Skyswing: Adrenaline rush in Davao's Eden Nature Park
First it was Skyrider, then, Skycycle. Now, Eden Nature Park and Resort is adding another extreme attraction called Skyswing.
“Skyswing can test your limits at the resort’s highest and fastest adrenaline rush,” says Brenda Ocampo, the resort’s marketing manager. “Ride individually or in tandem, Skyswing will hoist you 80 feet above the ground. In its highest position, the ride reaches a maximum height of 95 feet.”
This heart pumping-adventure was opened to the public during the Independence Day celebration last June 12. “This is the first of its kind here in Davao Region,” Ocampo informs.
If you think swinging at 80 feet or more is dangerous, think again. “Safety is our paramount concern,” Ocampo says. “We have our trained attendants and operators to ensure your safety while helping you overcome your fears and experience the thrill of your ride.”
“The thrill is significantly enhanced as you are secured with the body harness and safety gears especially ordered in France,” says Ocampo. “Feel the anticipation rise as you are slowly elevated to your desired height.”
In our case, we tried the 60-feet one, the minimum height. After securing all the body harness and safety gears, the attendant explained to us what we need to know. Be sure to listen to the instructions he is telling.
“Hanging from your harness up there,” he says, “you will be notified by a whistle so you can prepare yourself. About 5 seconds after you hear the whistle, you will be dropped from the top and you get to feel the highest swing in your life.”
The ride takes approximately 10 minutes, including putting on of safety gear. The required minimum height is 4 feet while the maximum swing weight is 300 kilograms. “The youngest rider we've had was 10 years old,” Ocampo says. The oldest was 64 years old.
“Skyswing is marketed to both thrill-ride enthusiasts and patrons seeking an extreme ride experience as part of their bucket list,” Ocampo says.
According to Ocampo, Skyswing was launched because of the success of Skycycle. “When we opened the Skycycle to the public, we never anticipated that it would be a hit. From two riders, we added more. By the end of this year, about 7 riders can do the skycycling in the air,” she says.
Skycycle is biking on top of a cable that is 60 feet high! “It’s like pedaling your way through the sky,” Ocampo says.
However, Skycycle is not for the faint of heart. Aside from the height, you have to pedal your way through the cable which is 200 meters. That’s not all. You have to return back to where you have started once you get to the other end.
“The whole routine will take about 4 minutes the most,” Ocampo says. “That is, if you pedal fast. But if you do it slowly, it may take you about 6 minutes or so.”
Skyrider is actually the name of the zipline the resort is offering to its guests. The length of the cable is about 400 meters: 200 meters in going to the other side and another 200 meters to return to the starting point. It is located below the Skycycle.
Eden Nature Park and Resort is nestled at the foot of Mount Talomo in Toril. Its brochure described the resort in these words: “It is truly a testament to how man's ingenuity and concern for the environment can create a paradise on earth, making Eden a must-visit ecological tourist destination in the Philippines.”
At 2,650 feet above sea level, the resort offers breath taking views of Davao City and the Davao Gulf. “This place was remnant of logging concessionaires in the 1970s and was covered only by a blanket of wild grass,” our tourist guide told us during our first visit in 2008.
Jesus V. Ayala, who owned the area, saw the potential of the place in 1971. So, he instructed his people to make terraces carved out of the mountain slope. As this developed, thousands of pine trees seedlings were planted to revitalize the area. Bamboos, which are native to the place, were left to flourish.
Growing pine trees created canopies, allowing other trees and plants to grow and create secondary forest. Today, there are over 100,000 pine trees spread in about 80 hectares, making the resort 95% man-made. Today, the once-barren piece of land provides a relaxing alternative to the bustling city life with its cool weather and unpolluted air.
By the way, the park was called so after the name of the barangay where it is situated. According to some people, the barangay was called in honor of a beautiful resident named Edeng. Her Japanese husband reportedly couldn’t pronounce correctly her name, so he called her Eden. Because of her beauty, the barangay was named after her.
“Today, Eden is one of the most popular and most visited mountain resorts in the Philippines that offers a plethora of exciting things to do and heart pumping adventure,” Ocampo says.
How do you get there? From Davao City, you must travel south towards the Toril District. At the corner of Mercury Drug in the main highway, make a right and just follow the signs towards barangay Eden. From there, it is a 12-kilometer uphill climb (enjoy the scenery, though). Travel time is about 30 minutes. – Rappler.com
Henrylito D. Tacio is an award-winning journalist based in the southern part of the Philippines. He specializes on reporting science, environment, medicine, agriculture, and travel features.