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Wild water tubing at Maitum’s Pangi River

Turbulent waters good for water tubing in Pangi River, New La Union, Maitum

Mindanao, the Philippines’s second largest island has a veil of mystery draped around her. Feared by the uninformed but loved by those who know her true worth and beauty. This series is my tribute for Mindanao, where I’ve been crisscrossing over the years and where a part of me also comes from. From a distance, the river looks calm except for a few patches of white. Water foams as it hits submerged rocks and boulders. A closer look, however, reveals that it is fast flowing, even turbulent at some parts and ripe for a wild and wet adventure that is water tubing in Maitum’s Pangi River system.

One of the guides with the water tube

There I was, shrieking and shouting my lungs out as I plunged into the white river, turning uncontrollably like a shirt inside a washing machine. Yes. A washing machine. Turning invariably right then left, then right again while holding on to the rubber tube’s delicate handles while my guide whose rubber tube was tied to mine, was adroitly guiding my ride.

A deceptively calm looking river

As I just collected my composure, the turning and plunging started again as I passed atop a series of rocks and boulders, rocks and boulders as water involuntarily entered my mouth and nose. I gasped for air at times until a smoother ride comes again.

For the next 10-15 minutes, roughly over a kilometer distance (or more, but arrange it first) it was a rough and smooth ride, alternating, until just before reaching the irrigation control gates where I finally was guided to the side and stopped, still trembling but exhilarated with excitement.

Visit Maitum now and explore this wonderful municipality rich with natural, cultural, historical and natural wonders that will surely make your visit worthwhile. Contact the municipal tourism office via tourism officer Arlex at +63 919 373 8007.

To reach the water tubing site, ride a habalhabal from the town proper, if you don’t have your own private vehicle, to New La Union, Maitum. Drivers know where this place is. Water tubing is offered by the only resort at the site. Fee is already inclusive of a guide. Please, wear safety gear.

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications. He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces. I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

8 Comments

  1. Micamyx|Senyorita
    December 24, 2011 @ 18:29

    Washing Machine ftw! :)) Nakakamiss hehe isa sa mga bravest thing na nagawa ko this year.

  2. » Why visit Maitum in Sarangani? | Langyaw: Sojourns and Off-the-Beaten Path Travels
    December 24, 2011 @ 19:09

    […] Watertubing fun in Pangi River Maitum has clean river systems and one of the biggest, Pangi River, is a great destination for […]

  3. bertN
    December 24, 2011 @ 21:50

    I think I will just settle for the excitement of watching my clothes spin in the washing machine without me LOL. Merry Christmas!

  4. » Maitum, not just any other town in Mindanao | Langyaw: Sojourns and Off-the-Beaten Path Travels
    December 26, 2011 @ 15:56

    […] Tbolis, anthropological/historical with its prehistoric anthropomorphic burial jars, adventure via water tubing, great hiking destinations, caves, waterfalls, forest exploration and a pawikan nesting […]

  5. Nica
    January 4, 2012 @ 23:55

    okay lang ba pumunta dun as walk-in client?

  6. Anonymous
    January 20, 2012 @ 7:14

    @nica, pwedeng pwede.

  7. » Part 1: Going to a Maitum wild adventure | Langyaw: Sojourns and Off-the-Beaten Path Travels
    June 11, 2012 @ 15:25

    […] is not only pawikan sanctuary, water tubing, rubber trees and, what’s its best known for, the anthropomorphic burial jars found in its […]

  8. Maitum , Sarangani,province Touristspotlight – Invironment
    November 4, 2016 @ 8:33

    […] Watertubing fun in Pangi River Maitum has clean river systems and one of the biggest, Pangi River, is a great destination for […]

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