Aside from the famed Indak-indak Sa Kadalanan and Pamulak Float Parade, another colourful event I always look forward to see every year is the Moda Mindanaw, a fashion event of vivid colour and pageantry held annually as part of the celebration of Davao City’s Kadayawan Festival.
Moda Mindanaw is an annual Fashion Designing Competition that aims to feature the fashion designs and creations of the up-and-coming fashion designers and accessory artists from different sides of Mindanao highlighting the vibrant culture of island through their intricate designs and creations.
Moda Mindanaw is a festivity that pays tribute to Mindanao’s rich and colourful cultural heritage. Through the years, it has become a perfect affair to showcase the best of Mindanao-inspired fashion creations. In fact, it has gone far and has evolved from promoting the island’s indigenous materials to showcasing Mindanao’s different hand woven textiles and various fibres.
What’s more, this multi-coloured fashion event has become a center stage for young and vibrant designers to showcase their craft. For years now, Moda Mindanaw features what is hip and fashionably in while preserving that Mindanaoan identity in each creation. Individual fashion creations and designs are showcased every year in a new and different concept yet these creations exude Mindanao originality and uniqueness.
This year’s Moda Mindanaw highlights the culture of the 10 tribes of Davao City – the tribes of Ata, Matigsalug, Ovu-Manuvo, Klata-Djangan, Tagabawa, Tausog, Maguindanao, Maranao, Kagan, and Sama. These ethnic groups that comprise the 10 different tribes of city are among the reasons why Kadayawan Festival is celebrated every year. The celebration is a way of paying tribute to their contribution to the rich cultural heritage of the city. And this year’s Moda Mindanaw showcases the different colours and patterns of these tribes.
As part of this year’s Moda Mindanaw, 36 of Mindanao’s up-and-coming fashion artists were required to pay tribute to the 10 Tribes of Davao. With their interaction with these tribes, they are expected to come up with street and evening wear for men and women and accessories which reflect the culture of the ethnic group assigned to them. And as expected, these talented fashion artists showcased the best of creation incredibly inspired from the rich culture of Mindanao.
MODA MINDANAW 2013
MEN & WOMEN STREET WEAR COMPETITION
MODA MINDANAW 2013
EVENING WEAR COMPETITION
Personally, watching the grand stage of Moda Mindanaw for another year is another opportunity for me to see and be mesmerized by such fabulous creations that depict the rich culture of my own identity as Mandaya, Dabawenyo and Mindanaoan.
Moda Mindanaw, a fashion showcase of what is truly “made in Mindanao”.
♫ “Pinoy kapwa Pinoy ang naglalaban doon sa Mindanao
Marami ng dugo ang dumanak sa lupa ng Mindanao
Whenever I hear this song played on radio, I often wonder if the great Freddie Aguilar had really spent a day or two, or perhaps lived a month or a year in all the places in Mindanao to claim that the Philippine’s second largest island is generally in chaos, in conflict or in war. I have so much respect for the guy, but for this particular song, I deem it deceiving. You see, Mindanao is such a gigantic island. Agreed, there are conflicts and insurgencies occurring in some of parts of the Island but to say Mindanao as a whole, a proud Mindanaoan like me will absolutely disagree. However, this post is not about Ka Freddie or Mindanao, the song. This is about my Mindanao, our Mindanao, and its heavenly bliss that has exceptionally captivated the hearts of those who brave to come and relish the beauty of the “Promised Land”.
Much has been said about Mindanao. This dreadful sweeping generalization threatens tourism progress and economic growth of the whole Island. Enough, we clamor. Mindanao is such a gigantic island. There is peace in Mindanao. There is harmony in diversity in our Island. Mindanao is an island of blissful wonders to behold away from those generalized negative views about her. Ask those who came, those who braved, and those who experienced Mindanao – they’ll all say; there is “Mindanao Bliss”.
The Travel Teller’s Blissful Images of Mindanao
Having born, raised and lived my entire life here in Mindanao, I have so many stories to tell about the many beautiful things about our Island – its people, picturesque places, diverse culture, proud heritage and other attributes said to be “Trademarks of Mindanao”. But my one single voice is not enough to attest the truth of what I say.
So, the brightest, the smartest and the bravest Pinoy Travel Bloggers unite together to prove that Mindanao is “a blessed land to an unpolished gem, the beauty is within, and only the keen traveler can see, and find charm even in the most mundane situations.” This is the November Edition of Pinoy Travel Bloggers Blog Carnival with the theme “Mindanao Bliss”.
