“When you feel you heart is thumping like crazy, like it’s about to burst outside your chest, that’s when you know you’re alive.”
I am an addict. The ecstasy brought by being on higher grounds creates a tingling sensation to my system. The solvent, that envelopes my senses, makes me crave for something more, something better. And the daily dose of heroine injected upon me, allows me to taste the sweet heavens and perspire like I’m burning in the deep realms of the earth. I am an addict.
But don’t get me wrong. The drug that I have been referring is not the ones purchased over-the-counter or under-the-table. What I’m referring to is the severe addiction to outdoors – the mountains, waterfalls, infinite stretch of the seas, and marvelous love scene of the sun and the skies. And having been contained in my working place for quite some time brings a terrible agony for my kind. The last time I felt my heart thumping like crazy was when we had our ninja-toploading-trip to Buscalan, Kalinga. After that, my sedentary lifestyle took over. And it didn’t felt good.
Good thing, Glister of www.chasingpotatoes.com invited me to her Canyoning activity in Biliran. Yes, aside from Cebu’s Alegria-to-Badian’s Canyoneering activity, Biliran boasts of its unique and extreme canyoneering. I first heard of this from Adrenaline Romance during our rock climbing session at Poog Crag. Having been duly fed of their amazing adventures, I immediately agreed and embarked on an adventure with Chasing Potatoes.
From Cebu, we took a fastcraft to Ormoc then rode a v-hire bound for Biliran. We met with the master caver of Samar – Sir Joni Bonifacio – and spent the night with people who’ll be with us on the activity the following day.
By morning, we took a short trip to Talahid Beach Resort and then set forth to the jump-off area in Barangay Sampao. On the way, we witnessed the meticulously crafted Iyusan Rice Terraces.
After the 20-minute ride, we arrived at Barangay Sampao where we had our registration, orientation, and GTKY. When everything was set, we then started the trek to Sampao River.
The trek entails passing through thick vegetation, steep and “kiss-the-wall” trails, loose soil, huge boulders and hanging unto roots and ravines.
Whew! At last, we arrived at the starting point of the adventure – a shallow lagoon decorated with boulders and few cascading waters. We immediately fitted the gears needed – cow’s tail lifelines, floater, neoprene wet suit, and safety helmets.
Before rocking the boat, we had a short orientation on the basics of rappelling – quite complicated at first but actually easy to manage.
And now… the drug that I have been waiting for has started to take effect on me!
Check out this video crafted by Chasing Potatoes!
Upon sliding unto the first pool, I realized why the activity has been labeled as “extreme”. The word is indeed fitting for the numerous jumping, sliding, rappelling and climbing that we have done. I honestly thought that I wouldn’t survive with the activity that we have set our foot into. It was more than what I thought I could do! Literally, scary. HUHUHU
But you see, when you are surrounded with people like Kara Santos of Traveling-up who just jumps and rappels as if it’s just a normal thing done by humans and Chasing Potatoes who’s been giving her best even if she’s already trembling and as white as snow, it’s difficult to back-out. Come to think of it, I have to live by with the name I have given myself – Dakilanglaagan.
The last part of the activity was the 90-100 feet rappel down to Ulan-ulan Falls. I ended up being the last to go down because my comrades are dying to see the beauty of Ulan-ulan Falls, as well as, dying to end the day’s event. It felt good at first – being able to relax and reflect on the beauty of the surroundings. However, the longer I stayed at the place, more I felt agitated. So when our guide and belayer announced that it’d be my turn already, I immediately went to his side, mounted the rope, and then rappelled downwards. Having been doing the stunt for a number time, I started to rappel fast. Going down entails a lot of patience and presence of mind. It felt fine at first but slowly the dopamine strike I had lost its effect. I realized that I have been hanging too long and I can no longer see the guide on top because of the water cascading upon me. I can’t see also where I am going! It’s just me, the mossy waterfalls, the karabiner, and the rope!
I was at the verge of panicking. Good thing I came into my senses. This is my drug after all. I have to finish my session…
Jawdrop. Up. Down. Up. Down. Up. Down. I knew I looked like a fool but I just couldn’t help myself from looking up and down. I couldn’t believe that I was able to survive the canyoning activity! Hurray!
Looking at the mighty Ulan-ulan Falls, I realized that there’s so much more that I have to learn about myself. Like the waterfalls which looked so elusively beautiful at first sight, but offers an extreme and life-changing experience to whoever dares to set for on an adventure with it. So deceiving. And probably most of what we encounter in life is as deceiving as this waterfalls, like drugs that gives a mighty feeling at first. Moderation. Yes, that’s the secret. In order to address our cravings, we have to do things in moderation to maintain our equilibrium, the earth’s equilibrium.
To give life to our tedious existence, we have to travel and challenge ourselves once in a while. To give life to others, we have to share our time, stories, pieces of advice, and other resources to those in need. To give life to the earth, we have take part in the rehabilitation and development of it.
This is what my drugs do to me. How about yours?
- For Biliran tour and canyoning guideship, keep in touch with Sir Jonie Bonifacio of Trexplore the Adventures. You can check them through the following:
- Contact number: 0919-2943865 / 0927-6750062 / 063-055-2512301
- Email:firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
- Website:Trexplore the Adventures
- A downpayment of 50% is required to confirm your booking (reservation fee is non-refundable but transferable). Cancellation due to an unforeseen situation does not entitle you to a full refund. However, you have the option to reschedule your adventure at no added charges. Rates are subject to change without prior notice.
RATE: P3,000.00 per person (1 to 4 people) and P2,500.00 per person (5 – 10 people) with the following inclusions: whole day canyoning in Sampao River, 2 guides, porters, lunch, complete set of top-quality equipment from Europe, photos and certificates.
NOTE: Anyone from 15 years of age and above can do this adventure as long as they are reasonably healthy. First timers are welcome. Number of participants is limited to 10 per day.
|0||11:00pm||Meetup with Chasing Potataoes|
|12:00pm||Depart from Cebu Pier to Ormoc City|
|4:00pm||ETA Ormoc Port; V-hire bound for Biliran|
|7:00pm||Meet-up with Sir Jonie and company|
|8:00am||Departure to Barangay Sampao|
|9:30am||Start of trek to Canyoning jumpoff|
|11:00am||Start of canyoning session|
|4:30pm||Rappel to Ulan-ulan Falls|
|6:00pm||ETD from Barangay Sampao|
|2||8:00am||ETD to Kawayan Port, board boat to Sambawan Island|
|4:00pm||ETD to Kawayan Port|
|3||6:00am||V-hire to Naval, Biliran|
|7:00am||V-hire to Ormoc|
|12:00pm||Board boat bound to Cebu City|
- Boat fare to Ormoc – P500.00
- V-hire fare to Naval, Biliran – P130.00
- Canyoning Package – P3,000.00
- Sambawan Island Package – P2,500.00