ALEGRIA – “Jumping through the Canyons”

First, I would like to thank you guys if you have read my first blog. If you haven’t, you can still catch up. You can see the links everywhere on this page.  I will not stress out too much formality in the blogs that I will be doing as I just want you guys to have fun reading them. I don’t need to make it perfect, because I surely can’t make it that way, but I would appreciate comments if you have some.

Well, I still remember the very first time I tried canyoneering, from the very first jump up to the last one. I even told myself, well – maybe I can do it again. Surprisingly, I did it two more times. It was crazy, and I can feel my internal organs jumbled everywhere inside my tummy and probably misplaced because I have been jumping a lot. That’s insanely funny and a made-up one, but is it possible? 😀

Anyway, I have had different experiences in each three groups that I was with; and summing it all up, it was extensively superb enjoyable and a terrific fun way to bond with your friends. If your childhood was filled with outdoor games and cool activities like climbing hills, sliding on mud, playing with dirt, swimming in clayish rivers or swamps and running under the rain, then imagine the same pleasure. If you didn’t experience any, then continue reading and I will try to show you how it was like.

What is Canyoneering?

Canyoning or mostly referred to as canyoneering is an outdoor trek that involves travelling down to rivers and streams within a canyon by means of walking, swimming, floating, climbing, and jumping. I call it river-trekking. The Philippines is blessed with a lot of natural resources, unique land and water forms, and exceptional sceneries that are recognized worldwide. Cebu, is one lucky island to have most of these resources readily available to man.  Alegria is located in the southern part of Cebu, and the best place to do canyoning. The area has clear flowing river water, which is named “Canlaob River”, and is a 7-kilometer trek before you exit to “Kawasan Falls”, and that would take for about 3-4 hours.

How to Get There?

From Cebu City, you have to pay a commuter bus from South Bus Terminal or hire a van to get there. Bus fare may be around 120 – 150 PHP and will be a short 3 – 4 hour ride. It is best to reserve or contact a guide to meet you when you arrive for a smooth adventure experience. No, you are not allowed to do canyoning without a guide, for safety facts that I don’t need to elaborate. It is also best that you get on the bus around 4am so you can arrive before 8:00 in the morning, and still have breakfast. If you have your own car service, you can park it at the parking area in Badian Church, which is also the exit area. When you arrive in Alegria, you have to register your names in the office and you will be given waivers and pay for environmental fee. Afterwhich, your contact will have you ride a “habal-habal” or a motorbike to bring you to the starting point. From there, you will be briefed about canyoning and all the safety measures you need to remember.

Gearing Up

It would be so much fun if you are doing this activity with your friends because you can get a lot of courage and support that you will need for your first jump. For your gears, you need prayers and strength. Haha Kidding aside, all you need is a light helmet for your head, life vest to help you float, sporting shoes or aqua shoes and a water-resistant camera or go-pros to record your memorable activity. If you don’t have aqua shoes and hesitate to use your rubber shoes, they could have you rent a pair for only 50php. In some cases, they can also lend a go-pro for you to use and pay for maybe 1000php or less.

 The First Jump

Oh, the first jump. You can never get to where you are heading if you don’t take your first leap. My first was not that quick. It took me one deep breath, one prayer, and one swallow of my own saliva before I did it. The trick is, do not think twice. If you aren’t ready, then take your time away from the jumping spot. Once you think you’re gonna go with it, then just take one deep breath and jump right away. If you do a long pause, you might lose the courage to, and fall on the rocks. Ouch! We don’t want that to happen. The first jump is a 15-meter high waterfall, and there are 6 more jumps that you need to do to finish the excursion.  It only takes one jump, and all the rest will be very easy for you.

The Experience

It’s very enjoyable because you won’t only have to do jumping but also do sliding down, swimming away with the rapids, get inside the caves and appreciate the beauty of nature with your snaps. Make sure to follow the main rule, “Take only pictures, Leave only footprints, and Kill only time.”

The 7th or last jump is optional. It is a 30ft-high jump. Out of the three times that I did canyoning, I only tried this last jump on my second and third. I didn’t have the courage to do so on the first, so no pressure on you. If you are more of the adventurous one, then go ahead. It is a satisfying one. Once the last jump is over, you will have to follow a trail to exit in Kawasan Falls. From there, you can enjoy swimming and take your lunch and rest. If you are still up for more, then take a jump in the second falls in Kawasan, which will be a 70-ft jump. I couldn’t dare do that, but my friends did. It’s too overwhelming for me, 30 feet is enough. LOL

This is one of the adventures I did in my life that makes me feel alive. And makes me realize that fear, is a wonderful emotion, only when you face it. That a challenge, is an adventure, only when you experience it. And time, is a memory, only when you make use of it. So, share your fear; share the challenge; and share your time with your friends and family. I did so and it was worth the while.

I feel like I needed to write more, but also I think I need to stop. Just go and enjoy some pictures with my friends. 😀

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