Jumping season has a bright switch in August when I went to the closest neighbour of Caraga, the Cagayan de Oro water rafting. I could not stop the excitement when the tour package countdown began as I move closer to the water force that Cagayan de Oro River possesses. Travelling from Butuan City to Cagayan de Oro City was just 4 hours. Of course I will be jumping my legs to the closest treasure of Caraga, not just Duka Bay as I remember, but the mighty river flows sandwiched by two giant mountains of Bukidnon province and Cagayan de Oro as boundaries stretching for 12 kms. of water rafting activities. Topping the best any water challenges in the whole country, the Cagayan de Oro water rafting.
Light History And Tourism
In 1995, a Republic Act 7901 creating Caraga as a newly-created baby region separated from its mother region Northern Mindanao in which Cagayan de Oro was the capital city was unanimously approved by Philippine Congress. The two neighbours who were then one region became a fierce competition for vying tourism economic pie after the split. Last year as reported by Department of Tourism, there was a surge increased of tourist arrivals in Caraga and Northern Mindanao regions. Huh! Well, one blood and same place have the same variations.
Travelling from the heart of Cagayan de Oro going to the backend of the water was 45 minutes ride. We are heading with the group called the Red Raft. They are one of the best and friendly team as our tour guide from the city proper down to the end of the river. Going to the mountains the roads were completely smooth as it considers a national road was well-cemented. Opposite mountains on the other side were thick mountains of Bukidnon province. Witness them that mountains parallel to each other envelope the center the raging water of Cagayan de Oro River.
We stopped down to the river as we hear the sounds of the water. As for beginners the Red Raft brought us to the Basic Course which we had to cross the 14 rapids that will begin to tear our souls and not the boat of the Red Raft. For those advance players in rafting, Cagayan de Oro River has the Advance Course which has the strength of 18 rapids. Advance Course moving forward from the top of the mountain, and possibly start rafting like falling vessel.
3 1/2 Hours
Preparation is easy. Feed-up the soul with adventures and the fun begins. These groups of adventurer which called themselves the Red Raft makes everything easy and professional. That is sound safe in the middle of the rapids. Life was in their hands as you think. But when the rafting starts in the middle everyone can handle with an effort to move forward. Everyone face was full of excitement and the confidence of believing is the theme of the day.
Waters like a raging bull when a rapid starts as our team guide shouts for paddling. We work like a team and listen to our leader. The boat almost stumbles but just a normal response. Stones in the rapids make it spices of the river movement. The waters were so cold that splashes the body as the boat bump continues heavily. Lock your foot to keep you from falling away. Just ride with the force while paddling and forward to another rapids.
Crossing one of the rapids is a success story. Everyone shouts for joy and hail for accomplishment. The group conquering the harshness of the river that goes for 3 and half hours plight. Difficulties in handling the strength of the water are beyond human control. But believe me, we surpasses everything that comes in an easy way.
Mountain And Forest
Along the way, mountains are panoramic view, made of giant rocks hardened for thousand years. Wild trees covered like virgin forest the face of the mountains and wild animals was part of ecosystem. In some parts, even snakes are swimming around. Fossilized materials that were intact in the walls of the mountains will bring amazement to visitors and geologists. Layers of sedimentary rocks in the hills reflect that this place was under water thousands of years ago. Environment has its own way showing the motherly nature unfolds in the distance.
End Of Journey
The long hours journey into the river was not exhaustive but an enjoyable plight. Adventurer forgets the difficulties, instead never get tired doing this thing in the middle of the water. Everyone shouts for more rapids, more fun. In the heights of excitement, 3 and half hours is not enough.
At the end, calm waters near the bridge that connects Cagayan de Oro City and the province of Bukidnon. Everyone is jumping away from our boat, swimming and floating ourselves in the river was the end of the story. Embracing the calmness and coldness of the river while sweeping away from the current flow has done it once in your life. I remember the coldness of Tinuy-an Falls. The adventure completes the whole scene like embracing the natures not even in your wildest dreams happened.