Playing Monkey

Trip Start Feb 25, 2008
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Trip End Feb 29, 2008


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Where I stayed
Mapawa Nature Park
Dear Manok

Flag of Philippines  , Mindanao,
Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Jerome fetched us from the hotel at around 6:30 in the morning. A married couple, Toni and Dan, joined us for our first activity - The Western Whitewater Rafting.

While we were on our way to the river, my blooper-prone destiny continued.  Imagine this.  I was sitting quietly in the jeep, just looking at the mountains and trees, when all of a sudden the left strap of my swimsuit gave out.  Wala tuloy akong nagawa kundi ang manghina at tumawa na lang.  Bwahaha.  And it didn't end there because when we finally reached the river shore and we were putting on our helmets and lifevests, my swimsuit’s right strap gave out too.  So ano pa nga ba ang dapat gawin, eh di niremedyuhan ko na lang.  Ginawa ko na lang halter kuno ang aking walang kapantay sa gandang swimsuit.  Hehehe.

Jerome gave us a short briefing.  He gave us tips and reminders to make the already risky activity, less risky.  We listened intently.  He handed us our paddles, taught us how to properly hold and showed us different ways how to use them: forward, hard forward, backward, and high five. 

Glen sat in the right front of the raft - he was our leader.  He was the first person to carry out whatever instructions our guides would give.  Dan was on the left front.  I forgot how Jerome called him but his role was supposed to be following anything that the leader executed.  Toni was behind him.  Gay was at her back.  Kuya Ellie was sitting at the back left.  On the back right was Ramil.  I was at his front and Peach was in mine.  Kuya Ellie and Ramil were the guides.  To make the rafting more comfortable, we all removed our slippers and gave them to Ramil.  One or two of our feet, depending on where we sat, were inserted into a rope-like thingy.  In my case, I could only insert my right foot and my left one was freely wandering inside the raft.  Hahaha…  And so we went out to the open sea, or river as the case may be.  Hehehe.   

We took the Advance Course.  There were 21 rapids to overcome.  Each of which has a different name.  Di ko na matandaan lahat kung anu-ano.  Basta, crossing each rapid needed utmost teamwork.  Kasi pag nagkanya-kanya kami, tataob ang raft at isa-isa kaming pupulutin sa rumaragasang tubig.  There was a rapid called "Table Top".  Meron daw kasing malaking bato na parang lamesa sa gitna at pag dumaan kami sa ibabaw nun, tiyak tataob kami.  Nung tinanong kami ni Ramil kung gusto naming subukan, walang may gusto.  We were not ready yet to get wet, I guess.  Hihihi.

Speaking of getting wet, Kuya Ellie and Ramil brought us to the "10-Feet Drop".  I was kinda worried at first 'coz I thought that we would drop from a 10-feet high falls and our raft would inevitably turn upside down.  Na-imagine kong tatapon kaming lahat sa tubig na 30-feet ata ang lalim.  OMG! to the highest level.  Whew!  Buti na lang sabi ni Ramil, di tayo tataob pero siguradong mababasa tayong lahat.  Naisip ko tuloy baka may talon lang na 10-feet ang taas tas itatapat kami sa tubig para mabasa.  Kinailangan kong isiping ganun kasi baka mag-freak out ako kung patuloy kong iisipin ‘yung unang scenario na na-imagine ko.  Hehehe.  Sa awa naman ni Tsong, ang naganap ay ‘yung ikalawa.  Lumuwag nang husto ang didbdib ko.  Pero sandali lang ‘yun, kasi nung nasa tapat na ako ng malakas na agos ng tubig, di na ako halos makahinga.  Tumatawa pa kami kaya tuloy nakainom-inom pa ako ng tubig.  Hahaha.   

There was "Letter S".  Kuya Ellie asked all of those who were on the left side to do forwards and all of us on the right to do backwards.  You know how we ended up?  We were swirling around the rapid for almost a minute.  The raft was almost going upside down and when we were through, the raft was half-filled with water.  Being ignorant as we all were, factored by our fear of sinking down, we hurriedly attempted to empty the raft with our bare hands.  Natawa tuloy si Ramil sa ‘min, sinabihan kaming hayaan na lang daw namin kasi kusang lulusot ‘yung tubig sa maliliit na butas sa gilid ng raft.  Hehehe.

