EXPERIENCE EXTREME ADVENTURE: CEBU CANYONEERING
Canyoneering in Alegria and Badian ,Cebu was one my most exciting activity so far for this year.
I should say that the Alegria and Badian Canyoneering is already considered as an extreme adventure. The activity includes an amazing combination of adrenaline-pumping or death-defying activities like jumping from the cliff and a relaxing activity like swimming and a little of trekking.
Perhaps you have read some articles that they refer this activity as Badian Canyoneering while I used Alegria and Badian Canyoneering. This is because the canyoneering literally starts in Alegria and exits in Kawasan Falls in Badian.
with a fellow blogger Claire Algarme, during our Cebu Canyoneering
Basically, the place offers two types of canyoneering, The upstream and the downstream canyoneering. Of course, upstream is more physically demanding and may be suitable only for those that are really physically fit. In our case, we opted for the downstream canyoneering which was just fitted for beginners like us. The canyoneering will run from three to four hours, depending on your power and speed. Based on the local tourism rules, the earliest group can start the activity at 6 AM. The latest is at 3 PM.
Our tour guide picked us up from our hotel in Badian Town at around seven in the morning. We dropped our things at our guide’s house which also served as their office. From their office were given already our helmet and our life vest then was transported to the briefing area where all canyoners were given the necessary general orientation. There were some fees for entrances but usually, all these fees are already included in the package. Please see below the contact information of our guide and the fees needed.
riding the Habal-habal with Darell Java, also a blogger
After the orientation, we were transported again via “Habal-habal” (single motorcycle) to the jump-off point of the Canyoneering which was located at Kanlaob, Alegria. From the highway where the orientation was given, we traveled around 20-minute habal-habal ride to Barangay Kanlaob. Riding a habal-habal is an adventure in itself, and such an adventure should be expected if you wish to travel in the Philippines. 98% of the road to Kanlaob were already well paved so the travel was not really that difficult.
THE FIRST JUMP
We were filled with excited the moment we reached the river. The opening salvo of canyoneering is a required jump from an approximately 15-20 feet falls. This is a required jump because there was no other way to enter the canyon but by high diving.
From our group of four bloggers, Darrell Java was the first to jump; followed by the braved Juvie Erames, and followed by Claire Algarme. It took Claire a few minutes before she jumped. I remember myself motivating Claire to never be afraid. So I keep on shouting: “Come on Claire, you can do it…do not look down..just look straight and jump..” after a few minutes Claire was able to compose herself and jump. Then, my turn. Whew, I couldn’t believe it, I did everything that I told Claire when she was so scared to jump, but the moment I stood at the jumping point it seemed that all my courage flew away. My legs weren’t shaking, but It seemed that It doesn’t have any energy to jump. Then I look at John our guide and said: “Is there any other way to get down.” He just smiled and said, “you can do it!” Then I told him, “Oh common that’s my line.” I kept on trying, but I don’t really the strength.My companions were shouting from below encouraging me to jump. Then the next batch of adventurers started to arrive. “Oh my God! This is so embarrassing!”I told myself.I was pressured by the looks of those people lining to jump. Pressured!…..I closed my eyes and jump.
Whew! Whatta a feeling! I was able to conquer my fear! I can’t help but laugh at myself.
Cebu Canyoneering :just a little celebration after our first jump
The excitement of jumping off a waterfall was best captured by the video (I’ll be posting it soon).Indeed, it was an exhilarating experience. For me, it was a test of courage and willpower. The first fall may not look high, but trust me, it is higher than you think. Once you’re up there, you’ll begin to develop jelly legs.
Cebu: Canyoneering: After our first jump,I realized (or maybe the four of us ) that we can definitely defy our limits and conquer our fear.
During rainy days, where the water is quite heavy the guide would use some safety line. But since it’s summertime and water is low then no safety line was ever used. A series of waterfalls lined up the canyon after that first heart-stopping jump although most are not as high as the first one.
L-R: the author, Claire Algarme, Darrel Java and Juvie Eramis, Cebu Canyoneering
While the downstream canyoneering was considerably easier than upstream canyoneering, it was still quite a challenge. One has to be very careful as some rocks were quite slippery, and many parts of the river were concealed by sediments.
Cebu Canyoneering:Swimming in the tuquiose lagoons of Matutinao River is always a relaxing experience.
Not all parts of a downstream canyoneering adventure involve diving and swimming. We have to awkwardly crawl up a steep slope or over rough ground by using our hands and feet. Don’t hesitate to ask for a helping hand.
As we continue with our canyoneering, I can’t help but be amazed by the moss-covered stalactites that hang up the canyon. There were also various natural pools that were fed by small waterfalls in many areas of the river. It is really cool and relaxing when you sit down and immerse in the water in any one of these pools.
