Day 3: Bukidnon (Dahilayan Forest Park + Dahilayan Adventure Park + Pineappling)
Our CDO trip was jampacked with adventure (see day 1 and day 2 here), and it’s kind of hard to pick which activity/adventure I loved best because they were all fun in their own right. But the place I loved the most in our CDO-Bukidnon-Camiguin-Iligan trip was undoubtedly Bukidnon.
And this was the first thing I did:
Day 2: Cagayan de Oro (white water rafting) + road trip to Bukidnon (January 24, 2012)
* Day 2 sure took a while to post.
Okay, since this is a much-delayed back-post. I won’t say much apart from white water rafting in CDO was awesome. I know a lot of potential tourists are still scared of the aftermath of Sendong on CDO and the rest of Northern Mindanao, but I’m glad we pushed through with the trip despite warnings against going. Wewound up seeing the beauty the region still has to offer, helped support the local economy, and are now legit witnesses and worthy word-of-mouth spreaders that YES, CDO IS FINE.
So anyway, we took the advanced course, but at no point did I really feel like my life was in peril, and I’m happy about that. It was thrilling enough, and I enjoyed it enough to want to do it again, but yeah, I’m good without the near-death experiences. So for those extreme sports enthusiasts, there is also an EXTREME course which you can opt to take at your own risk.
Here are some more pictures from our half-day adventure. :)
There was one point that I remember being totally oblivious to what was going on, but really just getting confused that our guides kept spinning the raft around and we still weren’t moving. We were stuck between two large rocks I think, and our raft was really filling up with water! I believe they told us to shift our weight from one side of the raft to the other and back, whenever they tried to wriggle us out, but yeah, LAG ata ako. I’d only always find out it was time to switch sides when I turned around and found no one behind me. Haha. I’m sorry I look bored in this picture. I have no idea why. :P One of our friends had actually fallen out of the raft at this point. So yeah, it definitely wasn’t a boring moment.
But yeah, we survived everything, and here we are with are guardians / lifesavers / heros. We wouldn’t have made it if not for their skillful maneuvering. :) And yeah, our guide really kept us entertained in the calm areas of the river with a lot of punny stories. Ho ho.
Guide: “Yung mga rocks po na yun, lava rocks.”
Us ignorant tourists: “Ah, wow, talaga?”
Guide: “Oo, tuwing umaga kasi, meron diyang nag-la-lava.”
So yeah, if you guys are going to go white water rafting in CDO, get in touch with our guide, and it’ll be like paying for a white water rafting adventure + stand-up comedian in one go. :P
White Water Rafting: Red Rafts (request for Jake Taponggot!)
Northern Mindanao private van / tour guide: Jhan - (0927) 407 8359
Day 1: Cagayan de Oro (Mapawa river trek)
* Great photo above (and all succeeding shots, actually) is courtesy of our tour guide/driver Jhan (using my friend Andrew’s camera) who turned out to have a real eye for good shots. :D
It would be a day packed with activity, as with all our days in our jam-packed 5-day trip around Cagayan de Oro, Bukidnon, Camiguin and Iligan. It didn’t matter that we were taking a 4:15 a.m. flight from Manila to CDO. We had activities lined up at 7:00 a.m. :P
After a drive-thru breakfast we headed for the Mapawa River Trek, which wasn’t as highlighted an activity as white water rafting, but turned out to be a really more than worthwhile adventure. :) Memorable parts of the trek were:
The HUGE tree at the start of the trek
The natural water slide, a roughly 25-ft. cliff dive, and a 60-ft. waterfall rappelling.
Here’s a picture BEFORE the cliff dive.
And AFTER the cliff dive.
And yes, waterfall rappelling is as awesome as it sounds. I wish it was an even longer way down though. :P
* This is a photo that Andrew was actually able to take. :P
Once we got down, we had a banana leaf lunch of rice and adobo, relaxed by the river a bit and headed back to our pick-up point in search of more adventure for the afternoon, which we would find in a 150-ft. treetop rappelling at Macahambus Adventure Park. :)
You can’t really tell. But Karlo was really terrified here. :P
Up until the last minute, he couldn’t decide if he wanted to do it or not. But yeah, he eventually succumbed to peer pressure or fear of being called a pussy. :D See how happy he is when he reaches the bottom? :)
And then we were pretty much spent for the day, so we headed back to our hotel to get some R&R for the white water rafting scheduled on the next day. :)
1 day down, 4 to go!
In the meantime, check out this video by @avalaunched a.k.a. Ardent Videos of our adventure-filled trip. :D
This is proof that CDO and the rest of Northern Mindanao are indeed recovering from Sendong. So yeah, watch the video, (LIKE it on YouTube), spread the word and help boost tourism in that beautiful region once again. :)
Am I Ready for Extended Solo Travel?
I spent a good part of yesterday looking and trying to book flights during Cebu Pacific’s seat sale. Though it still didn’t come out as cheap as my trips to Japan and Coron, Palawan last year, I think it was a pretty decent seat sale compared to their other “seat sales” as of late.
Travel dates were perfect as they ran through January to mid-March 2012. I think this is the best time to travel (and November, in tropical regions, but this is not an option for me this year since I still have to attend to the business…though I did sneak in a 4-day trip to Singapore to watch The National).
I decided I wanted to book a trip with some friends, and then a trip alone.
So after finally settling on a location and date with some friends, and after the kilobyte battle to book the flight, it was settled. I’m going to Cagayan de Oro with Karlo, Bea & Andrew on January 19-23. Not too exotic, I know.
But I had planned on having Karlo/Bea take home my extra luggage from Cagayan de Oro upon our return to Manila, then I’d take a connecting flight to Catarman, then book a flight back to Manila from Calbayog 5 days later. Unfortunately (or fortunately), the promo fare was gone after I had resolved myself to this decision.
I think some part of me was also really hesitant to:
1) Go to a relatively much less popular destination (as compared to pop tourist places like Cebu, Davao, Bacolod, CDO, Boracay, Palawan or even Laoag or Sagada)
2) Go alone
3) Go right after another trip and thus be: a) Unable to attend to the business, and b) Away from the comforts of home and basically anything familiar for 10 days straight
I just realized in booking the flights that it’s not just the people around me (i.e. Nica/future PdP local management team) that I have to prepare for my departure, but myself. I think I was almost relieved when I had run out of the supposed connecting Catarman flight from my Cagayan de Oro return.
But I’ll get there by 2013.
I just need to make money.
And find couches to surf on.
Spent a bit of time updating my couchsurfing profile yesterday. :P