Liberating – that’s the word where I want to start this story about our adventure to South Cebu.
In just four days, I violated all the things my Dad specifically told me not to do; do not do anything dangerous, engage in activities that might get me killed or crippled and wear skimpy clothes.
Here’s how I violated these rules:
The first violation was right after we checked in at our first hotel in Moalboal. I rented a motorbike because getting around Moalboal (or at least from our hotel to Panagsama beach where all the happenings are) is only by a tricycle which costs P100-200 per ride and motorbike rental is only at P350/day excluding gas refill.
I haven’t been on a motorbike (I was the one driving of course, because Wilson! ~lol~) for ages because my Dad prohibited me to after my cousin’s 4th motorbike accident. Motorbikes are sort of danger magnet and my Dad would have throw a fit if he knew I rode a motorbike, without a helmet, with a back ride, all around Panagsama Beach, Basdaku White Beach, and Badian (yes!).
The second time was when I went canyoneering in Badian. Canyoneering or Canyoning is an outdoor activity combining walking, climbing, jumping, abseiling or rappelling, and swimming. I first learned about this from Drew Arellano’s travel show and it always crosses my mind whenever someone mentions Cebu.
Canyoneering at Kawasan falls takes about 4-6 hours to complete, this includes jumping from waterfalls approx. 10-15 ft. per jump and there’s like seven of them, swimming in the icy cold waters and a lot of walking.
The first jump is always the hardest (for first timers like us) they say because this is where you will see a lot of first timers like yourself standing at the edge of the stones and are getting cold feet.
The first jump is non-optional because this is your only way down to continue with the rest. You could chose to jump at the height of 10 ft or 15 ft., I chose to jump at the latter. It was narrow and there was a stone down below and you should fall somewhere avoiding the stone (as if like the physics God can help you now). The first one who jumped was a guy named Kim from a group we met during the tour and I volunteered to go next . Our guide and the people from our tour got impressed that they did not see me hesitate nor did they see the fear in my eyes.
I pinched my nose, lift my foot, and fall and the next thing I knew I was already in the icy waters. Boy it felt so good!
Wilson was next, and to be honest, if there is anything I fear at that time was him. He is asthmatic and is usually afraid of anything extreme, but he jumped, without any hesitations, too. We gave each other a high five!
The rest of the other jumps were the same as the first one, and to be honest, it was the trekking part going to the last jump that slowed me down. It was a long walk. My feet are tired and I’m feeling really cold the path is either slippery or muddy. Thank God for Tribu sandals ~advetisement payment please~
So after the gruesome walk, here it is, the last and final jump of the canyoneering adventure.
Kuya Raymund (master guide at Kawasan Falls, contact him if you are interested to go ~advertisement level: master lol~) was capturing everything thru GoPro and then he told us that there are two options for the last leg, the 50ft and the 30/35 ft. He joked and ask if I want to do 50 ft. and I said yes in a heart beat! I did not come all the way down here for nothing, I must make the most out of my experience!
50 freaking ft. is! I pinched my nose, lift my foot and fall, but this time my falling style was so wrong in so many levels. HAHAHA. I fell face first like you would sky diving and since it is 50 ft up high, plus my weight, you could only imagine the velocity ~yes, physics~ of my fall and how much it must have hurt.
I’m not going to lie, falling on the face of the earth at that intensity hurts like a mother fucker. I think the twins in my rib cage exploded or something from such impact. I spent the first 30 seconds after the fall facing down the water and floating back and forth trying to soothe the pain, the icy cold water was a great help!
I thought I would lose consciousness (I was really forcing a drama here) because there was like a thousand needles pinching me when a foreigner yanked my life vest and asked if I was okay. I stared at his beautiful gray eyes (hanep! kalandian parin ang inaatupag) and said… “Yeah! If you could just pull me a bit more, please” and then I looked up and everyone above was just looking at me like WTF IS SHE THINKING FALLING LIKE THAT?! And I saw Kuya Raymund being worried, and Wilson is probably having seizures somewhere at the back and then I raised my hand and gave an OKAY sign and that gave everyone a relief! The next jumper came rushing through the bed of water and I was floating like an otter while waiting to Wilson’s jump from the 30 ft height and he did so gracefully.
The third violation happened in Oslob where we rode a small boat to go swim with the Butandings or whale sharks. According to the locals, the whale sharks don’t bite, but as if my Dad would take their word for it. I mean, they’re bloody sharks who knows what they are thinking!
The wind is heavy, making the waves big therefore rocking the boat like crazy. I’ve put on my snorkeling gear and got off the boat and there he was swimming around gracefully, beautifully, and magnificently. I couldn’t believe it. I was so amazed that I swam through following the whale shark and then I heard Mamang Bangkero called me out saying not to follow the Butanding!
We were told that we can take off our life vest if we want and if we know how to swim and I am a pretty good swimmer ~life skillz! Thanks for the swimming lessons mom~ so that was my plan, ditch the life vest and swim freely with the Butanding.
Guess what? The waves are so big I got scared to ditch the freaking life vest! HAHAHA. It was pretty scary, all right? I was wearing a life vest and the boat rocks too much I kept hitting my head on the boat’s outrigger!
When I finally let go of the outrigger and they signaled me that the Butanding is coming my way, I ducked my head to watch him, he was there being the beautiful creature that he is.
I posed for a photo and when I turned around the Butanding did too, and we are now face to face with only a foot or two away from each other. My heart was racing!!! IT’S A FREAKIN BIG FISH THAT CAN DEVOUR ME IN SECONDS IN FRONT OF MY FACE! WHAT WOULD I DO? I won’t lie, I panicked. Anyone would have panicked. Especially we were told to keep at least a 5 meters distance from the whale shark or we would face 6 months of jail time.
(the time that we were face to face)
It was an amazing experience! On our way back to the shore, I realized that 90% of the ocean remains unexplored so everyone should stop telling me that mermaids or Atlantica don’t exist!
Lastly, I think I can get a free pass on this one because my swim wear wasn’t that revealing, maybe, except for the bareback-long sleeve-mesh-but-cleavage baring swimwear that I wore when we went to Basdaku beach.
This my friends is my Cebu Rendezvous!
This is my favourite travel to date and I can’t wait for September to come.