Rise and shine, Cagayan de Oro!
Wow! How time flies so fast. Our vacation is about to end. But, in all honesty, it seems that we were traveling for a week. Maybe because we were able to visit many destinations and there are a lot of things that happened.
The places that we visited, the experiences that we had and the people we met in the past two days made our trip memorable, fun and one for the book. We will always be grateful to The Harwarts and Ontanillas Family for everything and making our trip possible.
However it did not end there. Let us add to that. This time is an adventure that each one of us will surely be proud of that we survived safe and sound. I know that you know what it was. Of course, it is the title of this blog post. Hahaha!
But how the activity went and what we can say about it will be what I am going to talk about in this post.
So yeah! Our last activity on our last day is the Water Rafting. This is my second time. My first was last June 2013 still with my friends. We did the Lower Section or the Beginner Water Rafting.
Where to book?
If I am not wrong, there are three companies that organize Water Rafting in Cagayan de Oro. There is Kagay, Bugsay and Great White Rafting. You can check their website for the rates and schedule. But based on my research, their rate is most likely just the same.
What Company did we choose?
It took me quite some time to finalize my mind and book for the activity. I have been researching and comparing these companies over and over again. But, I ended up booking at Kagay. Why? Simply because we already had a wonderful experience with them. During our last rafting, we also booked with Kagay. And so far, we have nothing bad to say about it. Plus, they are very accommodating and responsive.
What levels are available and what did we choose?
There are three levels of the rafting. The lower section that has 14 rapids, the middle section with 24 rapids and upper section with 14 more difficult rapids.
We chose the middle section or the Advanced Course since half of us experienced the lower section already and the rest were too excited and adventurous.
When is our schedule?
Supposedly, our schedule is on our Day 1 right after we arrive CDO. But because we have a friend who asked me if we can move the activity to either Sunday or Monday since he will go to CDO on Sunday. So, yes! We chose to have the activity on our last day (Monday) in the morning so that we have enough time before our flight.
How long is the rafting?
The Advanced Course or Middle Section took us 3 hours to finish.
How is the experience?
There are different types of rapids that we passed through. There are easy and manageable and there are also scary that we stopped paddling and just held to the rope in the raft. Hahaha!
But, the rapids are not the only thing exciting about the activity. The beautiful river, trees, birds, the fresh air, the calmness and wildness of the river, the relaxation, the time to swim and cliff jump, all the High Paddles, the stop, forward paddle, and even the stubborn friends. Everything made the whole experience one-of-a-kind that we can narrate to everyone over and over again without getting tired. Plus the idea that we are in a river that connects Bukidnon (on our right) and Cagayan de Oro (on our left). Along the way, you can also get a glimpse on how the people in the area live. We passed that area where people need to cross a rope from Bukidnon side to CDO then climb on a ladder made of bamboo and tire.
Ooopppsss! It seems I have been talking too much already when I am still in the beginning of the blog. 😛
So, how did everything go?
Let us start with waking up at 6:30AM and had a morning swim. Actually, only Toj did it. Our schedule pick up time is at 8AM.
After swimming, relaxing, packing our clothes because we will check out already and changing to our rafting clothes, we went to Jollibee Georgetown. They will supposedly pick us up at Middleton Apartelle. But, we asked them to pick us up at Jollibee because we need to buy our breakfast.
When we arrived there, the jeepney that will take us to the starting point of the activity was already there waiting for us. We just bought the foods and then hop on to the jeepney. All of us except Maizel joined the activity. Actually, Howell won’t supposedly join but he did not have a choice because we need to reach the minimum requirement of 6 persons. Otherwise, we will pay for the 6th person. So, thanks to Howell for joining even if you are tired driving us around and to Maizel for letting him join when he should be accompanying you to the hospital. 😀
The trip from the city to the starting point takes about an hour. You can pass an area of buildings, trees, cliff and even the check point of the soldiers. We finished eating, talking and some were able to sleep yet we still did not reach our destination. That’s how far it is. Hahaha!
Also, while we were on our way to the starting point, we were asked to sign the waiver. This is a dangerous activity and so, waiver is required.
A couple of minutes later, we stopped and welcomed by a breathtaking view. A chocolate like river. It’s dark brown this time because it kept on raining. It only means that the rapids will be more difficult and the current will be stronger.
Before we can hop on our raft, we need to be briefed by the guide on the rules and rescue procedure during the activity. He taught us how to use the paddle and the commands that they will use. Everyone seriously listened to the instructions. Then, we were asked to try paddling using the commands.
Of course, it is not always about passing through the rapids. There are also times that the river is calm. We used this time to relax and prepare for the next rapid.
We can also jump off the raft and swim but we need to follow the instruction given earlier and not to go far though the current is really strong. However, the hardest part is getting back the raft. Really a struggle! 😀
Hello rapids again!
The looks of a success after passing the rapids. But the game is not yet over!
