Who’s not scared of heights? You’re not scared of heights? Good for you. We all come from monkeys under Charles Darwin‘s evolution theory, but I’m a little scared. Well, a bit more scared, really. I mean, the Edge Coaster in Cebu gave me sweaty palms. But that’s a good thin, ain’t it? Requiring too much to get excited is probably like taking drugs — you need more if your threshold is higher. I don’t know about drugs. On the other hand, I know the heights and the rush at the Canopy Ride, Tree Top Adventure in Subic.
Looking for the Tree Top Adventure location isn’t easy. In fact, looking for anything in Subic is not easy for me. I’m too preoccupied watching for and following traffic rules. What I know is that it’s towards the general direction of Subic Ocean Adventure. We asked for directions to any zipline in Subic. We had the zipline in mind, just like the one in Tagaytay (and in Dahilayan, which we missed while in Cagayan de Oro and Bukidnon.
Everyone we asked, even those at the PTT gas station which is just down the hill from the Tree Top Adventure, didn’t have a clue what we were looking for. Since we always considered the search as part of the adventure, however, we stopped asking and started searching for clues. At the intersection a few meters from the PTT gas station, we saw a sign which says the Tree Top Adventure “This Way”. It’s the best bet for our search. We checked it out. We hit the jackpot.
There are a number of rides at the Tree Top Adventure. We went through our choices. There’s the Superman Ride, which is equivalent to the zipline. The Silver Surfer, which is like a zipline, only you’re standing up. It’s like surfing through a zipline. There’s the Interactive Free Fall. I understand the free falling part, but how interactive it is, I have no idea. The Tree Drop Adventure, on the other hand, we saw in action. You’re tied to a rope and “fall” from a tree. Better to show you the photo, so I don’t have to explain. Here:
Unfortunately, our was below the required height for these rides. The only ride available for his height was the Canopy Ride.
The Canopy Ride involves a walk up midway to the canopy, through hanging bridges. Zipping from one tree to another, while sitting on a chair, is repeated three times. The whole process lasts about an hour, exclusive of the preparatory process which includes the safety briefing, purchase of the ticket, signing of the waiver, and gearing up (safety harness and helmet).
That may sound like a lot of steps before being able to enjoy the rides. It’s not. Plus the staff are specially helpful. I have to mention this because, in our experience, members of the Tree Top Adventure staff go out of their way to assist guests. For instance, while preparing to zip through the tree tops, I accidentally hit the lens cover of my camera and the cover fell. Hundred or so feet down in the middle of the forest. I said it’s ok, there’s a reserve lens cover. By the time we stepped off the last station, they handed the lens cover to me. Amazing.
It was not easy to convince our son to try the Canopy Ride or any ride for that matter. Scary, he said, but I know the antidote. He loves the animated movie Up, which has one of his favorite characters, Russell. He watched that movie over and over again until he memorized the lines. All I had to do was to “remind” him about the phrase: “Adventure is out there“. Kids hate to be told what to do or think, and they love to appear smart. So I said, “This is like Russell in Up, when he said ‘Adventure is out there’.” Then came the reply, “No, dad, Charles Muntz said that.”
So there’s the battle cry. Adventure is out there! Fear was replaced with fun and excitement. He moved fast through the hanging bridges and I had to slow him down to engage the safety harness. He was laughing and shouting, not thinking twice about unlatching from one treetop to another.
It was fun, so much so that our son wanted to try other rides, except that his height is below the minimum.
So, who’s afraid of heights? By the end of the Canopy Ride, it was no longer about the height of the treetops, or the assurance that the harness could sustain up to 1,000 kilos and the cables 7,200 kilos. It was no longer about what safety mechanisms are in place. It became all about fun and bonding. That’s priceless.