Wander with S and jump for joy!
It was something I totally not have thought of doing until I saw videos and blogs of it. Surely, Canyoneering is a dreadful thought if you are afraid of heights and always veering away from dangerous stunts. But why we did it? Up until now, I still don’t know why. LOL.
According to Wikipedia, Canyoning, or Canyoneering, is travelling in canyons using a variety of techniques that may include other outdoor activities such as walking, scrambling, climbing, jumping, abseiling (rappelling), and swimming. And boy, we did all that (except rappelling) and more! It was really a physical test for both Mark and I.
Doing this activity is not something you should take for granted. One wrong step and you’ll endanger your life, so please, do not take this lightly. I was always on the edge of my seat and always reminding myself to be extra careful during the course of the activity because I do not want to die early! XD Having said that, we prepared by doing research on what to expect before, during, & after doing Canyoneering. We read countless of blogs and asked people who already did it for tips just so we know what we are getting into. Mark and I would always ask each other prior the trip if we’re going for it and up until I was coordinating with the guide, we’re still making sure if we’re really up for it. And we were like, hell yeah! Let’s get it on! Lol.
Anyways, before going for it, I will share to you 10 things to remember before and during Canyoneering, based on what I’ve experienced and all the things I read about it. So here they are:
- Be prepared. Emotionally. Mentally. Physically.
As I’ve mentioned, Mark & I had been dancing around the thought of doing this activity. For one, it is dangerous, and second, jumping from a high cliff down a body of water…isn’t that a scary thought? But I’m always into trying new things and going out of my comfort zone that’s why, for almost a year, I’ve prepared my mind that I will be doing it and psyched myself that I can do it! I just forget to be physically fit for the activity thus the sore body I got the next day! I couldn’t move without feeling pained! It slowed me down and we couldn’t do much. So that’s one of the things you have to remember. You only don’t have to have the courage to do it but your body has to be prepared because it will be 4-6 hours of trekking and jumping, among other things.
2. Get a guide
There are a number of service providers for the Canyoneering activity that can be your guide during the activity but I recommend you to choose Kawasan Canyoneering. They are a group of professional guides based on Badian, Cebu where the activity is located. They responded to our text quickly and gave us a detailed direction on how to get there. You can contact them here: (Globe) 0905-333-2623 and (Smart) 0918-654-4111. Ask for Kuya Reymart as your guide. He was so patient with us and did a back flip 20ft jump like it was nothing!
Travel Tip: Canyoneering starts at Badian, Cebu and going there is easy. Just go to South Bus Terminal and take a bus bound for Bato via Barili. Fare was around 120php. Travel time is 3hrs if you’re leaving at 4:30 am. Alight at Kawasan Entrance or Church Matutinao. A guide will welcome you there. Drink Bonamine because the road was like the one going to Baguio/Olongapo. It can make you dizzy just like what happened to Mark who threw up in the middle of the journey. Or maybe it’s also because of the way the driver maneuvered the bus.
3. Prepare 1,500php per person
This includes the life vest you will be wearing, helmet, a bottle of water,, trained guide, habal habal ride going to the starting point of the Canyoneering, and lunch at the end of the activity. The rate mentioned was the thing that you will need to pay. No extra fees will be collected along the activity, unlike other tours. Pay 1,500 all in! Same rate for the foreigners, too.
4. Wear proper & comfortable clothes
Not included in the package is the outfit you will be wearing and the aqua shoes that’s required to wear. You can rent a pair at 100php and I recommend you to wear an outfit that will cover most of your body that will protect you from the cold water and accidental cuts from branches and rocks on the way.
If you have a dry bag, bring one. Though it was unnecessary because our guide has one where we put our gadgets and purses in. Kuya Reymart meticulously wrapped our gadgets in a plastic to avoid water getting in in case water will seep inside the dry bag. We bought our purses too which came in handy when we saw barbecue stalls in the middle of the forest where we took a break and ate isaw and hotdogs. The breakfast we had at the headquarters of Kawasan Canyoneering was washed away after all the trekking we did that we needed more energy to finish the course.
It is not wrong to enjoy yourselves during the activity. That is the main objective of this. However, safety first! We do not know the place the way our guides do so always, always, follow whatever your guide says. If he says do not step on that particular spot, don’t! Every little thing your guide tells is for your own good. So stick with him and you’ll come out of the activity in one piece!
7. Start early
Canyoneering starts at 6 am and the last call ends at 3pm. So it’s best to start as early as possible so you could finish early and can still do other things in your itinerary after. Be minded that many tourists flock the place, which will slow your pace. More so if those ahead of you are taking their time jumping. We started at 7:30 am and ended before lunch.
No, you will not jump right away. From the headquarters of Kawasan Canyoneering, you will take a habal habal ride which will take you to the starting point. There, you will register your name and your guide will pay for the fee. From there, a 45min walk will welcome you. I was already panting after 10 minutes of walking! Lol. The view was nice though. Concentrate on that. By the end of the trail, you will go down and alas! Welcome to your first jump! You have to jump at 20 ft high! By this time, my legs were already shaking because of that long walk. I don’t exercise regularly, I am sorry! So when our guide told us that it was time to jump, I was kinda hesitant. Good thing there was no group behind us. Imagine how much pressure on your part that will be if you have someone at your back egging you to jump, pronto!
Of course, I asked Mark to jump first. I was rattled when our guide told us to jump at a specific spot because not doing so will make you land on a bed of rock which will hurt really, really bad. A tip our guide gave us was to land with our legs straight to avoid hurting your butt on the impact. Just jump without hesitation. Lakas lang ng loob! When it was my turn, my legs were shaking so bad, but I had no choice! If I turned back, I would have to trek 45 mins again back. And of course, I will not leave Mark alone. We went to Cebu for this! So, jump and jump and jump was what I did for the next couple of hours.
The first jump is a must, the others were optional. If you have a tough heart, go, do the 60 ft jump! My nerves in the left eye popped, so I didn’t do any other jump after I discovered my eye looked bloody because I panicked and might do more harm if I did. Well, reasonssss but I wasn’t really prepared to jump that high!
9. And lastly, of course — ENJOY
This might be your first and last Canyoneering so better enjoy it to the fullest! I speak for myself, but well, not closing doors. I might or might not do it again. LOL.
Just enjoy every minute of it. How lucky we are to be blessed by nature with such place! Every spot my eyes landed on was magical. The turquoise waters, the trees, the rocks! Just feel everything. Make the most out of the experience! I tell you, it is one for the books! I know I will retell the story to my children down to my grand, grand children, and will urge them to try it. I just hope us, humans, will take care of it so that the future generation will also witness the greatness of it.
By the end of the activity, a majestic Kawasan Falls will greet you. Mother Earth is beautiful indeed!