“Where are you?” a caller asked. “In a place where heartaches mend,” she replied. This is the conversation I overheard from the lady sitting just behind me while on my way to Cagayan de Oro to meet my friends (TribuAdOBo). Is my hometown, Bukidnon, really a place to be for the brokenhearted and in pain? Be the judge as I’ll be sharing our group’s first adventure for 2018 in the northern and central part of Mindanao.
Disclaimer: All thoughts expressed in this blog are based on my own. Every traveler may differ in perspectives on things they experience at traveling.
To Panimahawa Ridge
Everyone met at Agora Bus Terminal to hop a bus to Impalutao, Impasug-ong, Bukidnon, our jump-off to Panimahawa Ridge. From the national highway, we hiked about 20 minutes to the Ant Farm and registered everyone for the overnight stay at the ridge’s campsite.
The sun is about to set as we trek towards the ridge and just as darkness succumbed, replaced by the cold breeze and millions of stars. It was a great sojourn on top while enjoying each other’s company through food and, of course, the almost never-ending stories that our guide needs to call it a night for us to retire to bed. We need to recharge for the following day’s strenuous activity – the falls hopping.
It’s just 4:00 am early in the morning when conversations woke us up. They were voices of newly-arrived hikers intentionally came dawn to catch the sunrise. Well, there’s nothing we can do but to get up and do the same. We haven’t witnessed the sea of clouds yet Mr. Sun was generous enough to give us a stunning shine.
To the Waterfalls
Before the sun turns his lovely light into a scorching hot ray, we hurried down the ridge and prepare our late breakfast at the Ant Farm. The next thing happened was my unexpected grueling falls hopping full of hike, river trekking, and somewhat rock/wall climbing. Well, whatever challenges we encountered, still nothing beats the healing power that only nature provided.
We spent more than two hours hopping the four mighty, majestic waterfalls at The Center for Ecological Development and Recreation (CEDAR) – Gantungan Falls, Natigbasan Falls, Makabayot Falls, and Dila Falls. Quite difficult, exciting, fun, and dangerous; don’t belittle this adventure especially for non-swimmers. There are parts where swimming is a must to get across and if you really want to dive and jump-off from the top of each falls.
Hungry and tired, we opted to take lunch first after washing-up and before heading to Cagayan de Oro City for our next extreme adventure. Unlucky we, the only restaurant serving food in the area have nothing to offer that time. We have no choice but to get an hour bus ride going to the city to fuel our exhausted bodies.
Everyone (the not-so-hungry us.. haha) went on a binge eating as if we skipped a couple of meals. Rest. Indeed we need it but we haven’t booked yet for a night stay. As thrifty travelers, we have to make the most of our trips at a minimum cost as possible. We ended up staying in a not-so-expensive room with occupants outnumbering its regular guests. Well, that’s how Tribu AdOBo bonds with lots of fun when together.
It’s already 5:00 am in the morning and it’s time to wake up and be ready for our water rafting adventure. Breakfast is a must to keep everyone up for the extreme activity. Next stop was at the main office of Great White Water Tours for registration, gear, and preparation then we went to our jump-off to get some thrill.
My presumed scary notion slowly turns into a full of fun and exciting slams and shouts as we started to paddle towards different levels of rapids. We enjoyed it a lot that passing through the 14 rapids left us wanting for more and to do it a second, third, fourth and so on next time. The guides are also humorous though some of their jokes are centuries-old or, maybe, they are just lovers of the corny ones. They are very informative though. Listening to their rules and guidelines before and during the sports is a must for your own safety. This is not just an adventure, its extreme and safety and presence of mind are required to keep everyone from any possible harm.
Everyone seems drained already for the road trips and physical activities yet we still have to secure our tickets back to Cebu. We’re on a ticket hopping again and fortunately, we made it on our scheduled departure.
Another adventure indeed! Now we called it a trip for everyone. A great start for the team’s 2018. ‘Til our next trip everyone…
6:00 pm – Meet up at Cebu Port
9:00 pm – ETD Cebu-CDO
10:00 am – ETA CDO
11:00 am – Meet up in CDO
12:30 noon – Lunch time
1:00 pm – ETD Valencia-Impalutao
3:00 pm – ETA Impalutao elementary school
3:30-6:00 pm – Registration at Ant Farm and trek to Panimahawa Ridge
6:20 pm – Set up tent, relax, dinner
7:00 9:00 pm – Socials, lights off
4:30-6:00 am – Wakeup call coffee/sunrise view
7:00 am – Break camp
7:00-9:00 am – Trek back to the ant farm
9:00-10:20 am – Late breakfast
10:50 am-2:00 pm – River trekking and falls hopping (Gantunga, Natikbasan, Makabayot, and Dila)
4:00 pm-6:00 pm – ET Impalutao-CDO
6:00 pm – Dinner and night stay in CDO
5:00 am – Wake-up call breakfast, and prepare for the next adventure
9:00 am – 12:00 noon – Water rafting at Cagayan River
2:00 pm – ETD Back to CDO City
3:30 pm – ETA CDO Port
8:00 pm – ETD CDO-Cebu
6:00 am – ETA Cebu
———– Back to work to earn, save and travel again 🙂 ———-
2000 – 2-way Boat Fare (Cebu-CDO & CDO-Cebu)
50 – tricycle (port to Agora Bus Terminal)
180 – Bus Fare (CDO-Valencia)
70 – Bus Fare (Valencia-Impalutao)
600 – Panimahawa Ridge and Falls Hopping Package adventure (entrance and guide fees)
100 – Bus Fare (Impalutao-CDO)
200 – Hotel stay (per person)
1200 water rafting including snacks
Total: 4,400 (excluding meals and transport fees w/n CDO)
Bring your own meals and trail food
Bring at least 1 litre of water for trek and additional water for cooking
Bring ion-rich beverages or energy drinks like Gatorade to prevent cramming
Sun, prickly plant, rain and skin/body protection like pants, cap, jacket, umbrella, first aid kit
Waterproof your belongings, in case of heavy downpours
Bring extra clothes and extra cash for emergency purposes
Wear trekking shoes or sandals with good traction for slippery rock and loose soil
Camp gear (tent, headlamp, flashlight, sleeping bag, toiletries, cook set
Camera for photography (to capture moments)
Be mindful of the LNT (Leave No Trace) principle
Respect the mountains/nature
Be your own responsibility/liability
Pray for safety and guidance throughout the trip/activity
Be physically fit before the climb and enjoy the adventure