Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Launch of the ROCKet Zipline (Corregidor, Cavite)

MV Sun Cruiser II

A tranvia bus
When one mentions Corregidor (nicknamed “The Rock”), the first thing that goes through your mind is the heroic World War II defense of the Fil-American forces of Gen. Douglas MacArthur (and, later, by his successor Lt.-Gen. Jonathan Wainwright) against invading Japanese forces.  It is for this footnote in history that most tourists go to Corregidor for.  

However, to complement the historical tour, a variety of adventures were also offered and this now includes the ROCKet (patterned after the nickname of the island) Zipline which was recently launched by Sun Cruises Inc. (SCI). SCI, which traces its beginnings in August 1988 as a ferry service, now brings 70,000 tourists to the island annually, making the island one of the most visited tourist spots in the country.   
Corregidor Hostel

SCI Gen. Manager Roland Portes
At a presscon held at the conference room of the SCI-managed Corregidor Hostel, SCI Gen. Manager Mr. Roland Portes said that the zipline was added so that tourists, who stay overnight, would have something to do aside from the usual historical tour. 

A zipline, consisting of a pulley suspended on a cable mounted on an incline, is designed to enable the user, propelled by gravity, to traverse from the top to the bottom of the inclined cable by holding on or attaching to the freely moving pulley.  

The zip line installed in Corregidor is 40 ft. high and over 655 ft. long and stretches from the Corregidor Inn area to South Beach.  It follows a double standard system (2 cables and 2 double pulleys).  It is hoped that, with the support of the Corregidor Foundation, another zipline, connecting the Malinta Tunnel to the Topside, would be built this year.  SCI Marketing Manager Ms. Kristine Castro also added that SCI would launch Corregidor, not just as a historical island, but also an adventure island.
Jump-off point at Corregidor Inn

Mr. Joey Cuerdo (left) of Powerup
Aside from the zipline, other sports activities sponsored by SCI include a marathon, beach football and volleyball, the Corregidor aquathlon challenge, a kayaking race, sport fishing and wakeboarding (South Beach) as well as quieter activities such as birdwatching (White-Collared Kingfishers, Zebra Dove, Blue Rock, Asian Glossy Starlings, Eurasian Tree Sparrows, Black-Naped Orioles and, just recently, Philippine Cockatoos) the ephemeral, short-lived art of rock balancing (often linked to photography and landscape art) and  sunset watching (at Battery Grubb).  

Portes assured us that, despite these innovations, preserving history and the environment remained top priorities, their corporate social responsibility being to clean up the beach quarterly as well as using solar-powered electricity in the island.  

Being suited up by Mr. Jason Sauco of Powerup
At the SCI-managed, 31-room Corregidor Inn, the ROCKet Zipline was launch with a free trial for media and guests.   Mr. Joey Cuerdo of Powerup, who helped install this new adventure facility on the island, assured guests that the zipline can carry up to 250 pounds.  
Thus assured, we all took turns screaming our lungs out for 25 seconds as we zipped from the jump-off point at an amphitheater-like ravine below the hilltop Corregidor Hotel to the South Beach area.  

Even star basketball player Asi Taulava, whose team  Pepsi was in Corregidor,  tried it.  I myself tried the zipline twice.  The experience was like being a human cable car.  After this adrenaline rush, we next partook of a buffet selection of foreign and local dishes at the inn’s La Playa Restaurant.   

Visitors to Corregidor can now enjoy this adventure sport for PhP150.  There is no age restriction so anybody is allowed to try.  

Sun Cruises, Inc. (SCI) - Reservation Office: CCP Terminal A, CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Manila.  Tel: (632) 831-8140 and (632) 834-6857 to 58.  Fax: (632) 834-1523.  E-mail: suncruises@magsaysay.com.ph.

Sun Cruises, Inc. (SCI) - Sales Office: 21/F,  Times Plaza Bldg., Ermita, Manila.  Tel: (632) 527-5555 local 4511 and 4512.  Fax: (632) 527-5555 local 4513.  E-mail: sales@suncruises.com.ph.