hi there! i'm michelle, southern california based photographer and curator of the coco gallery.

welcome to my blog where i share my life, my latest adventures, photo projects, random nuggets and the occasional stray thoughts.

for clients: to view my portfolio just click on this link - theCOCOgallery.com. to book sessions please send me a message through theCOCOgallery.com or contact me via michelle@thecocogallery.com | 949.734.0604

Saturday, March 28, 2009

mila | adventures . cagayan de oro

this post is waaaaaay overdue as are a couple-three i still have my sleeve.  some stories just come more easily than others...

cagayan de oro is found in the southern part of the philippines close to mindanao.  you guys may remember this region from a previous post about davao.  they are actually fairly close to each other.  we really should have just hoofed it by bus and connected the dots but i think i was getting lazy.  anyway, the goal in CDO was to experience white water rafting.  apparently the best time of year to do this was september or october since the rainy season brings the "better" rapids.  honestly, i was being brave enough as it was to step into this outdoor adventure.  there's no need to prove that i'm missing the tomb raider gene.  

we had four days in CDO and the rafting thing would barely take up a whole day so we were on a hunt for something to do.  i think the tourism department needs to invest a little more in this area.  i'm sure there was more to see but we were somewhat short of options based on a tourism flyer we picked up.  there was an eco-tourism park that was seriously out of the way and not worth the taxi fare.  there were 2 museums listed on the flyer and both were inside of private colleges that needed begging to get into but were closed anyway and then the rest were out of town destinations apart from the adventure park.  but we needed to kill some time so we rented a car and drove to nearby camiguin.  it was a good little road trip and quite uneventful.  turns out camiguin was an island born of a volcanic eruption.  one eruption actually sank a church and a cemetery.  we took a small boat to the marker built over the church.  under the water you could make out the sunken tombstones.  had we waited a few months we could have opted to snorkel in the area and check them out.

the adventure park is a nifty little place that offers zip lining, rappelling and caving.  unfortunately the steps to return from the cave was in repair so rappelling down to the caves was out and so was caving.  i was looking forward to repeating the sagada experience.... well at least until i saw the tree we would have had to rappel.  it was ridiculously tall!  by then i was thanking god that the steps were in a state of repair.  again, not keen on proving i'm a chicken when it comes to these outdoorsy stuff but willing to push the envelope.  oh and push i did!  

there were 3 or 4 long hanging bridges to get to the start of the zip line.  they were so high off the ground it's caused a warp in my memory about how many of them i had to cross.  be still my nerves!  i "let" petra take the first ride as i stood at base camp watching .. err .. photographing the moment.  the bridge did NOT look stable at all.  we had to get cabled in for god's sake.  after she was done it was my turn.  curtis was walking behind me and like a naughty school boy, did his best to cause a commotion which of course made the bridge move too unneccesarily.  as if i wasn't nervous enough.  the whole time i kept mumbling to myself.  i still can't believe i went through with it.  that was just the walking part!!!  

strapped in, leaning back, hanging on to a rope, legs in the air, screaming bloody hell as i whipped past trees, leaves and a few spider webs.  14 seconds of adrenaline.  i wanted to do it all again!  we hadn't even gotten to the rafting stuff yet and i was already hooked to adventure stuff!  what a turn around.

the next day we got suited up, jumped on a yellow raft.  just me, curtis, petra and 2 guides.  we battled our way down a river sometimes leisurely and sometimes with power booyas.  it was the perfect day to do it.  the sun was out and we had 5 hours of arm exercise and balance testing.  occasionally we would jump off the raft, shoes, helmet and everything to cool off in the crystal river.  all in all, we had a great time.

and the bonus feature....


  1. I'm scared of heights :o( but That looked like a lot of fun! The video segment was cool! hahah

  2. So pretty and fun. Whatever are you gonna do back here in boring old socal?