left_foot_1

Part 2: Pain and a pierced foot at a Maitum trek

Muddied feet with the pierced right foot bandaged

Mindanao, the Philippines’s second largest island has a veil of mystery draped around her. Feared by the uninformed but loved by those who know her true worth and beauty. This series is my tribute for Mindanao, where I’ve been crisscrossing over the years and where a part of me also comes from. The descending dirt path was steep, muddy and inconvenient. While most of our supplies were on horseback, our small party of LGU staff, guides, military men and me, a blogger, wound its way down the slippery slopes. It didn’t help that it rained a day earlier and any hopes of a slide free trek was all for naught.

Lateral view of my right foot

I didn’t bring any trekking shoes, only sandals. But here, it was slippery and just decided to go barefoot. It felt good. The cool earth and deep muddy portions wasn’t too difficult to negotiate but there were deep parts where my feet got buried 10 inches deep.

A cool breeze blew, I was refreshed and the narrow trail at a steep incline afforded beautiful views of the surrounding hills and forests. But suddenly… Aaahh! My deep and resonant voice probably broke the stillness of that morning as my companions turned their heads in alarm towards me.

I shouted! I screamed! I was grimacing in pain, teary eyed. No, I didn’t fall and rolled over. While making my way down, I stepped on a muddy portion, plunged my right foot deep into the mud and a small branch sticking up pierced the central part of the sole. It was bleeding. Eventually, it just stopped but dirt got in and cleaned it from time to time.

View of the dense forest in the Maitum hinterlands

Just what I was scared of happened. But I just consoled myself that it was also of my own doing. Anything can happen in the wild and I was careless. I have only myself to blame. I wrapped my right foot with some piece of cloth and tied with a vine but the constant movement, rough terrain as well as slippery path often disturbed the bandage.

For the rest of the trip, I was limping and my descents and movements were assisted with a wooden staff made along the way and occasionally sharpened. But it surely made my adventure more difficult.

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications. He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces. I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

7 Comments

  1. bertN
    July 8, 2012 @ 19:25

    I hope your puncture wound did not get infected.

  2. dr magsasaka
    July 8, 2012 @ 19:57

    Tetanus. I hope you had previous immunization to it. Please consult a doctor asap.

  3. Lakbay Pilipino
    July 9, 2012 @ 2:14

    aaaccckkk!! i could imagine the pain! and i could imagine your deep voice breaking out the silence too! hehehehe… hopefully nakapa tetanus shot na ka.

  4. estancabigas
    July 13, 2012 @ 10:15

    well, it hurt for a week but just healed 🙂

  5. estancabigas
    July 13, 2012 @ 10:15

    no anti-tetanus shot for me 🙂

  6. estancabigas
    July 13, 2012 @ 10:15

    it healed 🙂

  7. dr magsasaka
    July 13, 2012 @ 19:49

    Hay, estan……

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