following my bliss

Mountains are high and hard to climb, but they offer ME a better view

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Hearing the high beat,
my arms outstretched in the tingling
Process of transformation,
and soon tough legs,
With folded feet,
trail in the sounding vacuum
of passage.

:: All about me ::
Name:Mec Sexy
Date of Birth:October 03, 1977
Status:Prodigal Mountaineer
... but I practice LNT ha!

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Winners take time
to relish their work,
knowing that scaling the mountain
is what makes the view from the top
so exhilarating. (D. Waitley)

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

This isn't really a climbing/mountaineering post, because it's been eons ago since i actually trudged along dusty trails with a backpack. Still, it's an outdoor activity that filled me with bliss and convinced me further to realize other dreams.

My hubby and I went white water TUBING.

It's actually almost the same as white water rafting, only we sat on lifesaver-type thingies instead of an inflatable raft... and we didn't need to paddle. The current of the Cagayan de oro river stretch we conquered didn't need paddling much anyway. it will just propel you on.

I initially searched the internet for persons to contact for a white water rafting package. I kept getting led to a certain RUPERT by many sites, esply the DOT site and the Cagayan de Oro official site. But he wasn't texting back. He was also not e-mailing back. I figured, any person endorsed by supposed authorities that couldn't be bothered to reply to inquiries won't be worth my time too.

So I sought the help of Bambit who hails from CDO, who then directed me to Bisaya Bloggers. From them, I got hold of Gerome Garcia of Dome Expedition Tours.

Gerome was quick to reply to my inquiries. I felt there was a person really behind the number. And he did his best to get people to join us so we'd pay the cheaper rate (for my hubby and I were willing to pay the minimum P4,500 rate for one run, since we're really after the experience).

We were joined by Sally and Leo Adriano, AMCI mountaineers and married travellers. Gerome and company fetches their clients from their respective hotels then passes by his father's home (near the airport) for a shot of a local wine before heading off to our jumpoff point.

And when I say JUMPOFF, I do mean literally.

We jumped off a 30 foot bridge into the CDO river waters. Ouch to the sinuses and my a$$/thighs that hit the water first but, still, IT WAS A BLAST!!! It was scary and thrilling and I'd do it again and again. :D

We were wearing life vests when we did that. And since I couldn't swim, one of the guides was quick to help stabilize my paddling in the waters. And weirdly enough, this was one time when I didn't involuntarily drank river water. Hehe.

Anyway, after the briefing, we set off to enjoy the river. Honestly, it was pretty calm at most... where the river is deep. It reminded me of going down the Loboc River before, on a barge. But this time, we were sitting on tubes and enjoying the sun, the trees, the horizon.

(Rupert's group uses inflatable rafts, Gerome's group/Detour uses tubes connected together with webbing for sitting, and thus go by the name Water Tubing or Pinoy rafting... i understand there are places where people water tube solo... and then there's that other extreme activity where you literally lie on a tube/capsule and have the river carry you to anywhere)

And then our boat flipped at the first rapids! Again, twas a BLAST!!! It's one of the bonuses of the whole adventure... and safe too. That stretch of the CDO river is relatively safe, and the most danger presented is hitting the rocks with your head (we had helmets on, and the water wasn't RAGING to do much damage). Plus, our guide was quick to 'rescue' us and plop us again back to our tubes.

It took some 2 hours or so, highlighted by another JUMP, this time off a rock in the middle of the river. It wasn't as high as the bridge, but was actually more scary because you couldn't help but fear scouring yourself at the rock... and you could see the waters swirling where you'd fall. Again, I landed with my butt first and it hurt! But again, twas a blast!!!

The experience ended after some 2 hours, capped with softdrinks and pastel and guest-book signing. After that, we were taken to have lunch at this roadside carinderia to enjoy barbecued pork and chicken, and then taken back to our hotels.


White water rafting, or tubing, at CDO river is a fun activity that visitors to this great place shouldn't miss. Also, it's a relatively safe activity provided you have the proper gear, and you listen to the briefing.

Jumping off the bridge and the rock isn't compulsory, but a well-recommended thing to do. Like what they say, you forget all about flipping and rafting after a month, but the high jumping off a bridge brings is something you'll treasure for a year.

Besides, CDO river IS clean.


For those who are interested, contact Gerome Garcia of Detour (Dome Expedition Tours) at 0919-4043930 or a_detour97@yahoo.com

Their current rates are:

Water Rafting - P900/pax, minimum of 5 pax (or minimum of P4,500 per run) for a half-day tour

Cliff Rappelling - offered if you're water rafting; you rappel first before rafting, P500/pax, minimum of 5 pax

Caving - P5,850 for 5 pax

Canopy walk - (we didn't try it but our new friends did and we saw the pictures and dang, it's scary!!! walking thru hanging bridges up to 1,500 meters above the ground, and the hanging bridges don't have solid planks that can accommodate an entire foot... but yes, you have a harness so it's still safe) minimum of 5 pax, P7,000

You can ask Gerome if there are other groups availing of the said adventure so you can go along with them... meet new people... and also split the costs with.

Gerome is also a seasoned mountaineer and is very active in eco-challenges and environmental drives.

His group also beat the first dispatched rescuers when Flight 387 of the Cebu Pacific crashed in the vicinity of Mt. Lumot and Sumagaya back in 1998. They were the first to see that nobody could have survived the crash.


I just recently found out that there are already waterproof disposable cameras! Bought ours at Kodak. One of the guides will be only too happy to take pictures of you while rafting but take to heart, they're no photographers. And since they're first and foremost there to make sure you come to no harm, and that they're mostly paddling on boards and moved by the current, a lot of photographs are sablay.


Other outdoor things you can do while in CDO:

~ Go to Malasag Gardens
(from the town, ride a jeep going to Cugman, around P7, tell them to drop you off Malasag Gardens jumpoff... then ride one of the motorcycles/habal-habal, P10 ea... pay P30 ea for the entrance, P10 for the miniature hanging bridge... going down, walk to the barangay road and ride tricycle again... it will be like riding a roller coaster without all the safety equipment)

~ Camp at Malasag, and explore its eco-trails

~ Visit Mocahambus Cave

~ Go to Pelaes (?) estates/Xavier U. estates for horeseback riding

~ Travel to Iligan for Maria Christina Falls... or, since it's usually closed (or not all of the falls flowing since it's being used to provide electicity to most of Mindanao), visit Tinago falls instead (it requires going dow/up hundreds of stairs but I'm real sorry I missed it too), that will be an hour and a half or two hours worth of land trip

~ Travel to Bukidnon, explore Del Monte farm... around 2-3 hours land trip

~ Travel to Balingoan Port which is 2 hours way from the city, ride a ferry to Benoni and enjoy CAMIGUIN

~ Go swimming at Opol

~ I don't know what else Macajalar Bay offers

by ~me~ at 6:59 PM ©

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