“Just because you took longer than the others doesn’t mean you failed.” ©AvePost
While most students who are enjoying the semestral break are chilling at their favorite cafés and malls or basking under the stinging rays of the sun on secluded islands, my gang decided to spend the break on something nerve and bone breaking. I have been dreading to experience the famous Alegria-Badian canyoneering activity ever since I experienced trekking and cliffjumping at Argao’s Bugasok Falls and Agta Cave; however, my usual travel companions are not that solid with the idea of the said activity. Even though we have conquered Danasan’s 120 feet Skydrop, El Nido’s Taraw Cliff and cliffjump at Funtastic Island, they don’t share the same passion with me with regards to daredevil activities – to cut it short, they won’t join me with this whole canyoneering stuff. I want to cry. HAHA. :D :D :D
A year after, I was about to dismiss the idea of being able to experience another cliffjumping activity when a colleague asked if I have tried canyoneering already. Just imagine how bubbly I was with the topic, as if I was able to go there already. She shared that she and her girl friends are interested to do the activity. Ola! In an instant, I dug my contacts, researches and itineraries and book our reservations for the activity. (Told you, I have been planning for this for a hundred years already HAHAHA).
We were able to contact Sir Raymund, who has been guiding a lot of guests (including famous celebrities) for almost a year. Thanks to him, we no longer need to go through the hassles of looking for transportation, accommodation, food, registration stuff, and equipment. Together with two other master tour guides (Kuya Joseph and someone whose name I could no longer recall), we were able to do all the stunts (cliffjumps, sliding, backfall, aand of course, swimming) safely and cautiously.
The canyoneering activity lasted for four hours since there were a lot of guests who were also having the activity with the other guides; there was no problem though because after the activity, we were graciously feed with dishes that are painstakingly prepared at Kawasan Falls. Since it was too early for us to head home yet, Sir Raymund inquired if we were interested to visit Pescador Island, the famous diving site of Moalboal – neighboring town of Badian where Kawasan Falls was located. Knowing that the island was blessed with school of sardines, dolphins, and marine sanctuary, we gave a resounding “Yes!”
After snorkeling at the marine sanctuary and watching the dolphins, we went back to Sir Raymund’s house to change clothes and pack up. We also bid bye to our new acquaintances who made that day’s activity more than amazing. To Sir Raymund (master guide) , Mark “Father” Salvador (bestfriend of Sir Raymund who’ll become a deacon soon), Max and Rex (foreigners from Malaysia who were with us), the family of Sir Raymund (specially his wife and son Noah who truly welcomed us), Lester (free diver), the canyoneering and free diving guides, colleagues (for making this activity a success), and to Wilma (for finally conquering your fears and for supporting all my crazy travel and adventure expeditions), THANK YOU! May God continue to bless you and your families! :) :) :)
See you all in my next adventures!
- How can we contact tour guides for the canyoneering activity?
There are lots of tour guides hovering the Internet but you can also contact Sir Raymund through his facebook account (Raymund Sande) or call or text his number 0932-607-9016 / 0915-139-2249.
- How much will the whole activity cost?
I suggest that you go in groups so that you can divide the payment among yourselves. There is a significant difference if there’s only two of you and if you are in a group. Common rate per pax goes from P700.00 – P1,200.00 depending on the number of people in your group. The more the merrier and cheaper. HAHA. The amount covers all the equipment needed, entrance fees, transportation, tour guide and food.
Going to Pescador Island, however, is another story but you can always approach and haggle with your guide. According to the boatman that we have contacted, usual rates per group goes from P3,00.00 above. This includes equipment for snorkeling, vests, guides, fishfeeding, and boatmen. For those who are interested to meet the school of sardines, you can try free diving as well.
5:00am – ETD from South Bus Terminal
8:30am – ETA Badian Proper
8:30 – 10:00 – preparation, orientation, picture taking, and final moment for decision (Shall I jump? Or shall I jump?)
10:30am – Start of canyoneering
1:30pm – Arrival at Kawasan Falls and Lunch
2:00pm – ETD to Moalboal
3:30pm – ETA Pescador Island
3:30 – 5:00 – Fishfeeding, Snorkeling, Dolphin Watching and Swimming
6:00pm – Back to Sir Raymund’s house for changing of clothes and packing
7:00pm – ETD from Badian
10:30pm – Home
- Unlike any other trekking activities, canyoneering in Alegria starts with cliffjumping. Therefore, aside from the courage to jump, you also need to lengthen your patience since not all guests will jump immediately. Some would take up to 30 minutes to 1 hour before they’ll decide to jump or quit. For those who really want to experience the activity but can’t find the confidence to jump, the guides will ask you to jump with them or do rapel, which is too risky and difficult for the guides.
- Trust your guides. Yes, it’s scary and it may seem too easy for me since I have been cliffjumping for quite some time, but you have to trust them. They were trained well and have been familiar with the area. You need to trust whatever they say and believe that everything will go accordingly if you will follow their instructions. Their names, as well as license to operate is at stake there, therefore you need to give them your full trust. When they say it’s safe to jump, then it’s safe. When they say you have to fall on your back, you have to. When they say you have to slide, then you have to slide. But when they say it’s picture taking time, just smile and say “I survived!”
- Bring extra money with you. Just in case you forgot to buy water or you’re hungry already, you can buy from the barbecue outlet on the midst of the boulders.
- Leave no trace. If there’s one thing that disappointed me within the trip, it’s the recklessness of many guests. There were a lot of water bottles left on some areas on the canyons and trees. Candy wrappers and barbecue sticks were placed on undesignated areas even if there were already trashbags and bins available in the area. Although there are people who maintains the cleanliness of the area, it would be of great help if people will be more responsible of their actions.
- It would be better if you discuss more with your guide the restrictions and some agreements so that you won’t end up having remorse although the activity. Remember, you are there to enjoy and to experience thrill, not to feel mad with people. HAHA :D :D :D
- Lastly, enjoy the whole trip. Plan thoroughly the activities and be with people whose company you are comfortable with. Enjoy! :) :) :)