CATCHING SUNRISE AT CLAVER, SURIGAO DEL NORTE

Friday night. Ten o’clock. I was overwhelmed with excitement as the passenger van started to leave Davao City. Point of destination was the Port of Hayanggabon in the Municipality of Claver, Surigao Del Norte. I was among the group of eleven outdoor enthusiasts heading to Socorro, Surigao Del Norte to explore the famed Sohoton Cove of the Enchanted Bucas Grande Islands. Hayanggabon Seaport is the jump off harbor going to these Islands.
It was one fine evening when we left Davao City. The weather was excellent giving us hope that our journey to the Bucas Grande Islands will be fun and exciting. I have never been to the Province of Surigao Del Norte. But I’ve heard so many beautiful stories about the countless natural wonders of the province. It thrilled me thinking of going there and seeing these wonders in its full glory.
The trip from Davao City to Claver took about 7 hours passing through the different municipalities of Agusan Del Sur, Agusan Del Norte and finally Surigao Del Norte. I was hoping to see the view of these towns but since we were traveling by night, we opted to sleep while on board to gain enough strength for an anticipated strenuous yet fun filled Island Tour in Bucas Grande.
At five o’clock in the morning, I woke up realizing we were now traveling along the coastal road of Surigao Del Norte. The sky was beginning to light up. What was amusing was the amazing view of the seascape blending the pinkish orangey color of early morning sky that appeared like a painting to me. It was a welcoming treat to my eyes. A beautiful dawning of a new day was just in front of me. I learned we were already at Claver, Surigao Del Norte and heading towards the Port of Hayanggabon.
The scene was too perfect we couldn’t afford to miss. We stopped at one side. Grabbed our cameras out and started capturing what I call a “dramatic sunrise”.

This Blogger worshiping this magnificent Sunrise.

When the sky was lighting up, its pinkish orangey color started to reflect on the still waters of Claver Bay. It was a stunning scene. Moments later, the first light of the daybreak came out creating magnificent rays that really struck us. And then another glorious reflection of the rising sun reflected on the waters. It was gradual. The more it rose, the more it became striking. The colors turned more vivid. The scene became so dramatic. I was carried away by a delightful feeling of catching the perfect round shape of the mighty sun rising and shining in front of me. As the sun rose to its full glory, I realized the whole environs became alive. Truthfully, sunrises promise to give hope, light and life to everything.
I was never a sunrise person. I can’t battle waking up early and brave to catch the first light. But I always dream of capturing one beautiful sunrise that I can take pride of – one sunrise I can truly say close to perfection! SUNRISE AT CLAVER made that dream came true! To this day, this is my PERFECT SUNRISE.
As we headed to the Port of Hayanggabon, the rising sun was still in its full grandeur giving us assurance of a good weather for the day. It gave us hope for an exciting Island Exploration. That SUNRISE AT CLAVER was a good start of our day. A good start to begin an unforgettable Enchanted Bucas Grande Island Exploration.

This is the first part of “EXPLORING CARAGA REGION: The Travel Series

  1. CATCHING SUNRISE AT CLAVER, SURIGAO DEL NORTE
  2. SOCORRO AND THE BUCAS GRANDE ISLANDS
  3. CLUB TARA AND TIKTIKAN LAKE OF BUCAS GRANDE ISLANDS
  4. SOHOTON NATIONAL PARK OF BUCAS GRANDE ISLANDS
  5. THE SANDY BEACHES AND STUNNING ISLETS OF BUCAS GRANDE ISLANDS
  6. THE JELLYFISH SANCTUARY OF BUCAS GRANDE ISLANDS
  7. EXPERIENCING SAN JOSE AND THE PROVINCE OF DINAGAT ISLANDS
  8. THE LEGEND OF DINAGAT ISLANDS

EXPLORING CARAGA REGION: The Travel Series

Four days. Five nights. Three Provinces. Two Cities. Hundred Islands. One region. CARAGA Region. This is The Travel Teller’s recent travel series.

The Enchanted Bucas Grande Islands

Taking advantage of the recent long weekend, The Travel Teller begins his quest in his ultimate CARAGA EXPLORATION, one region in the Philippines famous for its pristine beaches, untouched coves and beautiful group of Islands.

The Mystical Islands of the Province of Dinagat

The CARAGA Administrative Region is the northernmost region of the Mindanao Island. Caraga is an old territory name derived from KALAGAN, group of people believed to be of Visayan Origin. The word “Kalagan” comes from two Bisayan words “Kalag” and “An” which mean soul or people and land.

