Notes and Notices

On art, architecture and design


Weekend thought: Taking the plunge

Posted by Carren Jao Pineda |

{It's post-holiday season and I find myself missing family and a taste of home, so I thought to write a few posts that will recapture my holiday adventures, as well share with you a glimpse of the Philippines.}

Bohol is an island province located roughly in the central region of the Philippine archipelago. It is a place surrounded and divided by water. Visitors can catch a glimpse of the ocean from almost any point. If not, there is sure to be a large river somewhere.

I knew I would travel to Bohol a few months earlier and I looked forward to all the plans my family had laid out. All plans but one, the generically called Eco-adventure Tour Danao (EAT Danao).

EAT Danao is a series of extreme adventure courses set in what was once a Philippine revolutionary's old guerilla headquarters. In other words, it was a mountain hideout full of cliffs, gorges and a raging Wahig river. Visitors can rappel off the cliff face, zipline in between cliffs, kayak, negotiate immensely large roots, or as I had feared all along, free fall 147 feet then swing over a 656-feet high and 984-feet wide gorge. Who wants to be let off that far down right? Not me.

After much nervous self-debating and more than a mouthful of bitter regret at not having signed up for it, I finally did ratchet up the courage to get strapped onto a harness to do it. Up until the moment I was on the ledge waiting to be dropped off, I was still thinking, "Is this a good idea?" Then, as the harness tantalizing let me go a few feet, I realized I can either enjoy the fact that I was there, or I can miss the moment caught in worry. As soon as I made the decision to do the latter, the taut harness went slack and doooooooooooooooooown I went.

In truth, I hardly felt the stomach curdling drop. Perhaps it was the adrenaline. But I remember opening my eyes and seeing a cloudy sky greet me as I swung from cliff to cliff. It felt like I was floating. I fooled myself that I could fly just for a second, until of course I regained my senses and my navigational skills.

That little dot there is me. Can you see it?
I won't lie; A part of mind still worried about things that might go wrong, especially as my shaking hands tried to catch the small rope tossed to me by the operators (which they would then use to hoist me back up to my platform). But still I had learned--with much difficulty--not to let fear get ahead of me and, when I can, enjoy a moment without worry.

So this weekend, what fear will you face?


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