Each person has his/her level of tolerance for pain and fear. Each has different levels of excitement and happiness. What’s exciting for some may be boring for others. What’s absolutely fun to one may be terribly frightening to someone else. That being said, this is our ranking of the different slides, pools or water fun in Splash Island (Biñan, Laguna), circa April 2011 (we’re tempted to use “ride’, but that would properly refer to theme parks like the Enchanted Kingdom, like the EKstreme). By “our ranking”, that includes the opinion of a 5-year old, 8-year old and 15-year old kids. Feel free to list your ranking through the comment section below.
Before anything, you may be interested to know that a lot has changed in Splash Island, including its management. It’s now open not only during summer, but the whole year. Some of the pools and slides, however, are not available during the entire day (you’d see the operating hours of the particular slide or pool, in parenthesis).
Balsa River (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.). The first water fun that opens, this involves a waist-deep water that snakes around the whole of Splash Island. Nothing fancy. Just get an inflatable raft (free) and leisurely float with the strong water current. Hide from the hot air, rest after going through the slides, or, ahem, pa-cute with the one you’re making porma. No adventure here. Not a water slide.
Curl of the Orient (12-2 p.m.). Babies and little kids would absolutely love this water slide, with turns that rotate the inflatable raft on which they are riding. A turn or two would appear to go off the path and out towards the ground (this is ground level, so the kids could freely run on their own). Again, this is for babies and little kids ONLY.
Agos Grandes (9-10:30 a.m., 1:30-2:30 p.m. and 4:30-5:00 p.m.). The big wave pool (you tell me how many waves). When Splash Island opens at 8:00 a.m., you’d probably spend 30 minutes getting a picnic table under a good spot and changing your clothes. Another 30 minutes at the Balsa River and it’s off to the Agos Grandes. Not a water slide.
Water Wahoo (9 a.m. to 12 p.m.; 2-5 p.m.). This is a water pool with around 2 feet of water, an enclosed slide, and millions of water squirts. Toddlers and young kids would want to stay here the whole day until their sunburn gets so bad, you’d have to call the emergency personnel always on standby in Splash Island. It’s hard to resist the Water Wahoo, even grown ups enjoy it. Adults should be banned here. If you insist, be sure to bring your kid or young cousin so you won’t look silly here. Not a water slide.
Rio Montañosa (12-1:30 p.m.; 3:30-4:30 p.m.). Twists and turns down a half-pipe, the highest ride in Splash Island I think. This water slide is down in the ranking because: (1) a 5-person family could easily fit in the rubber raft, with safety in numbers; (2) a big raft moves slower; and (3) all parts of the body are inside the raft, with no feeling of being totally left to the elements. like the Dos Supremos. Still, shrieks could be heard from boys and girls alike.
Tausug Trails (10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.; 2:30-3:30 p.m.). You’d probably think that Rio Montañosa is a cinch and ould think the same of Tausug Trails. This is a two-person rubber raft slide, with just your butt inside the raft. Your head, arms and legs dangle outside the raft as you go on a more speedy slide through twists and turns, with some turns seemingly spilling off the half-pipe pat. Now, unlike the kiddie Curl of the Orient which is on ground level, the Tausug Trails is many stories high, among the highest slides.
Among the Top 4, this has the only chance of you being thrown off the tube. Of course, management would say this is absolutely safe and that no such thing has even happened, but it’s fun to think of that as you prepare to board the rubber raft. Part of the fear here is THINKING too much. Just get your ass to the rubber raft, stop thinking and scream while at it.
Dos Supremos / King Pilipit (12-1:30 p.m.; 3:30-4:30 p.m.). The Dos Supremos would have been the most scary among the Splash Island slides. It involves a long, narrow tube through which you’ll slide in a high speed that creates a heavy centrifugal force in sharp turns (uhm, centripetal force?). This is the fastest slide and the only slide without any raft or protective gear. It’s just your bare body against the walls of the narrow tubes. You simply cross your arms over your chest and let the ride take you wherever it may want to take you — resistance is futile. The instructions tell you NOT to resist the turns or try to control your speed or position. That’s torture for control freaks.
This has the fastest velocity water that stands between your body and the wall. It will make you dizzy. This is the only slide wherein you’ll hit the water below with the greatest force. Why is it not the most scary? Precisely because of the full tube. Not half-pipe. No chance of being thrown outside. That gives a feeling of safety. Then again, you’ll probably reconsider that after you walk out of the pool like a drunk.
Magellan’s Drop (12-1:30 p.m.; 3:30-4:30 p.m.). This slide is name after Ferdinand Magellan but I still can’t figure out why. It’s hard to think especially when you’re forcing your brain not to think. Ok, smart pants, think about this: you’re on your belly, with space just enough to accommodate your body. You start on one of the highest slide platforms in all of Splash Island, nah, in all of the Philippines (Splash Island, after all, is the biggest water park in the Philippines). Unlike the face-up, fee-first position of the Dos Supremos, the Magellan’s Drop is face-down, face-first drop. If you panic and spread your legs or arms, there’s a chance you tumble and move off your lane, heaven forbids without hitting another person or falling into the ground.
See? I told you not to think. If you’re above 4 feet, just go up there, wait for your turn, wait for the instruction to go, kick your feet and off you go. Mr. Fun, not Lapu-Lapu, would be waiting for you below.
Big Bam Boo or Twisted Palms (10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.; 2:30-3:30 p.m.). Just like the Tausug Trails, the Big Bam Boo is a two-person (but you could ride alone) rubber raft with closed pipe that twists and turns towards the water pool below.
There are three tubes in the Big Bam Boo group. The middle is out of commission. The right-most slide (if you’re facing the slides; that’s the left-most if you’re going into the slide from the top) is exciting, but not quite. It’s even below the King Pilipit in ranking. You try this for warm up.
There’s a reason why the shortest slide is also the most scary (again, in our book). You try the left-most slide (if you’re facing the slides; that’s the right-most if you’re going into the slide from the top). Looks can be very deceiving. You’ll be better off screaming while barreling through the enclosed tube because that releases the tension. Now, when you start screaming as you go in the tube, try your very best to keep on screaming until the bottom. I mean, one long, continuous scream (or shout, if you don’t want to scream).
Go back here and tell us if you were no longer able to scream midway down the tune (and resumed screaming after the midway point).