Saturday, May 12, 2012

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Dahilayan zipline—under the rain

A surreal experience: having Mr. and Mrs. Dom and Tina Cariaga for lunch here in Bukidnon. They're good friends of mine from Manila. We go to the same church. We belonged to the same student organization in med school (Agape Christian Fellowship), though not at the same time. They studied at UP-PGH, too: Dom is an eye doctor; Tina eventually quit because medicine wasn't her calling. We live on the same street. They feed me sometimes.

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Before coming to Malaybalay, they had spent three days in Camiguin. Their second honeymoon. When they learned I was going to be nearby, they said they'd be coming over to visit. They wanted some company for the ziplining.

While they were here, Abby and I introduced them to the Bethel Baptist Hospital doctors. Drs. Troy and Jane del Mundo gladly toured them around the premises, jokingly inviting Dom to practice in this hospital. Now Kuya Dom is confused.

Yesterday we went ziplining. Our friends from the hospital were kind enough to temporarily excuse us from our responsibilities, even helping us find affordable transportation.

Dahilayan is in Manolo Fortich, about two hours away—give or take—from Malaybalay. We saw the Del Monte pineapple plantation, a sea of green, along the way.

On the way to Dahilayan

Towering pine trees greeted us.

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The site is being developed to be a family-friendly eco-tourism site. The view was stunning. The air was cold. It felt like being in Baguio, but with less people.

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The ride-all-you-can promo costs Php 600—there are three ziplines. But we opted to only ride the longest one, about 850 meters from end to end; that cost us Php 500. We were reserving the money for the bungee jump, which did not materialize because the equipment wasn't available.

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If you plan to visit, be early. The queue is shorter and the possibility of rain smaller.

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This was the first zipline which we didn't get to experience. Some people screamed their lungs out. It was fascinating.

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Gradually our fears were becoming true. The skies got darker. Then it started raining. We had to rush inside the view deck for cover.

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The rain got harder as we were shuttled to our take off point.

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We were unperturbed.


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I was physically and mentally fit. I could fly! And lest I forget, my hair was secured inside the helmet.

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People here have so gotten used to the idea of rain. The ziplining sessions aren't interrupted at all, except during thunderstorms. That was—and still is—a source of frustration for our friends, Migs Barnes, JD Comandante, Joseph Chua, and Tin Ang, who went here last year. They had to go home because they could get struck by lightning.

This was the view before I flew off.


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I screamed at the beginning. My face was stung by the rain droplets. My glasses were clouded by the water. But I was in awe of the view nonetheless. The wonder of God's creation! Those 50-plus seconds of being suspended in thin air were spent in awe-struck silence.

We left after lunch. You can opt to stay overnight, of course. There are decent hotels and lodging places around.


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Next stop: Del Monte Golf Club, famous for its steak and clubhouse sandwich. But first, we stopped by the quiet neighborhood where the company staff live. It looked like an American suburb.

Faye, a nurse in Bethel, offered to go with us. She couldn't resist the flowers. We were glad she came with us; she practically served as our tour guide. Also, she has a knack for organizing parties and outdoor activities for the singles. We're going rappelling on Monday—hopefully.

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Real poinsettias—and it wasn't even Christmas yet.

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Finally we arrived at the Club House.

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This was the golf course.

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The best deal: Php 20 for unlimited pineapple juice. My tummy felt so acidic thereafter.

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A parting shot with the Carriagas. Kuya Dom looked like a high school student who cut class.

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We bid them a quick farewell as we dropped them off the highway. From there, they took the bus for Cagayan de Oro. As for the rest of us, we made it to Malaybalay safely.

I like hanging out with married couples. You learn so much from them. And they tell such colorful, often hilarious stories, without the angst or bitterness of lovelorn singles. I'm blessed to have known Dom and Tina, and I cherish their friendship. They'll be settling in Baguio for the meantime, so I won't be seeing them as often.

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I will miss them.

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