30 Pinoy Travel Bloggers, 30 Travel Stories, 30 Sets of Photos, 30 Reasons To Prove A BLISS CALLED MINDANAO.
JOIN ME and my fellow Filipino Travel Bloggers as we take you to the best destinations in the Islands of Mindanao where beauty of nature, richness of culture, warmth of its proud people are beyond compare! This is our collective efforts to showcase the many blissful things to experience, discover and see in the 97,530 square kilometers land area of the Island once dubbed, “The Land of Promise”.
Journeying James’ Kaalim Family of Samal Island, Davao
Journeying Jamesduring his Mindanao Challenge 400 for 16 days embraced a true Mindanaoan hospitality given away by Kaalim Family while couchsurfing in the Island Garden City of Samal. His short stay ended up having a second family ready to welcome him back on his next visit to the Island. Kaalim Family hosted James throughout his stay and accompanied him in exploring the many spectacular places to see in the Island City. Experiencing this, the Journeying James said the warmth and hospitality of the people are enough to attest the goodness of the Mindanaoan people that truthfully is bliss to stranger like him.
Marly Ramone Go’s Nomadic Experiences at the 7 Falls of Lake Sebu
Marky Ramone Go grew up listening to his favorite folk band Asin and their Song “Cotabato” that speaks conflicts and religious differences of the province. Somehow, it gave him the bad reckoning reputation of Mindanao as a whole. But during his Nomadic Experiences at the Lake Sebu in the South Cotabato where he met the community of peace loving Tibolis, beheld the beauty of 7 falls of Lake Sebu, rode on the two heart stopping ziplines, savored the nature and wonders of this mystical town gave him a positive perspective about Cotabato and Mindanao as a whole. He said, “It’s true that there are still parts in Mindanao – just like in every place in the world, where peace remains elusive – BUT mostly it is the opposite”. Had he listened to the derogatory media reports about Mindanao in general and not braved enough to come our island; he wouldn’t have experienced that yet another different Mindanao Bliss only Lake Sebu can give.
Jason Montana’s Amazingly Davao!
Jason Montana, the Explorer, on his very first solo trip to Mindanao, chronicled what he called a total jam-packed of nature tripping. Having gone to the many exciting places to see in Davao City and the fun filled visit to the thrilling places in the Island Garden City of Samal, Montana The Explorer acclaimed this visit, Amazingly Davao! A blissful Davao!
Rain Amantiad’s MINAULON: Recollections from a Small Town’s Big Star
Rain Amantiad’s article about her little barrio of Minaulon in Bacolod, Lanao Del Norte proves that even little rustic barrios like hers can be a blissful destination to visit. Minaulon may not have famed tourist spots but its friendly community of peace loving and hopeful people is enough to experience an authentic Mindanao bliss. Like other barrio’s children, Rain used to be a little star of hope of her people. And as tribute to her roots, she wrote this article in the hope of luring travelers to go beyond the big cities of Iligan, Pagadian or Ozamis and discover her little humble beginnings. This is blissfully inspiring.
Fung Hu’s Islands of Simunul, Sibutu and Sitangkai
Fung Hu’s virtual journal takes us to the Islands of Simunul, Sibutu and Sitangkai in Tawi-Tawi. He described these peaceful islands in the south as great potentials for tourism development because of its historical and cultural interests. Simunul, being the seat of Islam faith in the Philippines; Sibutu, being the home to the Sama people known to be skilled seafarers and boat builders of pre-colonial time; and Sitangkai, known as the “Venice of the Philippines” are three of most important Islands in Tawi-Tawi worthy to be explored and experienced. Three blissful Islands of Tawi-Tawi.
Audrey Tamayo’s Seeing Samal Island in New Light
AUDREY GLADYS TAMAYO of Byaheng Barokvowed she would never travel back to a specific place once already visited. But her passion and love for photography made her travel back to the places she’d been including the Island Garden City of Samal to capture what she called “chasing the light moments”.Her photos of a glorious Sunrise at Balet, cascading waters of Haguimit Falls and that Blue Christmas at Bluewaters absolutely attest on what she called “Samal Island in New Light”. A blissful Light!
