Friday, June 26, 2009

Jessie's Zip Line Adventure in Danao, Bohol

You’ve heard of the Chocolate Hills in Carmen, the river cruise and the tarsiers in Loboc, and dolphin watching in Pamilacan Island. Who hasn't? These and many other wonderful destinations define Bohol tourism.

Just like other travelers and tourists, I thought I’ve experienced Bohol. But not quite. Three weeks ago, I visited the Danao Adventure Park in Barangay Magtangang in the municipality of Danao. Managed by the local government, it is located around 70 kilometers from Tagbilaran City. As of this writing, it is the newest, if not the most exciting, destination in the province.

I’ve stepped on Boholano soil several times already, but my objective in crossing the threshold of Ocean Jet for a two-night, three-day stay in Bohol is simple: work. Together with my friend, master photographer Hockson Go, and my officemate, Jun, we rounded up the project sites of our foundation, Philippine Business for Social Progress, to take photos for a coffee table book that I am working on. Interestingly, Magtangtang is one of our stops, and well, you could now guess how the Danao Adventure Park had woven itself into my little story.

Warning though, I wouldn’t really joyously expound on all the exhilarating wonders of the park. I was there for merely 30 minutes. Inasmuch as adventures like rappelling and white water rafting are so enticing, well, I was in the area on official business and not as a domestic tourist with hard-earned pesos to burn. But that same 30 minutes truly made my day. I gracefully braved the country’s longest and highest zip line.

The objective of the zip line is simple – conquer your fear by surrendering yourself to the force of gravity, of course aided by foul proof cables and harnesses. The zip line adventure is not oh so new, but for me whose daily dose of adventures specifically fall within the categories such as never-ending work, self-inflicted life drama, or relenteless poverty, the beautiful misery offered by Danao’s zip line is a welcome change.

There are some zip line adventure preliminaries. For those who feel they are weak at heart, a crew is assigned to determine your blood pressure. For those who are meticulous in their budget, you might want to engage in some cost-benefit analysis as the two-way, collectively 80-second zip line experience will cost you P350. The crew will then put on you some sort of life vest and then masterfully attach harnesses that are mathematically proven to hold weight as much as 800 kilos. Then, when you are ready to go, they will signal their comrades at the other end of the line to get ready for your 450-meter wide descent, your glorious approach. Should there be any malfunctions along the way, it is guaranteed that you will go straight to heaven, or to hell.

But thinking about the undeniable danger spoils the fun. As soon as the crew surrendered my fate to the rocks, boulders, trees and waters 200 meters below the zip line, after of course uttering the words “bombs away, bombs away,” I said a simple prayer, “Lord, I am all Yours,” as if I am Dimas, or was that Hestas, who sought for absolution from his sinful life in this equally sinful planet.

But all’s well that ends well. I am still alive and reliving my zip line adventure. Kudus to Hockson, the master photographer who could very well be a grand cinematographer someday soon, for taking and editing this little video. This should come in handy whenever I want to reflect on my past misdemeanors, misadventures and reckless thirst for life.

By the way, the paths to the Danao Adventure Park provide a very intimate experience with the Chocolate Hills, which sprout alongside the municipal roads. So next time you are in Bohol, the Danao Adventure Park should be a rich inclusion to your diet.

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