Saturday, February 18, 2006

Rafting in Davao

Last weekend I took a trip to Davao for a commercial shoot, or what I like to call whitewater rafting. I honestly had no idea what to expect. All I knew was that I was going to the south to the island of Mindanao. From what I’ve heard, there are terrorists down in Mindanao. This somewhat scared me until I was assured that Davao had a decent metropolitan area. They also have a mayor notorious for being a badass. They call him The Punisher. I’m not joking. There was a billboard of him riding a Harley, and above his name was “The Punisher.” You think no smoking bans in indoor public places is bad in NY and CA? He went as far as banning smoking while you’re riding your car. I also heard he dropped convicted drug users from helicopters over the ocean…or something to that effect, and I’m not kidding either. This is the Philippines; apparently you can do stuff like that here. As soon as I found out that we had The Punisher on our side, I felt just a little bit better.

I’m not going to give you the play-by-play because way too many events took place and would only make sense to those that were there, but I will give you some highlights.

-I made it through stretches of the river called The Washing Machine, Rodeo, and the Drop & Suck.

-I fell off the raft, floated down the river for about 100 yards through some nasty rapids and hit rocks, swallowed tons of nasty river water and almost drowned, and a raft and kayak had to be sent to rescue me. It was awesome. I hope to do it again sometime.

-Food in Davao is awesome. I would go back just to eat.

-There was a Hitachi crane in the middle of the river. When I say "middle of the river," I don't mean that it looked like the crane just fell of the shore. I mean it looked like a helicopter airlifted the thing in the middle of the river. Also, how did they manage to get the crane in the middle of the jungle anyway? Anyhow, we had to steer around it. It would've sucked to hit it.

-Our raft got punctured and had to be sealed. That was cool.

-I drank until 3 AM, hopped on a plane at 7 AM, and went straight to work at 10 AM hung over and sleepy as hell.

-After the rafting, I still had enough energy to dazzle some village children with my futbol skills.

-We hung out with the rafting guides and crew, production staff, and director, and they were all probably some of the most awesome people I’ve met in my life…that’s in addition to the fact that they’re awesome drinkers and drank until 5 in the morning after five hours of filming and rafting.

Tons more stuff happened, but attempting to tell the stories would be the same as when a friend tries to tell you an inside joke he has with another friend but you just don’t get it because you weren’t there. Also, I probably would ramble on for paragraphs, lose focus, and further prove that I have ADD.

The trip was one of the best things I’ve ever done. It really made me rethink what I want to do with my life…again. Maybe I’ll just stay here and become a river guide…ehhh probably not but it’s tempting.

Anyway, click on "My Life in Photographs" over in the links section to take a look at the pics.

Gogie, the Art Director, took some sweet modeling pics back in the hotel. Maybe one day he’ll send them, and I’ll post them. The professional photographer also got some sweet action shots on the river, and I’ll also hopefully get those one day and post them. I’ll let you know if I ever get any of those.

Until next time…


  1. The Punisher really is hard core...he doesn't even wear a helmet...Boo to the Abu Sayaf(sp?)! If you watch the news there, you might catch a beheading...Holla!

  2. I agree to that bad ass mayor. hope all the mayors in this country are like that bad ass mayor. at least we can walk in the middle of the night without worrying about those bad guys lurking in the dark.