In this 2008 Christmas homecoming, it was for us, a discovery.
We discovered something.
After Christmas we went home to Bohol, which is now a known tourist attraction nationally and beyond.
Bohol is known for chocolate hills, a top candidate for the seven wonders of the world.
Bohol is also known for Panglao island, with its pristine beaches that, according to many, is better than Boracay.
What we discovered
In Bohol, we discovered the tallest and longest zip line in the country.
It is found in the municipality of Danao, erstwhile a quiet and sleepy town in the heart of this almost heart-shaped island province.
But not any more.
What is a zip line?
A zip line is now a term used to describe an outdoor sports activity of traversing from one point to another (usually from a mountaintop to another) through a cable.
A "zip-liner" is the parson who is hoisted and connected to this cable so he can slide from one point to the other.
Naturally this activity uses the force of gravity so the starting point is higher than the destination point.
It is an exhibirating ride.
It pumps up that internal adrenalin rush.
It is a blast.
The Danao zipline, according to this young, dynamic mahor Luis thomas Gonzaga, is currently the tallest and the highest in the courntry.
Maybe not for long, he says.
But let's relish it while it lasts, he adds.
The mayor likes to call it "sui-slide".
It is the closest one can get to experiencing a suicide, one of his assistants jokingly relates.
The ride is around 480 meters or half a kilometer.
There are two zip-line rides, in two different directions, so the rush is twice experienced.
These are two, one-minute, heart-pumping moments of one's life.
When we went to Danao right after Christmas, or on December 30 to be exact, this zipline had just begun operating.
It was the seventh day of operation yet.
But we were assured of its safety as the one who built the infrastructure had a long experience in building zip-lines, the mayor assured.
How to go to Danao
You go to Danao by land.
It is in the interior of the province, and will take you more than an hour to travel.
It is in the area of the chocolate hills.
When you reach Danao, the famous cone-shaped hills are still within comfortable normal eye-vision.
In our case, we first motored to Carmen town, where tourists are brought to have that magnificent view of the chocolate hills.
We spent the night there in Carmen, before continuing our ride to Danao.
But of course, you can reach Danao much faster than spending the night in Carmen.
We just opted to spend the night at Chocolate hills.
There are decent hotels there at the top.
In coming back, we used a different route and it was much quicker, through the town of Catigbi-an.
Upon reaching Danao, we were met by the youthful mayor, Luis Thomas Gonzaga, who was busy as he had many guests at that time.
But he spent time with us.
He even rode with us on the zip line.
You have to walk-and-walk because one has to reach a higher plane to do the zip-line.
But I assure you, you will forget getting tired because of the excitement, the un-avoidable fear, and the oozing adrenalin rush.
You feel the adrenalin rush right from the start.
It is the closest you can get to be like superman.
It is frightening enough to see yourself sliding through a able in between tall mountains.
In my case, it was me and son Joshua, who rode on the zip line together.
While I was lying horizontally, with harness and all, Joshua was siting on top of me as if I were a horse.
Then we took the one-minute glide of about one-half kilometer.
It definitely was one of the most terrifying stunt I have ever made in my life.
Joshua had no fear.
He was enjoying the ride.
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