Spend a day listening to the leaves rustle and the strong waves of the wind breaking up in the forest and then make friends with locals of the community is one of the best things in life where we rarely experienced it when we go out of our comfort zone.
My very first day in Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat was a blessing to behold. I was welcomed by the enticing culture of Teduray tribe. But just before I was introduced to the rich culture of Teduray in Ugis, Michael from Esperanza Tourism Office took me to the disregarded nature’s beauty of Ugis. We have passed by to some of the amazing view that you can only experience it in Ugis.
I dressed myself in the jungle and playing with nature’s wonder. While on our way to Teduray Community, I saw a bunch of trees, like as if calling me to go down from the motorcycle and cling to their enticing beauty. The whole space was covered by green grass while trees are peacefully standing in uniformity. From their sturdy linear trunks to how they spread their bough pointing everywhere. I simply can’t seem exactly figured out what made me feel when I cross to their world, but what I felt that moment was an amazement that left me in deep reverence for nature.
Only a few meters from the beautiful cluster of trees, Michael told me that there’s a disregarded and abandoned waterfall that’s waiting ahead of us. I remember that time, I was throwing Michael a bunch of questions, but he refused to answer me so he won’t kill my excitement. Then the defining moment came, we left the motorcycle somewhere near the water system and we started to trek down and make out some river trekking. From afar, I already saw the partial view of the waterfall since it was covered with trees and leaves. Truly the waterfall is abandoned, since I can’t find any clear route that leads to the waterfall. We were straining to move the leaves of the plants that blocks our way until we have finally arrived to the uniqueness of its beauty.
Quetuban waterfall is derived from a Teduray word that signifies a place where they can get water or in general a source of their water. During ancient days, Teduray people always get to this waterfall to get their water. The flow of water is actually from the famous Ugis Peak, located in the upper portion of the mountain after the Teduray community. Quetuban waterfall looks like a widely flattened layer of stones that has been perfectly leveled, but stands to be like bending backward in its innate state. The water flows down slowly and looks like a stone rolling down, producing a soothing sound with a weakling smash of water. There was no catching basin, the flow of water from above just freely goes down and formed a river.
After Quetuban waterfall, we started ascending to the upper position of the mountain to meet the community of our beloved Teduray friends. The Teduray tribe is one of the Indigenous People in the Philippines, they are distinguished for their distinct and unique culture, beliefs, customs and traditions. Barely a few minutes of trekking, I have finally arrived at the community of Teduray. I was blessed to have me introduced to one of the leaders of Teduray in their village. I met Tatay Lorito Desmanos, and it was an honor to have asked him about their culture and I’m glad that he was really happy telling me most of the Teduray traditions and their culture as well. I even asked him, if marrying more than one woman is allowed and he said Yes, as long as you’re capable of raising your family. Their village is very blessed since they have been given a free house that is decent and concreted like around 100 houses. It is one of program of the Government, so kudos to the Government of Sultan Kudarat for helping our Teduray friends.
Aside from the treasured Teduray tribe of Ugis, Ugis has also this famous Ugis Peak that has been marked as 9/10 difficulty of getting there according to some of the well experienced mountaineers. It has been described as a skyscraper of the South. Peacefully standing at close to 930 feet above sea level.
I would really want to climb that time, but a dark clouds were hovering overhead, gathering strength to release a heavy rain. So instead of going up to the Ugis Peak, Michael and I decided to go back to the town proper and rest for another adventure on the following day. It’s better dwell on safety than never and regret in the end.
NOTE: Kindly check some of the related travel articles about Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat and its tourist destinations below.
HOW TO GET THERE
From General Santos City:
Major Airlines are flying to General Santos City almost every day. From General Santos City International Airport, ride a van going to SM for only PHP150 fare. As you reach SM, ride a tricycle going to Bulaong Terminal and fare is PHP10. From General Santos City’s Bulaong Terminal, ride a nonstop bus (Yellow Bus Line), bound to Marbel (Koronadal City). The travel time is around 1 hour and PHP75fare. At Koronadal City Yellow Bus Terminal, there is a direct trip going to Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat. The travel time is around 1 hour and PHP 70-80 fare. Ask the Bus conductor to drop you off at Esperanza, Municipal Hall and look for Sir Renato Sambrano at the Tourism Office to help you facilitate your trips. He’ll be giving you a list of tourist destinations that you wish to explore that match the number of days you wish to explore their place. You can contact Sir Renato through these numbers. Landline No. (064) 202- 6375 or Mobile Number: +63 916-324-5520
From COTABATO CITY
Cotabato City is closer in Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat, comparing the distance from General Santos City. From Cotabato City Airport, ride a cab going to Husky Terminal. From there, look for a husky bus bound to Tacurong City and ask the Bus conductor to drop you off at Esperanza, Municipal Hall and look for Sir Renato Sambrano at the Tourism Office to help you facilitate your trips. He’ll be giving you a list of tourist destinations that you wish to explore that match the number of days you wish to explore their place. You can contact Sir Renato through these numbers. Landline No. (064) 202- 6375 or Mobile Number: +63 916-324-5520
*There is an ATM machine in Esperanza, Town Proper if you wish to withdraw some funds.
*Major mobile networks have signal in the town proper and in Teduray Village.
*Always be kind with local people there and you can constantly ask them for anything if you wish to know them.
*Always be responsible with your garbage and never leave any garbage anywhere .
*Please, just enjoy what nature has to offer and always take good care of them.
ESTIMATED AMOUNT OF MONEY TO PREPARE AND POSSIBLE EXPENSES.
FOOD (Snacks) – PHP100.00
TRANSPO (Motorcycle back and forth ) – PHP80.00
TOTAL – PHP180.00
NOTE: PRICES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT PRIOR NOTICE.
NOTE: This blog post is part of my 10 day solo backpacking in SOCCSKSARGEN. You can as well check some of my travel journey and stories during my 10 days backpacking with the link below.
- Panigan Underground River and Waterfalls: The unexplored GEM with a jaw-dropping beauty and MAGICAL story to offer.