The Sunrise and Sunset Scene of Caraga

CARAGA Region is composed of five provinces namely Agusan Del Norte, Agusan Del Sur, Surigao Del Norte, Surigao Del Sur and the Province of Dinagat Islands, and six component cities namely: Surigao, Butuan, Bislig, Tandag, Bayugan, and Cabadbaran.

Side Trip to the Cities of Surigao and Butuan

CARAGA is famous for its cultural heritage. It has vast natural attractions that guarantee unparalleled adventures. It is a one of a kind destination of an unending quest for fun and nature. Its untouched natural wonders are gifts worth to be discovered, explored and experienced.

The Travel Teller explores CARAGA Region

These among others were the reasons why The Travel Teller chooses CARAGA Region for another amazing Travel Series. Join me as I chronicle this exciting adventure from my home in Davao City to the many exciting Islands of Enchanted Bucas Grande, to the Mystical Dinagat Islands, to the Pebble Beach of Mabua in Surigao City, to the night scene of the City of Butuan and many more. This is a kind of a trip I surely will never forget.

This is “EXPLORING CARAGA REGION: The Travel Series”.

  1. CATCHING SUNRISE AT CLAVER, SURIGAO DEL NORTE
  2. SOCORRO AND THE BUCAS GRANDE ISLANDS
  3. CLUB TARA AND TIKTIKAN LAKE OF BUCAS GRANDE ISLANDS
  4. SOHOTON NATIONAL PARK OF BUCAS GRANDE ISLANDS
  5. THE SANDY BEACHES AND STUNNING ISLETS OF BUCAS GRANDE ISLANDS
  6. THE JELLYFISH SANCTUARY OF BUCAS GRANDE ISLANDS
  7. EXPERIENCING SAN JOSE AND THE PROVINCE OF DINAGAT ISLANDS
  8. THE LEGEND OF DINAGAT ISLANDS

THE TEN TRIBES, ONE VIBE OF KADAYAWAN FESTIVAL 2011

TEN TRIBES, ONE VIBE. This is the theme of Davao City’s Kadayawan Festival 2011. The tribes of Ata, Matigsalug, Ovu-Manuvo, Klata-Djangan, Tagabawa, Tausog, Maguindanao, Maranao, Kagan, and Sama are the ethnic groups that comprised the 10 different tribes of Davao.

Though diverse in cultures, traditions and beliefs, these tribes are very much connected by a common origin that binds them together as ONE and the SAME. An origin that traces the core of history of DAVAO CITY.  Ten Tribes, One Vibe.

Many years ago, it was believed these Davao’s ethnic tribes especially those residing at the foot of Mount Apo, THE Philippine’s highest peak, would converge during a bountiful harvest. This ritual serves as their thanksgiving to the gods. During the thanksgiving, various farming harvests like fruits, flowers, vegetables, rice and corn grains were displayed on mats. It was the tribe’s way of paying respect and thanks to the gods of the harvest for the year’s abundance. The offering of thanksgiving dances and songs highlighted the ritual. This was a ritual that was passed from generations to generations.

Today, times have changed yet this tradition of thanksgiving is still practiced. Descendants of the Ten Tribes, the modern day Dabawenyos and the neighboring tribes of Southern Mindanao would converge every third week of August for the celebration of KADAYAWAN FESTIVAL – a merriment of blessings for the bounties of nature, the richness of culture, the gifts of bountiful harvest and the tranquility of living.

In the much anticipated Street Dancing locally called “Indak Indak sa Kadalaan”, the vibrant colors, heart pounding drum beats and awe inspiring dances of the different tribes of Davao and other tribes of Southern Mindanao dominated the main streets of Davao City. The melody of every song, the rhythm of the smashing drums and the groovy vibes of the surroundings joyfully set the whole city in a jovial mood.

It was a great showcase of different cultures reflected on the well rehearsed dances of the 23 contingents vying for the grand prize. The choreographed dances showcasing tribal rituals and ways of lives of the different tribes truly showed the richness of culture and prosperity of living of each tribe portrayed during the performances.

Being a Dabawenyo, seeing these performances made me proud of the heritage of my home city. This made me realized despite differences of culture coming from different ways of lives; we all got to embrace the multicultural diversity of the city.

PHOTOS BELOW SHOW THE FESTIVE COLORS OF KADAYAWAN FESTIVAL 2011











Truly, KADAYAWAN FESTIVAL is a celebration of Davao’s richness and diverse artistic, cultural and historical heritage. A celebration that, I, as a Dabawenyo should never miss.

