Ever since I was a kid, I was interested in stories my lolo and his brother used to tell me – accounts of skirmishes with the Japanese forces, narrations about their bravery of going to battle with just a bolo, and legends of buried treasures the Japanese left in the country.
When my lolo passed away, I turned to my lola for stories. I was surprised that she had an adventure-filled life as my lolo have had! Since then, I got hooked with her tales and every time I have an opportunity, I would ask her.
She recounted to me how hard life was during the second world war. They would have to travel for days and nights to escape from the Japanese. Together with her family, they walked through forests, hills and mountains sometimes carrying her younger siblings who got tired or can’t even walk yet. Along with her mother, they sold fish and guinamos (salted fermented fish) for a living during the war to survive.
There was a time when she barely escaped from the Japanese. One day, somebody was running towards their direction shouting, “Naay Hapon! Naay Hapon! Panago na mo!” (The Japanese are coming! The Japanese are coming! Better go hide!)
My lola scampered to safety and jumped into a cave moments before the soldiers arrived. She took refuge in that cave with three other women. They all knew what was going to happen to them, to women, if Japanese soldiers saw them. All they could do was pray and wait out until the Japanese have left. They did leave days after and were thankful they were still alive.
Probably due to her past experiences, Danao’s suislide didn’t faze her. I think she’s an adrenaline junkie – now I know where I inherited it from! She did the suislide in Danao adventure park alone – above 200 meters from the river below, and 50 seconds travel time of that 480 meter-long cable. She beat the previous record of 82 years and last time I checked, she’s still the record holder! Here’s the video below.
I asked her what she thinks of her experience and she shrugged, ”It’s fine, I like the view of the canyon as I zipped by.”
I was expecting her to be quivering in fear, but she didn’t. Then, I teased her if she’d like the THE PLUNGE. To my surprise, she said yes! Unfortunately, we ran out of time as we need to get back to Tagbilaran city for another appointment.