For our day 4, we’re set to do a little hiking today! We’re going to visit Nakamaya Burial Site and The Fountain of Youth.
So, upon arriving at Port of Ivana from Sabtang, we just ate breakfast and then went on our way to see the burial site first.
The hike was actually fun, it’s like level one-easy, haha! Really, you’ll enjoy the scenery so you won’t really mind. Bring a lot of water though, heat can really wear you down!
Now either my mind is playing tricks on me or I simply have a poor memory, but I can’t seem to separate which trek is the way to the burial site and which one is the way to the spring. Hmmm..
I just walk when I’m told to, I don’t really mind because like I’ve said it’s really fun. And did I mention already that I’m poor with directions? So I just follow the leader, haha! I don’t bother to ask where we were, I probably won’t remember anyway.
A few times I tried to lull behind, you know just to appreciate the place. But I never dare losing sight of them of course!
I do remember passing by a fallen papaya tree with loads of fruits! It’s like it’s vertical to the ground but it seems pretty okay still, it even manages to bore so many papayas. I think we did pick two since Kuya Jun said it’s okay :)
When we finally arrived at the burial site, we were greeted by a huge signage on which these are written:
“The boat-shaped tomb markers found here are testimonies to the values of the pre-historic Ivatans who believed in life after death. The general direction of the boat-shaped burial tombs points towards the sea which, according to the old Ivatan folk tale, is the final resting place of man.
Similar to the tomb markers of the Vikings, this burial site remains to be a curiosity and a mystery since it is the only one of its kind in the country and in the Asian continent.
Radiocarbon dating of the human skeletons discovered in the boat-shaped tombs shows that these burials were done 355-70BP (Before the present) or approximately 1600AD”
I can’t remember how many tombs were there maybe 5 or 6 or more? It’s not that easy to count since some of the stones look misplaced or missing, through the years they say brought upon by nature like rain or earthquake. So you may see one but you’re not really sure if that’s an incomplete tomb or just a misplaced pile of rock. I think there are 3 tombs that look pretty intact.
I feel so lucky and blessed to have experienced all that! It’s pretty amazing to be there and be able to touch those rocks. I was a little apprehensive at first, I mean isn’t relics supposed to be delicate and sensitive?
It’s quite instinctive for me not to touch stuff like that, weird, but I just have that notion that I might ruin it or something. So, I’m like look but don’t touch. Same thing with the old churches that we have visited. Well, of course, in this case, it’s a different story when I’m told it’s okay. So yes, I was able to touch these ancient relics and it’s one experience I will not forget!
We backtrack now and head to our next destination which is the Fountain of Youth also called Spring of Youth.
On our way to the spring, Kuya Jun points out to a few rocks with bored holes on it, he said those are the very spot where the houses of the first Ivatan settlers used to be. So basically, the trek we’re on cuts through the very first known Ivatan settlement.
These are used to hold the house firm to the ground. Again, I love old stuff, so knowing that we’re standing in the very same area where the first Ivatans were years and years ago is truly an experience for me.
Once we reach the Fountain of Youth, we first saw this little falls with a shrine of the Virgin Mary. Then there’s a covered hut where you can have your picnic. The place is really clean although there’s some case of vandalism on the hut’s post itself. I really wish tourists won’t do that. I mean really, marking something just to say or to show that you’ve been there wasn’t exactly impressive. You’re supposedly a guest, so I’m not really finding it nice when people do that.
The whole fountain of youth thing is pretty nice, believers or non-believers will still appreciate it. The water flows into a much lower level where the man-made pool is. I’m not quite sure now how it got connected to it. But there is a visible water sprout by the pool where spring water is gushing out. They’ve managed to put water pipes, those thin, black, and bendy tubes. Anyways, those pipes are directed into the pool below and one connects to a toilet not far from the area (well, it’s far enough).
I’m not a big fun that it got ‘improved’ by putting a man-made pool. I’d really rather see nature in its rawest form. Makes me wonder, too, if the spring water would have just flowed into the sea had it not been there (well, it still does, it sort of ‘leaking’ towards the sea.). Or maybe there’s a natural pool but they just somehow improved it? I didn’t ask of course, because I don’t want to offend Kuya Jun or anything. Besides, maybe for others, it’s a great treat. Maybe they wanted people to enjoy and relax in that crystal clear and cold water. Especially when I think it’s almost impossible to try swimming at the beach because of the strong and big waves.
We didn’t even dare try. We did experience standing in ankle-deep water while clinging onto rocks and even that is quite scary because whenever the wave hits, it feels like you’re going to get sucked back into the sea. We just contented ourselves with a walk along the beach and then relax a bit in the pool as well. After all, it got water from the Fountain of Youth!:)