When we were approaching the 6th rapid, Ramil reminded us to be ready and so we did.  The water was pretty wild and when it hit us hard, something else hit my right foot - it was Ramil.  He was thrown in front of me by the strong impact of the waves.  I thought it didn’t hurt at first but after a few minutes, I was already feeling the pain and I had to endure it for a couple more days.  Well, he made up for it by catching my back when I almost fell in another battle with the rapid.  Hehehe.

The 7th rapid proved to be the wildest.  Why?  Because it was when everyone of us, except Glen and Ramil, fell into the water.  I was thrown really hard that I lost my paddle but fortunately, I got a hold of the raft real quick.  I swam for a minute or two before I was pulled by Kuya Ellie from the water.  You could call it dangerous and safe at the same time, but all in all it was A-MA-ZING.  As in!

Half-way through, we stopped for a snack.  Nakakatawa si Peach kasi akala n’ya ‘yung McDo McMuffin Burgers ‘yung meryenda namin kaya kumuha s’ya ng isa.  ‘Yun pala, baon nina Toni at Dan ‘yun.  In-offer pa nga ni Toni ‘yung isang burger sa ‘kin eh pero hindi ko na kinuha kasi ako rin naman kumain halos lahat nung share ni Peach.  Hehehe.  Ang talagang naka-prepare na meryenda for all of us were CDO’s popular pastel and packed juice.  Okay naman ‘yung pastel, matamis.  I don’t really have a sweet tooth but I think I finished three.  Hahaha.

We soon went back to our water journey.  There was a cave-like post where we kinda entered and stopped for awhile, and had our pictures taken.  S’yempre pa, para may pang-friendster da bah?  Hehehe.  Then there was also an upper area with trees where "transparent snakes" were living in comfort.  Wala naman daw kamandag ‘yung mga ‘yun kaya there was nothing to worry about.  Pero napasigaw pa rin ako nung hinagis ni Ramil ‘yung lubid sa paanan ko, as if ahas na nahulog mula sa puno.  Nakakainis naman.  Hihihi.

May joke si Ramil.  Dati raw, maraming unggoy na naninirahan dun sa isang parte ng bundok.  Kaso nagsipag-alisan na nung marami nang taong nanirahan doon.  Pero ‘yung ibang unggoy daw na makakapal ang mukha, nag-stay at nakisalamuha na sa mga tao at ang dalawa nga raw sa mga ‘yun eh kasama na namin sa raft - referring to himself and Kuya Ellie.  Alam kong scripted ‘yung joke na ‘yun pero natawa pa rin ako.  Ewan ko ba.  Hahaha. 

I wanted to try the kayak but Toni and Dan had beaten me to it first.  It turned out, I liked more the experience of the raft turning upside down.  Actually, hindi naman bumaligtad ‘yung raft nang kusa.  Sinadya lang ibaligtad nina Kuya Ellie nung malapit na kami sa end point para raw makumpleto ang aming experience.  And it was, maybe more.  :-)

We ate lunch.  I requested inihaw na talong and kamatis with bagoong from Jerome the previous day, but they served us with something else.  It was more of a salad-type, inihaw na talong and kamatis with sibuyas, luya and suka.  Masarap naman s’ya kaya okay na rin.  They also served us with grilled tilapia and the usual pork and chicken barbeque.  At s’yempre, di mawawala ang unlimited drinks.  Nakadalawang rice lang ako nun, diet ako eh.  Bwahaha.

Ilang saglit pa, tumungo na kaming apat sa aming second activity - The Exploration of Mapawa Nature Park.  Sa entrance ng park namin nakilala si Mai-mai, ang nagsasalitang unggoy (ayon kay Gay… hehehe). 

There were a couple of groups who arrived there ahead of us so we had to wait for 30 minutes before our turn.  Kaya nag-ikot-ikot na lang muna kami.  We saw the swimming pool.  It was beautiful kaya lang may mga tuyong dahon na naglaglagan sa tubig kaya di na lang kami nag-swimming.  Sayang, gusto ko pa naman sana kasi walang ibang tao.  Nag-kodakan na lang kami saka nag-piggyback riding.  Lugi nga ako eh kasi laging ako lang ‘yung "piggy".  Hmmmp!  Pag pumayat ako, makikita n’yo.  Bwahaha.      

