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And I Shall Rise Again | Love Mindanao Returns








It was one of the hardest  blows in my life and I felt a part of my soul was lost upon leaving Mindanao. It seemed my world forever stood still and imploded to breaking and my urge to share my thoughts suddenly dissipated into the thin black air of the city. Depressed and restless , writing again became so difficult on my end and finding the perfect words to express my emotions  have slipped into a sinkhole of total darkness.

To my beloved followers you deserve better and my apologies to the people who continuously supported me despite of my huge imperfections.

For the last two and a half years, I’d been the sole Environmental Specialist of a Coal Mining Exploration Project in Surigao del Sur and stepping into this sleepy province placed me in a world so different from what I've got used to- an environment where convenience is always the trade of the market. 

I have seen the reality of life through the eyes of the marginalized member of the community far from the promises of progress slipping from the lips of the politicians running the Philippine government. Poverty has been rampant for decades and the people in this part of the Philippines have not wondered even a little that their hope for advancement would become reality.

To Where I Found My Purpose

As I break the ice of a “boring” life in the country side, I have wandered only to discover the other side of Mindanao- BEAUTY, RICHNESS, and KINDNESS.  All of these have made me wondered why Mindanao was so underdeveloped despite the island’s huge potential to be progressive. The island of Mindanao holds the ideal characteristics of development to become the country’s leader in eco-tourism: its traditions, people, diversity and incomparable unique wonders of nature.

Mindanao is already “Mindanao” at the time when the rest of the Philippines are just any other island. Kingdoms have had governed this land where unique trading system fueled the simple yet progressive economy of the land. Most of these can be traced from the artifacts and writings that our ancestors have left us to remember that we were once a mighty community being respected by our neighboring nations.  

Mindanao has the lush yet dwindling natural resources, from the thick forests to rich seas that are far unique from the other places in Luzon and Visayas. The lush dipterocarp forest had been the backbone of the Philippine timber industry for so many years but only a handful of businessmen and powerful people got benefited from this resource, categorized as “public good”.

Mindanao has a unique traditions and cultures that have been so silent from the consciousness of the common Filipinos. 

Ranging from the soulful songs of mourning, to the ritual dance before a tribal war, these treasured practices flourished in the daily lives of our forefathers. As alarming as it may sound, these unique traditions and cultures that were protected and handed to many generations are now slowly disappearing due to the intrusion of the “modern world”.

With those facts of wonders about Mindanao, my heart broke knowing that I will be leaving the land that have put sparkles in my eyes, moved my imagination and flickered the hope in my heart. I lost the fire that gave me the reason to live and my simple “purpose” in life just vanished!

Rising Like a Bird of Fire

But I believe life  is what we make it and I promised that I shall wake up like a phoenix rising from the ashes of total disappointment.


When I was deeply down, I asked myself what is “Love Mindanao” without Mindanao? But I have realized reading back the mission of my blog that it is not about the place, but the spirit that lives inside of me, giving value to the name I have chosen so that wherever I go I would be bringing the fire and beauty of Mindanao. 

For the past four or five months, the deafening silence of my realm shouts freedom while I wandered through my wrecked imagination. And just like any writer, I was stuck for an artistic inspiration, thinking that the playful spirit of creativity have left me rotting to pieces of zero motivation . 

I was praying that soon a bright shining savior would lift me from my sorrow and hopelessness. And with God's graciousness, I am hoping I will be allowed to return to my beloved place once more.

And just like wishing to a falling star, I couldn't be merrier when my prayer was answered by bringing the AVLDA & LGSP-LED into the picture, bringing a spark of light to my pitch dark life. And I believe that this light shall burn brightly in the future, unleashing the hope and the cravings I have lost.  Soon, time shall heal all the wounds of the past and I shall be whole again picking up the pieces of the lost ME. 

Just give me that space and time and I shall be shooting  like a burning arrow of a hungry warrior running ragingly to a war.

Credits: 

I would like to give my sincerest appreciation to Ms. Lysil Toledo and to her entire family and staff of Fish Cage and Sandbars in Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur for a wonderful experience in their humble resort, the place I considered as my refuge during my breakdown. Your hospitality bridges me and my troubled emotions, making me better and soaring high after my faithful recollection in Surigao del Sur.

