River Rafting after Sendong

Hurdling Class IV rapids!

I was looking up viewing the mountains, green trees and  the surrounding cliff feeling the breeze on my face, when the guide’s voice rang out, “Forward, one, two!”  Thirty eight days after Storm Sendong hit Northern Mindanao, I went river rafting alone.  There is that gnawing feeling to visit once more the long, winding river that gave fame to CdeO for the river rafting. I wanted to see how it looked now after being overrun by the flash flood from Bukidnon mountains. I wanted to know her again after she suffered and survived the violent and furious storm.  Just three days after the tragedy, I got SMS from Eco-Extreme Rafting that reservations are accepted already for rafting. Though I wanted to do it in the last days of December to beat my timelines,  my mourning for the calamity overrun my schedules.

With Patricia & Karir (Czech couple)

I was joined with Czech nationals (Patricia & Karir) in a smaller boat, after the guide convinced them to join us in the advance course.  They were originally booked for beginners, but the other group guests wanted to be in one boat all seven of them.  I found it so good, we were not crowded and we had a paddler aside from the guide!

The river bend got wider

So we started at Uguiaban bridge in Talakag, that same old feeling of rush for the rapids came again.  At first sight, there’s nothing much changes in the uppermost area but going down the bend was different.  Much of the boulders were washed away downstream and thrown on the banks, there were lot of changes in the topography.  There were areas having rapids before but now gone silent as it became deep. There were rapids that have gone smaller and were not as enthralling as before. At the river banks – houses were gone, vegetation uprooted, trees including agricultural crops were washed away.  Boulders are thrown in the banks, some portions of the river gone narrow and some got wide. Landslides can be seen in the mountain sides. We passed three bridges that was totally destroyed, undoubtedly affected the community traspo needs.  The port of starting point for beginners course was destroyed, the restaurant and entertainment facilities at the end point in Mambuaya was totally gone.  It was heart rending actually, but was grateful that the river is still vibrant – the sound of its gushing waters was too reviving. I still notice few bird species hovering the area – brahminy kite (banog or the lawin), herd of balinsasayaw and a blue kingfisher.

The resto & entertainment facilities in Mambuaya once stood here

It was consoling that the river is still life-giving, an inspiration and a wonderful landmark for this beloved city. After more than a month, the green grass along the river bank have sprouted which is a sign of hope for me.  The river will flourish once more, the tragedy forgotten  as the days roll by. The adrenaline  rush was pulsating no doubt, not only for me but also for other guests.  And what a wonderful variation when in the third to last of the rapids – in the beginners run was class IV rapids! Yes, a class IV when it was only class II before.  The guide encouraged us to hurdle it and we were enthralled!  And right, we made it with no fear but much in high spirits.  In every run, my all consuming objective is not to be thrown out to the waters – the table top and Class IV rapids was a good test. Well, it gave me a good reason to aim for the extreme course in my future runs.

Such adrenaline rush!

The never ending thrill for the white waters  will keep me coming for the gripping rapids in Cagayan de Oro river.  It’s a promise!

Rafting in White Waters!

such adrenaline rush!

After I had my first taste of river rafting few years back, I promised myself I should do it at least once a year. Why, when people from other places wanted some adrenaline rush at Cagayan de Oro river, it would be some kind of shame if an earthling like me who have declared CdeO as my second home town would simply ignore such wonderful experience.  I love the blood flowing as I hurdle every rapids without getting thrown out to the water! 😛

True enough, I have kept the promise – so each year I have a rafting trip in the CdeO river. The lovely thing is I can do it anytime of the year. 🙂  Once I had it in December, and my sister in NY was aghast! While she was shivering in cold on winter, here am I splashing in the waters under the sun like summer!  🙂  I love the waters and I never get tired watching the scenery by the river bank between Bukidnon and Mis Or territories.

And in the last two years, I did it with Angel!  He  love it too, no doubt – he did it twice last year.  But now we’re aiming for the extreme course or even the night run!  Hopefully we could do that soon.  🙂  So now, I’m looking forward again for this year’s adventure at the Cagayan de Oro river!  I love the white waters of the City of Golden Friendship

A Summer Water Rafting!


I troop with office mates to Mambuaya for another rafting trip yesterday, I just love the excitement in conquering the rapids as we paddle fast and make sure not to be thrown out of the boat.   I have been dying for the advance level but all who signed up to join were all first timers, I was bit disappointed but it never dampen my adventurous spirit to once again  commune with nature along Cagayan de Oro river. Such adrenaline rush!

It was very sunny, all I need here is the ever loyal sunscreen SPF 50. I don’t want to suffer the ill effects of the scorching heat, much less to visit my dermatologist which in less than ten minutes conversation I have to shell out my pocket for the expensive PF.  Anyway, everybody seems to be so excited as we drove to the jump off area, especially the kids. We’re in two paddle boats – the briefing as usual – safety measures, river left & right, forward/back/turn left/turn right paddle, high fives, etc…. There were so many rafters for that day, all in throng to the river. It looks so lively, rafts in different colors (red, yellow, blue,flesh) floating along…

Well, it’s not as exciting anymore as before but the feel of cool water  splashing on your face and body is so refreshing. I choose to sit in front so I could get the first rush and tug of the rapids! Wow! I need to be careful so I won’t be thrown out into the water.  Well, 14 rapids plus tiny uncounted river gush is enough to test your strength.

We ended at Kabula White Water Rafting Park past 1PM, all feeling hungry. great-natabunan-na-akoWe took our

lunch under the trees in the park.  We left the area as the kids would wanted to make a side trip at the Makahambus Park, then finally explored the cave.  As we were talking on our way home, we promised ourselves to schedule another rafting trip – this time for sure in Advance Level…

It would be more exciting and adrenaline rushing!