We went back to the jeep, continued waiting for our turn.  In a few minutes, ayun na… we took the Zipline Full Course Program (Stages 1-6).


Stage 1 - 60-Meter Zip Ziplining was like riding a cable car, the only difference was that there was no cable car.  It was you, with your seat harness tied on the rope, traversing from one end to another.  Our sport get-up was completed by a helmet.  As usual, I was the first one who tried the activity.  The take-off was probably the only scary part, but once I was out there, I was flying like a bird - so free from all the worries that real life could give me.  Hehehe.      



Stage 2 - 25-Meter Monkey Bridge and 70-Meter Zip Akala ko talaga mala-hanging bridge ‘yung monkey bridge.  Goodness, isa lang pala s’yang makapal na alambre na tatawirin nang patagilid habang nakahawak sa isa pang makapal na alambre na nasa taas ng alambreng tinatapakan mo.  Ang sakit sa kamay, pramis.  Wala pa naman kaming gwantes.  Kinailangan ko talagang huminto sa gitna at sumandal sa puno ng niyog na nasa likod ko.  Hehehe. 



Stage 3 - 13-Feet Rappel This was the most challenging part I had to overcome.  Imagine, nagyabang pa ako na na kesyo sisiw lang sa ‘kin ‘tong stage na ‘to kasi nga di ba, nakaya ko ‘yung 75-feet rappel sa Cueva de Oro.  ‘Yun pala, dito ako matatagalan nang todo.  Pa’no, ang sabi sa ‘kin nung guide eh umupo raw ako habang nakatalikod.  I tried, several times, I promise.  But I failed each time.  Pinagalitan tuloy n’ya ako at sinabihang, "Hindi naman upo ‘yan eh!"  Hahaha.  And take note, pinawisan talaga ako nang timba-timba rito at ang pinakanakakatawa eh naipunas ko sa mukha ko ang pagkarumi-ruming hand gloves na pinasuot sa ‘min.  Jos-ko naman.  Hehehe.  To make the long story short, pinayagan na lang nila akong mag-rappel nang nakaharap - ako lang ata nakagawa nun.  I guess, I’m never really an ordinary girl.  Bwahaha.



Stage 4 - 100-Meter Zip

This was the longest zipline in the entire course and I simply loved it (imagine me saying this with strong British accent just like Simon Cowell… hehehe).         

Stage 5 - 100-Meter Zip Return You know Nelly Furtado’s I’m Like a Bird?  I almost sang it while doing this.  Yahooo!!!            


Stage 6 - 40-Feet Rappel I had the same problem with this as I had with the third stage but the guide knew better.  After a couple of failed attempts on sitting backwards, he went ahead and told me to just do it my way.  Hahaha. 

Last Activity of the Day - Dinner at Dear Manok

Dr. Manok, Mr. Manok… ah basta, dun daw sa may kung anong manok, masarap - sabi ni Jerome.  Kaya nag-decide kaming apat na i-try.  Hinatid kami ng inarkila naming jeep.  Grabe, ang sarap nga!  Pramises.  We ordered bulalo, shrimps, chicken wings, ezol - otherwise known as chicken ass, coleslaw, salad, halo-halo na nasa buko, buko juice, etc. etc.  Sobrang busog kami to the highest level.  Hehehe.  Malapit lang ‘yung hotel namin from the restaurant pero nagpunta muna kami ng drug store dahil kailangang bumili ni Glen ng muscle ointment.  Nananakit na raw kasi ang mga kasu-kasuan n’ya dahil sa umaatikabong pakikibakbakan namin sa kalikasan.  Nakana.

We were at our hotel room by 8:00 PM.  As usual, nanood na naman kami ng Lobo.  Ayun na!

Excess:  Laging sinasabi ni Ivan sa ‘kin ngayon, "Tao-lobo ka Mamu?  Kamukha mo si Angel Locsin eh."  Ayos!  Bwahahaha.
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