SALAMATER!




65 comments :

  1. I am sad. It is a kind of separation anxiety. It is understandable. But what you have done to Mindanao and to the rest who shared your passion - Mindanao, travel, blogging, etc. will remain. I will keep on following your rising from the "ashes"...just like you I believe that when the Phoenix Rises, it will be a great comeback...

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  2. That put tears to my eyes, Thanks Nonette, Living now in the concrete jungle make me feel so different ... an outcast ... but ill draw my strength from all of you :)

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  3. ha? I thought the proposal-program of work had been approved? anyways, hoping for d best...your survival instinct will prevail...will follow ur posts...I do not know if u have access to my blogs - travelblog.org/touristang-pinoy ...here in guam right now...best regards, wishing for d best...SW - smiling wide..

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  4. Bookmarked this page, will come back for further.

    Sons of
    Essex
    http://sonsofessexnyc.com/

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  5. Wow, what an experience. Thanks for the info on "how to get there"...Nakaka inggit...awesome.

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  6. Your blog is very inspiring. How I wish I could travel that far to reach those amazing nature there.

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  7. you can always start by exploring your own place ichurya.. and you will be surprised on the things you may discover .

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  8. Doable ba si Lake Holon for a daytrip? and then going back to koronadal by afternoon/evening?

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  9. hi Mariane, we suggest you take an overnight stay at the campsite . though if you are a fast climber you can reach the camp before noon if you leave 5am from the jump off point and you can go œback to town proper before 6pm ....but ofcourse that would be tiring and stressful

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  10. Wow! awesome.. The more I read your work sir the more im enticed into travelling. Thanks for that sir

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  11. thanks Deejay ...you can do it too . keep om browsing on places you may wish to visit in this page . Keep on rockin'

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  12. Is this the start of your rising from the ashes, Phoenix? Enjoyed reading your blog. The places are not the usual ones I saw in previous blogs. Vinegar is good? I know a guide who used "ihi" as first aid for, this time, jelly fish attacks...

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  13. thanks for continuesly following my blog. actually i already started with the post on Lake Holon before this. the reception was simply amazing . I was embraced once more but it feels like I am starting all over again . By the way Nonette are you still in the Philippines?

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  14. Was there till 15 nov, then flew to guam and wrote a few blogs - http:www.travelblog.org/Bloggers/Touristang-Pinoy Will be back MNL 29 dec, fly to NY 30 dec 11pm, via Incheon south korea to write a few blog...free ako 30 dec whole day until 3pm, stay in a hotel near the airport, solo backpacker pa rin... pls go on with blogging, while working...will keep following u...SW (smiling wide)...salamater.

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  15. Hi, sir Dennis, Eureka!! Now I found the connection. As I read how you STARTED, I knew your "ENDING" and I have to see your RISE from deep reflections. Now I know how important Mindanao is to you, and I got the message through reading several of your blogs. I guess, this is where you were "healed"...I don't need to ask what's the injury, lol...but the healing process occurred at San Miguel. The beauty, peace, serenity of nature, the promise of growth, the bright future that lies ahead, and the challenges for the locals to embrace the changes that your work introduced, the endless interactions and solving community problems together, were factors that healed you...you were wanted, you were needed and this is where you found your calling. I will call it, noble intentions. That nobility of purpose and directions consumed your whole being that loving, caring, sharing and healing became its name. Life is a cycle, once you embraced the "ending" another "injury" will be felt, but new opportunities may rise where you can find your calling and healing...the Phoenix may rise in another dimensions and setting? But the goodness of past experiences will inspire you to move on...your noble intentions will go on...God Bless you, Love Mindanao and may your future endeavors be greater than ever....Cheers...

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  16. Thanks Nonente Lib. It seems you know now how deep Mindanao had become my inspiration to share and become a proactive individual . Finding our purpose could be blinding with all the troubles we are encountering everyday . But the world doesnt revolve on just by one person . We have to share what we have and be sensitive to our fellows particularly to the marginalized members of the community. And I bet we have all our humble beginnings and our ends doesn't end with a snap of someone's fingers. We have to adapt and continue living . Live a life that is noble and filled with love .

