Last February 2013, Kaye and I went to Cagayan de Oro City boarding the Davao-CDO direct flight from Cebu Pacific for the first time (travelling by bus was more expensive than the promo fare we got and will take 7-8 hours). But our main purpose in going to CDO isn’t really the city itself but its famous neighboring town of Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon. And here, ladies and gentlemen, lies the Dahilayan Adventure Park: home of Asia’s longest dual zip line.
Blogger’s Note: This is the debut of my Sony RX100 pocket camera on this blog. I ditched my Sony TX-5 after completely bailing on me during our Singapore trip and our snorkeling adventure in Balicasag Island Bohol (still hurts me inside). If you’re not aware, the RX100 garnered great reviews from photography enthusiasts and even made it to Time Magazine’s Top 50 inventions of 2012. This will be my main camera for future travel blog posts, including my return to Boracay (you’ll want to read this) and the chronicles of my recently concluded Hong Kong trip. Exciting times ahead.
Manolo Fortich is quite far from CDO’s city center and requires a travel time of about 1.5 hours. Since we did not want to bear the hassle of going for public transportation, it’s a good thing that Dahilayan Adeventure Park offers a shuttle ride from CDO. However, this shuttle service is only offered during Saturdays, so do keep that in mind. The round trip shuttle ride costs Php350.00/head. For more info about booking and other rates, check out their website HERE.
Upon arriving, we immediately went straight for the zip line registration (straight to the point is how we roll). Dahilayan actually has two zip lines inside the park. The 320m + 150m Dual Zipline is the shorter one and serves as “warmup” for the main event. The mother zip line, however, is measured at 840m. Go figure.
After paying for the All Rides Zip package, we proceeded to the 320m + 150m Dual Zipline which is quite near the admission counter. Since this is the shorter one, this is considered child’s play for us. Hehe.
After finishing the first zip ride, we decided to take a small stroll around the park before going for the next zip line ahead. Since Dahilayan is located in the Bukidnon Highlands, expect a cool climate reminiscent of Baguio and Tagaytay. Around the park are some interesting activities apart from the zip attractions. If you’re not up for the adrenaline rush of the zips, you’ll be happy to know that there are quite nice alternatives. Also, there’s a section of the park that boasts of a mini-forest filled with pine trees. It was just irresistible to snap a photo or two.
After the quick stroll and photo session, we returned to the admission counter to wait for the shuttle ride to take us to the 840m zip line which is located on top a high hill 5 minutes away from the park.
After the quick orientation and wearing of safety gear, zip riders will take turns on the zip line prep point. Since this is a dual type, two zip riders will simultaneously be riding so this is great for couples and groups.
As for the ride review, I will say that this was my longest zip line experience. Not the best zip ride, but good enough. The altitude isn’t as high as compared to the one in Loboc, but the ride was still very exciting since at times. You can almost touch the branches of the pines below. The recoil at the end of the zip was also quite strong due to the velocity collected during the long ride.
A few steps from the zip line end station is the Pine Grove Mountain Lodge, where we had our lunch. We ordered their crispy pata which was HUGE for the two of us. Needless to say, we didn’t finish eating the food all up (even though it tasted good) as we normally do and yet we were still feeling stuffed afterwards.
After lunch, we went to Forest Park to avail of the ATV rides. Unfortunately for Kaye, the management requires ATV riders to have closed shoes. And since Kaye was wearing her Fitflops, she wasn’t allowed to ride the ATV (even though she bargained really hard). We asked the skylab (habal-habal) drivers outside the park if we can have a ride to the nearest dry goods store in Manolo Fortich just to buy some kind of closed shoes but they said it will take a 30-minute ride back and forth. It even came to a point when she BEGGED for a lady gardener to lend her rubber boots. Yes, rubber boots. Hahaha. Talk about desperate measures. Having no luck in finding closed shoes, Kaye ended up taking the buggy car instead while I rode the ATV.
The ATV rental cost Php650.00 while the buggy car was Php800.00. Good thing they accept credit cards. 😉
Their ATV trail was very challenging due to the steep clay hills and rough terrain. When I say steep, I really mean steep. Another thing that made the trail more challenging was that the clay road was quite damp and slippery. Lesser powered ATVs/buggy cars would have rolled over with that kind of terrain. Though I’m happy to say that their ATVs were more than adequate to perform given the road conditions that day.
The view during the trail is very cool, seeing the mountainous parts and fogs surrounding the vast forest filled with pine trees. The ride lasted about 30 minutes and we were very satisfied with our ATV/buggy experience. We can say that this is perhaps the best ATV ride (highly recommended!) we have experienced so far, with the one in Bohol near the Chocolate Hills a close second.
After riding the ATV, we went back to the admission counter to register for the luge ride. However, luck wasn’t on our side since the luge trail was under construction at that time. What a bummer. We’ll really have to go back here, even if it’s just for the luge.
Since it was still around 2pm after we finished the ATV ride, we decided to go inside Forest Park. The park is a separate attraction and is a few steps away from Dahilayan Adventure Park, where the zip lines are located. Of course, this means a separate entrance fee which is Php100.00/head. However, ATV/buggy car riders get to enjoy free entrance so if you have plans on doing both, I suggest you do the ATV/buggy ride first so that you won’t pay for the entrance fee anymore.
Different kinds of amenities can be found inside Forest Park such horse-back riding, zorb, trampoline, etc. For a complete list of all activities inside Forest Park, click HERE.
There’s a big playground inside for kids to play with. However, if you’re an adult, there’s nothing really much to do inside Forest Park except for everyone’s favorite pastime: picture-taking. So behold some of my finest shots inside the park.
At the left side of the park, picnic benches and tables are free to use, for those families/groups who like to bring their own food for lunch and merienda. There’s also a restaurant for those lazy people out there who don’t believe in cooking.
After spending some time wandering around the park, thick fogs quickly covered the area and without warning, it started to rain. Better bring your umbrellas because highland weather can be rather unpredictable.
While waiting for our shuttle bus to take us back to CDO, we figured we enjoy some hot beverage over at the Pine Grove restaurant to complement the cold, rainy weather.
Well, there you have it. Although the zip ride was not quite up to our expectations, Kaye and I will probably go back here at Dahilayan, if only for the Luge experience that we unfortunately missed. And perhaps Kaye would have learned her lesson and wear closed shoes the second time around to be able to ride the ATV. As for me, I’ll probably try on their buggy cars next. ‘Til next time, Dahilayan! -rod-