CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)–Beating the summer heat with the cool river waters and the fresh mountain breeze is only a plus when on an adventure with Kagay Whitewater Rafting in Cagayan de Oro.
With its inception in 2006, Kagay derives its name from the native term for ‘river,” which also lends the historical name of the city, “Kagay-an.” Through the efforts of passionate adventure-loving locals, the city eventually merited the title of being the river rafting capital of the Philippines. It also remains the only city in the country to offer rafting adventures all year.
Priding itself on having some of the river rafting pioneers of CDO, all of Kagay’s staff are well-trained in river guiding, customer care, and first aid. It also boasts top-tier apparatus.
“Kagay is Cagayan de Oro’s premiere whitewater rafting outfitter. We use State of the Art Rafts (SOTAR) and equipment,” said Roldan “Dan” Kaamiño, owner of the establishment.
Filipino celebrities like Sam Milby, KC Concepcion, Aga Mulach, Dimple Romano, Angel Locsin, Piolo Pascual, and Korina Sanchez have experienced Kagay’s care as rafters.
Just like any guest, before anybody is put on a raft, a general orientation and training are given by the trip leader or head guide.
“Whether you’re an experienced boater or a first-time paddler, we always make sure that all of our guests will be given a safety and paddle talk before the trip. We believe in quality product and service; this is the reason why we use 13- and 14-inch SOTAR paddles and helmets, as well as Habagat life jackets,” said Kaamiño.
Once the rafting starts, you’ll have a wide-angle view of Bukidnon on your right and the immaculate CDO landscape on your left throughout the entire ride. All this while overcoming unique rapids under the care of the most accommodating, entertaining, and even gender-sensitive guides.
One rapid was named by a river guide “Dandruff” in honor of the first person to fall into that rapid, which was the owner—”Dan” Kaamiño.
Through the splashes and fun, at the end of the rafting course, you’ll find yourself refreshed with memorable tan lines to match the experience, and new friends from all over the country, even fellow Filipinos who’ve come from overseas just to experience a summer adventure on the river of the city of Golden Friendship.
“Sabi ng pinsan ko, nu’ng bumisita siya sa’kin sa Australia, na mag water-rafting para makapag-unwind ako. Totoo nga siya, talagang ang sobrang sarap sa pakiramdam na nature lang ang ‘yung nasa paligid mo, ‘yung nature, ‘yung tubig ‘pag binubuhusan ka. Super enjoy talaga ako. Talagang nakatulong to sa sobrang stress sa work,” said Lawyer Aurora Porres, an overseas Filipino worker who owns and manages a law firm in Australia.
(When my cousin visited me in Australia, he told me to try river rafting to unwind. It’s true; it truly feels good to be surrounded by nature. I really enjoyed it. This really helped me cope with my stress from work)
Kagay hosts two trips daily, one at 7:30 a.m. and another at noon. They offer three optional rafting courses: the lower section, which runs 14 rapids for two and a half hours; the middle section, which runs 24 rapids for three and a half hours; and the upper section, which runs more technical rapids for two hours. Including jeepney transfers, gears, and guides, each course costs P1,200, P1,800, and P2,000 per head, respectively.
For bookings, they can be reached through their official Facebook account at “Kagay Whitewater Rafting” or Facebook page at “Cagayan de Oro Whitewater Rafting by: Kagay Outdoors.” (TAAG/PIA-10/Cagayan de Oro)