Conquering fear the zipline way

Hey guys! We are actually flying but we are a bit slow due to wind.

In my many visits to the world class destination El Nido, I conclude that this is the best visit I have ever had.

Our travel to the captivating town on October 29 started with a purpose, and that is to witness the public consultation on the controversial Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System (ENIPAS) Bill championed by Sen. Loren Legarda to protect 97 ecologically-fragile and important areas.

It was some kind of a cerebral day that got us all worked up to the core, so, I thought it would not hurt to extend our stay.

I never thought however, that my decision to do just that – check all the Halloween parties going on in the town and relax from the daily hustle and bustle of city life – would gain me (maybe) a very memorable experience.

For the extended stay, we tried checking out the Orange Pearl Beach Resort, located in the outskirt yet already developed barangay of Corong-Corong.

Our first step on the white sand beach going to the place, I must say, soothed our stressed mind and body. It’s no joke where we came from – a very cerebral (again) discussion with the “who’s who” of El Nido. Walking on the white sand going to our place of refuge for two extra days was indeed a welcome respite.

What a joy to step on the white sand of El Nido.

What a joy to step on the white sand of El Nido.

But soon I realized that I am not an exercise buff. Few steps of walking, and I was already complaining to Keith, my travel buddy, and my son Jarrod. Ironic, but I only grasped that moment that Keith is actually a first-timer in El Nido; he doesn’t mind the long walk. Thanks to his monopod, we were able to do selfies and groupies while traversing and enjoying the 15-minute walk to the resort that felt like one year.

Finally, Orange Pearl Beach Resort came before our eyes. Their friendly staff took our luggage and guided us to our room. I was mentally rejoicing that the long walk was over; I could completely put my feet up and rest them.

Any travel is not complete without the traveler checking her environment. As much as I wanted to rest, we were amazed by the beauty we observed from the veranda of our room. The gorgeous rock formations, the blue waters, and the serenity of the place, we are in paradise.

We all praised and thanked God for this blessing. Not all people have the opportunity to see this kind of grandeur in front of us. We are indeed blessed! At around 10 p.m., October 30, while we are enjoying looking at the stars of the opaque El Nido sky, I received a text message from a good friend saying that he already prepared the zipline for us the next day!

I cannot sleep that night due to excitement and fear. I have fear of heights (acrophobia), I cannot even take a single step across the bamboo or wooden foot bridges that rise above water and whatever in the Quito area. Somebody has to hold me, or I will crawl through due to fear.

Keith, Jarrod, and I agreed to go to the zipline station at 3 p.m. The clock starts ticking. Tik-tak! Tik-tak! I want to forget that zipline ride appointment as time gets near.

The trek to the top is another adventure. You get to see the lush forest as you traverse the way up.

The trek to the top is another adventure. You get to see the lush forest as you traverse the way up.

But we had to go anyway and started the walk to the zipline station at 3:15 p.m.; the stairs are unreasonably steep; they put me in jeopardy. As I’ve said, I don’t like to walk, it tires me easily. If there’s anything, it’s my adrenalin that pushed me to keep walking and I do not even know where it came from.

Thanks again to Keith’s monopod, we were able to get through and enjoy the 10-15 minute walk to the top, where the station is located.

We were greeted warmly by the El Nido Zipline staff. Fatima Guillamo is the one in-charge, assisted by the very friendly gentlemen, whose names I forgot to write down.

Now on its second year, the El Nido Zipline is owned by Palawan Zipline Adventure, Inc. (PZAI) in Barangay Corong-Corong. Its owner is also the one who’s operating Rancho Zipline in Barangay Sta. Monica, Puerto Princesa City.

Meet Fatima Guillamo, a friendly staff who warmly welcomed us.

Meet Fatima Guillamo, a friendly staff who warmly welcomed us.

It has two lines. The first line is from mainland-to-the-island, which is 750 meters long, and the line from the island-to-the-mainland is 650 meters long or a total of 1.4 kilometers.

You may opt to just get the one way fly from the mainland-to-the -island, or you get both packages at a minimal cost of P1,100.00 per person. One way rate is P700.00 per person, so better choose the two-way fly because it is all worth it!

Adventurers may try two kinds of flying positions- the superman, and the sitting. From the word “superman” you already have an idea how you’ll look like while you are flying through the line. The sitting position, on the other hand, will have you comfortably buckled to the harness with your feet stretched forward, and you leaning backward.

I chose the sitting position because of my fear of heights. Doing the superman, I think, would be a total failure for me. I’m sure nothing will happen to me since everything’s durable. However, I was afraid my fear of heights will be the death of me.

The friendly staff of El Nido Zipline.

The friendly staff of El Nido Zipline.

While we were being buckled up, I asked the staff about the safety of the zipline and they assured me that it is completely safe. Well, I know the owner very well and I trust that our safety is their priority.

My friend told me that their tagline is “Safety and enjoyment is our business,” and I am holding on to it.

I kept my fear because I don’t want to show it to Keith, who’s a first-timer in the zipline ride too. I looked at Keith, and he too, was holding on to his fear. Good. We are buddies in this adventure not matter how our nerves were murdering us.

Keith is a certified photo enthusiast. He is not a professional photographer, but he loves to document everything. Thanks to him. He is armed with a monopod and cellphone to document our fly.

The staff is so calm and you can see that they are experts in managing the different fear issues of their guests. My hands were cold and sweating. The final instructions were finished and we are ready to fly!

Hey guys! We are actually flying but we are a bit slow due to wind.

Hey guys! We are actually flying but we are a bit slow due to wind.

A few meters away from the station and I swear I heard my heartbeats like they were cylinder being beaten to get out of me. As I go farther, however, the fear slowly disappeared and I just enjoyed the beautiful, beautiful view from the top!

It took me 1 hour and 15 minutes to reach the end of the zipline cable, and I stopped too, because I was flying against the wind. The crew on the island station, thank goodness, was there to tow me to the station

Yes! We are halfway there and we can shout to the world that we survived! The next was the preparation for the island-to-the-mainland zip fly. Keith changed his flying position having gathered enough courage. He took the “superman” ride. Me? Hmmm… I want it too, but I really can’t do it.

Yes! We survived!

Yes! We survived!

Jarrod from the beach front of Orange Pearl Beach Resort was already waiting to document my fly. I needed to be calmed and show to my son that I can do it! Keith first, then I was next.

I thought it’s going to be a relaxed ride but it’s another experience for I was flying against the wind again and a bit slower this time. The slow fly gave me a better view of El Nido, and the people below cheering me as if they saw a superwoman coming to them was fun. It was the experience of a lifetime.

When you go to El Nido, try to discover other kinds of adventure apart from the usual island tours and sunbathing. Maybe to many, they have experienced the longest zipline ride but believe me, this one is totally different. This is the best way for you to see the grandeur of El Nido as you fly on top of it.

The El Nido Zipline, is a must-try in the scenic town. Its friendly employees are willing to take your reservations and answer all your questions through 0946 425 6892.

I will certainly go home bringing with me this one-of-a-kind experience. Thank you to the kind people, who assisted us and provided us the best experience ever.


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