Saturday, 21 July 2012

The Thrill of White Water Rafting

Written by: Angel de la Flor

I experienced the adventure that Cagayan de Oro City (CDO) is best known for - Whitewater Rafting and River Trekking. One of the most memorable moments of my life. For me, it was totally more than just a trip.

What's the adventure? It's a family style whitewater rafting in the mighty and beautiful Cagayan de Oro River, the longest river in the country. For the advance level, the adventure will cover 18.6 kilometres of its glorious 90 kilometres with 24 major rapids that will last for 3 hours.

I could see the boulders of rock with the strong and fierce water current.  It could literally eat me alive.  Growing up in Iloilo, I have seen many rivers and I have always believed that they're the creepiest body of water that God have ever created.  With all the mud underneath and the brown water, I never thought of having any kind of adventure like this.

Our Guide knows everything about river rafting.

He knows all the types of rapids, the current, degree of rough water and the flow of water depending upon the season, weather, month, date and time of the day. He knows how to maneuver the raft, to avoid lime stones and he can even flip the raft whenever he wants to. He gives the direction, set instructions and shares so much information about the whole thing.

When he shouts 'Forwardddd!" you have to follow and do the forward paddling. He will be the one to rescue and save you in case you fall out of the raft.  He promises and assures that my safety is more than anything.  I have nobody else to turn to, but him. He is my guide in the entire rafting adventure.

'Rapids' is a section of the river where its bed has a relatively steep gradient causing an increase in water velocity and turbulence.

For me, rapids is the nerve breaking, spine chilling, adrenaline rushing part of the river that literally takes your breath away and makes you scream to the top of your lungs while you drink the splashes of muddy brown water.  Rapids come after every stillwater. They can shake, swallow and turn the raft upside down.

After the tension from the rapids, the stillwater is the reliever. It is everyone's favourite part. It is where you can just chill, relax, watch the birds fly back and forth, watch green trees dancing, enjoy the beauty of the wild orchids and sunflowers and even swim.

While scorching an 11 am heat, you surely wish for a stillwater so you can jump out of the raft and soak in the cool water. I swear, brown water wasn't bad at all.  After being so exhausted by the rapids, surely this was very soothing. You get to see the glory of nature at its finest.  While in the stillwater, you would feel secure and safe. And, it's the best time to prepare to face the next rapids, which are sometimes bigger than the previous ones.

Plan the challenge of river rafting and shooting the rapids. I will share some basics that I have learned and the tips you have to remember while on it:

1. Wear a helmet and a life jacket.  Helmet reduces the risk of injury if you fall out of the raft


2. Always follow the instruction of the Guide. Start and stop paddling and paddle towards the right direction. Instructions always refer to paddling,  like - Start, Stop, Forward and Backward

3. Rafting is a team sport, hence team work is needed. Every single effort counts and every action you do will make a difference



4. If you fall out of the raft, never panic. Try to relax and remember to do the floating position. Always keep your feet above the water because the undercurrent is ten times stronger.  Wait for the Guide to rescue you.


Shooting the rapids is an experience that is more than I have expected.  It wasn't just a mere trip for me since I really learned and realized a lot. I had the time to contemplate and together with the glory of nature. The thrill of my rafting experience is priceless.

See more of my shooting the rapids and other exciting travel experiences. It's Chased by Bliss.

Author Bio: 
Angel is a writer, blogger who hails from Iloilo City and a student at the De La Salle University ~ College of Saint Benilde in Manila, the Philippines.  She travels not only to enjoy her life but at times take a trip 'for a cause'.