Find us on Google+ Love Mindanao: November 2012

Kaputian Beach, Samal Island

The Island Garden City of Samal or IGACOS is an offshore island of Davao del Norte and has been a popular destination among travelers due to its successful advertisement of pristine  environment. The place is a sensation among local and foreign travelers who wish to visit Davao.

8th Philippine Bird Festival-Manila Bay


The 8th Philippine Bird Festival, the country's largest celebration of avifaunal diversity and bird lore awareness, takes wing on December 7 in the City of Manila and will bring attention to Manila Bay and the important role this plays in the East Asian Flyway.

Themed "Birdwatching. It's More Fun in the Philppines" this year's festival will highlight the Little Egret, a common migrant that congregates in the Coastal Lagoons on the southern coast of Metro Manila during the northern winter, and the endemic Philippine Duck, whose remnant population in the Philippine capital is threatened by reclamation and property development plans in that part of Manila Bay.

Chasing Waterfalls| A Quick Trip to Iligan City, Lanao del Norte

After a quick visit to Zamboanga del Sur, our jaunt in the western side of Mindanao never ended as we traversed the island going northeast to the City of Falls, Iligan , Lanao del Norte. Taking a bus in Pagadian City, it took us only less than 4 hours before we reached the majestic city of Iligan.

I'd been to Iligan before when I wandered to the famous Tinago and Ma. Cristina Falls but there was an urge in my heart that drew me back to the enchanting place one more time.

Together with travel buddy, Marky and Lauren, we met Lai of Iligan Bloggers Society (IBS) who became our official tour guide (peace)  to  wander around in the beautiful city.

Cantilan’s Baybay Beach: A Prelude to a Great Adventure

Living in Surigao del Sur (SdS) is a privilege surrounded with all the beautiful destinations not yet known to everyone. Exploring north of SdS did not cross my mind until I have known that my two favorite travel bloggers were visiting the town of Cantilan. It was just a supposed a casual meet up with Lois and James that I decided to drop at the place known as the "Cradle of Town". I took  this opportunity as well to meet again my newly found friend from Cantilan Bank , Cathe Duero, whom I always planned to travel with but our time wont just permit us for so long now .

Samal Island: Hagimit Falls

Hagimit is a small waterfall two kilometers from Penaplata proper, inner land of  Samal Island. Coming from Davao City together with friends I just met, Rommel, Dado and Cosme, we hit a ride going to the port terminal bound for IGACOS or Island Garden City of Samal.

It was so easy to spot the area as a huge billboards display along the highway pointing to the right direction.  Upon reaching the gate of the resort, we paid Php40.00 each for the entrance fee. The table and chair was Php300.00.

Butuan City: The Ruins of Banza

Northern Mindanao is described as one of the places in the Philippines that holds authentic stories about the Philippine history and culture. 

One in particular is the under rated Butuan City which a home to various important artifacts of the past even before the coming of the western conquerors. The place showcases various important historical events that made it worthy discovering but you need to have a personal encounter to  appreciate the most untold stories of our heritage.

From Pagadian City with Love

"It turned out that my feet travel faster than my plans..."

Fresh from our trip from Cotabato City and Maguindanao, we braved to travel the pitch dark night going to Pagadian City despite the warnings from the locals in the area.  Running out of time as set on Marky and Lauren's itinerary, we decided to push our ways towards Zamboanga del Sur, putting our lives in danger where what all we can do was to  pray for a safety trip .I gave my deepest breathe casting away my fear in this wildest, reckless decision I made so far .I just relied on my belief that if we allow fear to corrupt our mind, we are making terror lives in our heart thus giving victor to the terrorism that has been lingering in everyone’s nerve every time people hear places in ARMM.

Bongo Island-Limbayan, Manguindanao | The Off Beaten Path in Mindanao

" I fear more the people  of Manila than I fear my neighbors in Mindanao"

Paranoia is a general term for people who feel the suspicion or fear first before even the actual encounter. Cotabato City and other nearby ARMM provinces  has been a well recipient of this kind of treatment among the general populations not only in the Philippines but also from the rest of the world.

The city and nearby communities being dominated by  Muslims are equated to stereotyped deranged of a chaotic community. It was a sad truth that our Muslim brothers are judged based on the generalized report  of accidents, attacks and crimes committed by the bandit groups and  from the violence resulted on feuds among the political clans.

Incidents reported before were undeniable but those were same events that are happening elsewhere in the Philippines. Mindanao is negatively sensationalized by the media reporters feeding the mind of the general public and creating fear in the mind of the people which can be categorized as another form of unintentional terrorism.

