Tag Archives: adventure

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. 😀

SAGADA – “A Stunning Sunrise”

If you also wonder about how the creations in the world just give you peace, calmness and stillness but still couldn’t find the right answers, then just stop.. you don’t need to. Just feel it, experience it and absorb the moment like there is no second time. I live in this kind of aphorism, to just feel the moment and do whatever it is that makes you happy.

While it is true that you don’t need to travel far to experience nature at its best, it is also just a way for me to escape from city stress and just get lost for a little while. Traveling is an inexpensive leisure, you just need to know where and how to get into a new destination reasonably. Sagada is one of the few tourist spots that’s really easy to go and by far one of the best. I have already considered it as one of my “happy places”.

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Sagada is located in the Mountain Province of Luzon in the Philippines. To get there coming from Manila, you just have to take a bus ride that will take 9-12 hours. I suggest you do a night trip so you can just sleep during the travel. If you aren’t used to long-hour bus rides, it is better that you do a stop-over in Baguio. Maybe do some tours first, do strawberry picking and enjoy the view. There are also a lot of beautiful places to visit in Baguio but we will talk about that in my upcoming blogs. You can always ask around in the Bus stops for departure times going to Sagada since the schedules change from time to time.

The Famous Klitepan Sunrise

You probably have heard of it, but I can tell you, it is a must see. What you see in the photographs is much better in real life. Klitepan is an area in Sagada where you can wait and watch the sun rise. You have to wake up early around 4:30 am, hike towards this hill and just wait for the sun to rise. I can tell you, it is worth the wait. I can’t explain how beautiful it is and how happy it makes you feel to just look at the beauty that nature has shared to us, it’s really hard to put it in words. This is not an exaggeration, maybe partly, but still you have to experience it to judge it for yourself.

Sagada has also become an asylum for those with broken hearts. Yeah, it is funny but maybe it is really therapeutic. It is famous now because of a local movie that features this province and excited a lot of people to visit the place. “Where do broken hearts go?” they sing, and the answer is Sagada.

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A Peculiar Culture

Sagada isn’t just known for its stunning sunrise. The infamous beliefs and culture of the people residing in this province has invited tourists all over the world to see and explore it themselves. I am talking about the Hanging Coffins at the entrances of caves. Yes, that is right. It is in their belief, (according to the tour guide that I talked to) that the coffins are hung at the faces of the caves or cliffs so that the soul of the dead is blessed eternally as well as to prevent the body from taken away by the beasts. He also added that once fluid of the body drops underneath and you caught it anywhere in your body, it will give you good luck. It sounded very odd, but every place has its own culture and that, I respect.

Sagada offers various types of excursion to show people around. A lot of the caves can be entered and some even have rivers inside. I made sure I could also experience the adventure trails inside the caves. It was fun; just make sure you are ready to get wet. I went in to maybe 3-4 caves, some are very wide and big and some you have to slump to get in. There are tour packages that you can choose depending on how much time you have and which places you want to go to. What is good about their rates is that they made sure it was standard for all. Everyone has to pay the same rate for a tour guide, which for me is better. If you wish to tip the guide for an excellent tour he did, then that’s up to you.

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Bomok-od Falls

I stayed in Sagada for 3 days and 2 nights, and that didn’t even seem enough for me. Our accommodation didn’t have AC, but it was absolutely unnecessary. At night, it is really cold and you would even wish to get a heater. We paid for our stay for as low as 250php per person per night. There are a lot of lodging inns around, and people are very helpful to show you which ones can fit in your budget.  Food is also amazing, just walk around and you can find small restaurants that can give you lavish meals.

On our third day and the last, we went to the highest waterfalls they have. They call it the “Bomok-od Falls”. You have to walk for an hour and hike down the mountain to reach the falls. The walk won’t seem to bother you because you will be passing by farm terraces. It is literally everywhere.

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It is very common in the art of farming industry in the Mountain Province to use farm terraces. These are proven to be a good use and method for water distribution. It is very impressive to me because it is a kind of technology that doesn’t even use any mechanism. Make sure you stop by and take a picture of the beautiful scenery like I did. 😀

When we reached to the waterfall, gosh, I am lost of words. Also, I was freezing because the water was so cold, you can freeze a soda drink in it.  I can’t possibly get in the water but some people did swim. Still, it was worth it. I couldn’t possibly enjoy my trip without some good friends around, good friends who take very good pictures. Now, that’s awesome. 😀

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I hope I had entertained you in this writing, and if you reached this last part of the blog, thank you!  I hope to write some more, the sooner the better. If you have any comments or suggestions, please hit up the comment box below, I would surely appreciate any inputs.