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  17. Daniboi Dabuco PerezDecember 21, 2013 at 10:06 PM

    Tey Bong Nawa hu Kuy T'boli! (Thank you T'boli!):iba ata ang pagka translate,,, I thibk it means " I love T'boli" Thank you means "Bong Slamat"

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  18. hi daniboi .. sorry my note got messed up with translation ... then what should it be? . thanks for taking notice , i appreciate people correcting the content of my article :)

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  19. Astig. I'm speechless as I read word per word of this post.
    I imagine myself sipping cup of hot coffee amidst those clouds, overlooking those incredibly beautiful rice terraces. surreal.

    parang gusto ko nang pumunta ngayon sa sampaloc at sumakay ng bus papuntang banaue!

    i wish i could find chance, budget and time to experience the mountain province.

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  20. OMG ... doc gelo read my post. flattered, I got pressured to edit my post again .. hahahaha.. thanks doc gelo :D


    BTW doc gelo you can go there with at least 3k budget .. me and kurt share 1800 all in for our stay in Maligcong 3 days and 2 nights

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  21. I enjoyed the story Dennis

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  22. Salamat sir ,i appreciate it very much . Hope you can visit also Lake Holon soon :D

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  23. It was, indeed, challenging. As an environmentalist, the best in you is revealed in settings like Mingan.. Wish you can tell us what's up there...in your future adventures, just be cautious...haha....

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  24. For now I can only limit myself revealing what ever I have shared in this article ... maybe very soon when the implementing rules are on place ... but I could only assure that there are more than to expect out there . gems for people who appreciate wildlife on wild ... for poachers beware !!!

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  25. This is one of my fave destination - pasama naman sa sunod nyo na lakad dito :)

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  26. Haha.. Adik ka talaga Dennis! LOL! But you know what, I did the same. hehe... Also in Bontoc, but in another mountain,.. Tawag ng lalamunan, I was so thirsty that time. Yung tubig ay medyo cloudy rin and pang-irrigation din daw. But, Hindi ako nag-diarrhea. Super clean talaga diyan sa mga interior barrios ng Bontoc! Happy New Year!

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  27. Sure Jeffrey, I am planning a birthday trip to Barlig on FEb 21-25 .. have your backpack ready and join us :D

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  28. Agree agree Master Edmar. basta untainted by modern tech safe lagi :D

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  29. Aww I wish I could have joined you there. I have been wanting to climb Aurora's mountains for stick bugs for a long time now. Did you see any there? Also, I need some tips about obtaining gratuitous permits for collecting wildlife. It seems ironic to me that illegal loggers, poachers, kaingeros, etc get away with damaging forests with hardly anyone stopping them yet those of us who want to sample only a handful of wildlife specimens in the name of science and exploration have to go through stringent measures to apply for permits... and if we're lucky, we might even encounter unscrupulous people working within agencies who charge thousands of pesos for those permits :(

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  30. Yes Paulo, the place was blessed with so much wildlife and it is a sad feeling that there are poachers out there that are being tolerated by "authority". Even if they were already identified with their ill actions they are not being push to jail or at least persecuted.. maybe i don't know... there might be some kind of "deal"

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  31. Hello, that Nepenthes sort of looks like ventricosa meets sibuyanensis.

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  32. it looks like..possible new species ?

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  33. Thanks gelai :D

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  34. yes there are a lot to see...and a lot to be revealed and explored

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  35. punta kami sa lake holon on march 7, 2014.. next week hehehe..im here in davao..we'll travel more or less 6hrs..

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  36. Hello maam/sir,,good day po,,tanong ko lang po kong pwede po ba makapag camp sa summit ng mt.parker??pwede po ba maki share ng IT??wala pa po kasi kaming contact don kya im looking for info and details sa lugar,,please email me po kong sino po may alam sa concer ko,, avenger_remz14@yahoo.com.ph ,thank you very much po.

