Mar 20, 2013

Extreme Adventure at Kalinga with Sidetrip to Tuguegarao

Six ladies going up north to indulge in some extreme water activity. It was a spur of the moment plan that pushed through the next day.

We left for Tabuk, Kalinga from Manila via Autobus Lines in Espana on the night of May 31, 2006 and arrived Tabuk around morning the next day after an uneventful 10 hrs trip.

Would you believe that we were billeted at the 21st Infantry Battalion situated in Tabuk, Kalinga? Our friend happens to be the sibling of the commanding officer of that unit and offered us an interesting accomodation. He asked us if we wanted to look for an accomodation within the area but insisted we  stay in his air conditioned barracks or if we're willing to sleep in a makeshift tent. We picked the latter and it was so much fun and challenging.

Tabuk, Kalinga
Playing kickass girls ala Charle's Angels, lolz ....

Look how it was made on the inside .....

Sleeping was a challenge especially during the wee hours when it becomes really chilly. But we got used to it eventually for the next 3 more days of our stay here. Besides who wouldn't  love this experience.

Our scheduled white water rafting was on a Saturday and while we're waiting for that date, we were told so much to our delight that our kuyas would bring us to Tuguegarao to explore Callao Cave and the Pinacanauan River. It was more or less a 3 hour drive from Tabuk.
We crossed the river and enter the Callao Caves, explored several chambers and meditate in the church that was inside the Callao Caves. Afterwards, we rode our boat, then dock and  had our lunch in one of the shaded areas where we met some nice locals who offered us their picnic food. We gladly obliged and enjoyed the local dishes like the Cabagan Pansit. We spent more time swimming and chatting and while we wanted to see what our guides were saying like thousands of bats flying out of Callao Cave by 6PM, we decided to head out while there's still light so we can reach our barracks (as if we're some soldiers, hehe) before sunset and feel safer since we were staying inside a military camp. But before we do that, we dropped by at one of the malls in Tuguegarao and dine in some food court kiosk and order a bilao of Cabagan Pansit as pasalubong to our most valued host Kuya Jun sans the title Lt. Col. to make it more informal and to some of the Army officers.

We slept lightly while our friendly troops headed out for some night mission and we prayed that they will be guided back safely. On a side note, when we arrived here, their flag is on a half mast because 3 of their comrades were killed by some lawless elements while doing community works. We were a bit bothered by that piece of news, so we cancelled earlier plans of mountain hiking.

June 3, we woke up early, excited about our white water rafting activity but then became nervous when reminded of the dangers involved and I had to sign a waiver, hehe. Anyway our friendly troops arrived safely and some joined us to complete the needed number of participants.

They call our activity Ullalim Run, suited for beginners with Class 3 rapids passing thru Pasil to Tabuk. It probably took us  4 hours to finish the run with several stops to rest and catch our breaths and have some snacks. The group was divided into two rafts.

It was a very exhilarating experience navigating wild rapids and as if this was not enough, my courage was put to another test when the group insisted that everyone should jump from a 5 meter high rock formation. When my turn came to jump, I did not hesitate. My friends thought I would bail out like the many times I did when extreme water activity is involved. Well, honestly speaking I got my courage with this piece of life vest I'm wearing, if that wasn't there, I wouldn't even dare a bit ;-).

that's me ;-)
After the jump, we passed through what they call swimmer's rapid and we did what they call body rafting and that's to swim along with the rapids.
me doing body rafting

We finish the run by 3:30 pm with so much adrenaline still flowing in our veins. That was a priceless experience and we are thankful for our competent guides and our friendly army officers for making us all feel safe.

We stayed for another night, slept soundly and woke up late the next day, enjoyed our brunch and visited the market to buy some Kalinga coffee and other delicacies for our pasalubong back home. By 5pm we said our goodbyes and our heartfelt appreciation to Kuya Jun and Libay and Kuya Ronald for  taking care of us and making us feel most welcome.

Hopefully, we'll meet again and do the Tinglayan run next time around.

*** This is my initial Blast from the Past post while I gather my old 3 x 5s, and revisit my old adventures during the times when Digicams are still a luxury, DSLRs are only for the PRO and blogging is not yet a hobby ;-)


  1. hello!! for traveller

  2. wow! thats great! i think u should also try the rapids of Davao and CDO. They are both one of the best rapids in Phil. :)


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