"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.
Cotabato-Pagadian, Fear me Not?
I confessed that traveling in this feared region gave me an uneasy feeling with strong beating heart during the entire 5 hour land travel along the pitch black road.But this journey also made me feel strongest as I made the ultimate decision that could conclude my life (fingers crossed).
Cutting through the Province of the Maranaws gave me a little chill and worsen by the tales told by our driver and his side companion about the danger and “encounters” that had happened in the heightened places in Mindanao. I refused to believe on their stories because I know on a firsthand experience that news from the media were all magnified and sensationalized upon reaching the public.
Reaching each check point area gave me a feeling of relief knowing that the whole stretch of the pitch black road is guarded by the armed forces of the Philippines.
The moment we reached the boundary of Pagadian City, a deep sigh came from my crumbling chest and finally I was able to breathe freely.
It was an unexpected meet up with Pagadian’s Top Travel Blogger, DocWends of Travels and Journeys as he was only expecting visitors Lauren and Marky that night ,SURPRISE! Hahaha. ; unaware that the traveling couple brought me as an extra on their escapade. (Now the word Travel Kaladkarin fits!)It was only a week ago that we were talking about our plan to visit Doc Wend’s place in December, but it turned out that my feet travel faster than my plans.
I was so grateful that I was accommodated together with Lauren and Marky in his very cozy abode. That was the first time I saw DocWend’s Siberian puppy named Laika. It was a love at first sight but I kept my distance as I don’t want to spoil the puppy on our first meeting. First impression lasts!
|The casts, Darryl, Doc Wends, Marky, Lauren and Me in the 'hood' (photo courtesy of Marky)|
We enjoyed a late dinner as Doc Wends prepared a sumptuous food , spaghetti plus delicious dessert maja blanca with lots and lots of corn.
|Inclined tricycle of Big Bug and Creamy (dog) on the wheel|
This jaunt was so unprepared that I came with little clothes on my backpack. Short with garments to wear, Lauren and I decided to wash our clothes first and let it dry before we scout the known destinations of Pagadian. It was so funny seeing Lauren washed her and Marky’s clothes as she did it using her feet in a cute way! That’s how a foot traveler does her laundry , also by FOOT!
|The view of Pagadian City from the tower|
Doc Wends set the day for a city tour in Pagadian. Together with our jolly driver and guide Big Bug, Doc Wends, Lauren, Marky, Darryl-docWends’ brother and I rode on a very unique tricycle . It was my first time to encounter a 45 degree inclined tricycle designed fitted for the rolling hills of the city.
|The liempo we munched on for lunch|
We went over to a tower first that oversees the panoramic gulf of the city. Afterwards we did the extended chit chat over a liempo meal. It was a revealing moment on how Pagadian serve their chopped meat. That was the first time I saw a liempo sliced very thinly that almost look like a sisig. The way I look at it, it is actually advantageous to the hosts especially there is a lot of mouth to feed. I am kinda thinking of doing the same soon in a big party maybe. Hahaha!
|Walking in bare foot in this silted, muddy mudflats going to Dao Dao Daku|
We carry on our way to a nearby island which is not quite far from the mainland. They call it Dao Dao Daku. Going there requires a lot of bravery and patience facing the muddy and silted mud flats along the coastal community. Since it was low tide we have no choice but to walk a few meters soaked in mud before we can reach the banca that shall transport us at the other side. The view at the island gave us a perfect sight of the “Little Hongkong” of the South.
|Dao Dao Daku Island in Pagadian City|
In the afternoon we run to beat the twilight towards the famous Manga Waterfalls. Before getting at the site, we saw a big cross that sets on the hill overlooking the vast valley of farms. Guided by Big Bug, we walked through the concrete pathway to the waterfalls. It was almost dark when we reached Manga. I somehow regret coming there a little late as light was very poor to have a good picture of the beautiful falls. We left immediately and traced back our way back to Doc Wends house.
|Manga Falls, Pagadian City|
I am very grateful for this wonderful unplanned Pagadian trip as it involved a lot of emotions, dark and bright, and being able to come across with good people, Marky, Lauren, Doc Wends, Darryl, and Big Bug. I plan to revisit the place as I sense more beautiful places I still need to visit in Pagadian.
So to my future host,Doc Wends ,better prepare your kitchen as I will come prepared with a dish you will never forget! GULP!lol!