2/2 FOUR OF TWELVE:
After more than a year, we finally pushed through with our white water rafting plan last April.
White water rafting is a recreational outdoor activity which uses an inflatable raft to navigate a river or other bodies of water.
White water rafting in the Philippines is relatively new. There are several locations offering this activity including Cagayan de Oro, Davao and Sagada but it is most popular in Cagayan de Oro City.
Cagayan de Oro is no new place for me. I grew up there. The city is located along the central coast of northern Mindanao facing Macajalar Bay. It is bordered by the municipalities of Opol to the west, Tagoloan to the east, Bukidnon and Lanao del Norte to the south.
Considered as the perfect white water destination in the country, the Cagayan river’s rushing waters will relax and energise you all at the same time. The river serves as a boundary between Bukidnon and Cagayan de Oro. Its headwaters is found in the Kalatungan Mountain Range, in the central portion of Bukidnon. It flows northward towards Cagayan de Oro before emptying into the Macajalar Bay.
In the course of your adventure, you will have to go through 21 rapids. The simpler, easier rapids are for beginners, while up ahead lies greater challenges for the more daring rafters.
This wasn’t my first time to go rafting but I can’t seem to recall my first experience since it was soooo long ago.
We booked our activity with Kalawaig River Tours. The package costs 900php per person, meals included. A driver picked us up at the hotel and dropped us off at Macahambus (starting point).
We were all so excited during the briefing and orientation but when the adventure finally started, we were surprised at how the rapids were so mild and not as challenging as we thought it would be. I cannot even remember how many times we paddled because it was like we never paddled at all. Unfortunately, the slow rapids and low water was caused by El Niño. Though not totally dried up, you can see the original depth of the water just by looking at the rocks.
Our guides said that the river was never the same again after Typhoon Sendong. The usual course was changed because of the new rock formations or disarrangements. The course felt flat and boring; to our delight our guides started pulling off and cracking jokes and sharing some facts and trivia about the river.
The ride lasted for almost four hours.
After the activity, the same driver picked us up. We ate lunch and went back to the hotel.
Today, the number of operators are consistently growing due to the increasing number of tourists, newbies and returners who want to experience the river.
Here are some of the operators I recommend:
Kalawaig River Tours
Mobile: +63919 404 3930 | +63935 415 1098
Golden Friendship Whitewater Rafting
Landline: (088) 858 9007
Mobile: +63919 492 4488
Rafting Adventure Philippines (Cagayan de Oro Whitewater Rafting Adventure)
Landline: (088) 857 1270 | (088) 856 3514
Mobile: +63917 325 5544 | +63908 884 9575
Great White Water Tours
Landline: (088) 856 2352
Mobile: +63920 938 0677
CDO Bugsay River Rafting
Mobile: +63917 328 4729
Landline: (088) 857 7238
Mobile: +63919 502 6317 | +63917 855 6983 | +63922 897 3175