A girl once asked her mother, "Mama, can we fly in the air like the birds?" The mom said, "That's impossible! You will need wings to fly."
That was asked 30 years ago, when the cliche "if pigs can fly" still meant something. Yes, I guess to be up on air is one of the dreamiest feeling one could experience and one that's exhilarating. No wonder more extreme sports enthusiasts are trying out cliff diving, aero sports and here in the Philippines, zip lining is having enthused about. If birds trust their wings to fly, we humans trust the facilities and system of the management who runs the zip line.
So far, I have tried different adventure parks that offer unique zipline experiences. The first was at Amansinaya Mountain Resort and the Pugad Lawin Adventure Camp, at Laurel, Batangas, but it was the easiest.
Then, I was again challenged at Taguines Lagoon for Camiguin Benoni Zipline.
|Photo of us taken by Teddy Pelaez|
The zipline has a distance of more than 700 meters from station 1 to station 2 that will cross over a lagoon, the first zipline in the region across a body of water, which makes the ride even more exciting.
The scariest zip line ride I had was at Dahilayan Adventure Park Manolo Fortich, in Bukidnon. Said to be Asia's longest dual zipline and warp-speed like Superman at 1166 meters above sea level, it will blaze you above the pine forest canopy up to 90kph.
I really did feel flying over some of the tallest pine trees of Bukidnon, and felt like a bird watching over ravines, long streams of water meandering, and no, I can not see what to prey for, I guess I would also need the birds' eye-sight. Oh wait, I didn't use wings to experience flying, only the trustee pulleys, cables, carabiners and the professionals behind the facilities.
So after flying and sliding down the hill, what's next? How about bicycling on mid-air?
You know I never dreamed of being up on a high wire on a circus. It never failed to give me gibbers whenever I watch a person doing a flying trapeze act or a person crossing a high wire. I guess I was never built for extreme sports or circus acts, but whenever an opportunity arise for me get some much needed adrenaline rush, I say "Why not!"
On my last visit to Carmen, Bohol, where the vast Chocolate Hills can be seen, we visited a newly inaugurated adventure park. Our tour guide, Josue Hinay was telling us about the damages of the earthquake that have hit the province, apparently only a small percentage of Carmen was struck severely. However, on this part of Carmen, Brgy, Buenos Aires, you won't see any damages. It is said that the famous view deck had some damages and are being renovated to still serve the tourists.
The tourism office and LGU's are trying their best to open more tourism opportunities in spite of some listed ruins.
Chocolate Hills Adventure Park is the best way to see the still spell-binding Chocolate Hills. To easily remember the name, they have acquired its abbreviation - CHAP. Nestled at the town of Carmen, it is the nearest point coming from Tagbilaran, since it is only at Buenos Aires, the first barangay upon entering the so called site.
CHAP just opened last April 2013 and was inaugurated August 26 of this year. Hailed as the newest best destination for outdoor adventure right at the heart of the Chocolate Hills.
This sign greets you as you enter the pavilion. Crossing the bridge, you will notice some Koi and Tilapia happily show off their brilliant colors popping out in the spring water.
A short briefing at the lobby and you will be pumped up with excitement. We all have been raving about "The Rush." The first of its kind, it's CHAP’s Bike Zip, for thrill-seekers who wants a different kind of adrenaline rush; hence the name. Like any other extreme adventure, you will need to sign a waiver, then you will be guided to a tree house for a detailed introduction and safety standards briefing.
You will need to surrender your paid ticket and be subjected to a blood-pressure check. Once your blood pressure is taken, they will need to decide whether you can take CHAP's Bike Zip adventure. There are a lot of restrictions, like if you have a menstrual period, if you're hypertensive, have heart and lung problems and if you're pregnant.
Once you have passed the blood pressure check, you are good to go, well, that's if you have no qualms in getting up the top of the hill on a 200-step stairway.
Oh yeah! You said it!
Here began my 200-step hike to the jump-point of The Rush.
In all honesty, I was not afraid at first, I was checking their materials and looks to me that they know what they are doing. The safety of the customers are first and foremost priority, so they have invested in top of the line, imported and American safety certified equipment.
You can see that I was being held, two ways, the bicycle is attached to a clamp over the cable wire above with a metal rod, while I'm harnessed on the waist which is attached to two ropes. These ropes are being held by a high level quality carabiner attached to the same clamp where the bicycle's rod is attached. With these, the bicycle will never tip off, it'll always be upright, even if you are not holding the handle bars.
All you need to do is to have faith in God!!! Seriously!
Then, be in awe as how marvelous God's creation is. Don't also forget to pedal for your life. Once you reach point B, you need to bike back to point A. The CHAP's staff was so kind and agile enough to take our photos from my cam.
Crossing the 550 meters long (round-trip ride) cable of 150 feet above the ground will get your heart throbbing, it's not often that you get from one Chocolate hill to another, you just don't see the hills from a far, you get to explore it.
Look Mom! No hands!
Completing an adventure as such makes my life really worth living and the trip here in Bohol is just so worth it, and yeah even the climb up the top of the hill and the tower is so worth the leg-pains. After this, I'm guaranteed that even my kids can be safe and still have fun with this kind of adventure. Kids as young as 6 can be accommodated and no age limit, just as long as they can manage the height and their weight is appropriate to rope provision.
Above is my certificate of finishing "The Rush" Bike Zip Course.
If you think the fun and adventure ends there, think again, CHAP also offers Rope Courses, which include the Canopy Walk, Islands in the Sky, Burma Rope, Burma Planks, Earthquake and Jacob Walk.
The place is loaded with activities being offered not only to thrill-seekers but also to nature-lovers, campers and even students needing a very conducive place for field trips. Spots are allocated for a Serpentarium, nature trails and hectares of camping spaces. Rope courses are also available for children.
For CHAP's published park fees, check below.
Kindly click on the photo above to enlarge it.
CHOCOLATE HILLS ADVENTURE PARK
Address: Camanayon, Brgy. Buenos Aires
Carmen, Bohol, Philippines
Park Mobile: Jeen?Jing: 0932-667-7098
E-mail address: email@example.com