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  37. Hi Rembrandt Avena,thanks for visiting. Before I give suggestions, may I know where will you be coming from. Next , regarding if it is possible to camp at the Peak, I never been to the summit only to the campsite beside the crater lake of Holon just few meters lower than the peak. If you wish to confirm call this number . Thanks


    Office of the Municipal Mayor


    LGU Compound, Poblacion, T’boli, South Cotabato


    Telefax No. (083) 237.1002






    Arts , Culture and Tourism Development Office


    Municipal Planning and Development Office


    Tel No. (083) 238.8030

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  38. Hello Sir, good morning,,thanks for the response,,we are from Davao City and Mt. Parker is one of our proposed destination this coming Holy Week. Thank you for the details you gave sir it helps a lot. I have another concern sir, is it possible to traverse from Mt. Parker to Lake Holon?? I will present this in our coming meeting, Thank you again Sir for the response.

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  39. Hi Rembrandt Avena ... it think there is a divergent trail going to the summit of Mt.Parker just before reaching Lake Holon. You can ask your designated guide from tourism . sorry for the late reply as i was on the road for the last two weeks. you could have just call me on my mobile number posted on my contact page :D

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  40. opps sorry for late reply..i hope you enjoy your adventure to lake holon Jaedora

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  41. I came from T'boli and I'm amaze by your blog. Thank you for this :)
    You became a medium for people from other places to discover the beauty of T'boli that is beyond compare.
    More powers to you sir!

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  42. Hi @Kat Trina... your place T'boli is really beautiful and I fell in love with the gift of nature you have in your place. Thank you very much for reading my post and pls keep on browsing the previous articles and the new articles to be published. you can follow us also on our facebook page on the right hand side bar of this blogsite.. thanks again .:D

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  43. Danilynn CaballeroJuly 14, 2014 at 11:21 PM

    Wow sir! Your blog is worth reading. I too have been in Mindanao in so many times and I am also a witness on how beautiful Mindanao is. Though we visit different places and have different experiences, I feel like it is the same with mine when I saw your photos during our class and I really enjoyed the habal-habal ride a lot! I love riding it to the extent that my bag was burned by the motorcycle because I prefer riding it even with heavy loads! Haha! I LOVE MINDANAO!

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  44. thank you for appreciating Danilynn.Let's share the stories of beautiful Mindanao :D

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  45. Likes Manglal-lanJuly 28, 2014 at 5:47 PM

    Hi, how far is Julian's inn to Delta Discovery park? Thank you.

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  46. Hi @Likes Manglal-lan.. Julian inn is just within the city of Butuan and it is just a 5-7 minute jeepney ride to the Kapihan sa Butuan an landmark for the jump-off point going to Bonbon Delta Park .. from there you need to take another 10-15 minute bumpy ride going to the park . I suggest to read on this article i made for Delta Park http://www.lovemindanao.com/2012/10/deltadiscoverypark.html


    Cheer! LM

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  47. hi how far julians inn to terminal of bus?

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  48. Hi @angie ...from Julians Inn it is just 5 minute tricycle ride going to the integrated bus terminal of Butuan City

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  49. the social climber 25September 28, 2014 at 12:00 PM

    I wish to visit Mt. Parker this November 29. Anyone who wants to join me, email me thesocialclimer25@gmail.com.

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  50. can u tell me how can u encourage people to visit ur tourist spots like lake holon ?

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  51. Hi @mutya , thank you for dropping by. with regards to your question on howi encourage people to visit the tourist spots in Mindanao (?) and other places in the Philippines, i simply provide an honest description on the way i experience the place. this is usually tagged with photos that would entice my readers to plan for a visit to the places i have featured...thanks and good day to you ... :D

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  52. hai how far julian's inn from fsuu?

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  53. it depends which campus.. but it is just one tricycle away from Julian's Inn... around 3-5 minutes.

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  54. The price is for 24 hours?

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  55. it is 24 hours per rate?

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  56. yes @Angel, that is for a 24 hour rate

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  57. Hello, Kapatid! Ask ko lang meters above sea level ng mt. kufafey? thanks. GOD bless you.

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  58. Hi @Ahyen im supposed to go back to this place to measure its elevation.. at the time i was here was accidental...

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  59. what is the rate for red palm suites for double bed aircon

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  60. you may want to check the number i have posted for the red palm suites

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  61. Hi, can you give a sample itinerary on what to do/see in Butuan?

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  62. i dont have an itinerary but you may want to check this http://www.lovemindanao.com/2013/01/10thingstodobutuancity.html

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