Canyoneering in Badian, South of Cebu

Canyoneering–  the sport of exploring canyons using  different techniques  such as walking, climbing, jumping, rappelling and swimming. (wikipedia)

Spontaneity is my last name, and next to it is “Crazy”.

Canyoneering is not for the faint-hearted. It takes more than just courage and bravery- YOU got to have a streak of madness in you to do this!

2 weeks ago, my friend Carla sent me a message saying  she’d visit Cebu and would love to do a backpacking trip with me around South. Without a thought, I agreed with her, and in less than 2 hours, we made our itinerary. I haven’t seen Carla for almost 4 years, though the communication through facebook never stopped, the idea of seeing her in person excited me!

She was very keen in doing the Canyoneering thing, so I contacted my friends from mountaineering, only to find out a few of them are now working abroad, so they referred me to Badian Cebu Canyoneering (Kawasan Coop)- owned and managed by Mr. Isauro Belarmino.

A few years back, you can do Canyoning for as low as Php 600.00 or if you knew someone who has experience or a local to the area, you can pay a minimal amount of Pho 1500.00 for a group of 4 or 8 to try this.

However, a series of unfortunate accidents happened in the past due to the extremity of this sport. But instead of creating fear-this generates more interest from the people not just within the country but also from all over the world!

Seemingly, the more dangerous the sport is, the more it is attractive to tourists. (This should explain why men are attracted to bitches and women to assholes. )

The rising popularity of this sport (also the increase of number of accidents reported) caused the Department of Tourism to tighten the security and standardize the rules and regulations in operating Canyoneering in Badian.

They mandated all agencies to upgrade their equipment , to hire only the experienced ones and to strictly adhere to the rules.

The boost of tourism greatly helps the locals especially when it comes to their source of income. The government employs 25 people to maintain the cleanliness of the surrounding and to help tighten the security of the place. (as Jham said)

Badian Tourism has mandated uniformity of Canyoneering Fee- this is to avoid conflicts and to create standardizations to private agencies doing this business. The fee is Php 1500.00/person, and is already inclusive of the following:

  • Tourist guide
  • Gears- Aqua Shoes, Helmet and Life Vest
  • Habal-Habal or Skylab Transportation to Kanla-ob, Alegria.
  • Lunch
  • Bamboo Raft ride and Falls Massage

Call time for Canyoneering  is 6 AM-10 AM. Last activity  is 2 PM- anything beyond will have to do it the next day. The activity approximately finishes 4-6 hours (depends on your pace and crowd)

Getting There

The earliest bus travel is at 1 AM (Non-Aircon Buses) and 4 AM for Airconditioned Buses. My Squad took the 5:30 AM Bus, and we arrived by 9 AM. It’s a gruelling 3-4 hour bus ride.

  • Go to South Bus Terminal.
  • Take the Bato via Barili Buses, as these will pass to the Municipality of Badian.
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    Ceres Bus Schedules

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    Non-Ceres Bus Schedule
  • The fare has just recently increased to Ph 160.00 (Cebu City to Badian)
  • When in doubt, don’t hesitate to ask the “Konduktor”(driver’s assistant), they always know your stop. However, on our part, I asked the bus employee to stop at Asuncion Beach Resort, Matutinao, Badian.
  • Be POLITE. 🙂

NOT FOR THE FAINT HEART- This is it. 

We were welcomed by the young and good-looking Jham (pronounced as Joam).

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Jham was giving us a short briefing about the activity. He clearly knows what he is doing and tries his best to explain to us the do’s and don’ts of the Canyoneering.

Experience in canyoning is not necessary for this activity, nor the ability to swim. Like I said, all you need is a streak of madness to survive and enjoy this sport!

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You can wear board shorts- but this is at your own risk. You will be walking on steep and slippery trail, swimming in shallow but raging water, climbing on big rocks- bruises and scrapes are inevitable. It’d be best you wear leggings. 🙂
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The Shoes Company! A few steps away – we went to another store and chose our shoes.  It’s part of your fee- so there’s nothing to worry. And since we don’t have proper cameras, we rented a go-pro for 500 pesos. Not bad,really.                   Tips: Choose a pair that perfectly fit your feet, with thicker sole and  avoid the neon green one! (The pair Carla wore! )
  • There are two types of Canyoneering- Downstream and Upstream. In this activity, we were about to do the former, which starts in Kanla-ob, Alegria.
  • From Badian, it takes a 15 minute Habal-Habal or Skylab ride to Kanla-ob, Alegria.
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A mandatory pose with the poster!
  • From there, the 30-35 minute walk began (depends on your pace). The trail was slippery and muddy- it had been raining  for weeks, it was almost a miracle when the sun came out and stayed with us the whole time!

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  • There are a total of 7 Jumps- which I called 7th Heaven.
    • First Jump : 18-20 Feet (Start them young)
    • 2nd Jump: it’s not really that high.
    • 3rd Jump: 35/40 Feet
    • 4th Jump: 8 ft
    • 5th Jump: 12 Feet
    • 6th Jump: 30/35 Feet
    • 7th Jump: 70 Feet
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70 Ft- and the last hurrah was closed permanently. Last December-2016, a student jumped and died. But it is important to note that this student was not wearing a helmet and lifevest. He was not doing canyoneering but was there in Kawasan to celebrate their Christmas Party with his classmates. 

There is Barbecue Station halfway- this is strategically situated there to give the locals another source of income. The prices are surprisingly affordable and the barbecues are to die for- a lot better and yummier than in Larsian.

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Happy Kids!  FOOD- finally! We didn’t get to have our breakfast, so this felt like discovering a mirage! That’s me in front-the best banana in the world! haha                                                                                                      Note on Prices: Pork (40 pesos), 2-pc Cheesedog Virginia (Php 30.00), Isaw (Php10.00), Puso or Hanging rice ( Php 10.00), Mineral Water (Php 20.00) ; Banana (Php15.00)

NOTE: Jham’s mother owned a little station there. She is located at the end- so make sure to drop by!

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The mandatory I-don’t-know-what-to-call-this-pose, but this is really popular to those who have tried canyoneering, and we just managed to fail it! haha

Near the Barbecue Station: the 40ft Jump has to happen.

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It scared the hell out of us! Just looking down was enough for me to brood about all the mistakes I have made in the past, the things I haven’t done and I still want to do, and the unsaid words I haven’t had the chance to tell to the people I love. If you haven’t done all those things- and you’re frightened of the unknown, you have a choice not to jump-at all.

I am not discouraging you, really. But for someonewho has a fear of heights- it was just too much for me! It was funny to note that Jham was enjoying teasing us about it!

So, we decided not to jump the 40ft! and the 35 feet and the 12 feet (2nd Falls).

We need more courage! (DUH!)

Expenses:

Php 1500.00- Canyoneering Fee

Php320.00- From and To Bus Fare (Php 160/way)

Php 50-100.00 – Barbecue (this is optional)

Php 100.00/person- Tip (this is also optional)

Total Damage: Php 1920.00

Approximate No. of Hours Spent: 4-6 Hours

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