Christine Fernandez’s To 5 Mindanao Adventures
CHRISTINE FERNANDEZ, the Jovial Wanderer, listed her Top 5 Adventures during her various visits to the many places in Mindanao. Water Tubing in Sibulan River in Sta. Cruz, Davao Del Sur; Toploading Ride in Kidapawan, North Cotabato; her motorbike Tour at the Volcanic Island of Camiguin; Spelunking at Sumalsag Cave in Bukidnon; and, her Waterfalls Adventure also in Bukidnon tops this list. Having experienced all these, the jovial wanderer finds Mindanao a blissful destination of perfect adventures!
Jerome Baluyut’s Surigao! Surigao!
JEROME BALUYUT spent 9 days backpacking some parts of Mindanao including the provinces of Surigao Del Norte and Surigao Del Sur. Surigao! Surigao! He yelled out in amusement experiencing adrenaline, fun and excitement in the two Northern Provinces of Mindanao. Not only the beauty of Surigao that captivated Balintanaw but the kindness and warmth of the Mindanao people that he met along the way. He left Mindanao with a grateful heart knowing there are a lot of things to discover and kindest souls to meet in the Island. Indeed a blissful Surigao!
Wendell Cagape’s The Lost Legacy of the Dayawan Torogan
WENDELL GLENN CAGAPE, a proud Mindanaoan, featured DayawanTorogan located in the Islamic City of Marawi in Lanao del Norte. DayawanTorogan, which literally means sleeping place, is one important historical place that played a pivotal role in Mindanao. This piece of architecture unravel the Muslim-Filipino ingenuity and creativity of building a structure without the use of even a single nail and yet remains earthquake proof. It has historical significance worthy to be learned and discovered. Journeys and Travels lures every travelers to come and visit this place to get to know Mindanao’s rich culture and heritage. A blissful discovery of Mindanao’s heritage!
Marcus Castle’s Sun, Sea, Sand – The Top Beaches in Mindanao
MARCUS CASTLE, a beach bum from Kidapawan City who is also a proud Mindanaoan, listed the Top Beaches he visited in Mindanao. Being the second largest island in the Philippines, Mindanao is endowed with beautiful pristine beaches one “son of a beach” would die to bum and laze around. Mindanao is generally typhoon free where mighty sun shines throughout the year. Among these top beaches Marcus visited are the beaches of Kisulad, Davao Del Sur, the pink sand beach of Sta. Cruz Islands of Zamboanga City, the untouched beaches of Tawi-Tawi, Camiguin Island, Bislig, Suriago Del Sur, Siargao Beach, Dahican Beach of Mati, Davao Oriental, Dakak Beach, the Island Garden City of Samal. Topping the list is the pristine beaches of Gumasa, Sarangani Province. These are the blissful beaches of Mindanao!
Renz Bulseco’s A Promised Land
RENZ BULSECO, the Traveling Nomad from Mindanao, used a fictional character named Luis Serafico in his articled “A Promised Land”. Here, like any other individuals living outside Mindanao, the idea of living in the island filled with negative news is downright scary. But Luis’ job as a journalist demanded him to be relocated in Mindanao. Hesitant, he flew to Mindanao filled with desperation. But his relocation to Mindanao paved way to see the many hidden wonders of the Island, beautiful and hospitable Mindanaons and superb destinations truly amazing to behold. From the beaches of Samal to the waterfalls of Iligan, from the valleys for Bukidnon to the historical city of Dapitan were among the places Luis explored. Two years have passed and Luis is still based in Mindanao, in Davao, madly in love with the beauty of the Islands and genuine hospitality of Mindanaons. Luis finds true bliss in Mindanao. Renz finds true bliss in Mindanao.
Chin Chan’s There’s More to Dipolog than a Bottle of the City’s Renowned Spanish-Style Sardines!
CHIN CHAN, a Juanderful Pinoy, traveled to Mindanao to discover Dipolog City. Alas, when he got, he found out there’s more to Dipolog than a bottle of the city’s renowned Spanish-style sardines! He toured around the many interesting things about Dipolog. He learned that the City is the home of the longest boulevard fronting the beachline in entire Island of Mindanao. Foodtrip, church visits and city tour fascinated the Juanderful Pinoy. But the mixing and mingling with the Dipolognon made Chin Chan’s visit to Dipolog most memorable. At the end he exclaimed, “Dipolog blissfully rocked my world!”
