Find us on Google+ Love Mindanao: October 2012

Bitaog : The Philippine Centennial Tree

This  centennial  Bitaug Tree in the coastal community of Caloc-an, Magallanes was believed to be standing for more than 500 years even before the coming of the Spaniards in the Philippines.  

Based on the marker set before the gigantic tree:

“ This Bitaug tree existed long before 1523 based on existing set of maps which shows the island of Mindanao with its Northeastern side named “Bitau” and “Batauo”, undoubtly referring to Bitaog tree, as it was then the custom of Filipinos to name places after the trees. This surviving Bitaog tree has also been a mute witness to many historical events, among others are: (1) the initial evangelization of Mindanao; (2) the birth of Caraga as a Region during the Spanish colonial period; (3) the struggles of the Agusanons against the Americans; and (4) the quadracentennial of the evangelization of Mindanao on September 7, 1997.”

Mati: Sambuokan Festival 2012

“Mag iban iban kita,magbal’lao-bal’lao kita, mag isa kita.”

It was an exciting journey to Mati, Davao Oriental to witness Mati’s Sambuokan Festival for the very first time. I was traveling blind as I never heard of the festival before and not sure of what I will be expecting from the place. Coming from Davao City after my night gig at Starr Club, I hit the 8 am bus bound for Mati.

I reached the secluded and silent city of Mati after a 5 hour bus ride. Arriving at 1pm, I first head  to the nearest food chain-Jollibee to satisfy my growling famished gut.

From where I was sitting I already noticed the increasing number of crowd in the street. I was just on time as the street dance competition was about to commence. Carrying my camera, I took shed in one of judges’ tent to have a better look at the performances.

Davao City | Deca Wake Boarding

There was a point in my life that I have questioned my very existence and of course at the end of the day I found no answers to my question. Seeing day to day news of triumph, tragedy, celebrations and death makes me think that life is so simple and so expendable and it goes around whatever motivates people to push for the day. In my case, I am not yet so sure what keeps me going, but it must the ultimate thrill that I always seek for that make me feel unfulfilled.

I go forward to the unknown challenges that sometimes without thinking of the risks. I only adhere to my belief  that I am free and I am keeping myself away from the norms that the current society dictates people to follow or to do. I feel that I have to be different but with no intention of becoming a lame risk taker.

Butuan Resto: BFB's Acoustic Night with Al Pacino's "Godfather" ???

"I’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse"....The Godfather

I can’t believe I am taking this pizza parlor a peak on its toll and it must be its dynamic appeal that keeps me coming back to savor another flavor for a feast on my palate.

The Godfather
This time I was a little unpredictable to ask for something that really intrigued me- the Big Flat Bread’s pizza known as “The Godfather”. 

And YES you read it right! Coming exactly from the source of the famous Vito Corleone’s  line (Marlon Brando) I’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse (recite it in a gritty deep voice like the usual mob character). And those words faithfully fit this awesome delight at it is something you won’t be able to decline once placed on top of your plate.

Butuan or Limasawa: To Where Philippine Christianity was Born

I must confess that I was a history geek way back in my elementary days and I even champed a quiz bee competition in our region at the height of my learning stage. My curiosity on Philippine history was so intense that I wished to know everything about the events that occurred prior to the sovereignty we are enjoying today. But this interest suddenly decline the moment I was introduced to the fascinating world of science during my high school days up to the present. I must admit that through time,I have forgotten those important people and events in our history.

Tandag City: Ang Cortesanon

For years now, I’d been to Tandag City as an extension of my home. This city is the nearest city to my place and about 30 kilometers from San Miguel, Surigao del Sur. This is not the usual city that people are used to as it has no grand and enormous malls, food chains, classy restaurant so forth and so forth.

Mountain Climbing and Environmental Altruism: Tips on Tree Planting

It’s always been a pleasure to be involved with various civic groups with their endeavor to contribute to the environment. In some of my observations, some does it right but most of them does it the very wrong way.

Tree planting is one of the common activities proposed by various organizations like mountaineering and outdoor groups in either small or colossal in numbers during a hike in a disturbed mountain area. 

Most of the time, participants who wished to be involved are more interested and excited of getting to the summit and have the so called 'socialization" rather than focusing on the major objective of the movement. Most of the time, tree planting activity  poses an environmental altruism because of  community exposure and usually just TEMPORARY in nature.

