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

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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.

I'm a Travel and Architecture photographer, blogger and writer based in Cebu, the Philippines.

A true blue Cebuano, I make stunning images and meaningful stories. My work has been published in various coffee table books as well as local and international publications including Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London), done photo assignments for Mabuhay and written posts in Smile.

My personal Photography work has been exhibited around Asia and Europe including Paris in France, Germany, The Netherlands, South Korea, China and around the ASEAN regional capitals.

I am a peripatetic traveler and have been to all 81 Philippine provinces and abroad.

Check out my portfolio site at StanCabigas.

7 thoughts on “Part 2: Pain and a pierced foot at a Maitum trek

  1. I hope your puncture wound did not get infected.

  2. dr magsasaka says:

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

  3. 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 says:

    well, it hurt for a week but just healed 🙂

  5. estancabigas says:

    no anti-tetanus shot for me 🙂

  6. estancabigas says:

    it healed 🙂

  7. dr magsasaka says:

    Hay, estan……

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