The first time I heard from my friends that we will be doing canyoneering, I thought to myself “what’s that?” and I never really get to know it until I experienced it on the day we went to Badian Canyoneering Adventure. That’s how I trust my friends so much since they are not the adventurous type who would go beyond their comfort zone. Well, we all went out in our comfort zone when we have decided to go to the second most visited tourist spots in Cebu.
Canyon and Canyoneering Defined
What is a canyon, anyway?As defined by the National Geographic, a canyon is a deep, narrow valley with steep sides. The movement of rivers, the processes of weathering and erosion, and tectonic activity create canyons. Now if you say canyoneering or canyoning, it is a type of activity where the canyons are explored from point A to point B through different types of techniques. This includes hiking, rapeling, swimming, cliff diving, and etc.
What is Badian?
Badian is a municipality located in the southwest of Cebu, Philippines. It is where the canyoneering and Kawasan falls is situated. A long time ago, plant called “badyang” or taro plant were abundant in the area but the Spaniards find it difficult to pronounce so the place was changed from badyang to badian.
Meeting our Badian Canyoneering Tour Guide
After the first half of our Cebu Package your, we had our early lunch in Badian Public Market and a multicab picked us up.
A 15-min ride brought us to get our life jackets and helmets by Lucero Tours. We signed waivers and this is where we met our cool and fun tour guides that are actually brothers. After all that’s settled, our habal-habal/motorbikes roared to life and headed to the entrance of canyoneering.
Maybe another 15-min ride took our time and we were oriented for our safety at the multi purpose hall along with other tourists.
The Beginning of Canyoneering
There are two ways on how to do the canyoneering: upstream and downstream. We chose downstream. Start imagining in 3, 2, 1!
The beginning of canyoneering adventure welcomed us with the sun heat. We knew we were at the top of the world when the towering mountains were now just an eye level and our sight was filled with green trees and blue sky. We started trekking by 12:30 with a concrete floor in the beginning and rocky road in the end. We reached Kanlaob River by 1 pm where the water and rocks came together creating the sound of the nature.
Although we had a smoldering heat and a dripping sweat from the trek, the height of the first jump were not enough for us to be tempted to plunge at the cold turquoise water. It’s 10 – 15 ft. high and so was our first time. Nevertheless, there’s no other way to go out but jump into the water. On the other hand, there’s one option of a 7 ft. high jump.
The next water plunges we had, its heights and the depth of the water were doable to have the creative free fall. We jumped into the water backwards, in sitting position, and in sliding position while lying on your back. Check out our videos below.
Take note that all of these Badian canyoneering activities were supervised by our tour guides. Do not do these things on your own since the tour guides are the only ones who know what areas have deep water to refrain you from reaching the bottom and get hurt.
For the most part, it’s all about balancing while walking because of the streaming water and stones combined. A non-slippery aqua shoes is your friend.
We reached the barbecue stores after 2 1/2 hours. They sell isaw, barbecue, puso (rice wrapped in banana leaf), and hotdog. For Manileños who is reading this, you will love their isaw because it does not have bitter taste compared to what’s offered in Manila. Pardon me, but… Anyway, there were some people who were cliff jumping also at this area. Our group chose to just eat our barbecue and watch them. We knew there’s more jump to come ahead.
The Big Jump
We came to the part we feared the most in canyoneering and that’s the 3rd level of cliff jumping! I noticed that this part of cliff jumping were not as frequented by the tourists and instead they take the slide beside it. I would recommend to give this a try because this is where you would all get the courage of facing your fear of heights. Why? You can gear up! This jump is the only one that allows you to run and jump without having the sight of where you are going to fall. Check out our video below to understand what I mean. Our tour guide said that this is 10-meter/32-feet high.
The only struggle after successfully jumping of the cliff is the strong water current from the slide that’s taking us to the left side and the slide is on the right side that we also do not want to miss. There was a man who helped us to get out of that situation and so we were able to try the slide where the video is right below. It was crazy but fun. Our adrenaline rush was instilled from the cliff jump.
The next thing we faced was the second level cliff jumping that is 12 meters/39 feet high. For this level, there is no room for run-and-jump which we find it scarier than the third level. We just stood beside the tree, bent our knees and took the leap. The air whistles solemnly in my ear. In seconds, all I can hear is the splashing sounds and the bubbles of water. I did it!
The first level of cliff jumping is almost beside the second level. Our tour guide asked us where do we want to go and obviously, we chose the second level. The first level is 15 meters/49 feet high. I mean, there’s only 3 meters difference but I don’t think I can push my limits anymore.
So I was reading some blogs and its telling me that the first level is the Kawasan Falls itself. This confused me as it doesn’t match of what our tour guide had said. But as far as I know, jumping from the Kawasan Falls is now restricted because of its 60 feet height plus a much stronger current of the falls could ask for a life. We will get into Kawasan Falls details later.
After the jump, we reached the man-made falls and enjoyed this nice view as our backdrop. After that, there’s a little more walking and we reached the Kawasan Falls!
Some tourists made this as their starting point for canyoneering but I guess it’s better that reaching Kawasan Falls in the end is the trophy for all the adventures. The raft can be rented here for P300 to come nearer to the falls.
1. Always wear your life vest and helmet.
2. Wear non-slippery aqua shoes.
3. You may bring a dry bag but put your gadgets and money in a zip lock. Dry bags do not guarantee your stuff don’t get wet inside.
4. Do not bring SLR, too bulky.
5. When cliff jumping, do not look down to avoid having second thoughts of jumping
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