Thursday, April 25, 2013

White Water Rafting in CDO Extreme Adventure of a Lifetime

White Water Rafting in CDO
Extreme Adventure  of a Lifetime 
(CDO and Bukidnon Series 6)

‘This is what we came for to CDO.’
I told my fifteen year old daughter
as  I booked for a white water at the hotel
immediately after arriving in the city.

We were given a choice if we wanted the
The 3 hour shorter  beginner’s  rafting adventure
or  the longer advanced rafting adventure.

We chose the one for beginners  as we had
 no previous experience In white water rafting
except of course  for the more benign
 theme park  rides like Seaworld’s
Shipwreck Island in San Diego.

…the Grizzly River Run  at Disney’s
California Adventure Park in Anaheim,

…and locally, Enchanted Kingdom’s
Rio Grande Rapids in Sta. Rosa.


I booked on the Wednesday night,
our first day in the city, for a Saturday
morning rafting as we would be staying
overnight in Dahilayan the next day.

Saturday  came, my daughter and
I woke up very early for the rafting.
My wife and young son were still asleep.

We had a heavy breakfast at the Misto,

…and a jeepney picked us up at the hotel
 by three guys from  Bugsay,
the rafting operator contracted by Seda Hotel.

We were taken aback for a while
when we saw the jeepney,


… it has been more than  two decades
since I have taken my last jeepney ride.

I also have no knowledge if my daughter
had ever taken a jeepney in her lifetime.
She said ‘yes, in school’ when I asked her.

It turned out as a pleasant surprise that the rough
jeepney ride was an adventure on its own.

Does this car have any suspension at all?
I jokingly asked the driver as it felt like riding
a roller coaster despite the very smooth city roads.

We picked up a Singaporean family of four
from another hotel who would be joining
us on the rafting expedition.

 They need at least four to six persons per boat
so that makes us six in our group -
together with the two guides
makes us eight. A  very ideal number
and according one of the guides- lucky.

We dropped by their office near Divisoria
to pay our dues and sign consent….

…and off we went uphill and upstream where
 our white water rafting adventure will begin.

We had a pre- rafting orientation by the riverside
and this was the time we knew that Bugsay
is a Visayan word  for paddle.

We would be apparently passing fourteen
major rapids and the first one was just few
meters away from the starting point.

The official photographer and videographer
that Bugsay commissioned for the trip was also ready..

I looked scary at first- but after the
thrilling rough rolling and tumbling-
we were ready to rock-

Our first rapid got us all excited and
had all our adrenalins rushing to the max-

and when it  was over-
…and we were asking for more rapids- 

…and more.

....and much much more.

Later, we gained so much confidence that we  were 
brave enough  to face the next rapid standing up.

In between the rocking and the rolling,
we were treated to some 
of the most beautiful sights in our lives.

It was nature at its best…

We paddled under waterfalls,

…inside bat caves,

…amidst virgin rain forests,
and rustic countryside.

The guides also allowed us to swim on
the safe parts of the river…

…and even allowed the kids to ride
the smaller canoe.

After our fourteenth and final rapid… left us craving for more
and we didn’t want to stop anymore.

Our White Water rafting experience
was an  extreme adventure of our lifetime-

...that made our trip to Cagayan de Oro
worthwhile and worth coming back again.

We’ll have enough time to prepare
For more advanced rafting adventure
on our return to Cagayan de Oro.

When we returned to Seda Hotel and realized
that we would be returning home to Naga City
 the next day- we started missing CDO already
and we have not even left yet.

Watch out for my Blogs on
Cagayan de Oro and Bukidnon Series

Seda Hotel Centrio 
Cagayan de Oro 
(CDO and Bukidnon Series 1)

CDO to Dahilayan Bukidnon.
(CDO and Bukidnon Series 2)

(CDO and Bukidnon Series 3)

Baguio in Memoriam
(CDO and Bukidnon Series 4)

(CDO and Bukidnon Series 5)

Extreme Adventure  of a Lifetime
(CDO and Bukidnon Series 6)

(CDO and Bukidnon Series 7)

(CDO and Bukidnon Series 8)

(CDO and Bukidnon Series 9)


  1. Whoa.

    What an adventure. Whatta blog!

