Skydive Cebu, Philippines

Have you done your number one Bucket List of all time? Me? Check! 

I've always dreamed of flying. For sure everyone shares the same childhood dream. I literally have dreams about it but in the midst of taking off, I can't seem to find my wings. It always ends up with me falling and deeper into the pit of nothingness. But this time around I'll make sure I'm wide awake and flying. Let's go!

Let me just share something before going through my skydive experience. It took me a while to update my Blogspot for a valid, confusing reason, let just say I lose the momentum of writing and sharing my experiences. How it happened and what contributed to that feeling is still unknown to me. The last trip I had was in Korea, all the details about that travel were left unattended on my laptop. Mind you my solo trip for 5 days in Korea was terrific while the succeeding 5 amazing days were spent hanging along with my sister. Right after that, I flew to the Philippines. The adventure didn't stop here, even though I planned the whole vacation to be just about relaxation, I went chasing waterfalls, booked a suite room in a lovely resort, and of course went sky diving. After all the exciting things I did the feeling of not wanting to write a single word overpowered me. It took some time for me to start writing again, it may sound so lame but I'm taking baby steps now, more importantly, is that I'm writing again. Moreover, jumping off the plane kinda restarted my whole internal wanderlust system. Thank goodness for that. Hopefully, I don't need to do that again or else I'll be living in a cave soon, maybe next year will be fine (evil laugh). So here I am sitting at a thousand feet up in the air, as I reminisced my skydive experience on that bright, sunny day in Bantayan Island. 

The skydive in Bantayan Island started in 2014. The skydive instructor and owner is Brad Vancina, a certified USPA (United States Parachute Association) Tandem Instructor. It gained its popularity mainly through its Facebook page. My brother and cousin informed me about the good news the moment they knew about it. I haven't really planned to execute my ultimate bucket list this year yet I've thought about it, like all the time. However, never in my wildest dream have I thought that it could happen in the Philippines. My visions were in other countries like maybe in the United States, Australia, or even Dubai. I'm glad it was in my country it clearly shows that it's more fun in the Philippines. I started my research through the website and read a few reviews of successful dives in their Facebook account. The span of time I needed to convince myself to go sky diving didn't last a minute. Most especially when they advertise this year's first batch of skydivers will be given a discount. In split seconds I was typing like a mad person, now I know how hacking feels like or maybe closer to it. Slots were filling out fast so after persuading a friend to join my crazy quest for adrenaline rush we booked for our date. We got their first day of operation as our mark, where I believe things can still go wrong yet where all the equipment is perfectly checked. 

How to get there:

From the Mactan-Cebu International Airport:
You can take a cab to go to the North bus terminal. The estimated fare is 250-350 PHP, depending on traffic. Or you can take it straight to Hagnaya port, but we try for the cheapest travel method, which is by bus. 

Alternatively, if you're familiar with Uber and/or Lyft, then you can download and use the mobile app, Grab, to book your transportation. 

From the North bus terminal: take the Ceres Bus or the "V-Hire" (van for hire)

Bus Fare/V-hireless than 200 PHP
Bus Route/ V-Hire Route: from Cebu to Hagnaya Port
Drop offHagnaya Port, San Remigio, Cebu
Travel time (bus/private car): 3-5 hours

Prices may have changed.  

From Hagnaya Port: Take Super Shuttle Ferry or Island Shipping 

Boat Fare: less than 200 PHP, Terminal fee: less than 20 PHP

Boat Route: Hagnaya Port to Sante Fe Port

From Sante Fe Port, Bantayan Island:

Head to the Tourism office by following the covered walk.
Ecological Fee: less than 40 PHP

Lastly, You can take the tricycle to your resort, Tricycle Fare: less than 30 PHP or you can simply pre-arrange a resort pick up from the Port.

Power outlets: are commonly type A, with standard voltage 220 V and frequency 60 Hz.  Be sure to bring a universal plug adapter!
Money matters:  We recommend getting your currency exchanged via Western Union (WU) since you'll get a better rate than at the airport.  You can send your travel budget to yourself and pick up the exchanged amount at the local WU.

Survival Terms 

CR is the term for the toilet
Salamat means "thank you"

We arrived on the island past 9:30 am, we were then greeted by habal-habal/ motorcycle drivers and tricycle drivers asking our itinerary for the day. A few of them offered packages for island hopping, with a kind smile waved off the offer. We asked one tricycle driver for Kota Beach and Ogtong Cave Resorts location and details. He recommended for Ogtong Cave Resort, we agreed with it besides we need a safe place for our things during our swim. The resort offers a white sand beach, a swimming pool, and a dip inside Ogtong Cave. Our scheduled skydive was still around 2 in the afternoon, so we got plenty of time to spend on the beach before they picked us to go to the drop zone. Keep the skydiving staff informed of your arranged location and time for convenience. 

My friend and I really didn't talk about the skydive for the time being inside the resort. Another friend of mine who came along for moral support, at the same to see the beautiful island of Bantayan. As the clock strikes closer to our scheduled time the agitation was more visible. Telling ridiculous jokes was the only way to keep our minds tame from the excitement. The pick-up time was pushed through an hour which made the waiting more agonizing. When a small blue vehicle van stopped in front of us with the Skydive Cebu sign pasted on its side we momentarily jumped for joy. I tried to clear my mind to keep my composure but the moment we arrived at the airport, I was laughing like a lunatic and that's due to my excitement. A brief orientation about the equipment, body positions and questions were entertained for clarification. I don't need to explain further that you'll learn everything you need to know in that orientation. Our skydivers were father and son, Brad Vancina and Cody Vancina. We signed up for a Tandem Skydive, where we will be harnessed to a Tandem Instructor as we jump off the plane, free fall and land together on the drop zone.

