Posts Tagged ‘Agas-agas Bridge’

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How does it feel to get published? Well, I don’t really know how to describe the feeling. It’s more of something that meant to be experienced first hand. But I guess there’s always a certain sense of accomplishment.  I’ve  been published a few times already both on local and national papers. But one of my favorite published stuffs  was my last year’s first magazine appearance for the Runner’s World magazine. And just this month I’ve done it again!

This time I feel so Badass. Please see the picture below:

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This time it’s a full two page extravaganza baby! I’m a subscriber of Runner’s World Philippines because I’m a runner and I do get a lot out of their pages.  I am always fascinated with their first column called “Rave Run” of every issue. It’s a two page section dedicated to photography capturing the beauty of running from every places runners go. Last summer I told myself “What if I try to be next Rave Runner?

The next thing I remember, I contacted my friend and photographer Kuya Domz if he wants to shoot something for a magazine (that may not even see the light). He said yes.  Then came the tricky part: Where? I am currently living in my hometown,  and still with my parents (oops). It’s a sleepy town, but it’s a sleepy province anyway.  The running population in my are is actually about two (2) people, which is me and my running buddy, Kuya Herbie which I also dragged into the project.  So where in this land can we possibly shoot the next Rave Run? We climb the mountain.

Just in the next town there is this new mighty bridge called the Agas-agas Bridge.  It’s lovely out there, nice view, killer sunset, awesome sunrise and probably the craziest zipline in the country. In other words, it’s a Pork barrel well spent. No wonder it’s the new tourism poster boy for Southern Leyte. The goal of the project transformed from a personal “i-want-to-get-published” crusade to a bold move to promote my province and, this is a long shot, spread the love of running here.

I submitted a few pictures to the publishers and thankfully they replied this:

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And in the next few weeks our pictures started popping in the Runner’s World official Twitter and Facebook pages – as cover photos. Never felt so badass baby. Jaw-drops. I can hear Staples Centers applauding.  I am so damn proud to see my crazy idea turned into something real, even publishable. Dreams do come true, don’t they?

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The July – September issue of Runner’s World PH magazine is currently available in all major bookstore nationwide. It sells only P150.  Buy na!

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The majestic Agas-agas Bridge in Sogod, Southern Leyte, with two colossal pillars which stand 300 meters above the ground enough to be considered as the tallest bridge in the country, has finally unveiled one of the most death-defying rides every Southern Leyteños can truly be proud of.  The new Zip Southern Leyte offers locals and tourist an exciting ride of a lifetime. One can really experience the feeling of flying over the country’s highest bridge. If you haven’t tried a zipline before this is the best place to take that first jump.

The new zipline adventure facility currently has two steel cable lines that stretch half kilometer from the top of a hill just above the bridge all the way down to the farther end below. The cable crosses above the bridge from above which gives the adventurers that extreme feeling of actually flying like Superman seeing the mighty bridge below.  The ticket for the zipline is only worth P280 in the first jump, should the rider goes Revenge of the Fallen mode there’s a 50% discount on the second and so forth tries, that’s P140. So far this zipline based on what I’ve read in magazines and internet is the cheapest around (its P500 in Boracay), and the irony of it all is that Zip Southern Leyte is by far the most exciting of them all.

Kirig tuhod aning duha, more pa.

Instead of the regular sitting position the adventurers are tied to the cable lying towards the ground to simulate the feeling of actually flying.  Trust me that was very scary but the fun and excitement goes to meteoric proportions. And all we have to do during those intense moments is simply trust your life to the safety harness because it’s a long long fall below. By the way screaming on the line during the fall is absolutely recommended.

You'll be safe here. I think. hahaha

The ride is basically scary the first time you scan the whole area: the gothic location of the hill, the tall bridge, and the long way falling down, the half kilometer long steel cables, and that noise whenever riders plummet from above. But most of all the biggest at stake in this adrenaline pumping activity is conquering that immortal fear of heights. I believe everybody has that kind of fear; it’s only a matter of handling it that defines the border of taking that leap of faith to backing out. I can still remember somebody asking herself “Kaya ban a naho (Can I do that)?”

I was delighted to hear my big sister Gretchen was game for the zipline thrill ride, and there’s no need to convince my younger brothers, they already signed up for that long before the facility was finished. So there goes a memorable sibling affair – the adventure of the Fantastic Four! Since I’m the one who organized and financed the whole activity, I decided I should be the first to jump. I paired up with my ate Gretch on the other line and after the preparation and the harness intact nobody told what we were up against. Without the proper melodrama of the pre lunge “on the country of 3.. 2.. 1” the guides suddenly just blasted us down. That was anticlimactic but I liked it that way – simple but sudden.

