White water rafting – Cagayan de Oro, Philippines

Summer of 2008, Julie’s Franchise Corporation held its semi-annual franchise conference for Vis-Min area in Cagayan de Oro City. On our last day of stay in Cagayan, the group decided to try water rafting before jumping into the plane for Cebu


                                                                                             Getting ready for the adventure.

The final briefing.  There were other groups when we arrived. The person-in-charge briefed us of the do’s and don’ts. We were told to have a buddy just in case something happens. Each raft will have a minimum of 4 people and maximum of 6 people excluding the guide. There were cases of accidents and deaths due to non-compliance of the rules and regulations.  I was having a second thought of joining after he mentioned of accidents. I got a bit scared because I don’t know how to (ehem) swim. Thing is, I don’t have any choice but to join the group otherwise I will be left behind.

                                                                                                               The adventure begin.

You can never get enough of the screaming, the joy when our raft successfully pass through a wild rapid. “Easy paddle, hard paddle, forward paddle” “Stop”, “Brace”, these were the instructions shouted to us by our captain (guide) depending on the level of the rapid.  After that we shout, high-five and raise all our paddles with relief.

There were wild rapids that I thought my spirit went off my body and had her time somewhere in the universe while I was having a heart attack.  But our guide maneuvered our raft skillfully. Other rafts flipped over. Our guide suggested that we should try this even for once, for experience purposes. Our group shouted, NO WAY. (I guess only the women shouted no way, not the men)

    This is the washing machine area. They call it washing machine because the water will spin you here and there to the max.

See how this raft flipped over? Far right is our raft,  the yellow one.  We requested our guide to avoid the washing machine area.

      See the empty raft? If a raft capsizes,  other rafts will then go ahead to rescue the people and help them get back to their respective rafts.

             There were persons-in-charge of our cameras  to capture the highlights of our adventure.

One of the guides in our raft was so talkative. Maybe he did that so to ease the tensions crawling in on our nerves and spines.  I asked the guide, how far are we going to do this? the guide answered, 25 raffage. A what? Raffage? I turned to my office mate and asked, what did he said, raffage? She just shrugged her shoulder and smiled, maybe she also did not understand. So I asked the guide again, what is it that you said? He again repeated the word, we will have to do 25 raffage. Confused but I just nod and said “I see, raffage”. But honestly, I really did not get what he was trying to tell me, maybe because I don’t know the terms used and I did not get what he meant by it.

Anyways, when I got home, I proudly told everyone that I did water rafting and it was fun. We did 25 raffage. An eyebrow arched and asked what?  Oh well, Oh boy. I then sprint to open my computer and to check what the heck is this term raffage in water rafting.  After I opened a site, OMG as in Oh My Gulay (gulay is vegetable in english). Can you relate the embarrassment I felt at that very moment?  I was so embarrassed that I wanted to hide under the table.

       There were areas here the water is calm and we had time to compose ourselves and prepare for the next roller coaster rides.

                                                  Snack time.  We were served juice and pastel (a soft bread with yema filling)

                                                  There was one stop where one can just lie there and be carried by the flow of the water.

After the 25 rapids under the blazing heat of the sun, all headed to have a quick shower, a sumptuous lunch then off to the airport back to Cebu.  All of us were not spared from sunburn.  The adventure was worth it. An experience I think one should at least have done in his lifetime.


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