We took a Cebu Pacific flight to Cagayan de Oro (CDO) which was an hour delayed (I wonder why domestic flights are almost always delayed these days!) and checked in at Miami Inn in Vamenta, Carmen. The inn is very affordable, ideal for travelers on a tight budget.

Our afternoon was reserved for White River Rafting. We arranged for this adventure with The Red Rafts. I have already tried the beginners’ course so we have decided to take the advanced course this time. As expected, it was more fun than the first time, and to make it more challenging, we did some tricks going through some rapids like standing up on the raft. My heart beat stopped when one of our friends was ejected off the raft, thrown out of the waters and surfaced after a few seconds which seemed like eternity. Good that the guide briefed us for eventualities like that. On still waters, we did kayaking as our bonus. Flip-plopping the kayak was so much fun! The sights are magnificent too, by the way. I must say that river rafting is a must when in CDO.

That evening, we strolled along Divisoria and had dinner on the street. They have a night market there on Fridays and Saturdays only. Food stalls offer Filipino dishes, and grilled sea food is a must-try.

The second day, we headed for Dahilayan, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon (one and a half drive from CDO). We rented a van for this purpose, as taking a public transport is not advisable. To save a lot of money, renting a van is ideal for a group of ten to twelve, but my partner and I had no choice. We had the whole Toyota Grandia for ourselves and the driver.

The road to Dahilayan is rough, but the sights are magnificent too. We have decided to stop along the way (eg. Del Monte Plantation) to take some pictures. Arriving in Dahilayan, we immediately noticed the cold weather (similar in Baguio). It also drizzled in the afternoon. Good that we brought jackets with us.

In Dahilayan Adventure Park, we conquered the Zip Line which boasts as Asia’s longest dual zip line. The experience is nothing like in Tagaytay Zip Line, really! The later pales in comparison with the former. We also did ATV riding. This was the best experience for me. It was such a thrill going up and down the ATV trail. My partner also tried the Drop Zone. My heart literally stopped when he did a free fall from a very high altitude (with a harness of course). It was the best that the Park offers, according to him. We did not try anymore the other adventures in Dahilayan (eg. The Zorbit, Luge Kart Driving, Horseback Riding, Giant Wet Slide, Tree House, etc) which my partner found corny (or it was just him?). The entrance fee for each of the adventure is quite too much. Good that they accept payment via credit card. Though quite expensive, money is nothing for extreme thrill-seekers, I must say.

Some tips for those who intend to try Dahilayan: 1. Bring a lot of money or at least a credit card. 2. Bring your own food. There are a lot of picnic tables there for rent. Food in restos there are quite costly. 3. Bring hooded jackets in case the drizzle becomes heavy in the afternoon. 4. Bring extra clothes if you want to try the Wet Slide or in case you dirt yourselves doing the other adventures. 5. Wear comfortable footwear. It may be sandy or muddy, depending on weather condition. 6. If you want to try everything in Dahilayan, take a lodging inn there. There are a few choices there depending on your budget. Time is a constraint as every adventure takes a lot of it.

For our last day, on our way to the airport, we have decided to drop by SM-CDO for lunch as there was still plenty of time. And plenty of time was there indeed as our flight back to Manila was again delayed for an hour. Thanks, to the inefficiency of Cebu Pacific and the Civil Aeronautics Board, a true mark of a third-world country!

April 28-30, 2012