Davao: Whitewater River Tubing at Talomo River

I believe that ultimately, the only things we regret in life are the things we did not do. And was I very grateful that I did not let my ambivalence take over when it came to whitewater river tubing during my trip in Davao. I had imagined that river tubing would be more or less a very chill activity based on a couple of images I’d seen with people holding cocktails while doing it. So, it was a real surprise when I found out that river tubing is one adrenaline-pumped activity. And definitely one of the best things to do in Davao!

Davao Whitewater River Tubing at Talomo River

River Tubing Preparations

After some online research, we determined that the river tubing in Davao City that we are looking for is operated by Layak Paanod. We were able to secure a slot for our second day in Davao via text message. We were advised to don protective clothing like rash guards, leggings and aqua shoes. Unfortunately for me, I did not bring any leggings so I ended up wearing some board shorts. Good thing Jam brought her aqua shoes and I was able to borrow them.

Read more: Pearl Farm Beach Resort Davao (Staycation within a vacation)

On the day itself, we made sure to eat a heavy breakfast because we were expecting that the river tubing activity would last for 3 hours (and it did!). Since we rented out a car for our stay in Davao, we just searched for “Layak Paanod” in Waze and we were off to an hour-long ride.

Layak Outdoor Shop from the road

Layak Outdoor Shop from the road – you won’t miss it!

When we arrived at the Layak Outdoor Shop, we found out that we will be boarding a multicab in order to get to the river. A short hike was also involved. Once we were at the river banks, orientation began. Team Layak Paanod was a bit worried for us because it had rained a lot the previous day and the water on the river was significantly higher than usual. We were lectured on the various positions and techniques that would guarantee our safe passage. We also did some minor stretching exercises to minimize any next-day aches and pains. Then after some river blessing, we were off.

Layak Outdoor Shop Photo Wall

On the photo wall with my vest, helmet and water.

Team Dabaw-wow-wow on our way to the starting point

On our way to the starting point.

Team Layak Paanod

Team Layak Paanod hoisting down the tubes.

Hike to the Cogan starting point

During our hike, we carried the “salbabida” ourselves.

Scenery of the hike

The scenery was amazing. (If only the rocks weren’t poking my feet that much…)

Crossing a small stream to Cogan

We also had to cross a small stream.

Cogan: starting point of the river tubing

Stretching exercises to limber up.

River Tubing Orientation

Lecture on the various positions and when to do them.

River Blessing for our River Tubing

River blessing for our river tubing.

Triple on our third rapid

Doing the triple on our third rapid

Chill time river tubing

Chill time.

Here are some videos of us while river tubing  (please select HD for better resolution):

When I say “Jump!” you jump

There was a total of 8 rapids and we were able to do four different types of rides: solo, double, triple and caterpillar. At one of the stops, we had the chance to do a bit of canyoneering (or something like that). We climbed up one of the river banks and we jumped from there. I haven’t had the chance to do this in Cebu but I’ve been looking forward to doing it. Weirdly enough, while I was there, I was terrified. I mean, I’m no stranger to diving since I like diving into swimming pools, but jumping off a cliff (no matter how low) seemed like an entirely different matter. Hahaha! Of course, we had life vests and someone was waiting at the bottom of the jump but I was quite worried about catching my back on the rock outcropping. Take a look at my photos and see me jump incorrectly (face-slamming-water-type). I’m so glad I did not fracture my nose).

Tips on River Tubing in Davao City

  • The recommended attire of rash guard, leggings and aqua shoes is really best for this activity.
  • Note however that the sharp rocks at the hiking part will poke through your aqua shoes.
  • Listen to the guides during orientation. They only want you to be safe and also to have the most fun.
  • For GoPro users, spit on your camera to avoid water drops from ruining your photos. Half of mine are useless because I refused to do this.
  • No need to worry about taking photos because Layak Paanod has its official photographer. You can bring a memory card for them to use, or you can bring a USB so you can transfer the photos there at the computer shop beside Layak Outdoors.
  • Do not forget to apply sunblock.
  • Bring snacks and water. You can put these on the pocket of the life vests.
  • Relax, don’t overthink and have fun!

Commuting to Layak Outdoor Shop

  1. From the Davao City downtown area, take a taxi to Bangkerohan then alight at the Phoenix Gas Station.
  2. Beside Phoenix is the L300 Van terminal going to Calinan. Pay for your P45 fare at the terminal’s cashier.
  3. Inside the van, advise the driver that your stop is at the Layak Outdoor Shop, across the Calinan Elementary School. Travel time is estimated to be at least 40 minutes to Calinan.
  4. The Layak Outdoor Shop is on the right side of the road.
I did it! Whitewater river tubing is a must!

I did it! Whitewater river tubing is a must!


Layak Paanod
Datu Ubing St., Calinan, Davao City
Mobile: +639083290155
Rate: P600 per head, minimum of 6 pax
Facebook: www.facebook.com/teamlayakpaanod

March 12, 2016


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Jayce Cairo

Jayce is a linguaphile who speaks four languages and currently works as a translator to finance her various interests. Scoring very high on “Openness to Experience” on the Big Five Personality Test, she is an avid globetrotter who aspires to retire at 35 and travel for the rest of her life.


  1. Hi Jayce,

    Your blog is so helpful, thank you so much for documenting this activity. My 2 friends and I will go to Davao on Sept 26 – Monday, and I want us to try this experience. Could you please tell us if there is a time where we should meet the Layak Paanod team to start the activity? Is their meet up place near the airport? Also, would it be dangerous if I try this activity without knowing how to swim?

    Looking forward to hearing from you soon. Your reply is very much appreciated. Thank you!

    • Hi Jenny! Sorry for the late reply. Tubing should start early in the morning, around 8am, I think. They did not meet us at the airport but we had to go to the Layak Paanod Outdoor Shop instead. Lifevests are provided and they give a very informative and helpful lecture about the activity. They are also very maalaga. If you mind their instructions, there should be very little need to swim.

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