NUEVA ECIJA | Back at Cabanatuan's Buliran Brook

Monday, April 09, 2012

I was in grade 5 the last time I remember taking a dip at the brook at the back of our house in Cabanatuan. I’d still check on the river every time we’d go back, but the most I’d do was just wade in the water and see how much it has changed over the course of the years.

The brook out back is a minor tributary to the much larger one found in Valdefuente, but unlike that river, this one’s pretty small. About twenty five meters across at its widest, with a depth ranging from an inch to ten feet deep. Trees surround both banks, and only the warbling of birds disturbs its otherwise quiet environment.

I recall being brought here early in the morning by my mom and dad. We’d sit on the banks as the sun wakes on the far horizon; the water misty, yellow rays passing through the trees and the air crisp with morning dew. She’d ask me to breath in the fog from the water, to boost my resistance and improve my health she says.

I’m not sure how effective those morning sessions were, but aside from secretly enjoying those times we visit the brook, I hardly get sick even now.
We’d spend our whole summer here in our grandma’s house and everyday we’d beg our aunt if we can swim at the sapa out back with our cousins.

We usually get to do so, spending hours and hours at its murky water swimming, skipping stones, spraying water over each other, laying on our back at its shallower parts and diving from a high ledge on its deeper areas. Not a few slippers were lost on its current, but Buliran’s brook was where I learned to swim.
I miss running from a high ledge, jumping down and making a splash at this stream. And yesterday, while having a quiet time at its bank, I saw a family swimming at the far end of the river. I suddenly had the urge to swim too, and why not?

I quickly went back and brought my cousins along with me and jumped in its water. The sun was bearing down hard but we found a spot where a huge tree shades a portion of the brook and we swam ‘til we dropped.
A lone carabao wading at the far edge watched us as we did all the things I did back in the day; we jumped from a ledge, we skipped stones, we dived, we swam and we swam and we swam. The water’s pleasantly warm, the exact same warmness I remember when I was still a kid.
There had always been lots of reasons why our swimming sessions at sapa ended; either the water’s too high, or it’s too murky, or there’s a kapre living there, or leeches abound, or the current’s too strong, or we were too old.

We are never too old to swim at the sapa. And after twenty long years, I’m glad I came back to my senses and started swimming on its water again.

      Buliran Brook
     Brgy. Buliran, Cabanatuan City
      GPS Coordinates: 15.544958,120.960369 | Click to view location on Google Maps

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  1. I learned to swim in a place like this too.. only much more treacherous because some parts have an unknown depth.
    Beautiful post! makes me wanna join and swim too. :)

  2. di ba makati yung tubig pag may kalabaw na naliligo sa ilog? i like the action shots.

  3. Bbihira na ang sapa dito sa Manila coz nagiging barangay dump site 'pag mayroon. Buti na lang mayroon pa sa mga probinsya like yours. You're also blessed there to have trees surrounding both banks kasi nga usually tinatayuan ng bahay ang tabi para palikuran ang sapa. Charming shots of a rather uninteresting brook. This just proves that one's camera eyes can really convey the beauty of an ordinary thing.

  4. What a lovely childhood memory. =)

  5. Correct me if I'm wrong Sapa is the Pilipino term for Brook right? I'm quite confuse with what brook really is?

  6. I like the idea of breathing in the fog from the water if it only makes me healthier. That's quite informative. Thanks for sharing :)

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  7. Lestat

    Ang sarap maligo ulit sa sapa!

    Dong Ho
    Di naman Dom, malayo naman sa amin yung kalabaw :P

    Sana it stays that way no? Right now, may nakita na kong malaking bahay right across the brook, dati wala yun eh

    Thanks Tin! Emo mode lang hehe

    Yup tama Ian :)

    Haha not sure if that's really effective ha!

  8. ang saya dito! :") i remembered my dad telling me not to jump off the water, I guess i need to do that more often.saya tingnan ng mga bata :D

  9. Wander Shugah
    Haha ba't naman? Ang sarap tumalon sa tubig eh :)