Then, we were allowed again to jump off the raft. But again, going back is totally hard.
But, Howell and Chinkee did not join us.
We swam towards this big rock and have that jump shot.
What a nice splash! Followed by the calm river.
After that, we went to Kagay Office to get the CD where the photos &videos were stored and asked for a favor to take a bath. Maizel was already waiting for us there.
Then, we had our lunch at Redtail Shrimp & More in their branch near Mallberry Suites Hotel. They also have a branch at Velez St.
Our last stop before heading to the airport is at Vjandep Bakeshop to buy the famous pasalubong, Pastel.
Afterwards, we went straight to the airport. The passengers were all sleeping (Howell is driving the car). It seems they really got tired from the rafting. (Supposedly, I will post the photo of them sleeping but I don’t want to ruin their image. Kidding! Hahaha!)
Maize & Howell dropped us off at Laguindingan Airport then they headed back to CDO.
The 5 of us then proceeded to the check in counter for the check in process and was informed that our flight will be delayed for approximately 2 hours. WHAAAAATTTTTT????
Our flight was at 7PM and if be delayed for 2 hours, then new ETA is 9PM. Wow! It means that we will arrive Cebu at around 10PM. Too late! But we don’t have a choice because that is the only flight left. So, Toj & Jessie just asked for a Certificate from Cebu Pacific which they can show to their managers why they will be absent.
When we were in the departure lounge and waiting for the flight or any announcement regarding it, I was hoping that it might just be a few minutes delay. Unfortunately, it was really 2 hours. What happened was that the airplane that will take us to Cebu is coming from Davao.
The route seems to be like this: Cebu -> CDO -> Davao -> CDO -> Cebu -> CDO -> Davao -> CDO -> Cebu. It only means that one delay from any of this flight could cause the delay of the rest. Unfortunately, our flight is the last.
Since we cannot do anything than wait, we just occupied ourselves from anything so that we don’t get bored and stuff like that. Some were eating, surfing the net, walking here and there, etc. Until the crew announced that they are serving snacks. Then when we lined up, they gave cup noodles and bottled water.
Maybe, we should be thankful that they provided this. Even though it was never our fault. However, I hope they could be more generous and provided the passengers dinner instead since it’s past the meal time. Anyway, we just bought our dinner from the stalls in the airport. 🙂
On the positive note, we had a great 3-day vacation and whatever challenges we encountered, these were all worth it in exchange to the experiences and memories we created together.
When travelling, it is not always being on your comfort zone. We should expect the unexpected and leave our comforts at home. We need to spread our wings and fly without worrying where to land. What matters most is the story we can tell when we go back to the comfort of our home. 😉
TIPS! (Still have though heheh)
- Booked and reserved ahead to what company or organizer are you going to avail the Water Rafting activity.
- They also offer tour packages that include Dahilayan. If you want to, you can check their rates on this as well. It can be seen on their website.
- Prepare for the activity. Have an enough sleep and rest. The activity is really tiring and needs energy especially when paddling during rapids.
- Bring water and foods. You need the water during the activity. As you might get thirsty. The foods are important after the activity.
- You can leave your stuff in the jeepney. Somebody from the team will be left on the jeepney to guard the things.
- Listen and follow the guide. They know what they are doing and they know what is the best, so always listen carefully and follow religiously. One mistake might ruin the whole experience. And it is kinda dangerous.
- Wear sunblock but do not apply on the forehead as it might flow down to your eyes.
- Be a responsible citizen. Do not throw garbage in the river and its surrounding. Let us all help in maintaining the cleanliness of the river especially that there are people who are depending in there.
- Enjoy every moment. Whether you are passing through the rapids or swimming or just relaxing on the calm water. It might only happen once so grab the chance. Leave without regrets. As long as you are all safe.
- Do not forget for the captured moments. The photographer usually stopped near the rapids. Stolen shots are the best but you can still give your desired pose when the water is calm.
- They can provide the copy of the photos and videos but on a certain amount. The CD is cheaper than the Flash Drive (USB). You can get it immediately at their office after the activity.
- Redtail restaurant is a must try. They served delicious yet not so expensive foods.
- Vjandep bakeshop has many branches within the city. If you do not have enough time, you can drop by their branch in going to the airport.
- Traffic in CDO especially in going to the airport can be real at some time. So better leave the city with more than enough time. Or else you will end up panicking and wondering if you can still catch your flight.
- Laguindingan Airport’s Terminal Fee is already included in the ticket just recently. Please no stupid jokes in the airport.
With this, I want to thank again the Maize, Howell and Ontanillas Family for everything that they had done and extended during this trip. To our parents for letting us go with the trip (though sometimes, they do not have a choice). To our bosses for approving our VLs. To all the people we had met (from the restaurant to our destinations to the hotel to the rafting to the stores to the airport). Lastly, thanks to the Tropang Laagan people for making it possible (nahitabo jud sa wala’y pagduha-duha).
Until next time everyone! 😀