Agusan River: A Cruise to the Past

On one lazy  afternoon, I made an unplanned escapade just to break the monotony of my stressful work assignment in Butuan City. So I took a break and head to the National Museum of Butuan to wonder on the historical artifacts of Great Mindanao. Looking at the picture of the old Agusan River made me wonder if it is possible to cruise the colossal water body. I have never heard of any travel or tour agency in the city that offers such activity.

BUDA, Baguio of the South | Seagull Mountain Getaway

It was an unexpected getaway bumping with a friend in Davao City just after I ended  my adventurous trip in Zamboanga  . Mark tagged me  for a quick visit to Seagull Mountain located at the boundary of Bukidnon and Davao. Since I've never been to that place, I decided to have a little wash up at the comfort room inside Davao's airport just minutes after we have landed and put on again my backpack ready for another extra mileage of journey.

Balangay Shrine, Butuan City: Commemorating the Past

Our knowledge of Philippine history isn’t complete without remembering the word ‘balangay’ or the giant boat used by our early ancestors living in nomadic ways around Southeast Asia and the Polynesian islands. These boats played an important role  as the primary shelter keeping the  clans or family together  while making trades using the barter system among various Asian traders. This boat was the origin of the modern barangay , the smallest political unit in the Philippines .

Butuan Restaurant :Lutong Bahay ni Aling Cora & Seafood Dampa

Visiting new places also means encountering local delicacy, culture and traditions. In my first two trips in Butuan City, I always thought  that the city was just like any other sleepy towns in Mindanao. 

From a view coming from non-Mindanaons, some may see this place as barren place with nothing to offer at first glance. But as you wander around in the inner and secluded part of the city, you will be surprised to discover some authentic places that you would surely enjoy and be proud of to finally have a taste of what is not known to many. 

The New and Old Face of Aling Cora
One noted experience of mine was during my quick visit to the historical Balangay Shrine. After a walking tour in the city I received an invitation for a dinner in one of the institutionalized restaurant in Northern Mindanao  known as Lutong Bahay ni Aling Cora .

Traveling Ilocos Provinces: Itinerary and Post Accounting

Coming from Mindanao, I had gone to Luzon to spend my 7 -days ,3rd Quarter Vacation, Home Leave to the nth Power for the year 2012.  I planned to pay a visit in Ilocos Provinces as I have never been to the place since birth. Traveling alone, I was traveling blind and had no idea on which place I will be going. It would be another “Come What May” and “Bahala na si Batman at idamay pa si Superman” adventure.

El Nido, Palawan | Budget and Itinerary

hotel deals in palawan

To give guidance for travelers on how much to prepare on your future trips to El Nido, Palawan, I am releasing here my personal itinerary and cost incurred during my 4 days and 3 nights stay in the island. The actual cost may vary depending on the type and number of activities you wish to have. 

For detailed travel guide click on this link El Nido Palawan, Islands and Beyond. Enjoy :)

Butuan’s Delta Discovery Park

If you are a typical thrill seeker , a visit to Delta Discovery Park’s 1.3 Km zip line will indeed suffice your thirst for adrenaline rush and adventure.

It was a referral coming from a friend that I should try and feature  the said park as it will take its visitors to another level of Zip line activity. I have tried many zip lines before but not with a distance of 1.3 km.

Taking a Buggy Ride to get around the park

Prior to my visit to the park, I made an arrangement a day before with their coordinator and was picked up by Ms. Lilian at 8:00am through a red customized jeep intended for their visitors. 

The reception area was a little bit far from what I have expected and probably about 3-5 km away from the highway. I was greeted by the staff and offered me a tour around the vicinity. I was only interested on the zip line as this is something new that I have never tried before.

El Nido, Palawan | Islands and Beyond

Visiting Palawan is a dream vacation and most probably on top of every Filipino’s bucket list to experience this grand paradise dwelling in the Last Frontier of the Philippines.

This world class tourist destination is no longer new to me as I have been in the island for several times. In fact I made some noted works in the southern part of the island during the height of my course in Environmental Science and Ecosystem Management.

But during those days, I spent little time for leisure and wandering to enjoy the beauty of the place and it did not even cross my mind to look around as I was 100% focused on my job documenting the soil profile of the mountains of Espanola. Living in the area was just like any ordinary “probinsya” days way back in 2007 until I saw the pictures of my friends who’d been in the beautiful spots of Palawan that made me feel a little bit jealous.