Kayak and tubbing in Wahig River, Bohol
Note: I’m reposting this entry as before I was asked kindly by the folks at Smile Magazine to remove the post until the issue is out. Now the October/November issue of Smile Magazine is out, and it’s an Adventure Packed issue, so if you are flying via Cebu Pacific Airlines anytime between October and November, don’t forget to check out the latest issue of Smile. You could preview the line up at their website www.cebusmile.com.
For the meantime, forget about anything you commonly know about Bohol. Forget about the chocolate hills, the historical churches, the tarsiers, the beaches and the diving. Now open yourself up as we go inland off-center to the heart of Bohol where extreme adventures awaits for every nature lover and outdoor thrill seekers. Let us now venture into Danao, Bohol’s newest adventure mecca.
Ian Gonzaga, the Bohol Mayor’s brother kayaking nearby an underwater cave
The province of Danao,located amidst a large expanse of mountain ranges cut by the majestic flow of Wahig River, can be reached by a two hour drive from the city of Tagbilaran. There is a Tourist Center with accommodation in the area which says a lot on how the local government are developing the place. This recently launched tourism project which they call EAT Danao aims to promote new adventure attractions in Bohol aside from what is commonly known in the province. EAT as they like it doesn’t really stand for anything specific, but they allow the individual experience define whether EAT refers to Extreme/Eco/Educational Adventure Tour.
Tubbing is a fun group activity, perfect for team building
Most of the activities here are centered along the Wahig River, so from the Tourist center we had a short trek down the river. The trek may vary though depending on the difficulty you’ll choose. For this tour, since we only had a day to spare (and normally the tour takes overnight) we went to the tail end of the trail with an easy level of difficulty just to sample what the tour has to offer. The trail here is already developed but not to the extent that they ruin the natural trail of the forest which I must commend them for a great job. Before they developed the area, they consulted with DENR on which area is okay to open for tourist and the extent of development as well.
River trekking along the boulders
Among the water activities here you could enjoy are tubbing and kayaking. River trail here again varies in difficulty and length but from where we are, it’s already a scenic paddle along this side of the river. Forest is still rich and there are some caves alongside the river as well. River Trekking is also another challenging activity being offered here so you could experience some river crossings, boulder hopping and see the fauna among the lush forest beside the river.
Enjoy a sumptuous feast of organic foods
I’m sure all these physical activity could make you exhausted, hungry even. Fortunately, the tour is inclusive of meals and they are proud to say they are organic. No junk foods or carbon drinks here folks! But I guarantee that what they offer here is sumptuous and healthy from fresh fruits, to fish and cooked “free reign” chickens paired with a buko juice will give your palate the satisfaction and more enrgy to continue with your activities. Bohol in general is aiming to have most of their products organic as per GMA’s OTOP project (One Town One Product).
Climb the roots of a tree
Once you have replenished your energy, it’s time for more riverside activity. And with the cliff and impressive rock formations along the river, this area is also a perfect place to do some rappelling and wall climbing as well. On this one we were at a rock face with a cleanly cut surface which seems a large samurai sword sliced through it, impressive as it was naturally made. And along this rock wall surface are impressive growth of roots from the tree atop, which now also serves as a natural ladder you have to climb up. Exciting really.
Rappel down back to the river
The first time I rappelled was way back in 2004 when we did an issue for Tuguegarao. That’s a long time so I was quite excited to do this again here in Danao. Another Ian from the Center of Gravity of Cebu which helps set up the rappelling and rock climbing activity here refreshed us on the technicality of rappelling. And once we know what to do he made sure everything was safe and secure and off we got down the rope safely. Aside from rappelling, they also offer Tyrolean Traverse, but we were not able to try since we lack a bit of people to set it up safely.
Explore the natural wonders of Kamaria cave
As if all these adrenaline rush isn’t enough, there are also nearby caves around the area as well. Currently there are 9 defined caves here (but probably more) but only 3 are declared by DENR safe for tourist. One of these caves that we explored is called Kamaria Cave. The cave was named that way because the cave is situated on a lot area which is owned by a woman named Maria. Kamaria is a subterranean cave which has a small octagonal entrance. Once we got inside I was immediately impressed by the stalagmite, stalactites and curtains here. The cave is so alive and is one of the best cave explorations and the most fun I’ve been. The cave has some water and sometimes you have to pass by under the water just to get through some crevices which is really fun. At the end of the cave there is a natural pool where you could swim and also drink water flowing in the cave. Just amazing. The whole exploration would only take around 45 to an hour back and forth, but since I had to take pictures once in a while, it took a bit longer. Oh yeah, you could also find some interesting albino crabs, some cave fishes and some bats as well.
View of Wahig River from the top view deck of Dagohoy Hill
Another interesting activity here is trekking the hill where Francisco Dagohoy stood his impressive final battle against the Spaniards. The Dagohoy Hill has stunning views of the mountain sides and the river as well. Best trekked early morning where the clearing mist adds a mysterious atmosphere to this historically filled site.
All in all, I really enjoyed these taste of adventure of what EAT Danao has to offer and hopefully in the future I could come back here again and experience the whole adventure package. You wanna take a bite? You may call these people from EAT Danao and inquire about their packages and tours, Loin (09173021701) and Ian (09173252426). Also check their website RockTrip2007 for more details, Tell them that Ferdz, the photographer reffered you from here. 😀
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.