Now, with the Holy Week on our doorsteps, people in GenSan, Sarangani and lower South Cotabato seeking for the perfect adventure destination for their family holidays need not go very far, to try out the most in-demand eco-tourism wonder in the country today – the ZIPLINE!
If Lake Sebu has its 7 Falls Zipline (740 & 400 meters), Davao City with its Outland Adventure (720 meters) and Eden Skyrider (200 meters) which Bariles has all tried, then now, GenSan News Online Mag is proud to present the first GenSan ziplines – at the 5th Mountain of Balakayo Adventure Park!
Owned by young, dynamic couple James Betonio and Twilight Benzonan-Betonio, the 5th Mountain of Balakayo Adventure Park has just softly opened in December 2010 but this did not stop Bariles from including it in last February 2011’s SEX Tour (Soccsksargen EXperience Tour).
Located among the highest peaks of mountainous Barangay Olympog, General Santos City, overlooking Sarangani Bay and GenSan on the south, the park which will be fully operational anytime soon actually has two ziplines.
The first one called YANKEE LINE measuring 800 meters (making it the longest in South Central Mindanao and the 3rd longest in the Philippines after Bukidnon’s 840m and Camp Sabros, Davao del Sur’s 820m) takes its riders on a high exhilirating speed of 80 kms per hour over a 2,000 meter drop ridge between two of the highest peaks of Balakayo. It is so fast and so high that all you can do is scream!
The second one christened X-ZIPLINE is shorter at 400 meters and to give riders a chance to take photos or videos of the breathtaking view all around them, travels at a slower speed of 30-40 kms per hour. It lands on the lower section of the resort clubhouse. Both rides will cost you a mere P250!
A 3rd zipline line is currently being readied and will be called the EXTREME ZIP because at 650 meters long, it will take its riders on a speed of 90 kms per hour!
And to top them all, a 400 meter cable car ride will be available in May 2011 making GenSan the first city in Mindanao and the Visayas to offer such thrill!
The 5th Mountain Adventure Park has other features which could keep you busy if dangling in the air is not your cup of tea.
During the SEX Tour Part Deux, the Soccsksargen Bloggers and their guests from Manila and Davao first joined the staff of the resort in an early morning YOGA exercise with resort marketing officer Ms. G Bartulaba as instructor. It was an enjoyable 15-minute activity of stretching, heavy breathing and letting go of one’s negative subsconscious.
All the huffing and puffing however gave way to an uber-delicious healthy breakfast prepared by their hosts.
Bariles fell in love with the soothing Nilagpang (Grilled native chicken in soup) and the 5th Mountain Salad which was a pleasurable mix of ampalaya and pineapple!
When everyone has stuffed himself, the brave ones were divided into two groups and Group 1 (including Bariles) started the uphill hike to the first launch platform behind the clubhouse together with owner James Betonio.
The four bloggers from Manila were the first to go zip but not before James assuring them of the safety of the cables and harnesses which use German technology. Bariles also noticed the bigger, sturdier carabiner or metal loops that they were utilizing along with the thicker cables.
Bariles was afraid of heights but he had to try this ride no matter what, being GenSan’s very first zipline! And so when he was up in the platform, he concentrated on the the scene before him as he could only gasp in awe at the beauty and grandeur of the panoramic view of Sarangani Bay and her environs.
When the time came for James to let go of him after what seemed to be a very careful assessment of the secureness of his harness, all he could do during the flight was shout, “OH MY GOD!!! ANG GANDA, ANG GANDA!!!”, while trying not to cry as he was overwhelmed by the magnificence of it all, with only the sound of the cool wind blast on him matching his shrieks.
Bariles is indebted to James and Twilight Betonio, for giving the Soccsksargen, Manila and Davao Bloggers the chance to try out what is now the local government of GenSan’s next major tourism draw (as reported by City Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio during her presentation to President Noynoy Aquino at the Regional Development Council XII’s Audience with him yesterday, April 13, 2011 at th Sun City Complex).
Thank you for investing your time and resources in coming up with this project! You deserve all the incentives and investor’s support that the city offers, along with current and future stakeholders of General Santos City’s burgeoning tourism industry! MABUHAY KAYO!
For other blog posts on the 5th Mountain of Balakayo Adventure Resort, please check out these articles by two doctors:
And for our last photo…
For enquiries and reservations to GenSan’s first ziplines, please text these #s: globe) 09177203306 or (sun)09331138898.
To go there, turn left at the GenSan circumferential road at Barangay Katangawan (Highway to Davao) and go straight until you reach the fork at the end. Turn right and go straight up to Barangay Olympog. Once you reach a basketball court on the left side of the road and a small sari-sari store on the right beside a tree with a monkey tied to it, you may park your car there and ride any of the habal-habals going up. If you are however riding a 4×4 vehicle, you may ride straight up to the entrance of the 5th Mountain of Balakayo Adventure Park. Enjoy!