Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Irawan Eco Park: Another longest zipline in Asia














My son Harvey appreciates the statues of indigenous people that can be found outside the reception area in Irawan Eco Park. (Photo by Harold Cabunoc)



It was a fine Saturday in Puerto Princesa when we found ourselves looking for a memorable adventure a day before our flight home.

We thanked Anna of the Palawan Palm Suites for suggesting that we visit Irawan Eco park south of Puerto Princesa.

"You can find the longest zipline in Asia in that place and I am quite sure you will enjoy your trip," said Anna.

She gave us a small brochure but it did not contain any site map. Using her pouting mouth as a pointer, she gave us the general direction of our precious destination.

My phone's GPS also failed to help me  so I relied on my soldiery instincts as well as the ability of our driver to navigate through the forested terrain of Palawan. Unfortunately, the driver who was sent by a friend to accompany us was a newcomer in Palawan.

We all knew that Irawan is located before Iwahig Penal Colony so we hit the road towards that direction. It is almost the same as the 'Dead Reckoning method' of the military's land navigation techniques. Well, I found myself like a blind being guided by a blind!

About 40 minutes into our trip,  we saw a tarpaulin bearing words like "Zipline and Ecopark", filling us with excitement.

When we found a gate entrance, we promptly came inside to realize that we were in Palawan Eco Park in Siksikan village! I also learned that we were in a place called Siksikan and that Irawan is still some 3 kilometers away!

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Decided to try the 'kiddie 200m zipline', I let my son to experience the ride.

Uncontented, we packed our things and headed towards Irawan. We were excited upon seeing this marker at the junction.

Turning right on a dirt road, it took us only about 5 minutes to reach the registration area located at the rim of a forested area.
The park sits on the 3,000 hectare Flora and Fauna Protected area which is part of the Irawan Watershed. I was welcomed by the sight of thick forests and the sounds of various species of birds. I was reminded of the days when I patrolled the forests of Sirawai, Sampinit complex in Basilan,  and the hinterlands of Patikul in Sulu.

This place also welcomes the 'lazy travellers' who don't like to venture out to the thick forests to invite blood-sucking insects.

The eco and river tour is the best alternative way on how to commune with nature and savor the genuine fresh air.

The registration area is inside the Irawan Arts Cafe and Gallery where you can find artworks of several artists of the Aborlan Arts Program. If you're not fond of painting, you can pose for a souvenir photo instead. Say, "Peeeeez Buk!"

There are more than 10 activities that could be enjoyed in this park. Fond of adrenaline-rushing outdoor activities, my son was particularly interested in the 'longest zipline' which they said, was 1.3 kilometers long.

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The ziplines were located some 10 minutes away from the registration area. We were transported by a multicab towards the forest, offering us with the so-called 'free massage ride' as shown in this video.

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Reaching the foot of a forested mountain, we found this place where the ziplines are located. It has amenities like a receiving area and decent, clean toilets.

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This is the video that shows my exhilarating experience while sliding down from the start line towards the next stop about 900 meters away.



Well, I discovered that there are three sections of the 'longest Zipline in Asia'. It is not the same as the 1.3km continuous zipline  that can be found in Butuan City.

It should be renamed as the longest forest canopy zipline in Asia (if no one will refute this claim).

As a nature lover, I enjoyed my first zipline experience. 

2 comments:

  1. You might want to try the zipline and dropzone at Dahilayan, and the anicycle and hanging bridge at Kampo Juan, when you get the chance to have a vacation again at your home province, sir. Both are located at Manolo Fortich. There's so many things you can do at Dahilayan. Kampo Juan, on the other hand, also has a plant breeding and demo farm, if you are interested in horticulture. I believe your family, most especially your son, will enjoy the activities in those places. God bless.

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