Ding Fuellos’ Enchanting Lake Mainit
DING FUELLOS, the Pinoy Explorer, finds the Enchanting Lake Mainit in Surigao del Norte an imposing natural beauty one should not miss when in this northern part of Mindanao. She’d been to Laguna Lake, the man-made Burnham Lake in Baguio City, and Lake Sebu of Caotabato but she finds the beauty of Lake Mainit just naturally awesome that vivid reflections of the blue skies can be visibly seen. Ding recommends to visit Lake Mainit, whether a short trip or a quick stop. Lake Mainit is worth visiting and surely one can be captivated and enchanted by its beauty. A blissful natural beauty endowed to the Province of Surigao.
Enrico Dee’s An Afternoon at the B’laan Village at Lamlifew
ENRICO DEE, the man behind the Byahilo, spent an afternoon at one of the B’laan Villages in Malungon, Sarangani Province. Having read an article in the Lonely Planet Magazine Philippines featuring this Tribal Village, Enrico decided to visit the Village situated in small sitio named Lamlifew in Barangay Datal Tampal in Malungon. When he got there, Enrico was fascinated by how B’laan women gathered and work together to put up the School of Living Tradition, a school that traditional way of life of the B’laans is continued and taught to the younger generation. Preservation of tradition and culture abounds the place. This is one best example how Mindanaons value their love for culture and the arts passed from generations to generations. They are blissful B’laans.
Lai Marie Mirasol’s Maranao Culture Educated at Aga Khan Museum
LAI MARIE MIRASOL, a Pinay Travelista, revisited the Islamic City of Marawi and discovered herself the rich cultural heritage of the Muslim Maranao preserved at the Aga Khan Museum located at Mindanao State University Marawi. Here, the Pinay Travelista who also is a proud Mindanaoan took pride in learning the affluence of culture and heritage of our Maranao brothers and sisters. Museums like Aga Khan are perfect venue to educate oneself about significance of culture and tradition of one place. Gladly, in Mindanao, there are numbers of museums preserving Mindanao blissful culture.
Izah Morales’ Lake Sebu: Home of the Peace Loving T’bolis
IZAH MORALES, the Tripadora, journeyed to the land of the peace loving T’bolis in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato to experience culture and traditions at its best. The T’bolis of Lake Sebu are known to be among the remaining IPs in Mindanao where its rich culture and tradition are still practiced even to this day. During her visit, the Tripadora was treated to an authentic T’boli dance and had given the chance to meet the famous dream weaver Lang Dulay, the living national treasure of the T’bolis. In Mindanao, Lake Sebu is indeed a perfect place to discover both culture and nature at its finest.
Bonz Panganiban’s The Monastery of Transfiguration: Behind the Pyramid, Unveiled
BONZ PANGANIBAN, the man behind the Con Tour Blog, traveled one weekend to the valleys of Bukidnon to unveil the mysteries behind the Pyramid of the Monastery of Transfiguration in San Jose, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon. He listed 10 significant traits behind the Pyramid that made him considered the Monastery of Transfiguration as “The Bliss of Central Mindanao”. Not known to many, the Church of Transfiguration was the last architectural work of the National Artist for Architecture, Leandro Locsin. Inside the church features interesting pieces of arts and designs that truly defines its uniqueness the many churches in Mindanao.
Earl Bolivar’s Bukidnon: Highland Bliss in Impasugong
EARL BOLIVAR of Suroy Pilipinas, is one of those travelers enticed by the beauty of Impasugong, a town in the northeastern part Bukidnon that is said to become the next important eco-tourism destination in this landlocked province of Mindanao. Impasugong is a quaint first class municipality whose rugged terrain is defined by scenic mountains; deep canyons and gorges. Earl, like other travelers who traveled to Impasugong, instantly fell in love upon peeking inside and seeing the wonders of nature that Impasug-ong possesses. Coming from a Mindanaoan like Earl who has explored the many wonders of his home province of Bukidnon, certainly, this part of Mindanao is blissful haven of spectacular highland sights guaranteed to take one’s breath away.
Micaela Rodriguez’s Camiguin Island: Mysterious and Beautiful
Senyorita MICAELA RODRIGUEZlisted the island born out of fire, Camiguin, as one to the Top 3 destinations in the Philippines she would love to visit again and again. For her, Camiguin Island remains mysterious and beautiful even if she keeps on coming back. The island never bores her. Camiguin being one island but packed with natural wonders and great tourist spots is undeniably an ideal destination for blissful adventures.
Mhe Anne Ojeda’s Mindanao Bliss: Cateel, Davao Oriental!
