Places & Experiences

Northern Mindanao Experience – CDO water rafting

It was the last day of our Northern Mindanao trip. And what a great way to end it by doing the most popular activity that Cagayan de Oro is known for – white water rafting.
We ate a hearty breakfast at a nearby fast food chain. Our excitement was growing by the minute while we were eating. Then, around 7 am, our ride from Bugsay River Rafting arrived in this long jeep with our boats and gears on top. The team picked up their other customers from different destinations before going to their main office for us to register, pay and sign a waiver.
It took us more than 1 hour before we reached the jump off point. By the time we arrived, there were a few tourists preparing for the activity as well. The Bugsay team prepared to pump our boats first. My husband and I decided to buy arm covers as protection from the heat of the sun. Then we surveyed the river down below us. And boy, it was truly a rushing river! I began to feel nervous, since it was my first time to do it. A few minutes later, the team requested us to suit up as we were about to descend. We took pictures first for posterity, so that we could tell our grand kids that we were adrenaline junkies.


One of the team leaders convinced us to take the advance course, the one with more than 14 rapids. He explained that there’s really no difference from the basic course. Advance course’s journey is just longer. So we decided to go for it.
We stepped down to the river bank. Before we could start, the team leader gave us the know how’s on safety and paddling instructions. Then, he divided us into 3 groups. Our boat consisted of 6 passengers, I, my husband, 2 ladies’ on break, 1 Korean guy on vacation and our guide. I was wondering how would we be able to get down the river because there was no steps whatsoever. Well, the trick was tilting the boat downwards while we were on board. That freaked me out a little. When our boat touched the river, it was back to feeling excited! The river gave us a sense of adrenaline rush.



We applied what we had learned on paddling. It was really awesome to be doing it. We navigated a portion of the river wherein it was still. Then we reached the first rapid! Wohoo! It was awesome! After the first rapid, it would make you want to navigate all rapids for the entire trip!.




We were also allowed to swim on portions of still water. It was one way for us to cool off.
These are the more pictures that words cannot describe…









Good thing there was a photographer who was able to capture these moments. But, I think it would still be great to bring one’s own waterproof camera to take pictures of the breathtaking views surrounding the river. It was really beautiful. Maybe next time, if I would have the chance, I bring one.




I am hanging on for dear life here…


Ooops ! I got wiped out! 😉




When we reached the finish line, it didn’t feel like 3 hours had gone by. We still wanted to go on. Unfortunately, it was almost noon, and we have a plane to catch in the afternoon. Our ride was already waiting for us. There were a few members who took a quick shower. We just decided to take a bath back in the hotel, since it was a bit crowded already.
Our guided informed us that we could go back to their office after an hour so that we could get our copy of the pictures and video.
After we checked out, we informed our guide to go back to the office. Good thing the CD was ready. We bid good bye and headed to the airport.
Water rafting is a great outdoor activity. These are just a few tips when doing this adrenaline pumping leisure:
          Eat a heavy breakfast. You’ll need all the energy for those paddling actions.
          Wear light clothing. It would also be advisable to wear a swim suit underneath because you will definitely get wet.
          Wear trekking sandals. Flip flops are not recommended because they might just fall into the river especially when crossing rapids. If bold enough, you could go barefoot J
          Apply sunscreen. Although it was really not that piercing hot because of the surrounding trees, sun’s rays can still penetrate your skin. You may also wear arm covers like we did.
          Listen to your guide’s instructions. This will avoid any untoward accidents.
          Hold on tight and enjoy ride!
Bugsay River Rafting is just one the many rafting service providers in CDO known for well maintained boats and safety gear. You may reach them at these numbers: +63 917 328 4729, +63 88 850 1580 and +63 88 309 1991.
Their Facebook page is


Until our next adventure!

I am a wife to Francis and a mother to Olivia. I am an avid reader, but a frustrated writer. Maybe considered a millennial, but very much of a "manang".

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