Thursday, 4 July 2019

Dipping (sans Brooke Shields) in the Blue Lagoon of Datu Odin Sinsuat | Maguindanao



Despite expecting Maguindanao's blue lagoon to be concealed deep in the forest reachable by at least an hour or two of trekking, I still expected a good ole surprise. When I stepped out of our van and saw a few kids dripping wet, I simply figured they came frolicking from a nearby stream. Our friend Jeff told us “I think these kids came from the lagoon”. I was already standing at the mouth of a wide trail on the elbow of the Shariff Aguak Road when I heard him. “You mean, the lagoon is just nearby?” Claire asked. Jeff’s reply sounded like music to my ears—as I was in no mood for a lengthy hiking activity that day— “just less than 200 meters ahead”.



Who would’ve thought that such wonder of nature—a miniature version of Hinatuan’s Enchanted River—would rest just a javelin stone’s throw away from a main road. True to it, after a few strides, the gleaming blue waters of the lagoon revealed itself and instantly arrested my attention. I surveyed its size measuring barely a third of a soccer field and the magical setting where it is situated. I love how the lagoon is surrounded by towering trees, and how it dots the azure-colored waters with yellow and green leaves. 


Suddenly from the corner of my eye, A body of a boy hurled from above, sliced through the water like a needle. I saw him slither underneath disappearing into the abyss for a few seconds before resurfacing with a facial expression brimming with delight.


The lagoon hypnotically appear bottomless, especially if you stare at the sunken tree disappearing into the deep blue gorge. Watching a group of teens took turns diving into the fresh water gave me confidence to take a leap myself. 


I took a couple more jumps before deciding to just rest at the edge of a protruding body of a tree and marvel in silence. We later learned that the locals often go here not only to swim, but also to source their drinking water and wash their clothes.   


As I changed to dry clothes, I took one last look at the surrounding of the blue lagoon. It’s a beautiful place all right—just the kind of spot I could escape the real world from, for like a week picturing myself with a young Brooke Shields. I imagine the number of skinny dipping happening to hours and hours each day. As my quickie daydreaming ended, I imagined the many other wondrous set of nature that remain hidden in the vast countryside of Maguindanao. I bet, there’s a lot more to explore and discover.

Datu Odin and Blue Lagoon is two hours away Buluan, Maguindanao where we covered this year’s Inaul Festival. How about you? have you swam at the waters of Blue Lagoon in Maguindanao?