Sunday, April 26, 2009

White Water Rafting in CDO: A Glimpse On A Day Of The 2009 Tarsier Convention

We got up early to prepare for the day’s activities. Our visit to CDO will not be complete if we don’t get to brawl with the waves of the great CDO river. Before heading to the rapids we dropped by to the Macahumbus cave. This cave is only about 57 meters and at the end you’ll have a nice view of the river.

Now we’re ready to tackle the rapids. There were nine of us on the raft, 6 paddlers, 2 guides and 1 miron. I was a little nervous and excited at the same time. Our group took the advanced level. It consisted of 21 rapids, 7 of these are advanced levels and 14 are considered for beginners. Our guides briefed us of water safety, simple signaling conventions and basic paddling in a raft. We each have our helmet, vest and lastly our paddle.

It's around 10 am when we started. The course began in the boundary of Bukidnon. The first few yards ended up in getting stuck with some big rocks. Maneuvering was really a challenge for us first timers in white water rafting and since it's summer time the water is low. After this first hurdle we started to get the hang of paddling and we started to enjoy the rapids. I learned that the secret to a successful paddling is to be in harmony with your fellow paddlers. Just follow the strokes of the one in front of you, the one behind you should the do same thing. Timing is vital. Now I know how the dragon boat team feels like. After several hours of muscle paddling action we were rewarded with scrumptious lunch.

Lunch consisted of grilled prawns, grilled liempo, grilled chicken, embotido and puso (rice wrapped in coconut leaves). We had pineapples for desserts. Honestly, I am not a big fun of pineapples but boy these pineapples were really ripe and yummy! It made me want to visit Bukidnon. We’re all so famished that it felt like engaging in a boodle fight. Hahahha!!!

After a few minutes of rest, here we go again to the rampaging river. Like what I said, since its summer the water level is low. But our guide said that if you visit during the rainy season, it’s a different ballgame. He also told us that due to heavy rains and flash floods last January, the river’s width increased. Most of the houses were trampled by big rocks and raging waters. Yikes! That’s mother-nature getting back at us for not taking care of her.

We decided to switch places to even out the paddling arm. I found out later at night that this was actually a good idea since it even out my muscle aches. Hehehehe! By this time were down to the beginner-level rapids. Our guide is quite experimental and made us stand, form a circle and hold each other. This is actually one of the parts I enjoyed most. We emerged triumphant in this exercise because of balance and everybody’s fun-lets-go-charge attitude.

After tackling all the 21 rapids, it’s graduation time. Did I fail to mention that not all parts of the river is fast, rocky or shallow. In this area, the water is calm, deep and steady. It is so inviting and that of course I jumped right in for a swim and docked to a nearby rock. This big rock is actually the podium of our graduation. We were made to jump to mark the end of our paddling exercise. Don’t worry they’ll not force you to jump if you don’t want to.

It's almost 4pm when removed our vest and rest our weary bodies. I'm hungry again. All snacks seems delicious, I remembered Jodie's kiamoy inside my bag and feasted on it instanly. Hahaha this time everybody wanted the kiamoy.

Yahoo!! I conquered the river. It was exhilarating. Next time I’ll try the expert level. The tour was provided by RAP, Rapid Adventure of the Philippines. The cost is around a thousand bucks including the foodie. You can visit their site:

View a snippet of the actual adventure below, enjoy!!