Thursday, April 21, 2016


I missed to join the whitewater rafting, which was one of the  tours they offered,  when I went to Cagayan de Oro in 2008  for the convention of the Canon Law Society of the Philippines. So when Cagayan de Oro became again the host of the convention this year, I made it a point to sign on for the whitewater adventure.  However, when I  arrived in Cagayan  I was told that I was the only one who signed for a  tour. It seemed everyone  were just intent on going home right after the convention. Being the only one I was forewarned that it might not push through. Anyway, I told  the staff  to just call the company for  the whitewater rafting and I could just join any group that they might have that day.  On the day itself, I learned that two other priests decided to join.  The  CDO Bugsay River Rafting was the company that the convention staff selected. When they  came to pick us up from the hotel we were staying, we learned that there were two other groups joining. One group was composed of police men and women and two other young couples.  We were informed beforehand while going to the site that because it had not rained in the area for several weeks already, the water level  was lower than usual and that we might just have a calmer ride.  However, when we arrived after a thirty minutes ride from the city we found out that there was a good current and the water level had risen more than a feet high which was already good for an adrenaline boosting white water experience. It could have rained up in the mountains for the water level to rise. We were at Brgy. Mambuaya which was the starting point for the beginners’ course.  After donning our life vests and helmets  and with paddle at hand, we were given instructions on how to paddle and maneuver through the rapids and what to do in case one falls off the raft.  There were 14 rapids that we had to maneuver and it was indeed an exhilarating experience. At one rapid our raft just suddenly tilted and I found myself outside of the raft. With a rope that was thrown my way I got back safely on board. Being used to water I  never felt in danger even though I was thrown overboard.  There were parts also that the river was calm and we just paddled away sometimes in silence soaking in the serenity and beauty of the surrounding.  In two places we were allowed  to get out of the  raft and swim in the river. There was this huge rock also in the river that we all climbed for a group picture taking and had to jump off to the river to return to the raft.  Indeed, the experience was unforgettable and something that I recommend for still able-bodied people that they should go through at least once in their lifetime. 

Cagayan de Oro City
Founded: 1624

The statue of St. Augustine, the patron of the Cathedral. 

We had the opening mass of the Convention at the Cathedral. 

The crucifix on the altar. 

At the back of the crucifix are found plates which marked where this Jubilee cross visited during the Jubilee of 2000. 

The new Cathedral Rectory. 

One of the stained glass windows in the Cathedral. 

El Salvador, Misamis Oriental

One of the now popular pilgrim site in Misamis Oriental is this Shrine of  Divine Mercy in El Salvador. When I first visited the place in 2008, they were still trying to finish the structures. The 50 foot statue of the Divine Mercy is said to be the tallest in the world. 

Set on a nine hectare of land now called the Divine Mercy Hills in El Salvador, Misamis Oriental the shrine also includes a church at the back of the statue and other buildings for pilgrims. 

The view of the garden from on top of the statue of the Divine Mercy. 

There are 200 steps within the rays leading the breast where a small chapel is found. 

At the back  of the statue is a circular church the end of the roof of which has intertwined crown of thorns. 

Church altar. 

Brgy. Mambuaya, Cagayan de Oro City

This Cagayan de Oro River serves as the natural boundary between the provinces of  Bukidnon and  Iligan and between Cagayan de Oro and Bukidnon. The right side of the river is already part of Bukidnon. 

With Frs. Nars Miñon and Roy Remo. 

Our guide giving us instructions on how to maneuver through  the rapids. 

Final instructions as we boarded the inflatable raft. 

Trying to maneuver along one of the rapids. 

One really gets wet and soaked up during the adventure. 

We had to bend low in order to pass this mountain side. 

A group photo from a huge boulder along the river. 

Taking off our helmets for a swim on the river. 

High fives as we reached the end of the white water adventure. 

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