Find us on Google+ Love Mindanao: February 2013

Tagudtongan, Maguindanao: Coconut, Faith and Life

The cheap source of livelihood in Tagudtongan, Parang Maguindanao, copras.

"farmers and producers gain almost nothing from the extracted and planted resources that built the economy of this nation"

A quick visit to the white beach of  Limbayan, Bongo Island revealed to us the other coastal community that exist on the other side of the Island, known as Tagudtongan. This barangay  is another remote island community of Parang, Maguindanao.
where the port of the barangay serves as  the primary gateway to other barangays in  Bongo Island . 

The port is located strategically in a cove section of the island, safe and  protected from the harsh tides of the sea and has a with very deep anchorage for bigger marine vessels to dock in. There aren't much to do and to see in the area, as of the time of this writing, other than the vast coconut plantation as source of copra business and small scale local fishing activities.

Love on Top…of the Tree (The Sex Life of Polypedates leucomystax, a Tree Frog )

Actual amplexus and  fertilization process of  Polypedates leucomystax

Mindanao is blessed with so much wonders and most of it is hidden in front of our plain sight. We are now much accustomed to the modern lifestyle that most of us have forgotten to rediscover the beauty of nature hidden in the dwindling forest of our country. Not much left forest in the Philippines, the island of Mindanao presents as last frontier being a natural refuge habitat for our declining wildlife.

Tinago Waterfalls of Iligan City

The Legend of Tinago Waterfalls
  "The legend of Tinago Waterfalls started when Sultan Agok and her wife were appointed as King and Queen of their village. But they became too proud and selfish to their people. One day an enchantress disguised as a beggar and asked for help but rejected and ordered to put into exile. During that time the wife of Sultan Agok was pregnant, and the enchantress put a curse onto their child to become as ugly as their attitude.

When the baby was born, the once proud parents became so disappointed and hid their baby in a cave of the forest to avoid embarrassment.  They name the baby as Tin-ag which means hidden face.

Tin-ag grew alone and constantly weeping because of loneliness. One day she went out of the cave and got amused of the wonderful and beautiful environment that dwells outside the cave. In her wandering, she met the enchantress who cursed the parents and show pity to the child. The enchantress offered her to be beautiful and Tin-ag accepted no matter what the consequences. She was turned into a majestic waterfalls that everyone who sees it are awed by its enchanting beauty."

Tawi-Tawi | I Dare, I Bare and I Rock Bongao

I  am always a believer that my being is a work in progress. Even though most people expect so much from me, perfection is not  in my vocabulary. I am not afraid to commit mistakes because after all , mistakes are just lessons to be learned. 

Needless to say, I always make sure that each day I live my life in the most audacious way one could ever imagined which  includes thrilling escapades. This adventurous side of me led to challenge myself to visit the farthest province in the south of the Philippines, part of Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), Tawi-Tawi.

Tinuy-an Falls in Bislig, Surigao del Sur:Travel Guide

Tinuy-an Falls in March 2012
Surigao del Sur, a province in Mindanao, is a sleeping giant for potential tourism in the Philippines. Despite of its exposure to travel magazines and televisions, such as Living Asia, the place is unpopular to Mindanao outsiders and only few manages to experience  its magnificent beauty . Most visitors are in doubt to visit the place due to the image projected by the tri-media about the entire Mindanao. To them, Mindanao is a place of insurgencies, kidnapping and the homebase of Abu Sayaff, a terrorist group. Sad but those are sweeping statements and irresponsible journalism. I have lived and worked in Surigao del Sur for almost two years, and all I can see are potential tourist destinations waiting to be unveiled. In this blog, I shall present series of articles showcasing the real jewels of Mindanao based on personal experiences.

Visiting Waniban Island | Paradise Found in the Remote Province of Davao Oriental

Waniban is a very small island located just across Brgy. Tamisan, Mati, Davao Oriental. When you travel going to this paradise island via boat or locally known as baroto, you will have a glimpse of the enigmatic land formation resembling to a sleeping dinosaur. Waniban island serves as  a temporary shelter for fishermen during unexpected rough sea weather.

Siargao: The Ultimate Surfing Experience (Part 1)

My first visit in Siargao was a grand experience to remember. Given that I am just a six hour bus ride away from Surigao City, I never had a chance to visit the famous island until a collaborative plan with a friend Mervin or Pinoy Adventurista was placed into reality. I was anxious to go there but good thing we met some local residence and active surfers Janice and Kyong that gave us an idea on things we could expect from  the island.

Cantiasay | Bridges to Life ( Nonoc Island, Surigao City)

Bridging Life, San Pedro & Cantiasay

It was just another sleepless night of travel as I hit the road  to Northeastern part of Mindanao with an invitation of a blogger friend Jeffrey of Traveling Morion . To energize from my non-stop jaunt, I snap a little break in Butuan City  and had a relaxing thermal massage to ease my aching feet and back. When the clock hit midnight, I ran towards the central bus terminal and waited for a bus bound for Surigao City.

Tawi-Tawi's Muslim Royal Wedding | A Sacred Love Sealed Under the Moon

Being a spontaneous traveler, I always love the idea of not knowing what I might go through in every places I visit especially in this isolated province of the country, Tawi-Tawi.

As I set foot in the island’s capital, I already felt a smooth smell of love in the air and the nostalgic flare of  passionate emotions that was simply contagious. Little did I know that there was a big celebration in the island; the union of hearts between two Muslim lovers set during the rising of the bright full moon in December.  

Manobo Exotic Food: The Untold Story of Bibang (Varanus cumingi)

Living with the Manobos in  Sitio Inadan in San Miguel Surigao del Sur is an experience that I will treasure forever and a worthy story I am proud sharing to everyone. This is the moment in my life where I have encountered overwhelming  discoveries about cultural diversity and the true meaning of the word simplicity and  humility. I would say , working and living  in this part of Mindanao have totally altered my view in life upon experiencing first hand the difficulty of living conditions of our brothers in the mountainside.