Balungao Hilltop Adventure: Our NLEX Lakbay Norte 5 Day 3 Activities
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After two full days of immersing ourselves in the surfing capital of La Union it was time for us to head to Balungao in Pangasinan for a different kind of adventure. Balungao is located in the municipality of Rosales in Barangay Carmen. Known as the 2nd largest voting population of the Philippines, it also boasts of its waterfalls and beaches.
For this trip, however, the organizers seemed to have sensed the kind of guests they would be having over – the fun and the fearless type! Hence, instead of taking us to see their well-known Hundred Islands, which most people already know about anyway, they decided to showcase a different side of their place. From water sports, we head on to full-gear sports on land and on air.
Our stop for the day is the Balungao Hilltop Adventure. Nestled at the foot of Mt. Balungao, it is known for having the longest zip line in the Philippines – an exhilarating1.4 km. Plus, their available ATV rides reveal the beautiful and lush greeneries of its surroundings. For the huge group that we were, we were, once again, split into 2.
My bunch decided to hit the ATV first. For first-timers such as myself, everything looked quite simple at the beginning. Once I hit the gas button, however, I soon realized that I needed to work on my agility. I took turns with my partner operating this vehicle since we decided to ride in tandem. We drove pass the rocky road on the way to a paved road that would then lead us to the main ATV path. From there, everything started to become a breeze. I did wish, though, that the road were a little bumpier to add up to the fun and excitement!
When the time came for us to fly through the zip line, the staff of Balungao Hilltop Adventure gathered us around and buckled us up with the safety gears. From the base camp, we were taken to board the jeepney that was going to take us to a drop off point. Once we got off, we had to take a short hike, climbing up a steep incline and several staircases until we finally reached the post of the first zip line. Then the real scary thing happened.
I thought I was prepared for it, but as I made my way to the top of the post, my hands began to tremble, my knees were shaking and I was seriously contemplating on backing out! But of course, the adventurer in me wasn’t going to let that happen. To me it was rites of passage of sorts to the gorgeous wonders of Pangasinan and it would be doing myself a great disservice if I had chickened out.
So I continued along with everyone else. When it was finally my turn, I learned that there won’t be anything to hold on to except for my cameras, since I chose to bring it with me during that flight. I just had to fully trust that the straps I was buckled onto will succeed at delivering me safely from point A to point B. Thankfully, it has always been on point! I sure was thrilled to have just went with the flow. My heart skipped a beat when the time came for me to lay down on air just a few minutes before being released, and then, boom, I was off in thin air!
As soon as I adjusted to being comfortable hanging up there, the view became amazing and I quickly forgot how, if anything were to go wrong at any given point… I didn’t even want to entertain that thought! And neither should you when you come here! You just have to throw caution to the wind for once and allow the spell of Pangasinan to take over you!
With that our day came to an end and we were brought to the El Puerto Marina for a scrumptious dinner while being serenated by their famous local band, Banda ni Ate. Being amongst such outgoing people, I was not surprised to see several team members head up the stage to kill it with their own set of performances! I must say, to have several legitimate artists on board for company is absolutely wonderufl. After that it was time to bid the day adieu and check into Hotel Lingayen.