MHE-ANNE OJEDA, a seasoned traveler, was convinced to visit my hometown Cateel after reading my entry to the PTB’s Blog Carnival Hometown Theme of which she hosted. My article features my humble beginnings and the many spectacular places to discover in my birthplace including the famed Aliwagwag Falls, the Philippine’s highest waterfalls. In her journey to my hometown Cateel, she discovered that this coastal town of Davao Oriental has a lot to offer not just the Aliwagwag Falls. Her passion for her Comings and Goings made her realized that the whole island of Mindanao is so blessed with ample of natural attractions just waiting to be explored and experienced. Experiencing Cateel, Atty. Mhe-Ann understands why I am so proud being a blissful son of my hometown and Mindanao.
Francis Balgos’ Camiguin | Mt Hibok Hibok Hot Spring
FRANCIS NUNEZ BALGOS, the Pala-lagaw, finds the volcanic island province of Camiguin as one of the best places to visit in the entire Mindanao. And when in there, a visit to the Mount Hibok Hibok Ardent Hot Spring is a must. He considers this a perfect jump off site for mountaineers and a family hot tub. Indeed, there are plenty of things to do and see when in Camiguin. But after one’s day tour to the whole island, bathing and soaking at the warm healing waters of Ardent Hotspring is truly a great treat. And from my experience, I must agree there’s bliss in this part of Camiguin.
Kara Santos’ Finding Bliss in a Tribal Fiesta
KARA SANTOS,in one of her travels to Mindanao, was brought to the foothills of Davao to witness the fiesta of the Matigsalog Tribe, who reside in the forests and remote barangays of Marilog. She called this as one of the most blissful and memorable places that she’s been in the country. That trip was few years back, but she still vividly recalls how special it was to feel and witness such blissful tribal fiesta. Having experienced ritual dances, heard stories, commune with the members and kids of the tribe, she realized that even people who are away from the modern world and digital age can find bliss in the own little way. That trip gave Kara one innate blissful experience.
Berniemack Arellano’s Mindanao Saga: Return to the Land of Promise
BERNIEMACK ARELLANO’s Habagat Centralchronicled his various travels to the different provinces, towns and cities in Mindanao entitled “Mindanao Saga: Return to the Land of Promise”. Like others, Bernie considers Mindanao as “The Wild West” of the Philippines. It was this year when the man behind Habagat Central traveled back Mindanao, the land of his ancestors, to learn more about its culture, commune with its people and appreciate more its unexplored wonders. From Marawi to Cotabato, Zamboanga to Davao, from Iligan to Gensan, these are among the many places Bernie traveled in Mindanao to rediscover his roots. Summarizing his journey through his article and photos, Bernie truly showed the uniqueness of every place he’d been in Mindanao and takes pride about the blissful things it can offer.
Edelito Sangco’s Bucas Grande Island – 3 Compelling Reasons To Visit The Mindanao All-In-One Destination
EDELITO SANGCO, the man behind Island Vacations, is lucky to be among the residents of Socorro, Surigao Del Norte. Socorro is the home of the Bucas Grande Islands, the islands I consider truly a gift to the whole Mindanao. Edelito defines the Bucas Grande Island as a destination of various natural attractions. I was among those who were lured by the beauty of these Islands and I say it is beyond doubt worth visiting. The up close and personal encounter with the non-stinging jelly fishes of the Bucas Grande Islands is by far the most unforgettable Island experience I ever had. But there is more to see, more to explore in this blissful part of Mindanao.
LOST BOY LLOYD finds Dakak Park and Beach Resort in Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte a blissful place to stay when in this part of Mindanao. Being a premium resort, Dakak Park and Beach Resort’s great deal of facilities and amenities make it the perfect place to relax, unwind and commune with nature. The exclusivity and tranquility of the beach make it the ideal place to stay especially for those who are seeking for peaceful and serene getaway. Having experienced it himself, Llyod believes that his blissful place must be visited when coming to Dapitan.
Estan Cabigas’ Why visit Maitum in Sarangani?
ESTAN CABIGAS, a certified Langyaw, finds the rustic town of Maitum, a gem in Sarangani Province, an interesting place to explore in Southern Mindanao. Discovering its interesting history, rich culture and picturesque sights is bliss in itself. Visiting the Pawikan Nesting Sanctuary, the anthropomorphic burial jars, watertubing in Pangi River, bat watching in Pinol and the close encounter with town’s T’boli are the among the must-experience things to do in Maitum.
