We went to what I called the secret rainforest in Upper B'la, where the land sloped abruptly down to the Balawanan river about 100 to 200 feet below. I can't be exact about its height. Actually, I can't even tell a foot from a banana, so, don't trust me when I say 200 feet, maybe, it's even higher. But the cliff always had this effect of making me feel breathless as a child, both for its sheer height and for the landscape it offers. It had the same effect on me now.
When I was a child, I remember coming down here with my Pa, seeing the water falling by the steep slopes of the cliff, gushing like little waterfalls. I used to see gigantic bird's nest fern and other giant ferns as big as banana stalks thriving by the wayside. I remember the clear, rushing waters of the Balawanan, the pebbles the color of granite we used to play with. Now, the ferns were almost gone and the river was heavily silted, an island of rocks and debris had formed in the middle. But climbing down this place was such a great moment for me. The gigantic timber trees thriving near the rocky brook that ran its course through the ravines felt as solemn as a cathedral. I would love to come back here over and over again.