Cagayan de Oro, Philippines: The Wrath of the Whitewater

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Cagayan de Oro is the Land of Golden Friendship. The name is quite intriguing, isn’t it? I do believe in it though because in CDO you will experience one of the wildest water sports where your teamwork will be put into test.

Into the Rapids

First, let me define a term that I will be using in this article quite frequently for I only know few synonyms for the word RAPIDS. Rapid is the “unstable” part of the river that makes the rafting experience bumpy and exciting. According to Google this is a fast-flowing and turbulent part of the course of a river.

the rough ride

Whitewater rafting in was definitely a blast! Yep, the locals said that’s how you say it. So it is!!!

the struggle

We experienced 24 wild rapids in this extreme adventure. Each rapine has a name for safety and rescue reasons. If someone falls from the rubber boat, it’s easy to tell people where to save that individual. By the way, a person is called “swimmer” when you fall out of boat.

the tough rafters

Some rapids were named based on the first “swimmer” when the sports started in 1995 like Dan drop (dandruff) and Cris drop. We even joked one of our friends named Cris to jump off the boat so the name can be altered to Cris drops again.

this is what we do every conquered rapid. we do our high five!

Some rapids were labelled based on its shape like S and L rapids. Another one was “helmet cracker” because the first person who fell there got his helmet cracked. They also have rapids that were associated with animals like Carabao’s back and crocodile’s back. And, yes! Their appearance is true to their titles. There’s Surprise and Oh, Captain! My Captain! The latter was tagged as such after a raftig guide tumbled out of the boat due to the Whitewater’s wrath.

these are the stones that looked like the crocodile’s back.

The river is surrounded by lush green forest. We passed by tall trees and the raft captain told us that when rafting was still new, it used to be a monkey-infested area. We gazed up on those trees and asked what happened to those monkeys and he said, “Some of them are looking up right now.” Of course, we all burst into laughter.

How to Get There

Since we departed from Cebu and going to CDO was rather a product of sudden change of plan, we booked a boat going there which leaves 7pm from Pier 3 in Cebu. Other option would have been a direct flight from Mactan Airport.

It costs us 1,030 pesos for an economy accommodation. We arrived in CDO at 6am the next day. Riding a boat turned out to be a good decision instead of plane. Aside from saving a lot of money, we were all rested since we were all from graveyard shift.

The rafting itself costs 1,000 pesos per person and the raft can hold up until 8 people. We utilized the services of Kagay Whitewater rafting. It is always a pleasure rafting with them.

Additional Info: Boat from Cebu to CDO is available everyday. Trans-asia caters MWFSatSun while 2go caters TTh. 2go offers a cheaper price though. The last time I checked, it was almost 50% lower. If you’re from abroad, it is best to get a flight from Manila to CDO. Flights are available almost everyday. Another info is we have conquered the rapids with Kagay. They are very accommodating and fun to be with.

Remember when you go rafting, you should lock your feet and enjoy the ride!

Next escape is to Camiguin – the land of fire!

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