Saturday, November 7, 2009

Subic Day Trip

We were planning to go to Subic today to break-in our (still relatively new) Montero. However, our driver, Ado, pointed out that its too risky since we still do not have a plate. So we decided last minute to just take the old Honda CRV. So there's Driver Ado, me, Cols, the kids, Yaya Rose, and the two maids, Marlyn and Gina -- all squeezed into the CRV.

We left house past 9am because we were waiting for Cols' Punchdrunk Panda laptop sleeve to arrive. Since the courier was running late, we decided to just leave. While along North Ave., Ado decided to try a newly opened highway that is supposed to connect to NLEX. As it turned out, portions of the road is still not completed so we ended up driving through narrow streets along a row of factories until we eventually connected to NLEX. That wasted a bit of time, but we made up for it once we got onto NLEX and then to SCTEX.

We reached Subic around lunch time. So our first task was to look for a restaurant. Not finding any Filipino restaurant, we ended up in some Chinese dimsum place. Not wasting time after a quick lunch, we headed to the Royal Subic Duty Free shopping area. I went to the different Nike outlets but they are all selling broken sizes -- none for my size 8-1/2" foot. Bummer.

While waiting for Cols at Royal Subic, I got a phone call from my brother-in-law Leslie. He just called to let me know that Nikki has been hospitalized due to something in her colon (diverticulitis?). They did not want to call Dad directly as he might panic. So it was passed on to me to tell him the news and try to explain it as clearly as possible. But still, as expected, Dad panicked a bit when I called. Les assured us though that Nikki is fine and that we can call him the next day (their time) to find out more.

After shopping, we drove a bit further towards Ocean Adventure. The kids wanted to see the wild monkeys along the roadside. Sure enough, I spotted a couple along the road. We stopped so that our driver can give some bananas. And the entire monkey clan quickly appeared to share on the bounty.

On the way back, I instructed the driver to detour to Tree Top Adventures. Its one of the newer attractions that I've been thinking of seeing for some time. I think it replaces the Jungle Survival Training (JEST) camp as it incorporates some of its activities. In fact, its situated just right next to it.
Tree Top Adventure attractions include walking between the trees; rappelling down one of the trees; and ziplining between trees. After taking a quick overview of the activities available from one of the guides, I decided to try out the rappelling.

There were three types of rappelling available -- the "standard" (butt first); the "Australian" (face first ala Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible); and the "reverse lizard" (where you go down head first like Spiderman). The "standard" was too plain for me; while the "lizard" was too extreme. So I opted for the "Australian" style.

The hardest part was actually stepping off the ramp. From there, it wasn't really that scary. The guy controlling the rope tried to give me (and the crowd) a scare by giving a short jerk on the rope. From there, I was dropped by about 60 to 70 feet to a few feet before hitting the ground. The fall was not really that fast. I think the rappel rope had a natural effect of slowing down the fall with its resistance.

Below is a video of my fall. Cols took it with the Canon IXUS in portrait mode. So you have to watch it sideways with your head tilted 90-degrees to the left!

From Treetop Adventure, it was back to Manila. We had dinner at Katips in Katipunan first before going home.

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