TORPEDO Extreme Canoe Adventure | Ulot River, Samar
Torpedo, as the word puts is a ballistic missile that explodes on impact. But in Samar, torpedo is neither a barreling bomb nor a lethal attack. It is a lexemic trope to mean a thundering boat adventure.
And it isn’t even just a so-so adventure — it’s one of those incredible rides one never forgets.
Come to Samar if you want to talk big about thrilling off-the-grid escapes in the Philippines. Yes, everything here seems to come in plus size. Massive waterfalls, colossal caves & huge rivers. They also have immense waves & enormous mountains.
As if it’s not enough, Samar also serves monster-yummy treats like tinolang native chicken, corioso & torta. Truly, this region is the classic example of big adventures for those claiming to be big.
Ulot River: A River of Torpedo Stories
Torpedo extreme boat adventure is a kick-ass fun activity offered at Ulot River in Paranas, Samar. Unlike other river rides, this one uses long & narrow wooden canoes raging through 90 kilometers of wild stream.
Modern thrill-seeking travelers know it as torpedo for its furious speed. But for the locals, it is called the good old “baluto” that is still used to transport people & goods. However, cruising farther back in time the old folks called it “dalamas” but this word had been washed away into oblivion.
And if there’s something else to its name, TORPEDO is also an acronym for Tenani Boat Operators for River Protection & Environmental Development Organization. Whew!
The concept of torpedo boat adventure is pretty much the same as white water rafting. Only that in torpedo you don’t need to paddle because an engine propels it. Also, it uses a wooden canoe instead of rubber rafts. It also doesn’t use flotation bags but rather pure Pinoy ingenuity, hardcore skills & lifelong affair with Ulot River.
Cruisin’ for Sluicin’
The tour jumps off at Sitio Camp Uno in Barangay Tenani. It takes you down to 8 kilometers of mixed-class rapids. Beginning with Class I, the cruise is easy & smooth passing through light riffles framed by forested communities.
But don’t let the stillness fool you because a wild world further down is looming ahead. Passing through rocks & ledges, the scene begins to turn rough as medium quick water rocks your torpedo sideways.
Then at the most unsuspecting moments, prepare to swerve by shallow souse holes & fly over short gradients. This rage goes on until you reach Dini’s Point. Shooting rides terminate here because it’s already too risky to navigate.
But don’t fret because you might want to take this chance to fill another adventure — rapids jumping. The adrenaline stakes are surely up at this spot. It is not high but the narrow assemblage of boulders & the madness of the torrent create the groaning feel in your stomach!
But Wait There’s More
If you find the first leg of the torpedo ride already exciting, wait until you make the upstream show.
Imagine sailing against the current, shooting yourselves up in full horsepower! This is the part where turning back or cowering isn’t a choice. Hold tight as you roar in reverse force, slicing through intense rapids all coming to you at once.
And don’t close your eyes because you will miss the thrill! Watch out for that one spot where your boatman skillfully squeezes the torpedo through a devilishly narrow rock passage in precise motion. This shoved my balls up my throat!
Samar certainly looms behemoth in outdoor adventures & its best-kept destinations can unleash decibel-breaking screams. It’s someplace packed with the biggest & baddest thrills. Truly, Samar is a thunderbolt playground that awaits you to experience!
This trip was made in partnership with the
Philippines Tourism Promotions Board
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Betwixt and between the arthritic 40 and a horrendous body mass index of positive 30, escapism and yummyeology are my real-life double post-graduate degrees conferred with the highest honors. I lived nearly half of my life in fancy suitcases, jetsetting between reality and fantasy... read more