On a Wing & A Prayer

So this is how it feels to fly

I was soaring over pine trees high up in the mountains, the wind rushing past me, the sun on my face. No, I wasn’t having one of those dreams. I was in fact suspended on a cable and riding a zipline.

Some months ago, the Mr. and I rode our first zipline. It was only 300 meters long each way and left us craving for more. We heard about the dual zipline at the Dahilayan Adventure Park in Bukidnon. At 840 meters long, it is the longest in Asia and one of the longest in the world. It was also just what we wanted.  

The drive from Cagayan de Oro City to Dahilayan, Bukidnon took an hour, half of that on rear-numbing unpaved roads that go through the Del Monte pineapple plantation and up the Kitanglad Mountain Range.

The park was filled with fellow adventure-seekers, although I smugly noted, not all of them were ready for the main zipline just yet, hehe.

We bought our tickets and waited for our ride to the launch tower. I giggled nervously when it arrived looking a little rickety. It was sturdy and serviceable enough, though, and the driver negotiated the sharp turns and ruts on the muddy track in a manner that made me suspicious that he was trying out for a slot on the F1 circuit. 🙂

We were deposited safely at the launch area. A guide helped me put on my harness and I was instantly transformed into an overweight priest in a heavy cassock. We lined up at the tower. There was a girl in front of me who kept clinging nervously to a metal post. 🙂

Finally, it was our turn. After adjusting my gear, the guides picked me up (with a grunt, haha) and hooked my harness to the cable. I was cautioned, “Keep your legs straight behind you, do not ‘paddle’ your feet, look straight ahead, do not look down.” Well, I looked down and that was when I saw the 100-foot drop.

 Susmariolopez! What did I just get myself into?

Being a zipline ”veteran”, I did not expect to be as nervous as I suddenly felt. I looked at the Mr. a few feet away and wished I could hold his hand. When the guides asked Ready?, I started mumbling the names of all the saints, but before I could even say San Antonio de Padua, the fiends pushed me out the gaaaaateeee….

Oh help me God.

I was going down fast. I closed my eyes for a few seconds and when I opened them, the Mr. was already several meters ahead of me. I was on my own.  I took a deep breath. This is good, Buds, this is good.

I felt a slight decrease in my speed and it was then that the thrill of the ride gave way to … a very pleasant sense of calm.

There I was, suspended on a cable, bobbing and swaying slightly, gliding between and above treetops. Everything was silent except the wind rushing past my ears, drowning out the swoosh of the cable. I flapped my arms, then extended them forward a la Supergirl. I turned to look at the mountains around me, I looked down at the forest. I was flying.

It went on for minutes, it seemed, although it was of course less than that. Then all too soon, I sensed that I was speeding up — we were nearing the end of the ride. As instructed, I tucked my arms to my side, kept my head down and bam! It was over.

They unhooked us, gave me back my sandals (which they had clipped to my harness) and we lined up for our certificates.

When we got them, we said, Let’s do it again! But we had a flight to catch so we talked about going back in a few months.

I’m now hoping we do it again soon. I hear the fog is usually thick in the mountains this time of year. Wouldn’t that be something. 🙂


(Topmost image from Dahilayan Adventure Park website and last image from Dahilayan Adventure Park Facebook page. Please click on the links for more information on rates, other activities, accommodations, transportation and tour packages. )

26 thoughts on “On a Wing & A Prayer

  1. Oh Dog! I think I’ll pass on that kind of thrill, but I’m glad you had a great time! Next time get somebody to take pics of you landing- I’d love to see the thrilled look on your face!

  2. I did have a great time, Rumpy. They took a very unflattering picture of me at the end of the ride. The pic makes it look as if I had a slight “wardrobe malfunction”, hahaha, so I’m keeping it under lock & key. 🙂

  3. I’m not a fan of heights, yet I still want to try a zipline someday. They always look so fun and with such an amazing perspective!

    • The weird thing is, I don’t like heights either (I get panic attacks while going up, say, a bell tower) but somehow, I like getting on ziplines. 🙂

  4. Hmmmm … That’s weird. Now, I’m so curious as to which is ballsier than just walking on a high Aquaduct. I would like to do stuffs like this with my girl but I don’t think she would approved it. That’s brave of you for doing that.

  5. wow, wow, wow! weird but i just dreamt that i was ziplining with pepe smith hehehe,. sa true to life, that would be something, huh?

  6. This is weird. I just made a post about my Dahilayan Adventure the same day you did. But instead of posting the pictures, I had mine in video.

    Did you try the Zorb? It was great! I just wished it was longer though.

  7. @7topics, I had to get over my fear, too, just because I wanted to try it once. Now, I’ve done it twice, hehe.

    @Gelai I hope you get to go na din soon. Or try the one at the Tagaytay Ridge, for starters (if you haven’t yet).

    @Mikhail, I was cursing myself because we didn’t bring a camera to the launch tower. You’re lucky you got your ‘flight’ recorded. 🙂 No, we didn’t try the Zorb anymore or the ATV ride. We wanted to but we didn’t have time. There will be a next time, though. 🙂

    • @tita buds : done with tagaytay… gusto ko pa mas mhaba at mataas pra maconquer ko fear of heights =p

  8. “Susmariolopez.” Girl, you are a riot. So glad you keep posting about your many adventures! I love reading about them!

  9. Something out of the ordinary happened today right before I read your blog. The previous blog I read was also written by a woman who just completed an extreme activity. While yours was zip-lining, hers was skydiving. Both of you described a sense of calm when you were in the middle of your experience. It makes me wonder, if you are in the right place at the right time, are you going to always feel that sense of calm no matter what the activity is?

    Her accounting of her experience is at this address: http://bennisinc.wordpress.com/2011/10/24/finding-a-new-perspective-at-13000-feet/. You might like it!

    • Thanks for the link. I read her post and it seems we both felt the calmness at the point where we were already confident that we were safe even though our ‘fates’ were out of our hands. I think the soothing soaring/gliding feeling also helped.

      I’d like to try skydiving someday, too, of course. 🙂

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    • The weather was warm at the time but they say it gets quite cool at night. That park, plus others near it, is being developed really fast. They say it’s going to be like Tagaytay pretty soon.
      You should definitely try the zipline. 🙂

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