This Blogger and the Kadayawan Indakers

CELEBRATING KADAYAWAN FESTIVAL 2011 AT THE APO VIEW HOTEL

Despite the heavy rain on evening of August 9, 2011, the opening of the 4th Kadayawan Fiesta at the Apo View Hotel was a huge success. Attended by different people from the media, bloggers, photographers, select VIPs, invited guests and hotel patrons, the Apo View Hotel showcased various spectacular activities that served as a preview to the two-week celebration of Kadayawan Fiesta at the Apo View 2011.
Renowned being the only hotel in Davao with such festive event during Kadayawan Festival, the Apo View Hotel is bringing all the colorful sights and lively sounds of the festival inside the premises of the hotel. Hotel guests staying at the Apo View during the two-week affair need not to go out to feel the vibe and spirit of the festival because everything can be experienced inside the premises of the hotel.
The music and dances of the Kaagan Dance Theatre Collective Inc., a Mindanao finalist to the Pilipinas Got Talent, will showcase the ritual dances of the Davao Tribe – a must-witness performances. They are performing live at main premises of the Apo View Hotel.
Apo View Hotel also invited members of Indigenous Tribe of Mandaya from Davao Oriental to showcase the weaving of the indigenous fabric called “Dagmay”. Some of the awesome Ethnic inspired fashion creations of Ms. Juliet Pamintuan, one of Davao’s Top Designers are on display at the Entree hallway. Adding beauty to the hallway are beautiful masterpieces of Ms. Ann Pamintuan, also renowned Mindanaon artist. Both are members of the Pamintuan family who owned and manage the Apo View Hotel.
Ronald Tamfalan who hails from Kiamba, Sarangani Province is this year’s featured Visual Artist for the Kadayawan Fiesta Art Exhibit at the main lobby of the hotel. Ronald is a proud member of T’boli Tribe and his roots reflects on every pieces of his art works. Oil on Tinalak Fabric has become his signature work of art. It was so impressive that I was convinced to have him paint one for myself.
Another spectacular thing that put the crowd at awe on that evening was an amazing fire dancing gracefully performed by the Apo Duwaling Fire Dancers. They are also set to perform nightly at the Apo View Hotel’s Garden Patio. Another great thing to watch during the two-week affair.
Apo View Hotel also treated their friends in the media at the Entree where Davao’s indigenous cuisine and delicacies are prepared. During the two-week celebration, Entrée and Café Josefina will be serving native cuisines to savor the taste of the Kadayawan gastronomic vibe.
At the main lobby, the fruits of bountiful harvest and flowers in full bloom are beautifully arranged at the Lobby’s Floral Exhibit and Fruit Display. It become a perfect spot for a Kadayawan Fiesta souvenir photo. There are also indigenous products, fresh fruits and delectable delicacies sold at the Sales and Banquet Foyer as part of the Kadayawan Fiesta Bazaar.
These are colors, the spirit and the sounds of the Kadayawan Festival proudly showcased at the Kadayawan Fiesta 2011 at the Apo View. Experience all these from August 8 to 21, 2011 only at the Apo View Hotel.THE APO VIEW HOTEL is the premier hotel in Davao City located at J. Camus Street. For more information, please call (082) 221-6430 to 40.

KADAYAWAN FIESTA AT THE APO VIEW HOTEL 2011

Four years ago, the Apo View Hotel which I consider my second home in Davao, celebrated its 60th anniversary being the Premier Hotel in the City and the second oldest in the Philippines. Part of that celebration, The Apo View joined the people of Davao in celebrating Kadayawan Festival 2008 bringing its colors, sights and sounds right inside the four corners of this historic institution. It was then named, “Kadayawan Fiesta at The Apo View”, a celebration for the bounties of nature and the richness of Mindanao’s culture. It was a huge success that truly left an indelible mark in the hearts of the hotel guests and the people of The Apo View. And year after that, Kadayawan Fiesta at the Apo View becomes a significant event that Apo View Hotel and its valued guests look forward every year.

Now on its 4th year, the Apo View Hotel proudly presents KADAYAWAN FIESTA AT THE APO VIEW 2011 showcasing Mindanao’s artistic, cultural and historical heritage starting August 8 to 21, 2011. During the two-week celebration, Apo View Hotel stored spectacular events that will truly showcase the authentic artistry and richness of culture not just the City of Davao but our Island Mindanao as well. [Read more…]