Davao Part 5. Fun Fun Fun At Samal Island’s Maxima Aqua Fun and Eagle View Canopy Walk

How does the thrill of slipping down a giant slide at great speed all the way to the open sea appeal to you? It sure sounds a lotta fun, doesn’t it? But while some might be quick to say, “Oh yeah! Let’s do it, baby!” and even rub their hands together in excitement, I bet several others would think twice or more before finally deciding to do it. And even after they’d said they would, they still couldn’t be sure until they’ve really done it. Me?

On our way aboard a habal habal to Maxima Aqua Fun Water Park, I was hoping I would find the courage to do it. I am not really a big fan of water slides. Growing up, I’ve never felt perfectly safe in them. For some reason, I’ve always had this inherent fear of injuring myself as I swiftly slip down the fast water slide lanes, especially on those slides that are made of concrete. But I do love the water though, and the thought of being thrown into the open sea and making a big splash on the water really gave me a pleasurable sensation of fright and excitement.

From Hagimit falls, we were at the gate of Maxima Aqua Fun and Water Park in approximately 10 minutes. At the entrance, there were small billboards showing a list of fun day tour package options along with the corresponding prices, rates and fees. Visitors need to pay for the package they’ve chosen before they are allowed to enter. While waiting for our turn to pay, I noticed another queue on the other side of the gate. A man was busy putting harnesses and safety hats on them. When I asked the guard what they were lining up for, he said “Para sa canopy walk po yan,” and pointed his index finger up. Looking up, we saw several visitors walking on cable bridges, following an adventure trail amidst the branches of the tall trees hanging over our heads. They would rappel down to the ground when they reach the end.

I wasn’t interested in the canopy walk though. Ive done a similar activity in Subic two years back. Besides, I’ve had more than enough tree top adventure when I was a child, climbing tall duhat(java plum,) caimito (starapple) and mango trees, moving from one branch to another. When I was ten, while trying to reach a bunch of duhats 25 feet above the ground, I accidentally stepped on a dead branch of the tree, which snapped, and I fell off. How did I survive? Luckily, I got hold off another branch just a second before I hit the ground. I could have been dead many years ago, or might have been living physically impaired since the incident.

It was the most thrilling episode of my childhood life. I remember going back to that place a lot of times when I was a little older. I would hang on to the same branch that saved me from what could have been a tragic event, close my eyes and try to relive the experience. Till now, the incident still sends a shiver down my spine whenever I thought of it. For some reasons however, my grandfather decided to cut the tree many years later.

We chose package A for P200 which includes the entrance fee, free use of life vests, tables and chairs, diving board, trampoline and of course, the unlimited use of giant slide! (excited nga, may takot naman!) Package B includes the eagle view canopy walk for additional P50.

Maxima Aqua Fun Resort is actually built on a side of a cliff facing the open sea. From the entrance, there is a a winding concrete stairways leading down to the central part of the resort where the restaurant and dining area, along with the picnic huts, tables and chairs, and other amenities are located. Going down further, the stairways would lead the visitors to a boardwalk which allows them to get closer to the water.

Maxima Aqua Fun has no beach. There is no soft powdery white sand in the resort- just the pure crystal clear water of the open sea which is said to be as deep as 100 feet. To swim, one could either use the diving boards and take a plunge straight to the sea or use the stairs of the boardwalks leading to a platform under the water. The resort has a strict policy of not allowing anyone to swim without a life vest on and it applies even to those who claim to be good swimmers like me 🙂 The lifevest is quite a hassle when diving but we had to abide by the rules. Safety should always come first, by all means.

Since Maxima is basically a water park, there are several other water sports activities to keep the visitors entertained like jet skiing, scuba diving, kayaking and riding a banana boat, but the main attraction of course, is the giant slide. When we arrived, no one from the other visitors was using the slide, which made me worried a little bit. I hoped there wasn’t anything wrong with the slides. A few minutes later though, a group who were probably in their early 20’s made their way to the top towards the starting point of the slide. One by one, they began sliding down the lane, and as I watched each of them having so much fun, I felt a strong urge to go up and finally try it myself. But I waited a little bit. I laughed at every scream, each scream sounding different from one another. It’s funny how their screams always ends with an “ummmphhh” sound, seconds before they hit the water and make big splash on the open sea.

When I thought could no longer contain my excitement, I handed the camera to my friend and walked up to the starting point. I was feeling nervous but I did my best not to show it. There was no way I would let my nerves get the best of me. Looking relaxed from the outside, I positioned myself at the starting point where the assistant poured a considerable of water at my back to make me wet. That would ensure a smoother and faster slide all the way down to the sea. Now, the moment of truth. After one big inhale, I let go of my grip on the bars at both sides, and just as soon as I did that, I found myself sliding down the slippery lane in so much rush that I couldn’t even think straight. I must have been so stunned, I even forgot to scream. With a big “uummmppph” sound in the end, I was thrown into the air, and down straight to the water in a flash. Just as soon as I emerged from below a few seconds later, I screamed, ” Whoaaahhhh!”

I swam towards the platform and climbed the ladder back to the boardwalk. I sat down on the floor and watched the others repeatedly going up and down the waterslides screaming and laughing as if they were school-age kids. Each scream seemed to sound like a shout to me, urging me to get up and do it again. And in just a few minutes, I stood up and went back to the starting point. This time, the fear was gone, and all I could feel was pure excitement. Unlimited pala ha, Teka lang, hehe.. When I got there, I simply sat down, grabbed hold of the bars on both sides, and just as soon as the assistant had poured water on my back, I let go and screamed with so much joy and excitement. It was great to feel like a kid again 🙂

This may help: The resort is located at Brgy. Cawag, Penaplata, Island Garden City of Samal. For more information, please contact tel # (082) 282-23-39, 271-26-26.

How to get there: Go to Magsaysay Park or the IGACOS Ferry Terminal in JP Laurel Street and board the “Island City Express,” a non-aircon bus going to Samal. Just tell the driver or bus conductor you’re going to Maxima Aqua Fun. Or you may get off at Barangay Cawag and look for a habal habal driver to take you to the resort.

Accomodation, Rates, Fees and Other Charges (as of August 2011.) Please click on the image below to view a bigger picture. Thanks!

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