12 May 2008

Blazing the Cagayan de Oro Adventure Trail

Whitewater rafting has become synonymous with Cagayan de Oro (or more fondly referred to as CDO), an idyllic city in Northern Mindanao blessed with rich natural resources. When some friends hatched this idea of an adventure that will take us to unchartered territories, we enthusiastically said “yes!”. But while rafting was chiefly in our mind when we started planning four months ago, CDO whipped up a couple more surprises for us.

Our group of 17 arrived last March 28 in the CDO airport at 6AM. A busy day was ahead and so a rushed breakfast and a couple of hours later, we found ourselves packed in the jeepney with our rafts comfortably nestled on its roof and bound for Cagayan River. The trip was smooth and uneventful as brick and mortar gave way to fields and trees. Soon enough, we parked near the raging waters and our hearts skipped a couple of beats. What have we gotten ourselves into?

Seeing the water rush through rocks as it frothed white triggered feelings of both excitement and panic. But I reassured myself that things will be fine. After all, I’ve done this before… sort of. At Splash Island.

After the briefing which was more disconcerting than reassuring (what to do when you fall into the water, how to avoid bruises and broken bones, how not to drown; everybody was silently listening intently indeed). But by the time everybody had their protective gear on, the atmosphere was one of electric excitement.

Our guide stayed at the rear of the raft and barked orders. One helpful tip we learned was to stay at the raft’s edge so that the paddle will be perpendicular to the water, maximizing thrusts. The trip was a combination of excitement (shoot the rapids!), education (fossilized seashells, snake skins on overhanging branches, and gaping holes along the riverbank), and relaxation as we glided along smoothly inbetween rapids.

The beginner’s course lasted for a full 4 hours. By the time we arrived at the end of our journey, we were ravenously hungry. And what better way to satiate our hunger than with seafood, liempo, and fresh pineapple on the side? Most noticeable is the rice serving, which were cooked in woven palm leaves. I learned that they really cook rice this way. Very attractive.

...to be continued
some photos courtesy of friends Yoyo, Dave, and Kagay.


  1. 4 hours? That seems long. But it looks fun. You can also do whitewater rafting on Chico River in Kalinga, I believe.

  2. Anonymous5:51 pm

    waaahhh! Gusto ko rin dyan! hehe!

  3. Wil: I think there are other whitewater rafting sites in Luzon, but I can't remember the names...

  4. Anonymous4:52 am

    when i first saw the picture of the rafts on the jeep, kala ko giant longganisa nag patong patong :) I really need to get new glasses na.

    great adventures ahead of you!

  5. Bambit: Naku baka nga you need to change your glasses already! :-)

  6. nakaktakot naman ito sir nick! waaaa!!!

  7. Wow, I didn't even know that there were places where you could go white water rafting here in da pinas. Sounds very exciting!

  8. basta me involved ang adrenaline, masaya yan!!! there are also white water rafting and tubing in Kalinga and Zambales. I tried the one in Coto, Zambales (and while doing it i am wishing for waterproofed camera to capture the adrenaline rush and the awesome view from the river).

    how much would be the budget for CDO?

  9. Zherwin: Ok rin ba yung sa Zambales? Yeah, times like these makes you want to get a waterproof camera. Yung sa amin kasi, it was a four-day vacation and we travelled to other places as well so di ko sure how much we spent for CDO alone... but we got the services of Kagay...

  10. Princess Em: Nabuhay ka! :-)

  11. Hi, Watson!
    Ngayon lang ulit nakapangumusta. I missed a lot of your posts, I know. I have had tight skeds around this time. As for the internet connection you recommended, I must need a high-end phone to utilize such feature from these mobile phone giants.

    Inggit naman ako. Cagayan de Oro especially Camiguin is already my second home pero I haven't had explored the place the way you did. Those food adventures and the adrenaline rush, OMG! Glad to see those photos. It gives me an idea what to do when I'll visit the place.

    Thanx for sharing this experience...

    I'll visit again for the continuation of this entry if I can afford another time online...

  12. By the way, congrats pala for your new Internet real estate :D

  13. Amazing! I admire your sense of adventure.

  14. Dodong: Alam kong busy ka, so thank you very much for dropping by! Mura na lang ngayon kasi ang domain name so I got it through Google (plus yung mga officemates ko, they said they will buy my domain name and sell it to me kapag di ko pa binili! hehe)

    Rach: It's nice to have an adventure every now and then!

  15. Hahaha! That's it! They will hi-jack your domain and sell it to you at the most higher price. Good thing they notified you to go get it first before getting the domain for you :D


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