Are you up for a nature challenge?
Lucban is a town in Quezon famous for the colorful Pahiyas Festival. An annual event that happens every May 15 to honor San Isidro Labrador, the patron saint for farmers. For the curious, around this festival, houses in a “select” street get adorned with kiping (excitingly colorful leaf-like decor made from rice), and many other agricultural produce like fruits and vegetables. During this time, people from all over head to Lucban to check out the houses (and eat the kipling after, if they want), of course after the houses have been seen by the “judges” and a winner, proclaimed the most beautiful.
Anyway, enough about Pahiyas, I’m here to talk about another reason to check out Lucban!
If you are an event organizer, and are thinking of an activity that people might enjoy – or if you just need to tone your body the natural way, and you’re the adventurous type, why not check out what the Eco Adventure Batis Aramin has to offer.
We had our office team-building there, and I would say, so far, it was the best! The “challenges” we had to go through as teams involved making fire from just stones, mine-sweeper (with coconuts), zip-lining, rapelling, kayaking, diving to look for further clues, building bridges, plus a lot of running.
First off, we were a crowd of over a hundred and were regrouped to about twelve – we were given our own color, that way, we would not get mixed up as we would be running and bumping a lot with each other in completing several tasks. Think Extra Challenge meets environmental officers – that’s basically how it was for us.
So here’s my review of each activity:
Starting Fire. I know this is pathetic but I have no survival skills, whatsoever. I think I would have to hoard a lot of ready-to-eat canned goods (and a can opener – or maybe, matchsticks!) if things turn to worst. So I felt super when I saw fire came out of rocks and twigs that day. The activity was a race to see which group could make fire first, and we can only use twigs, leaves, and rocks.
Minesweeper. Imagine the popular retro game, but in real life. In the Batis Aramin set-up, a bunch of coconuts are scattered on the ground and your group representative is not supposed to touch it, nor step on it, or else he/she will be “out”. What makes it even more exciting (and funny in a brutal way) is that the representative would have to be blindfolded and would have to trust the rest of the team to direct him towards thecolored flags that the team must all get.
Building Bridges. Out of all the activities, I think this is the one that screams “team” the most. Five members of each team are supposed to cross this “bridge’, but the bridge is not really “complete.” The members have to carry a piece of log (or stick) with them that they would have to lay between “poles” so they can cross. I volunteered to be one of the team thinking it is going to be easy, but it really was not. Thankfully, when we did this, the area was dry and not muddy!
Ziplining, Rapelling, and Wall Climbing. I’m not a sporty chic, but I do love adventure. This is probably what most would deem scary among the tasks that the teams have to do. You have to do all three from a 50-ft high structure, and if you have a crazy fear of heights, just climbing (even via the stairs) would be a challenge. I love the zipline (I thought it’s very short), and I though wall climbing was really, really, really difficult. I thought the biggest challenge about the Zipline is that you have to sit at the edge of this structure knowing you are 50ft above ground, then jump (hehe). But again, for me, it’s nothing compared to wall climbing.
I volunteered to climb the wall because I thought it’s going to be easy – well, it looked easy especially since I’m tall and slender (I felt it would be easy for me to just hop from one “rock” to the next). But man, I was wrong. Around the middle of the wall, I felt my leg muscle tighten and I began to feel weak. Huhu. I was in pain but since I was already way up there, I just kept going til I was able to hit and ring the bell. It surely is a great abs workout with my stomach muscle tightening in my every “climb” but I really felt that that activity changed my view on how “easy” wall climbing is.
Kayaking and Diving. It was already dark when our group had to do the actvities that required kayaking and diving (and it’s the men who did them) so I really don’t have much to say. All I know is that one of our colleagues fell off the kayak – probably overeager to be first. Too funny!
Aside from these activities, Batis Aramin also has rooms and pools, and is just right in front of the famous Kamay ni Hesus. You definitely would not miss it.
Important Disclaimer: I would like to mention that this place is a resort, so this is not really a full nature immersion experience. This definitely is not a place to go hikng and I am not particularly sure if they have an actual lake to kayak on, nor do they have mountains to explore and caves to have your ultimate spelunking experience. Rather, Batis Aramin is an actual establishment offering an eco-adventure experience, which might be helpful for city folks who are afraid to get in contact with nature.