That's my big sister, she's one brave girl that day. I'm on the far right, quite scared. ^_^

It was an awesome mixed up feeling to be up there, partly scared because it felt like gliding straight to death, partly exhilarated because of the incredibly fast pace we were heading down (it’s around hundred kilometers per hour), and partly exhausted because of screaming out loud!  The rush of the wind from dropping so fast downwards was a factor I did not consider, it was deafening.  And the view of the trees and the great bridge below is a view to die for. Half a kilometer doesn’t go quick; it takes around 40 blissful seconds up in the air before a rider reaches the bottom line – but like the saying goes “the longer, the better…”  It was indeed all out fun.

Anxious on lookers. That's the grand view of the facility overlooking mountains and the big bridges.

The zipline ride is Agas-agas was one of my top stops in my homeward wanderings last week. I know up front the moment I signed up for the Boracay assignment that I would only be at home at least once a year – that is part of growing up standing up to responsibilities, see the world and inevitably leave home in the process. Last week might be the last time this year that I will set foot at home so there’s no freakin’ way I was backing out! That was a great challenge and a wonderful opportunity to be a part of something great shared with my siblings and our tatay.

So guys if you have some time and you want to go for a thrill ride, please visit our Agas-agas Zipline in the province of Southern Leyte.

The Tabada Sibling with Tatay Dindo!

Me, Tatay Dindo, Paul, Ate Gretchen and James. Big smiles from the family means it was a great trip.

The province of Southern Leyte is well known for its landslides and tragedies with the worst burying an entire village five years ago. We used to label our province as the Landslide Capital of the World. But now we have a new reason to smile because people from all over the world will be amazed by the rise of our new landmark – the Bridge of Agas-agas.

a view from below..

Located in Brgy. Kahupian, Sogod, Southern Leyte and standing 292 feet (30 stories high) above the ground the Agas-agas bridge is now considered the tallest in the country. It was constructed from 2007-2009 with the  Japanese firm Sumitomo Construction LTD and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) leading the frontlines in constructing the colossal structure. The bridge was opened for public last August 9, 2009 to creat a more stable and safer access connecting Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao through the Maharlika Highway. With a whooping of P1.04 billion this is by far the most ambitious work of engineering the region have ever seen since the creation of the San Juanico Bridge.  This is no doubt ex-Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s gift for the province – a marvelous one.

an aerial view of the bridge. Two zipline cables were already installed from the photographers location. The ropes will pass above the bridge all the way down.

The term Agas-agas was derived from the word ‘agas’ which means flowing water referring to the beautiful mountain waterfalls visible by the roadside. The roads in Agas-agas used to be a dangerous to traverse especially during the rainy season. Regular reports of soil movements and yes, landslides are common in the area (which means headaches for transportation). The concrete roads used to break up as soon as they were repaired making the ride to Tacloban a jumpy ride with additional risk of the vehicles falling off the road 300 feet below. Its way more exciting  than Kennon Road!

With its panoramic beauty of the mountain area that offers a good view of the both sunrise and sunset, not  to mention the dazzling mountain waterfalls nearby it is going to become the country’s next monumental landmark.

“It has a natural tourist attraction and the way the bridge is constructed is very modern,” Ebdane said of the bridge project constructed by Philippine-Japan Highway Loan – Project Monitoring Office.

see that figures below? thats my brothers. and that is how huge that pillar is, virtually dwarfing us the size of ants.

The government is not done yet, they are going to make it an extreme sport haven. Facilities for bungee jumping, rope jumping, rappelling, a zip line and para-gliding etc are already being constructed.

“Now you can jump from the bridge and live to tell it. We invite extreme sports enthusiasts to come over and check out the bridge’s sky-scraping height,” said Undersecretary Rafael Yabut, who oversees the operation for the DPWH in the Visayas regions.

I recently had the opportunity to visit with my siblings and our Tatay the bridge for the first time.  I found the place beautiful packed with unlimited tourism potential not only for extreme sports enthusiast but also for photographers and nature lovers. There’s the zipline cables already connected and man they look bloody extreme with approximate lengths of more than half a kilometer – downwards. Bungee jumping platforms have been constructed along the bridge only waiting for the rope to come in. We also went below the bridge. One of the bridge’s pillars is so big you could hardly its real; it simply dwarfed to the size of the ant anyone standing at the foot. And the scenery, up and below the bridge, are stunning. I suddenly became a photographer that day.

This summer I want to jump on top of that bridge badly.

my siblings and Tatay were simply having fun trying to measure up that 'thing'.

The sunset by the bridge is quite awesome with simple camera, but with SLR its an amazing view.

The Road

This is the view of the ground from the top. Scary stuff. Now where's the rope? I wanna jump!

The Fantastic Four with the oblation pose.