Ever find yourself with a free weekend and asking yourself, “Damn. What else is there to do these days besides dinner and a movie?”
For a lot of people who live in the Philippines’ busy cities, the urbanization has, and I hate to say it, somewhat transformed a lot of people into stereotypical couch potatoes.
Even when we do decide to go on vacation, our default mindset is to hit the beach, where we can spend even more time lounging around. We simply swap out our couches for beach chairs, and our pajamas for swimsuits.
We thought it’d be worth spending time finding out what else our beloved country has to offer. Not being very adventurous ourselves (beyond our video games), we decided to find out what kind of daredevil-esque extreme sports we could try with minimal instruction and little risk of injury to our already frail bodies.
Here’s what we found!
Go karts? Meh. Dune buggies are the way to go. We’ve read about people going kart racing in the city, but the idea of driving an actual dune buggy in the mud seemed much cooler. No concrete and asphalt this time, just your foot flooring the gas pedal, wind in your hair, and mud on your face!
No driver’s license required. Also, you get the whole off-road dune buggying experience in a controlled environment versus going at it on your own. For ₱500, you get 8 laps around the track, plus an additional ₱100 if you’ve got a passenger with you.
The emergence of wakeparks in the country has brought wakeboarding to the masses by not only lowering the costs (no need to rent a speedboat or buy your own gear!), but by also making it a lot safer and n00b-friendly.
Man-made lakes mean you’re less susceptible to the wrath of Mother Nature. Instead of being out in the open seas being pulled by speedboats, winches pull you along. You don’t have to deal with actual wakes (the “waves” formed by a moving object in the water, like boats). Also, for people with a slightly weaker sense of balance, wakeparks have kneeboarding gear too!
If you ever find yourself traveling to Cagayan de Oro, you can’t miss out on the opportunity to channel your inner Bear Grylls and go whitewater rafting! Over the years, it’s emerged as one of the primary reasons people visit CDO, whether they’re seasoned at the sport or not.
Years of watching the Discovery Channel may have brainwashed us into thinking that it’s pretty scary, but people who’ve journeyed down south to try the extreme sport have mostly great things to say about the experience. Safety precautions are taken, and instructors make sure that even first-timers are equipped with enough know-how to navigate the choppy waters. With the river offering different levels of difficulty rated by how rough the current gets, you don’t have to go all out all at once either. Just make sure you get enough sleep the night before.
It’s a little-known fact, but yes, you CAN go skydiving in the Philippines. It’s not the cheapest activity out there, and only available during select times of the year, but if you’ve got the cash to spend, there are few things more extreme than jumping out of a plane!
Skydiving was once allowed in Clark, Pampanga, but has been temporarily stopped. The next best option we, city slickers, have is a trip to Cebu in January-April of 2015, the supposed next season for jumps, with Skydive Cebu.
Since this is supposed to be a couch potato-friendly guide, worry not! It’s not likely that anyone will allow you to jump on your own. Dives will be tandem jumps, meaning you’ll be attached to a professional skydiver the entire time, from jumping out the plane to landing. When you’re traveling at 190 km/h (120 mph) towards the earth, you probably won’t mind him being there.
You can get in touch with Skydive Cebu on Facebook to book!
Bungee Jumping… Sort of.
Of all the adrenaline-pumping activities, bungee jumping is probably on top of everyone’s list. Considering that the Philippines is full of mountains, you’d think we’d have a bungee jumping center by now, no?
Unfortunately, it seems that as of writing, there aren’t any permanent bungee jumping facilities… yet. Agas-Agas Bridge in Southern Leyte has been rumored to be a primary candidate, but as of now, it looks like they’ve just got a zipline for now (not extreme enough!!). There have been rumors of individuals doing actual bungee jumps in the Philippines, but they haven’t been officially announced as being open to the public just yet. *Fingers crossed*
The alternative? It looks like the closest thing to an actual bungee jump we’ve got is in Subic, at the Tree Top Adventure park. With a harness on, you’re dropped from a 60-foot tree! Not quite a bungee jump (it’s not high enough, nor do you get the bouncy feeling from using a bungee cord), but if conquering your fear of heights is your thing, it’ll do!
Did we miss anything? Any other extreme sports you know of in the Philippines? Help us add to or complete the list by sharing your experiences in the comments below!