Sunday, April 1, 2012

[SOGOD] The Habal Habal for All Seasons

I thought the zip line was in Leyte. Well, it is in Southern Leyte so maybe you can still consider THAT as Leyte but why am I being too technical here? Anyway, Agas Agas Bridge is the name of the bridge next to which this zip line was constructed. That bridge is said to be the highest in the Philippines. I would not know how to answer you if you asked if this zip line is also the highest in the country. While the bridge does extend all the way down to the greenery below, the zip line trail ends on one of the hills and not exactly down there at the foot of the bridge. So no, I have no idea. But first, how to get there? Ride the Habal-Habal for all seasons!

When I first heard the term Habal-Habal I had otherworldly visions of what it could possibly be. A flying vehicle? Some sort of motorcycle/boat amphibian hybrid? When I reached Cebu last year, that was when I found out that a Habal-Habal is a motorcycle. Period. I was a bit disappointed, and then Leyte. The Habal-Habal that they have here in the southern areas have this cute roof that makes it look like some sort of mini mobile Sari-Sari store that ran out of stock. So cute! And then I found out that it is indeed, for all seasons!

I hopped off the van going back to Tacloban at Mahaplag Crossing. Just ask the driver to drop you off there and you'll at once see the many Habal-Habal for all seasons parked there. The drivers will be quite busy playing some illegal gambling game so you might want to announce your presence by shouting, Pulis ‘to! Taas ang kamay! More convincing if you know how to say that in Bisaya. HAHAHA. Sorry, it is just that when I came back from the zip line ride they would always panic when they hear some distinct sound similar to a siren probably because they thought it was the police.

You can try to bring the round trip fare down to 300 pesos. Just be nice, although I did not do so anymore because the driver asked nicely. It seemed that they had no passengers that day and there were, like, more than ten of them? The trip is an uphill climb of thirty minutes under the cuckoo weather. This was when I really got to admire the powers of the Habal-Habal for all seasons. The first ten minutes of the trip was spent under the blazing sun. This can get annoying because we humans sweat instead of sparkle under the sun, but the Habal-Habal for all seasons had this roof which protects you from the sun’s rays. The second ten-minute interval was characterized by a sudden downpour of rain. WTF? The weather in this province is crazy! But the Habal-Habal for all seasons had a roof and for that we did not get wet. In addition, the Habal-Habal for all seasons has a reliable plastic cover in front that acts as an impromptu windshield. Awesome. The last ten minutes was a mix of sun and rain. May kinakasal na tikbalang lang ang peg? But the Habal-Habal for all seasons had a roof...

The 280-peso fee for the zip line already includes the Habal-Habal ride going back up, which is the attraction’s own. It is not a Habal-Habal for all seasons though, which is just so sad. In any case, you must try the zip line. It is neither that thrilling as the one in Dahilayan nor its views as astounding as that of Lake Sebu, but it is just 280 pesos and I believe that amount is already worth it for the few minutes of fun and paranoia. Remember, this is the country’s highest bridge! If you want to take photos I suggest that you go to the viewing deck on the bridge itself. Right there, you'll get some sort of close-up of whoever is doing the ride. Yes, it is a tandem zip line but you are not forced to find someone to go with you. I went alone. Alone. Oh, Christ. Not another emo rant.

Eek!!! I forgot to talk about Maasin!!! WAHAHAHA. Maasin has a lovely cathedral. And a giant Mama Mary statue that I never found. Okay, that will do. Oh no, just two lines! Trivia time! According to Wikipedia, Maasin is a fourth class city in Southern Leyte. It seems that the indicator Wikipedia used was the number of Jollibee branches in the city, which totals to one. Hey, they have Mang Inasal, too! I bet Maasin has its fair share of lovely beaches but I no longer had the luxury to wander around. Maasin was to my Leyte trip, what Calbayog was to my Samar trip, a stopover splurge for resting purposes. Maybe next time, I'll try to see more.

No emo rants today but we have to end this entry here because I have nothing else to say. I am sure there are more to see in Southern Leyte but for me it was just that zip line. Agas-Agas Bridge is awesome, too. It reminds me of the bridge in that Charlie’s Angels sequel where they bastardize the laws of physics and stuff. Off topic. Let's end this here before I let out another emo rant. I was alone...
[SOGOD] The Habal Habal for All Seasons
[SOUTHERN LEYTE] Budget and Itinerary

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