|Let’s get it on! Wait, wait….|
Out of desperation for a training on my upcoming Via Ferrata stint, I finally coaxed myself to join an event by The Extreme Adventure Zone (TEAZone). Sir Marc the Organizer is a friend so I enjoyed the privilege of paying on the spot instead of their policy of depositing the full payment before being confirmed. With me are my 2 best buds, Liz and Nette who are not new to the outdoor life themselves. It was my lucky weekend as both of them are free to join me.
Meetup was in Jollibee MRT in Cubao. Since I have little sleep the night before, I arrived bit late (30 minutes), only to find myself as one of the first-arrivers. Packed lunch is one of the must brings so I ordered an extra rice with my breakfast of fried bangus, and transferred it to my baunan together with my tocinong bangus.
My eyes scanned the vicinity as I entered it, looking for people dressed “outdoorsy”. So hard to distinguish one from another these days, as non-outdoor persons are sporting the outdoor look, and the outdoorsmen tackling adventures like it’s home ergo the “pambahay” look. One by one the participants and organizers arrived.
When Sir Marc arrived, we waited a bit for Mam Tanya, then we’re off to go waiting for bus bound for Sapang Palay. There were four persons for TEAZone (Sirs Marc, Mac, Paolo and Ren), and there were six of us participants (me, Nette, Liz, Mam Tanya and her brother, plus another guy who I forgot the name – sorry!). We alighted at Road 1 and waited for the hired jeep. Enroute to Bitbit bridge, the jeep stopped to let 2 local persons share the ride with us. It was a bit hilarious to encounter an aged gay person.
|ocular of the area|
When we arrived, the team made an ocular of the area. They decided that the water is too high, since it was evident that it had been raining. They found an alternative location on the other side of the bridge. They cleared the vegetation, and the belayers manned their positions. The surrounding peaks reminded me of Mt. Balagbag, which is just a few kilometers away from the site.
Before we were allowed to slide down the ropes, there were few things that Sir Marc shared with us:
|see... it’s not that high naman eh! (27 meters daw)|
- there were 2 ways to rappel; you control the rope or do free-soloing.
- rappel style where you are in control includes: Swiss or the traditional, Aussie which is facing down, and Lizard or the upside down rappel
- never ever let the carabs fall to the ground
- don’t step on the ropes to prevent wear and tear
- always check the ropes and equipment before going down
- in a harness, tighten the belt first before the leg loops.
There were tons of other bits of wisdom, but the above-mentioned are the ones that I remembered.
|setting up (April 2-3,2011)|
There was also a demo, and we were made to experience the safety of the system before the actual jump.
|demo by Sir Marc|
Nette and Liz was so excited that they went first. I am very proud of them, especially for the first-timer Nette who was a bit apprehensive when we first got there, but showed so much guts and courage in overcoming her fears. I salute and envy her. You go girl!
|Nette unsure of her first jump|
Most of the participants are girls, and I salute their courage too! I am the only one who remained chickened-out, despite the fact that I am the one who needs the training the most.
|Ma’m SC in action|
I laughed in remembrance of how hilarious the scene was when it was my turn to jump. Me, meditating on the other side of the bridge, all ready to jump but not quite. Thanks to Sir Marc who kept the brakes, to the patient belayers, and to everyone who kept on encouraging me.
|thanks to Sir Ren and Sir Mac, the belayers|
After the grueling stint, we went for wash-up at Sir Mac’s hacienda near Bigte. My buds and I initially planned to have coffee-dinner at CCP to catch up on each other, but it was already 8:30pm when we rode a bus back to Manila. We arrived in Makati around 10:30pm so we just decided to have dinner at Starbucks in Glorietta.
I had a great time despite my very disappointing experience, mostly because I get to share this weekend with friends and seeing that they are having a great time. Till the next weekend adventure!
|Nette and Liz, flying|
Note: Some of the pictures grabbed from Maam SC.