With all those thumbs up, only a chicken would back out. And I definitely don't say cluck. Even when all three attestations were slightly off the mark.
It was only when the engine was straining as it climbed up the steep mountain slopes that it dawned on me that the more difficult part of this drive would be the going down. It was so Eskeri, to borrow Jordan's word. As I drove upward, I kept praying, Lord, please help me get down, please help me get down. I dreaded climbing higher but it was too late to turn back now. Besides, how would I turn around? There was the cliff on my right and the mountain wall to my left.
This was going on for a while already and I stopped to ask a young boy playing hoops with a motorcyle tire where Pulangbato is. He calmly told me, "The waterfalls? You've passed it already."
But of course! So I asked him, "Uh, how do I turn around? What's up ahead?"
He said there's nothing up ahead. Just a basketball court. Thank goodness Filipinos love this sport, despite our height. Thank goodness also, even if the court turned out to be a one-fourth court only, it gave me enough room to turn around and drive down the mountain verrry slooowwly.
I met a man and an old woman on a motorbike and we stopped to say hello. He said, "Nilapaw ka sa." I said, "Yeah, I didn't see the sign." Well, seeing that they were so friendly and I was desperate, I hurried to add, "Oh, I'm quite scared of going down the mountain, can you please come back and check on me...? See if I made it down..." He said, "Sure, just remember to go slow."
That's what I did. Go ever so slowly down the slope. Until I reached this sign:
and this orange gate.
You've probably heard of Smokey Mountain in Tondo. Here's one really Smokin' Mountain in Palinpinon for you. This mountain is breathing steam and it is the power from this steam that is harnessed by the geothermal plants to supply electricity to several provinces in the Visayas.
Sulfur is one of the gases emitted here. And tonight, I can still smell the sulfur in my lungs. After that mountain drive, I now feel like a sulfur-breathing dragon. Rwaarr?