    It feels like I have been part of the rafting team. The excitment was infectious. Kulang na lang mabasa ang damit ko ng tubig.

    You have a way with words. Simple, straight forward but made more alive by the pictographs.

  2. Wow. Blow by blow account. Feels like watchimg the action live.

    Great work.

  3. You really had a great rafting experience! Where is CDO located? They really have great rapids and the view is great. Wish I could visit there too someday. You have great photos too, too bad you blocked your faces!

    1. Hi Enrique,

      Thank you for visiting my blog. CDO stands for Cagayan de Oro, located in Northern Mindanao and the capital of the province of Misamis Oriental.

      It was our first time to try rafting and we really enjoyed it very much. I apologize for blocking our faces in the photos- well, for protection. Sometimes this blog gets a little bit critical and I live in a small city where almost everyone knows one another. I wouldn’t want to stress our local restaurants and hotels whenever we visit should they recognize our faces.(lol)

      I also got to visit your link and it got me and family so excited. We will be in the US on May next year- and we will try rafting in Idaho.

      Thanks for the link.

  4. Cagayan de Oro is at the middle of Northern Mindanao. Sad thing that the river was brown this day, must've been raining the day before. Thanks for blogging our rafting. I've tried rafting twice, both by Bugsay Team, the first is Advanced I since my relative companions who just arrived from abroad with their relative friend wanted adventure; the second Beginners Level since I was with relatives with kids. Rafting is fun. Each rapid has a name and a story. Did you have the snake scare? High five? Bugsay!!!

    1. Yes, I remember Jon Santos rapids- where the famous comedian fell. We saw snakes on the cliff- but we really did not get scared.

      We tremendously enjoyed the rafting experience, Here's a high five to Bugsay!

  5. Great pictures! I love river rafting. Last summer I went on my first trip to West Virginia to try some Gauley river rafting, and it was a fun time. I was a little bit less experienced than the group that I went with, but they helped me out and we made it through fine! If you get the opportunity to make it down to WV, you cant miss this adventure.

  6. Thank you for the link on Gauley River Rafting. We will be the the US on May 2014 and we will try to consider this beautiful adventure filled resort.

    Indeed, rafting is addicting.

  7. Hi! Thank you for sharing your cdo adventure. We're planning to visit cdo as well and am looking for cheap tour packages and trustworthy tour guides for cdo-bukidnon-camiguin. Hope you could post if you still have their contact numbers. Thank you

    1. Thank you for reading my blog Julie Ann. Bugsay was recommended by hotel (Seda Centrio) where we stayed. We truly enjoyed their company. Their number is in one of the photos on this blog or you may just google their Facebook page.

      I would also recommend an overnight Dahilayan side trip on you tour. I have also blogged about this wonderful place and the links are found at the bottom oh this post.

  8. Looks like you really enjoy on what you experience in white water rafting in Cagayan de Oro.. :-) You must try as well the extreme course.. :-)

    1. We will definitely try it.

      In a year or two, the kids would be older and matured enough to take a more extreme challenge.

      Returning to CDO which we tremendously enjoyed is in our bucket list.

  9. Thank you for visiting Cagayan de Oro City! you really did enjoy the adventure and excitement of the place. I hope that you can also visit some of our events like during festival days and other big celebrations every year! Thank you! It's more fun in the Philippines!

    1. Thank you for reading my blog Jethro. We tremendously enjoyed CDO and we will definitely come back.

  10. Best place for whitewater rafting in the Philippines is definitely Cagayan de Oro. If you have any plans to visit the "City of Golden friendship" again, try to visit the High Ridge restaurant to experience the greater panoramic view of the city.

    1. I agree. It's the best place to go for white water rafting.

  11. Try Great White Water Tours next time. They're the sister company of Dahilayan Adventure Park so you get better rates :)

    1. Hi Danny. thank you for the suggestion. We'll do so should we have a chance to return to CDO.