I was paired with Brad while my friend got to skydive with Cody. They were informative, professional and I strongly believe one of the coolest people on the planet. I really want what they're doing maybe next year I'm going for a skydiving course, let's see how that plan goes- laughing like Goofy, his a close friend of Mickey Mouse for those who are not familiar with him. Moreover, having a conversation with Brad was easy, he was funny, down to earth, and such an outgoing guy. The moment you see him and have a little chit chat with him gives you the security you needed for the skydive, I don't know for others but it was all good for me. 

The pieces of equipment were then tied to us: the weight was bearable, it was a bit loose to provide comfort and movement and we looked like real skydivers. The smile on my face was all over the place, I guess that's because it's one of the most exciting and amazing days of my life. I've already felt the adrenaline rushing through my veins before we've even boarded the plane. However, I have this calm feeling, like a silent rush and stillness inside of me when I'm in the air. I've felt the same stillness when I went paragliding last year. 

The plane descends up in the sky until we reached 10,000 feet which took maybe around 20 minutes. Brad then signaled that we're good to go. My heart was racing, the stillness I'm talking about was not there anymore, as the excitement grew stronger and I had to scream my lungs out to let it out. The moment we jump was very liberating, I'm astonished how Brad does it without having the urge to scream. He had made plenty of jumps throughout his life, maybe his vocal cords are already tired of doing the same thing with every jump, and now it's calm like a falling leaf. I can't really recall what happened next after jumping off from the plane, I remember the strong gush of the wind, the sky was clear blue, a few glimpses of white puff clouds, and some faint sound of my scream. 

Then suddenly in split seconds, Brad was tapping my shoulder to signal that I can let go and just spread my arms for our free fall. Free Falling a thousand feet up in the air is mind-blowing, the only thing you can do up there is to scream and scream. One more thing just let it out, scream at the top of your lungs because if you don't scream you'll find it hard to breathe. After a few more seconds, Brad pulled out the parachute as we drift through with the wind, we had a brief conversation about how cool his job and he then showed me the borders of Bantayan Island and pointed beside it the small island of Malapascua. 

We had the most perfect day for a skydive experience, the sky was crystal blue with a few clouds scattered around and below us, the sea had all the lovely colors at different contrast and hues of blue, indigo, and green. What made it more exciting was when Brad allowed me to maneuver the parachute, his hands were still there of course, and the feeling of holding on to it and the power that you can change to course of direction with a little pull from here and there made me feel empowered. I have a feeling that I can do it and I can be a skydiver just like him, I'm laughing like a lunatic right now - sometimes I tend to daydream even in my blog post. Anyways, we landed perfectly back in the airport, I gave Brad a bear hug to thank him for such a wonderful experience. 

I sat back in the chair inside their office while waiting for the videos and pictures mesmerized, feeling nostalgic about the childhood dream coming true at last. I actually celebrated my birthday(wohooo!) a few days before my skydive, I can definitely say this is the ultimate and grandest birthday gift I've ever rewarded myself with and I feel really blessed. In addition to that my family too gave me a surprise flight too, a midnight birthday call wherein they woke me up and sang me my birthday song, something they've never done before. I feel so grateful, the start of this year is totally tickling my soul. Anyways, getting back to the skydiving experience. Some people may find this crazy and dangerous but for us adrenaline junkies and other brave souls out there this is the ultimate Bucket List. I share with you my experience, hopefully, you will have that same butterflies in the stomach as much I did, millions of it add in some fireflies, dragonflies and even cockroaches which hunted me for days. Then release that fella's when you get out of the plane. Wow! what a great idea for my painting session next time, I might consider that thought for my new artwork.

Here are a few things you should know before signing up for your Tandem Skydive Experience:
1. You must be 18 years of age or older (valid photo ID/drivers license or passport), 
2. Weight limit of 250 lbs
3. Be Physically Fit. For any special medical concerns, please contact your doctor.
4. Tandem Skydive Fee: 18,000 PHP - 20,000 PHP. I had a discounted rate for being one of the first batches to skydive this year. Weehoo!

For a hassle-free trip, the skydive team provides transportation from Mactan International Airport all the way to Bantayan Island. For 1-3 person = 2000 Php (Vios Taxi) one way excluding ferry fare. For 4-10 persons = 4000 Php (Toyota Hi-Ace Van) one way excluding ferry fare. 

For High-Class Passenger you can take the Private Airplane. Flight time is 45 minutes. It will be in the General Aviation Area (opposite side of the Mactan Airport Terminal), Lapu-Lapu City. For 1-3 persons = 15,000 Php (Cessna 172) and For 4-5 persons = 25,000 Php (Cessna 206). 

Rates may vary and subject to change please contact Skydive Cebu for more information.

Before the skydive, we were advised to wear rubber shoes, keep the shoelaces tight as you don't want to land with only one shoe left. Preferably comfortable clothes or Long breathable long sleeves as the temperature gets really cold up there. Brad kept me warm by blocking the air with his leg. Lastly, don't ever forget to bring at least 4 gigabytes of the flash drive for your pictures and videos.

Skydiving was and will always be my number one bucket list of all time. Experience the fun and Conquer your Fear!

For more details: 
Address: Santa Fe Airport, Bantayan Island, Cebu, Philippines
Phone: +63 923 875 1689 (Look for Boyd)

Have fun and be safe ^__^

Do you want more adventure?

Where am I going next?
My next adventure is The Sunset Paradise of Moalboal Beach, this time on the southwestern side of Cebu.

No comments

Post a Comment