Nathalie Penados’ A Visit to the Little Venice
NATHALIE PENADOSin her Chronicles of My Wandering Soles highly regards Barangay Day-asanin her home city of Surigao as one of the best places to visit while in the City. Barangay Day-asan, a typical floating village situated at Arellano District, is considered as the Little Venice of Surigao. The simple houses of more than 400 residents of this water village stand on wooden stilts or piles of rock and mostly with fish cages. Visiting Day-asan can be blissful experience in this part of Mindanao because it is one ecotourism destination that showcases great reforestation and conservation of mangrove forest.
Aleah Phils’ Danakit Cave: Spelunking in Tandag, Surigao del Sur
ALEAH PHILS, a Solitary Wandererfrom Surigao, considers spelunking at Danakit Cave at Tandag, Surigao Del Sur another great blissful experience to try when visiting this northeastern part Mindanao. When Aleah was home for vacation, she braved to explore some of the most unexplored and unexploited caves in her town. For spelunking enthusiasts, Danakit Cave is a must-explored cave. Amazing stalagmite and stalactites formations abound the cave. Tandag is very accessible from Butuan City, Surigao City and even Davao City.
EILEEN CAMPOS, the friendliest girl behindPossibly Pinay, traveled to Davao to experience the lures and beauty of the Island Garden City of Samal. With my help, Eileen was able to make her Do-It-Yourself Samal Tour one huge success. In two days, Possibly Pinay visited the awesome colony of Fruit Eating Bats at the Monfort Bat Sanctuary, climbed the Mount Puting Bato, Samal Island’s highest peak and a lot more. “What a blissful tour!” Eileen commended after enjoying the must-try things to do in Samal.
Daniel Karlo De Leon’s 10 Things I Miss About Mindanao
DANIEL KARLO DE LEON, an experienced traveler who’s been in and out of Mindanao, listed 10 things that he misses about the Islands. He had great memories while visiting some of the key cities and towns in the Island. Mindanao becomes an important Island destination for Karlo. It gives him a lot of experiences he learned for the first time. It gives him photographs that he considers masterpieces. It gives him gastronomic experiences until now he craves. It lets him experience authentic culture and tradition. Things he now misses. Above all, Mindanao gives him the blissful reason to come back, again and again.
The Travel Teller’s Blissful Images of Mindanao
AS FOR THE TRAVEL TELLER, Mindanao is my home. My blissful home. Mindanao is an abode of my ancestors who like me are passionate about living a life full of happiness, serenity and respect. Simply put, a blissful life. Cliché as it may seem, Mindanao is indeed a “land of promise”. It is a land of Mindanaoans who promise to live in peace and harmony despite of differences and diversity. Like my fellow Filipino Travel Bloggers who believe that Mindanao as a blissful place to find great adventure and worthy travel, we Mindanaoans believe that our Island is a gift to every Filipino in this country. A gift that needs to be seen, experienced and loved.
COME TO MINDANAO. THERE IS BLISS IN THIS ISLAND. THERE IS “MINDANAO BLISS.
To all the PINOY TRAVEL BLOGGERS who contributed to this Blog Carvinal, I sincerely thank you for showcasing the beauty of our Island. Mindanaoans like me will always be grateful. To my fellow Mindanaoans, this post for you. We are great blissful people living in this great blissful island of Mindanao.
To read previous BLOG CARNIVALS of the Pinoy Travel Bloggers, you may visit Estan Cabigas’ LANGYAW for the full complilation.
Among the many breathtaking natural attractions that I have explored in the whole Bucas Grande Islands, there is one magical place that until now bedazzled me. This place is called Jellyfish Sanctuary.
Having toured to the key tourist spots in the whole islands, I thought I had seen enough. Truthfully, all these wonders of nature were captivating. But when our tour guide led us to the Jellyfish Sanctuary, everything seemed surreal. As if we were brought to the other world. Here’s the story. After our island tour at Bubon Group of Islets, we sailed back to Sohoton Reception Center. It was already late afternoon. Upon reaching the Center, we were told that we will be transferring to small paddleboats in going to the Jellyfish Sanctuary. Motorized boats are strictly not allowed getting inside the whole sanctuary. The small paddleboats can carry two passengers and a boatman. In my case, I was the only passenger. The sail going to the Jellyfish Sanctuary was out of the ordinary experience. The waters were calm. The whole environs were wrapped by tranquility I can hear the rowing of the paddles. The enigmatic chirping of various wild birds made the sail more exciting. I’ve tried boating in different places but this one was entirely surreal.
