Canyoneering: The Greatest Adventure Waiting For You In Cebu

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{This is a travelogue of my adventure in Cebu, Philippines.}

~ “People don’t take trips, trips take people.” – John Steinbeck


3…2…1… Jump! Aaaaaah! Woooh! *Splash*

I was on the side of a mountain in a rural town in Cebu, one wrong step and I will (perhaps) fall into my death. That was when I questioned myself, “what the hell are you doing?! You don’t even have any idea what Canyoneering is, you just briefly saw it in the internet, and here you are ready to die for it? What is wrong with you? Then I almost tripped! Sharp stones tumbled down the ridge. That could’ve been me. I focused on walking.

I am leading, accompanied by a nameless local – I never asked him his name, I never felt it was necessary since our relationship was fleeting; grounded on my desire for an adventure and his need for money.  My brother and my friend were lagging behind. I had to stop and wait for them, that was when I momentarily breathed the beauty of the scenery – unscathed mountains except for small cabbage and corn plots here and there – but I decided not to notice. I felt cheated.

Then, I heard people shouting and the water roaring…


Jump! Jump! Jump!

The river was between two ravines perfectly chiseled by the turquoise water flowing. Some parts of the river were surrounded by lush trees and shrubs atop. There were rocks and boulders and fallen timbers flawlessly “placed” at the river. It was breathtaking!

When we arrived, a group of Koreans – all in red life vest and red helmets – were already jumping, one after the other, from the first waterfall into the river. They were all shouting, “Jump! Jump! Jump!” They seemed very happy. So I hurried ecstatically and ran towards them. Then I stopped.


~ “Travelling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta


The first waterfall jump (of four, I was told) was easily twenty feet. Do not get me wrong, but even a grown man would have his second thoughts. I looked back at my brother and my friend, behind their smiles were the exact feeling I have – a feeling of excitement combined with fear, a feeling saying “maybe this is a wrong decision after all.” I deeply inhaled loads of courage for I knew I will be the first one to jump. I must prove my companions that this was never a wrong decision. Then I jumped.


~ “The gladdest moment in human life, me thinks, is a departure into unknown lands.” – Sir Richard Burton


Suspended between the top of the falls and the water below, each second seemed to pass-by extremely slow. Falling inch by inch I remembered all the things that happened earlier that day, it came flooding-in just like the river. It was torrential yet peaceful.

We arrived at the small town of Badian at around 2:00 PM. As soon as our vehicle parked in front of the town’s church, locals flocked. They were offering guided tours going to Kawasan Falls, but for those who were looking for a greater adventure, they were offering Canyoneering. We haggled lightly then signed up. Well, this was the reason why I decided to travel hundreds of miles in the first place. To see what was all the fuss in the internet was about.

For a hefty amount of money, we got a life vest, a beaten helmet, and ragged footwear – in fact, my brother’s toe was protruding on his, so I asked him to change. After putting on my battle gear I asked our guide, “How long would the Canyoneering last?” “For about two hours, sir” he answered. After estimating that we will finish past four o’clock, I then asked my companions if they were ready. Both of them nodded, so I excitedly informed our guide, “Let’s go!” I was thrilled; I can’t wait to go into an adventure. Our ride parked in front of us, it was a habal-habal (motorcycle). We board our ride, and I saw our guide board his – he was with two others. We were about to go when he shouted in the midst of the loud noises made by the exhaust pipes, “Sir! We are going to travel for 30 minutes first!” I nodded my frustration away. “I should’ve done a bit more research, this is shit!” That would be thirty minutes less from my adventure.

After a death defying uphill ride through rugged terrain of dirt and crumbling stones, we disembarked. At the end of the road, we were informed by our guide that we have to walk for another thirty minutes. That was the time I became furious, I wanted to curse him and punch him on the face. I wanted to back-out and stop this circus once and for all. But I composed myself, I tried to remain positive. I really wanted to experience this adventure. I already invested a lot, I cannot turn my back. But deep inside I know I was cheated. How many hours of adventure will really be left after this trek?


~ “Adventure is worthwhile.” – Aesop


Then, I hit the water below. It was pristine, it was cold. It washed away all the negative thoughts. I finally exhaled. The scenery was more beautiful below. Splash! My companions hit the water one after the other. “Hell yeah!” They shouted. “This is what you call an adventure.” I smiled, “there can never be a wrong decision.” And, we swam our way downstream. We also hiked through boulders and timbers. We jumped after jump after jump.  I finally understood what Canyoneering really is. It is a combination of trekking, hiking, bouldering, cliff-diving, and swimming rolled into one.   It was truly awesome. I knew right then and there why many people in the internet said that it was one of the most worthwhile adventures. All the gash and bruises and bangs on the head and every centavo paid, all these were worth it. After one last jump we were on the foot of Kawasan Falls.

At the foot of the falls, we were reunited with my mother and sister. We took a couple of photos with Kawasan Falls on our background as a remembrance of an awesome adventure we had. Then, we called it a day. I was even more ready to call it goodbye to our Cebu escapade. My arms over the shoulders of the muses of my life, I cannot hide my smile amidst exhaustion and heavy breathing. It was still euphoria, and easily the greatest adventure of my life.


{This adventure was very monumental as it also marked the moment I decided to take action. This adventure was the first off my bucket list when I decided to pursue completing my bucket list goals. This was the moment when everything in my life changed. This was when I really started living my life towards my own happiness!

 How about you? Are you living your life towards your own version of happiness? Maybe it is also the right time for you to start? You don’t know how? Don’t worry, I am here to help. Give me a bump, message me, follow me. Better yet, subscribe and will give you a gift: How To Live A Happy Life} 


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