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.
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.
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.