New Israel Zipline in North Cotabato: The Longest Zipline In Asia
Surrounded by more touristy places like Davao, North Cotabato has been left undiscovered despite its natural and man-made tourist attractions. Mountaineers would know more of North Cotabato for one of its major cities, Kidapawan City, as a jump off point to Mt. Apo. But on the foothills of Mt. Apo also lies New Israel Zipline and Eco-Adventure Park in Makilala, where the longest zipline in Asia can be found.
Who knew that the longest zipline in Asia is in Mindanao?
The Longest Zipline In Asia
New Israel Zipline and Eco-Adventure Park has been dubbed the title as the longest zipline in Asia because of its 2.3-kilometer long zipline.
Before the start of the ascent, a local tourist guide will approach you to provide assistance to the whole tour. Your tourist guide will lead you to the registration booth, where you will have to pay PHP 400 per person for the zipline. You will then ride a horse uphill, and will be given the chance to take photos of the great view of the flatland. After taking photos, you will need to walk 400 steps to the first station, but everything’s worth it!
The zipline is divided into two parts: a 1-kilometer cable that lets you pass through the New Israel community, and a 1.3-kilometer cable that brings you back to the starting point. In between the two rides is a pleasant kilometer walk along the nursery and gardens of the locals.
The Macaque Monkeys
New Israel is also home to the tamed Macaque monkeys. At a certain time of the day, Macaque monkeys go down from the mountain towards the community to look for food. Sometimes, these monkeys flock to the tourists, so try to stay away and never to feed them.
Moncadistas And Their Religious Organization
The town’s spiritual beliefs and culture may also amuse you. During your walk, you will notice an area with huge tablets and symbolic figures. You will also walk beside a worship hall at the end of the zipline ride. All locals of New Israel are members of the religious organization Moncado Alpha and Omega Peace Crusaders Missionaries Inc., which was founded by Maximino Guibernas in the 1950s. They call themselves Moncadistas and consider Jose Rizal as a prophet.
How To Get To New Israel Zipline
From Davao City, there are two different ways to get to New Israel.
1. Take the yellow bus in Ecoland bound for Kidapawan City. It will take you 3 to 4 hours to Makilala depending on the traffic and the duration of the stopovers in major cities and towns along the way.
2. The faster way is to take a van at SM City Davao (different from SM Lanang) bound for Kidapawan City for PHP 180. It will take you 1.5 hours to Makilala. Makilala stop is before Kidapawan City.
IMPORTANT: Inform the driver to drop you off at New Israel. If he is not familiar with the place, try the words “Makilala” or “zipline.”
From the national highway in Makilala, you will have to ride a habal-habal, or a single motorcycle, to take you to the adventure park. The ride will take around 30 minutes and will cost you PHP 80 per ride, which can accommodate a maximum of three people. Your driver will stop at a booth where you will have to register and pay PHP 20 for the environmental fee.
On your way back, several habal-habal are waiting on a shed by the entrance. Buses and vans are also constantly traveling along the highway. The van fare from Makilala back to Davao City is PHP 120.
Give Back To The Community
The local community only depends on farming and tourism as their livelihood. The tourist guide, the horse herder, and the photographer are all part of the cooperative that provides income to residents.
The payment for the zipline goes to the province, but the little amount or tip you will give to your tour guide and the money from souvenir sales will all be part of the locals’ income.