After an approximately two hours of canyoneering, we reached the final place in the canyon. This is where some food is being sold. So we took our lunch and have a short break.I just ate a couple of pork barbecue and hotdog but didn’t get any rice. Well, I didn’t want to really have a full stomach while swimming.
This high rock platform is much higher that it appeared in these photographs.I suppose the height was approximately 30 feet or more. A perfect area for high diving. course! I was so amazed by the number of people who didn’t hesitate to challenge themselves to step on the ledge, screamed their lungs out, and just went for it.Oh well, I said I just admired them, but didn’t dare to try this death-defying jump.
After half an hour of lunch break, we started to continue with the activity. The restart began by jumping over a short but fast-flowing, cascading waterfalls and swimming in a cool lagoon again.
this is the end area of the canyoneering course
After having a great time of our lives, we just let the current carry us to the end of the canyon where the trekking next part of the adventure begins.
The last part of the adventure was the Kawasan Falls which took us an approximately 45-minute trek across boulders and wooded areas to Station 3 in Kawasan.
Kawasan Falls’ Station 3 (Third Fall) :The waterfall flows into a beautiful, sparkling clean lagoon, carefully tucked in a lush jungle.
KAWASAN FALLS STATION 3
After some time of short trekking, we emerged at Kawasan Falls’ Station 3 (Third Fall). This part of the river offered a deep, cool lagoon and gorgeous small waterfall whose featured trailing roots and vines can be used for root climbing and high diving.
at the Station 2 of Kawasan Falls
KAWASAN FALLS STATION 2
After a few minutes of swimming at this part of the river, we went ahead for the Kawasan Falls’ Station 2 (2nd Fall).The Sation 2 offered another diving spot which was approximately 35- 4o feet high.
The photo above showed the waterfalls at Station 2. They don’t appear that high in photos but you should see it in actual for you to judge. The Station 2 was quite crowded , so we didn’t stay long at the place.
The Kawasan Falls Station 1
KAWASAN FALLS STATION 1
The final destination of our trip was the Kawasan Falls Sation 1. This is the largest of the three falls and is usually the most crowded. Bamboo rafts at 500 are available for rent to get under the waterfalls.
We were already very tired at this point of our adventure , so we opted to just get some photographs and decided to end the experience.
CANYONEERING GUIDE (ALEGRIA, BADIAN , KAWASAN)
Get yourself a guide. There are many guides offering package tours for Canyoneering . But I recommend that you should try Lucero Adventure.They were very nice and they were the one who even booked our hotel at Badian for us. They charge from PhP 800-1,000 (depending on your number) for the locals and PhP 1,500 for the foreigners. The fee includes guide fee, helmet and life vest, Kawasan entrance fee, and motorcycle fee to bring you to the starting point of the event.It would be great to contact your canyoneering guide before securing yourself a ticket, especially when coming to Badian for Canyoneering alone. This is just to help you avoid future problems and disappointments of spot-on decisions when you are already here, such as; Guide availability, sudden changes in prices, weather conditions and other issues that might come up.
For more Information, you may contact John Lucero at 0927-6648506.
What to wear . A long-sleeved rash guard to protect your arms and leggings to protect your legs. In my case, I just wore short sleeves Dri-fit, and It was just fine. It is very important to wear the right footwear: Trekking Sandals(no slippers) or Aqua shoes or rubber shoes that have holes which will drain water instantly.
Food. Just eat the right breakfast, maybe more of carbohydrates so that you will have enough energy. But don’t go there on a full stomach. I am diabetic , so I made sure to bring candies and some sweet cookies in my dry bag. A friend of mine brought along with him some energy bars.You can bring a small bottle of drinking water that you slip in your lifevest.
Action Camera. You might want to bring your waterproof camera with you. Just a tip, attached a floater in your camera.Our guide just used an empty pet bottle for the camera of my friend. Better if you have some hand strap for your camera to make sure that you won’t lose it while you are in action. Don’t forget at least 2 extra batteries for your action camera.
Nice things to remember: Treat your guide for lunch. Give a tip.
Cebu Canyoneering: Our guide John Lucero taking our groupie after our activity
How to get to Badian :
Badian is a municipality of the Province of Cebu. For foreigners , the nearest airport to the place is Cebu International Airport or Dumaguete Airport.
From Cebu City, Badian can be reached in 3 hours by bus from the South Bus Terminal , Cebu City. Please take the Ceres Bus bound for Bato via Barili. Do not take the bus Bato via Oslob as this will not pass by Badian. The earliest trip is at 4 AM. The last Trip is at 6 PM. Bus departure interval is around 30 minutes.
For people traveling from Bacolod City, you can take the Ceres bus going to Cebu via Mabinay. This bus will ride a barge with you , after which ask the conductor to drop you to Bato Terminal. from Bato Terminal, just ask which bus can bring you to Badian. if you are getting our recommended guide, you can ask the driver or conductor to drop you to Brgy.Malabago, Badian. They will drop you right in front of the house of John Lucero.