Too afraid to attempt those death-defying activities on your bucket list? Maybe these safe beginner courses at the Narvacan outdoor adventure hub could help you with just that.
How far we’ll go
Ever since some guys from our team got stung by a jellyfish at a beach cover shoot, they haven’t had much love for the sea and its strange inhabitants. Don’t get us wrong, the cool tropical breeze and relaxing sound the waves make as they blanket the shore can be really stress relieving. Trying to appreciate the water while managing our anxiety and trust issues with the marine residences is the problem.
Good thing there’s more than one way to enjoy the beach. From kite surfing to sailing, the instructors at Narvacan Outdoor Adventure Hub (NOAH) were cool enough to instruct anyone who was curious about taming the sea without really getting that wet. As for us, we channeled our inner Moana and had the pros bring us along their hobie cat for a lazy, relaxing ride.
Why fall when you can fly
We’ve learned to never trust ourselves with our own safety because of the many occasions that we’ve accidentally hurt ourselves in the most unusual and stupid ways (kaya laging sick leave eh). If we were destined to kick the bucket in a media event we’d rather have the headlines say, “Dudes from FHM died because of paraglider malfunction” than “a couple dumbasses fell to their death because they got confused and pulled the wrong rope.”
Luckily, you’re in the safe hands of paragliding experts from the Federation of Sky Sports, who will keep you safe by steering your paraglider while you take memorable selfies and videos of your trip. These guys are so awesome that they can literally land your paragliders on a peso on the ground. Just don’t scream so much because they tend to do some extra mid-air 360-degree spins to quiet down the noisy ones.
We’ve always scoffed at the fact that one of our more sheltered staff members, Chise, always gets his driver bring him to work. Surprisingly enough, he does have a driver’s license, which he only uses for identification purposes. Call him spoiled, #blessed, or whatever, but we can all agree that driving in Manila is horrible for reasons so obvious that you don’t really need to be the one at the wheel to see.
Maybe that’s why driving and jumping ATV's off sand dunes appealed to an angry inner motorist side of him that we had never seen before. The abandoned Sulvec port near the Narvacan River is the perfect place to scare your passengers with your aggressive inexperienced driving because even though it might seem like you’re going to crash, you won’t—they’ll set it so you can’t go up to the dangerous gears and get too carried away by the freedom of the open sand road.
We’d probably do it again, though
We’ve hiked a few good mountains in our day thanks to all the media outings we’ve attended so you could say out of all the activities at the adventure hub, this was probably the one we were most comfortable with...or so we thought. It sounded pretty easy when the guide explained it at the start of the event, a 250-meter trek to the first checkpoint then an easy 100-meter “climb” on a Via Ferrata, which is essentially a mountain face with man-made metal handles to help beginners with gripping the rocks properly, then finally a quick zipline down the side of the mountain so you don’t even need to climb back down, which seemed like a pretty sweet deal, that is, until we were actually scaling up the mountain.
Never have we questioned the life decisions we’ve made as much as those very long minutes of hanging on for dear life on those thankfully sturdy handles. The worst part is it wasn’t really that hard to climb physically but damn, were we shaking in our harnesses. We don’t know if it was because of a lack of pampatigas ng tuhod or the beautiful view of imminent death we saw when we accidentally and regretfully looked down. Honestly, that was without question, the scariest moment of our lives.
The Narvacan outdoor adventure hub is located at Brgy. Bantay Abot, Ilocos Sur. Make sure to check out their FB page for bookings!
This story originally appeared in the April issue of FHM Philippines. Minor edits were made by the FHM.com.ph editors.
Photographer Paul Mondok