Last November 27, 2015 I experienced my first airplane ride. Naturally, I was exhilarated but a little bit nervous at the same time, but I will get to that on another piece. My companions and I were bound to the Queen City of the South, Cebu City. This is also my first time to visit Cebu Province and first time in Visayas.
Our plane landed on Mactan International Airport at around 5 AM. My companions and I immediately went to the South Cebu Terminal on our way to Badian for our first activity on our 4-day itinerary. Badian, one of the municipalities of Cebu Province, is our jump-off point for canyoneering. Canyoneering promises an out-of-body experience filled with adrenaline rush.
We took the bus bound to Bato via Barili. Please note that there’s another bus bound to Bato but it is via Oslob. Don’t take that one as it will take you to the other side of the island and will make your travel longer. Trips start at 4 AM and runs hourly. Our bus left the terminal at around 7:30 AM and by 11 AM, we reached our destination, Highland Adventures PH. We’ve arranged our canyoneering with them through email.
After taking some breather, we are now ready to jump those 10 to 15 feet canyons! At around 12 noon we left for the jump-off point at Alegria, another municipality of Cebu. The jump-off point is about 20 to 30 minutes from Highland Adventures so we rode on motorcycles. Before we can proceed, however, we had to sign up first at the Tourism office which before we can proceed to the jump-off point. At the jump-off point, we had to sign up again.
And now we’re on our way to an adventure of no return! The canyoneering follows Kanlaob River downstream and ends at Kawasan Falls. It usually takes three to four hours to complete the course.
The opening salvo is a 10-feet jump. No turning back now! As fate had it, I was the first one to take the plunge as my companions were either afraid of heights or afraid of deep waters, both of which we must scale.
The next phases were a bit easier as it involves just jumping on lower heights, sliding, and swimming on deeper parts. For about three hours, what we did was basically jump, and swim.
Reprieve came when we were nearing the finish line. Out of the blue, our olfactory senses were seduced by the smell of hot dogs on the grill. As were haven’t had our lunch yet, we indulged with the snack. Admittedly, we were a bit surprised of the hot dog vendors’ presence because it was as if they came out of nowhere. Apparently, they carved a way through the cliff and that’s where they access the area.
Our reprieve didn’t last long though. It seems that it was a foreshadowing of the penultimate jump, a 15-feet one. Luckily, we all survived the last jump. The final stretch was easier than the first one though we had to swim through cold waters.
At Kawasan Falls, we opted out of the final jump because it was too high, about 20 to 30 feet drop. But when I saw the other groups doing the jump, I suddenly felt envious. I made a promise to myself that I will do it if I come back, irregardless if my companions will join me or not. 😀
Though canyoneering is a strenuous but worthwhile activity. One, the place is very clean. Two, the emerald waters are striking. Three, it makes us closer to nature. And lastly, the adrenaline rush is surreal.
- There are numerous available tour guides are the area.
- When choosing tour guides, ensure that they provide the basic safety equipment such as life vest, helmet, and ropes.
- For our trip, we booked with Highland Adventures PH. You may contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Our canyoneering package included the following:
- Transfer from Highland Adventures Station to the canyoneering site and back to Highland Adventures Station (Badian)
- Entrance/government fees
- Snacks & Drinking water
- Life Vest & Helmet
- Tour guide(s) with Dry Bag
- Free use of trekking shoes if size is available – please reserve the size(s)
- Free Lunch or Dinner after canyoneering
- Please note that above inclusions were about a year ago. There might have been changes. Just inquire with your prospective provider. They’re very much accommodating.
Dos and Don’ts:
- Do observe caution at all times.
- Do listen to your tour guides. They know the track the best.
- Do wear your life vest and helmet until the end of the canyoneering.
- Do not fool around on the edges, especially if the rocks are slippery.
- Do not push or force your companions to jump. Let them take their time.
- Do not jump just everywhere. Again, listen to your tour guides.
- Do not throw your garbage anywhere. Remember, “Leave no trace behind.“
What to Bring:
- Trekking Shoes. If you don’t have one, you can hire a pair from your tour provider. Just bring your socks.
- GoPro action camera. If you don’t have one, you can also hire from your tour provider. However, not all providers rent GoPros. An Underwater Camera will do but expect image quality to be less than that of a GoPro.
- Drinking Water. Canyoneering is a strenuous activity. It would be best if you bring a bottle of water for hydration.
- PHP 150.00 – Bus fare from South Cebu Terminal to Badian (Highland Adventures PH)
- PHP 1,100.00 – Canyoneering tour package with Highland Adventures PH. Price is per person for a group of 3-4. Please note that as of December 2016, prices have already been standardized for all canyoneering tour providers.
After our canyoneering excursion, we rode a bus to Oslob for our next Cebu adventure. So, watch out for the second leg!
Disclaimer: Pictures are not mine. All my gratitude to Kenken Amango, Jorella Doga-ong and Rey Ernesto for these pictures.