around the area which degraded Bunga’s beauty and reputation. It was disappointing to see trashes everywhere. Cleaning up after every trip is something that all of us must learn. It serves as a respect to the place and community.
We left Nagcarlan taking home with us mental photographs, actual photographs haha! and lessons which made the organization grow. Packed with us as we travel everyday is an old travel quote that says: “Leave nothing but footprints. Take nothing but pictures. Kill nothing but time.”
til the next roadtrip!
PHOTOS used in this blog post are all mine otherwise mentioned. More photos here.