Butuan Spa: 50% Massage Experience at Grand Royal Spa

Traveling is always accompanied with aching back and almost paralyzed feet due to excessive wandering. My latest jaunt to Cotabato City really hit me hard traveling by bus for almost 24 hours coming from the east of Mindanao, Surigao del Sur via Davao City, then directed my path to Pagadian, Iligan, Cagayan de Oro loop.

Taking a break in Butuan City reminded me of the 50% off promo of Grand Royal Spa that has been running for almost a week. I never had a reservation so I tried my luck as a walk in client. Lucky of me I was entertained by the owner, Mark, as he gave me a spot for a 12mn appointment. Not bad as it was almost 11pm and timing that I have to leave Butuan by 2am for my Surigao City adventure with Jeffrey of Traveling Morion.

Bantayan Island, Cebu | An Executive Tale of an Island Escapade

Ground Situation:
It was February, two days before my birthday, my table was messed up with dozens of analytical deadlines for Manila Bay project; fish kill occurrences; stakeholders’ meeting; semi-annual reports and so forth and so on. My eyes were burning red!

Personal Diagnosis:
Experiencing an almost hell breaking terminal  boredom!

Take a quick vacation, escape the city, distance oneself from the office, turn off the cellular phone, and temporarily disable social media connections.

Locate the free airline ticket bound for Cebu; reserve an overnight stay in Bantayan Island, pay the reservation at the nearest  bank, cash out a little from the savings reserved for the upcoming summer escapade.

A.S.A.P- meaning tomorrow-so file a leave now or simply just be absent  (excuse to be provided upon questioning).

The Grand Mosque of Masjid Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah | Cotabato City

Masjid Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah (Grand Mosque)
Usually for people to wake up in an unknown territory gives them a creepy feeling but in my case it even drive me crazy due to my curiosity on what the day would offer to my worthy noted adventures in places I'd never been before.

Cotabato City: Traveling with the Men in "Ghutra" (part 1)

Complicated and challenging travels are what I always look for whenever I plan an outdoor getaway to break the monotony of routine activities I have in my work. To mitigate the complication along the way, I usually  prepare sets of alternatives before stepping a foot outside of my  door and I always assure the  security condition of the places with emphasis on the safety and far  from any danger that can put my life into peril. (Who doesn’t?)

But in the latest escapade that I did, I somewhat have become so reckless, unpredictable and bent the  golden rule of traveling as I have come unprepared visiting  one of the most feared places in the Philippines-Cotabato City. 

 Sultan Dipatuan Kudarat-7th Sultan of Maguindanao
Visiting any places in ARMM wouldn't be dared by any 'regular' citizens as most of us are afraid to be caught in the middle of war between the MILF and the AFP, plus the terrorism brought by some groups that made the place a nightmare to everyone's  journey.

But with the recent development , launching and signing of the "Framework Agreement" between the government and the MILF, I felt that bumping in ARMM is little less hazard compared to previous years.

Curious about the impact of such agreement, I decided to wander around in one of the "troubled" cities in the ARMM, Cotabato, to test the effectiveness of such strategy coming from both parties- but I am not setting myself as the sacrificial pancake for this as I just want to see it with my own eyes the PEACE that we are all hoping to happen very soon.

Pastel of Cotabato City

Fresh hot Pastel

YUMMY, SUMPTUOUS, EXOTIC LOCALLY MADE FOOD! That is one of the motivating factors that leads me to travel the long and intricate road of Mindanao. 

I am a big fan of local delicacy which breaks the usual type of prepared food from the fast food chains in the metro and in our locality.  Diving into the indigenous food and delicacy feels like being part of the community, giving me a perspective of the local’s reflection of their culture and tradition.

Cotabato City is not exempted with my search for delectable “common” food in the area. In my recent visit to the controversial city, I was introduced to some of the tasty delights that first time touched my taste buds.

Butuan's Evolution Break Party a Success!

It was a dance haven for all party goers in Butuan that made the night explodes with music coming from DJ War and Elmer Dado with the unparalled percussion talent of Grupo Tribale, creating a beat that  made everyone hit the dance floor.

Attended by hundreds of beautiful people , the kick off of the Evolution Dance Party was a success held last October 27 @ Moffs Bar , sponsored by Butuan Big Flat Bread , Aling Cora and Royal Grand Spa

Here is the video on how the party went. This shows that Mindanaons know how to rock your world in the dance floor.Hope to see you on the next party events here in Butuan . (no copyright infringement intended).