The Entrance of the Jellyfish Sanctuary
Nearing the mouth of the Sanctuary, my boatman named Richmond began narrating the story behind the mystical beauty of the Jellyfish Sanctuary. I learned from him that some years ago the whole place was originally inhabited by multitude of sea urchins locally known as “Tujom” hence they formerly called the place Tujoman. One day, for some unknown reason, this huge number of sea urchin dwelling at Tujoman began disappearing until none of them was left. As days gone by, a smack of jellyfishes began congregating the place. It was becoming a larger group and local folks began noticing. Soon, the locals found out that these jellyfishes dwelling in the waters of Tujoman were non-stinging. The smack of jellyfishes grew into a great number. It even multiplied to millions of jellyfishes permanently dwelling in the place. Soon after, they called the place “The Jellyfish Sanctuary”. They later opened the place for tourists but intense protection and preservation of the Sanctuary were maintained.
Limestone forests abounds inside the Jellyfish Sanctuary
As we enter the opening of the Jellyfish Sanctuary, there was one thing I instantly noticed about the place. There was a profound tranquility that enveloped the whole environs. Everything that I see there was filled with calmness and peace. It was a very contagious serenity I can feel it inside me.
The first jelly fish that i saw made me shout in amazement.
Sailing forward, jellyfishes began to appear in the waters. I shouted in amazement seeing the very first jellyfish that appeared in the waters. Another smack of jellyfishes we passed by. And then another. And another. As we moved towards the very heart of sanctuary, multitude of jellyfishes surrounded our boats. Again, I felt I was on another planet. This was surreal. Slowly, I was beginning to get emotional. Teary-eyed, I looked around praising and admiring such a spectacular body of water fully inhabited by millions of stunning jellyfishes.
Sitting at the edge of the boat, I noticed a smack of jellyfish flocking around out tiny vessel. I learned from Richmond that jellyfishes here are naturally friendly. They even come closer when boats are coming in. Since these creatures are non-stinging, I excitedly caught one jellyfish out of the water and held it in my hands. As soon as I felt its texture and seen its form, I let go of it. Richmond told me jellyfishes can only last for ten seconds out of the water. So, I had to put it back.
I had to admit I fear jellyfishes. They are noted to be stingingly perilous. But the jellyfishes of the Bucas Grande Islands are non-stinging and friendly. They even came closer towards us. It seemed they wanted play around with us. They were so welcoming. I put my hands in the waters at once and they came nearer. They were like wonderful pets. Amazing creatures.
Before the sundown, the group started to leave the Sanctuary. All of us left the place charmed and amazed by what we saw. In my case, I felt overly joyous having experienced such tremendous encounter with the jellyfish. I was very lucky too that my boatman Richmond was kind and smart enough to tell me everything I want to know about the Sanctuary. After all, it is one of their prides.
Having gone and experienced this unique adventure with the Jellyfishes of Bucas Grande Islands, I felt another dream of mine has realized. I used to dream of going to the island nation of Palau and swim with the jellyfishes at the Jellyfish Lake of Eil Malk but now I need not to go out of the country to fulfill this bizarre experience. My beautiful island of thePhilippines now boasts the Jellyfish Sanctuary of Bucas Grande Islands that is undeniably a world-class natural attraction that can definitely put all tourists, local and foreign alike, in so much awe and amazement like those in Palau.
My closest encounter with jellyfish at the Sanctuary is the highlight of my Bucas Grande Island Exploration. Other natural wonders of the Island are indisputably attractions to behold. But experiencing Jellyfish Sanctuary is absolutely an exceptional experience. It is commendable and worth to experience again. If given a chance, I shall back there and swim and play with the jellyfishes again.
Meet Richmond, my gracious boatman. Many thanks.
Experiencing Jellyfish Sanctuary of the Bucas Grande Islands is the final stop of my Bucas Grande Island Exploration.
FOR GUIDED TOUR, you may call contact:
VINCENT ADLAO TAMAYO Accredited Tour Guide of Socorro Tourism Office 0930.802.8704
Bucas Grande Islands of Socorro, Surigao Del Norte is not all about its mystical coves and those enchanted blue lagoons. Some of big Islands comprising the Bucas Grande feature powdery white sand beaches. These sandy beaches are equally stunning like those coves and lagoons. These along with the eye-catching Islets are must-visit places while in Socorro.
