Root Climbing in Danao

Posted by: Carlo Lorenzo

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Pushing my already exhausted body was never this fun. My fear of heights suddenly took a backseat because my focus was to reach the top. When I climbed the huge tree roots 15 meters high, adrenaline pumped. I couldn’t stop. Root climbing was definitely the highlight of my 2013 Bohol getaway at Danao Adventure Park.

It was 8am and we’re all geared for an adventure. My friends and family rented a van for the day and the rental fee was Php4,000. From the resort we stayed at in Dauis Municipality in Bohol Province, we had a 2-hour bumpy ride to Danao Adventure Park in Danao Municipality, still in Bohol. But this was a major improvement from my previous visit. The first time I went to Danao last year, it was a 3-hour drive, because of road construction. I know a day will come when all the roads leading to Danao will be finished.

But what I liked about the trip was the scenic view of the Chocolate Hills right beside the road. Maybe the next time I go back here, I might ask the driver to stop so I could try climbing one of the hills by the road. (More of Chocolate Hills, click here)

Bohol Chocolate Hills along the Road

Finally, we arrived.

We were advised to leave our bags at the reception area. I only brought my bottled water and camera.

To get to the root climbing area, we had to trek down for about 45 minutes. The weather was relatively good. It rained, but not as much to make the trek extra slippery. It’s still summer though. The first time I went through this last year, it was July (rainy season) — the trek was slippery, muddy, messy. I had such a difficult time last year, I cut it short and no longer finished the trek.

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This time, it was about settling unfinished business.

Okay, even if the trail was better this time around, it was hot, humid and ants kept biting. I was soaked with sweat. But having experienced last year’s trek here, I was just so grateful I didn’t slip this time and the ground was dry.

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And there it was. The clearing. After going through the thick forest, it was a relief to see the rocky trail to the root climbing area. No more ants.

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By this time, my body was tired. But I was determined to do this. It was a second chance I didn’t want to waste. They strapped me with the harness, I wore the helmet at they attached me to the rope. It’s 15 meters high.

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Normally, I’d be scared. With my fear of heights this was something I expected to be very difficult and I thought it would take me forever to accomplish. I held on to the thought that whatever happened, in case I slipped, the rope attached to me will break my fall and there’s completely nothing to worry about.

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The roots from the Balete tree looked sturdy. They embraced the side of this cliff. I inserted one foot where there was space in between roots and grabbed the roots over my head. My arms and upper body did most of the work pulling me up. My legs were just for support. I couldn’t rely on my tired legs after the trek.

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I was panting on my way up. I was so tired that I forgot about my fear of heights! All I wanted to do then was reach the top and rappel down.

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The facilitators coached me which direction to take during the climb so I could find bigger and better roots to hold on to and spaces in between where my feet could fit.

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After a few minutes, I couldn’t believe it. I reached the top! The facilitator helped and switched rope attachments in preparation for the rappel.

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This time I thought I had no choice but to look down. I expected fear to take hold of me. But that didn’t happen. Thank God I was too exhausted to be afraid! The only challenge I faced here was to climb and position myself at the edge of the cliff hanging from the rope. After that, rappelling down was a breeze.

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This was the first time ever I actually enjoyed rappelling. Hanging beside the cliff gave me a great view of the place.

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It took a few seconds, a minute at the most, for me to touchdown.

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If you want to try this fun activity, here are things to prepare for. Bring bottled water. You need to hydrate yourself. Wear light and comfortable clothes. Bring extra clothes and towel so you can shower after. Don’t wear slippers, instead you can wear sandals (with straps) or rubber shoes. Stretch before and after the activity — I wish I stretched, it lessens the body pain you’ll feel after. Get ready for ants. Don’t do this during the rainy season. It’s a perfect summer activity. Get ready to sweat big time, but I loved that. It made me feel healthier.

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Doing this activity can be doubly fun if you do it with friends.

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Jolo was the first one to climb. He said he was instantly one with the roots. He climbed the fastest.

Jolo: One with the Roots

Jolo: One with the Roots

Ben was excited. It was his first time to see the roots so big you could climb.

Ben's first time to see roots embrace a cliff

Ben’s first time to see roots embrace a cliff

Migz thought it was a do or die activity. Once he started climbing, he knew he couldn’t go down.

Migz: Do or Die

Migz: Do or Die

Tina began her climb, but decided to go back down. Her body was in pain from the trek. I feel for her, that’s what happened to me last year.

Tina experienced something like what I went through last year

Tina experienced something like what I went through last year

But for me, it was mission accomplished.

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Savoring the triumph, I couldn’t get over the joy.

I still felt the pain of dragging my legs but the trek back up was easier.

After that, it was time for the much awaited shower. You can bring your own shampoo and soap, but if you don’t have any, you can buy from the store.

The whole root climbing experience took about three hours.

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We had to take stops every now and then to take pictures.

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How can you not take pictures when the view’s this awesome.

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The time you’ll have to allot for this activity will depend also on how big your group is.

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The more you are in the group, the longer it will take. Only one person can climb at a time.

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If you’re not staying over for the night in Danao, you’re advised to leave by 4pm because the trip back may be dangerous at night given the road conditions and blind curves.

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danao adventure parkDanao Adventure Park
Please book ahead of time, activities are on a first come first served basis unless early reservations are made.
Tel. Nos.: (038) 412-2338 local 6111 / (038) 510-0050
Booking Officer: Ma. Wiena Saguid 0921-7594403
Email: eatdanao@ymail.com
Root Climbing: Php400
Van Rental (for 11 persons): Php4,000

But wait, there’s more!

Root climbing is not the only activity in Danao Adventure Park.

You can also experience The Plunge (the most thrilling activity here) and Ultralight Wahig River Air Tour (fly over Danao on board the Ultralight). Read my article about these two awesome activities I did during my first trip to Danao, click here.

My free fall experience

My free fall experience during the Plunge

Traverse from one cliff to the next through Danao’s Sky Ride and Suislide. Read the article, click here.

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Suislide

For more Bohol articles, click here: Where to go and what to do in Bohol

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*Travel tips? Watch I LOVE PINAS. It’s the travel show I host. Watch some of the episodes online: https://www.youtube.com/user/ilovepinasepisodes/ and https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLyshPUUh6DQqwKpm4U-6gJ550LIT8QZrB

Full DisclosureThe rides and activities in Danao Adventure Park including meals were all complimentary as part of an exchange deal and ad placement for this travel website.

The pictures were taken by: Danao Adventure Park Staff, Tina Casayuran, Ben Rodriguez, Jolo Trabajo, Miguel Ramirez, Iggy Lorenzo, Keechee Lorenzo, Baby Lorenzo and myself.

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  • tinz

    uulitin ko ito definitely! :)