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.
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.
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.