Bubon Group of Islets
For the certified beach bums, I would say Bucas Grande Islands is the right place for you. Being a self proclaimed “son of a beach”, I find the sandy beaches and Islets of Bucas Grande as great places to enjoy the grandeur and silence of nature. One can just lazily sit on the sand and feel the rustle of the leaves that sway in the mellow breeze.
One of the beaches we visited is the Markaa Beach. Markaa Beach offers a white sand beach and magnificent rock formations of different sizes. It has shallow clear waters where beautiful corals abound the place. We took time enjoying Markaa beach. The sea was so inviting everyone can’t resist but dipped into the waters. It a perfect place so snorkeling. Corals of different sizes and colors amazed me when I started diving. Really amazing.
Different Corals in the waters of Markaa Beach
This Blogger enjoying the scenic underwater world of Bucas Grande Island. Many thanks to my friend Roy Geonzon for allowing me to use this photo.
Discovering the underwater paradise of Bucas Grande Islands. Photo courtesy of my friend Roy Geonzon. Thank you for this awesome photo.
Our next stop was the Bubon Beach. Bubon Beach offers a great view of Bubon group of 8 Islets that appears like gigantic green mushrooms sprouting from the seawaters. It is one of the places frequented by tourists when in Bucas Grande Islands. One of the Islands features yet another white sand beach so ideal to just laze around. We stopped at this spot and took time enjoying the view of the 8 Islets, the clear waters and the white sand beach.
The Bubon group of 8 stunning mushroom-lie Islets.
Planking Shot at Bubon White Sand Beach
From Bubon Beach, we headed off the other part of the Islands passing different beaches, resorts and other breathtaking Islets that truly made our day remarkable.
HERE ARE THE PHOTOS OF SOME OF THE STUNNING ISLETS OF THE BUCAS GRANDE ISLANDS.
Having toured around, I concluded that Bucas Grande Island is indeed a paradise so worth to discover and experience.
The Bucas Grande Islands of Socorro, Surigao Del Norte is undeniably a paradise to experience. Blessed with many mystical attractions to see, Bucas Grande Islands offers excellent ways to experience nature at its finest, away from the bustles and hassles of city living and away from disheartening pollution. Among the many attractions in the Islands that offer exciting things to discover, Sohoton National Park tops the list. Sohoton is declared by the Philippine Government as a National Park covering a total area of 70 hectares. The park features mystical Sohoton Cove, amazing Sohoton Blue Lagoons and the picturesque seven Islets. What’s enchanting about the place is that Sohoton National Park can only be reached passing through a 60-meter cave-like entrance which can only be accessed during low tide. The cave-like entrance looks like an underground river. According to our tour guide, only those boatmen who have explored the area for years can safely access the place. I have never been to an underground river. That experience gave me an awesome thrill. Entering the scenic Sohoton National Park, it was the tranquility and serenity of the place that first caught my senses. Paradise, I murmured. The waters were so clear. Fishes were all over. We were even amazed seeing stingrays freely swimming in the waters. The untouched verdant forests that covered the seven Islets inside the Park added unspeakable natural beauty of the whole place. Paradise, I murmured again! Going further, our tour guide led us to yet another must-see place in the Park, the underground cave. During high tide, one needs to swim underwater down a small passageway to get inside. Luckily, it was low tide when we get there. But still swam going inside though the passageway was not fully covered by waters. The water inside the cave was so cold. It was very refreshing. From inside, reflections of the light from the underground water were so striking. They were like crystals sparkling in the waters.
The Opening of the Underground Cave
Stalactites and Stalagmites
This Blogger at the Underground Cave
From that underground cave, we were brought to yet another cave passing through a small opening. Inside the cave were various stalactites and stalagmites formations. In getting out, we went up passing a tiny hole leading to a six-foot high diving platform built up in a small cliff outside the higher portion of the cave and from there, we jumped into the cool, clear blue waters. After luxuriating ourselves with the beauty of nature embellished around Sohoton National Park, we decided to move on to our next destination. Besides, one should leave the park before the high tide, otherwise they cannot go out. Exploring Sohoton National Park was an extraordinary experience for me. The whole thing was packed with thrill and action. It offers not only natural beauty but it also guarantees ultimate adventures that a thrill-seeker like me wants to experience.