Friday, May 22, 2015

Dahilayan Adventure and Forest Park (Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon)

In  Barangay Dahilayan, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon there is an “adventure” and a “ forest” park. The former, true to its term, is home to zip lines and more daring adventure rides. On the other hand, the forest park is more family and children friendly theme park. As both “parks” are located in the same area, they are usually visited at the same time and are often described together.

To reach Dahilayan Adventure and Forest Park, we passed inside Camp Phillips - a vast hectares of land dedicated to planting the famous Del Monte Pineapples.  The road leading to the park is an endless array of pineapples with a very relaxing view of a mountainous terrain. Everything is picture perfect and it is a sin not to stop by at this plantation and not take a photo.  
Del Monte Pineapple Plantation
As we were admiring the view of the plantation, we were told that Manolo Fortich is not only a plantation but also an independent community. It has a church, playground, basketball court and all other amenities for the welfare of the employees of Del Monte.

After the customary and obligatory taking of photos on the plantation, we headed to Dahilayan Adventure and Forest Park.  After a very short drive from the plantation, we finally reached the park. At its entrance, my first impression about it is like being in Baguio while in Bukidnon but with fresher and more defined scent of pine trees and scenic views. I hope this park is preserved for posterity. It gives every visitor a very good reminder of that old romantic Baguio vividly remembered by our grandparents.

Dahilayan Adventure and Forest Park is pristine without any trace of informal settlers. It has everything the old summer capital can offer. We saw strawberries being sold outside the park. There are also horses for horseback riding. Pine trees are also abundant. I think most visitors would remember Baguio once they are in this park.

Pine Grove Lodge
We momentarily stayed at its Pine Grove Lodge, where we can hear the shrieks, shouts and thrills of those on the zip line. This lodge is somewhat similar to a “log cabin” with glass walls showing the very beautiful views of pine trees. It has high ceilings with a loft making it a perfect escape during summer. This lodge has a café or restaurant with reasonably priced food. We opted to take a few bites from this café while looking at the pine trees outside and those who are risking their lives at the zip line.

The park has an amazing view of Mount Kitanglad and its high elevation ushers that cool, crisp and fresh breeze reminiscent of Tagaytay. With scenic views, it is nice to just sit on the bench and look at the vast expanse of the land and be lost at the soliloquy of your thoughts. Think only of what bring good vibes and try to forget what you cannot change at the moment. Sometimes, being in a beautiful place such as this park is enough to release one’s soul from the stress of our everyday struggles.

Dahilayan Adventure Park claims to own the distinction of having “Asia’s Longest Dual Zip line”. We tried this attraction and the experience is comparable to  actually flying amidst a forest canopy. It is scary at first but I soon got the hang of it literally. This zip line is definitely a must-try. While there are zip lines in almost every park even at the Quezon City Memorial Circle, a zip line as long as this gives an exhilarating experience like no other park can give.

A good weather is essential as most of the park’s attractions are outdoors. As such, this park is best enjoyed during the summer season. The scorching heat, felt usually in Metro Manila, is not as intense in this park. Thanks to its high elevation and trees surrounding the area.

Before trying this longest dual zip line, we first tried as a sort of a warm-up activity, the park’s zip lines of lesser length but not necessarily of lesser thrill. After which, a four by four vehicle brought us to the top of a mountain to experience Asia’s longest dual zip line. At the launch deck, I can see how far this zip line would take us. The view is spectacular. The whole park can be seen at this point. 

We then got ready for the experience of zip lining in Asia's longest. The staff emphasized safety. He assured us that the zip line is safe as long as safety gears are worn properly and instructions are followed. After a brief reminder of what should be done, we got ready for the experience of a lifetime. As I said, it was scary at first but after the zip line began its descent reluctance turned into a thrilling ride.  Flying is the best word to describe the experience of this zip line. Trying this zip line is indeed "getting ready to fly". 

Dahilayan Adventure and Forest Park is huge and a full day is not enough to enjoy its several attractions. If however the rides and activities of this park are not appealing to you, walking is one great activity. In the afternoon, before the sun sets, try walking on the park’s almost borderless expanse and feel the health benefits of this activity.

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