This year’s BikeCamp destination by MOABOzamiz is the summer capital of MisamisOccidental, DonVictorianoChiongbian. Who would have thought that in the midst of this modest municipality lays the phenomenal, curtain- like “Piduan Waterfalls” which most locals dub as “Piduwaan” (I don’t know what it means, though). I cannot lie that the trudge going to that stunning location is quite gruesome and grisly. The approximate 3-hour trek is a combination of brutal uphill and nasty downhill into, across and around Piduan Valley and its cold rivers. Practically everybody in the group were left absolutely feeling exhausted and beaten from the long expedition but the second we saw the magnificent and marvelous landscape, all that feelings of exhaustion and fatigue were instantaneously substituted with a mixed feeling of euphoria and bliss. The scenery is completely breathtaking and the pristine and immaculate waters are simply incredible. Indeed, the gruesome journey is definitely worth the beauty that is Piduan Falls.
Maybe some of you are wondering what a “Bike Camp” is. Well, bike camp is biking and camping combined together. It is a self-contained cycling flight with a touch of mountaineering on the side. It’s an evolution of a long time practice of my friends and I which we dubbed as “bikepacking” meaning, you condition your bike, pack up your biking and mountain climbing gears and go. There are no VIP accommodations. One must only sleep inside their respective tents, sleeping bags or hammocks and let your consciousness sense the vibe of the lulling wind, the cold atmosphere and the tranquil night. As most people ask why we do it, only a few can understand. Only those who are lovers of mountain bikes and of the environment can appreciate the sweet encounter of being one with nature. As for me, to experience the mountains leaves me feeling elated as I witness the beauty of Mother Earth unfold before my eyes. It makes me view life in a whole different perspective making me appreciate both sides of present day living; its simplicity and complexity, its gentleness and cruelty and its hardships and ease. As a mountaineer myself, nature lets me see the candor of the people residing in the mountainsides living such modest and ingenuous lives, with their simple houses and humble clothes going about their business carrying baskets on their backs filled with different kinds of freshly picked crops and selling them to get by the day. There is just an air of austerity in their frugal living that which makes you want to stop on your tracks and ponder whenever you want to grumble about this modern city life.
When Mick and I planned this bike camp trip, I was only expecting 5 to 8 persons to sign up. When I found out that more than 20 people enlisted, I was left feeling quite worried and concerned. Experience taught me that the larger the group is the more probability there is of any chances of something going eerily wrong such as flat tires, broken spokes, muscle cramps, injuries, mental breakdowns, dehydration, and the like. It is just statistics speaking but somehow it feels like more than that hence, I was nervous and anxious. In the first day of our journey, we pedaled through Mahayag and Josefina which are brutally steep uphills. Everyone maneuvered through the atrocious pavements, mentally concentrating on reaching the destination that is the Don Vic Gymnasium which served as the H.Q. for the event. As we reached the base camp, traces of pride and satisfaction are plastered on everybody’s faces and I couldn’t help but feel proud and ecstatic myself looking at everybody feeling dog-tired but fulfilled. I most definitely didn’t show it but I was pretty much beside myself with admiration and love for every rider that day. My previous worries faded as I was confident that this group of cyclists can, without a doubt, pull this off. Thereupon, I have proved that, undoubtedly, it is not about the destination but the journey itself that makes everything worthwhile.
Kudos to the people of Don Victoriano! The place is absolutely worth visiting.
Have fun, just ride… see you next bike camp 😉