The Municipality of New Corella being the Water Basin of the Province of Davao Del Norte is lavishly teeming with cool watercourses and cavernous caves where adventure trippers, spelunkers and speleologists can easily access by trekking up rivers and hiking along forest trails. These nature’s gifts to New Corella pave way to make the town the newest eco-adventure destination in the province and the whole Davao Region. Like most outdoor enthusiasts who came here, I was also lured to visit this part of Davao Region to feel the adrenaline hype experiencing the eco-adventours of New Corella.
Accompanied by Municipal Tourism Office headed by the Municipal Budget and Tourism Officer Mr. Joel Quinanahan with the company of the Yond Adventure Mountain-caving Outdoor Group (YAMOG), my trip to New Corella commenced exploring the newly discovered waterfalls and cascades hidden in the thick forest of the town down to one of its 6 popular show caves.
Our adventure started registering our names at the Tourist Center of Barangay New Cortez. This is a prerequisite before going to all the destinations included in the tour. Barangay New Cortez also serves as the assembly area going around the natural attractions of New Corella.
Aboard the habal-habal, we traveled our way from Barangay Hall to Marlix Spring Resort, the jump off point going to Bonduc Falls, our first eco-adventour destination. Bonduc Falls is about 45 minutes hike from Marlix Spring Resort passing along the some rugged roads, jagged hills and lush foliage. Some parts are open trail, thus the scorching heat of the sun. Along the trail, we also passed by a rubber tree plantation that really caught our attention. When we reached the final stop, we started river trekking along the cold waters going to the base of Bonduc Falls. Just 10 minutes later, the full view of Bonduc Falls was laid before us.
Surrounded by thick vegetation, Bonduc Falls is series of cascades flowing freely from 4 small tiers. The waters were not as abundant as I expected but enough to make one yearn to bathe under its cold gushing waters. According to tour guides, Bonduc falls is among the newly discovered cascades in the town and now part of the co-adventours of New Corella.
From Bonduc Falls, we trailed back to Marlix Spring Resort and headed back to the Barangay Hall of New Cortez for lunch. After feasting over our scrumptious meal, we prepared to head on to our next eco-adventour destination, the Kasilac Falls.
From the Barangay Hall of New Cortez, going to the jump off point of Kasilac Falls takes around 30 minutes aboard the habal-habal. The road going to the jump off point is not established for motorcycle vehicles. Thus, our habal habal ride was a bit difficult. But for me, it was part of a great adventure.
Going to Kasilac Falls from the jump off point entails 20 minutes hike passing through pasture of cows, corn fields and coconut grounds. I find it so scenic seeing all the green life enveloping our way to the Falls.
When we reached Kasilac Falls, I immediately paused for a jiffy and succumb to astonishment as my eyes glued to a beautiful waterfalls in front of me. For a moment, I was held in captive.
Kasilac Falls is a beauty brimming with crystal clear water gushing from a tier. Unlike Bonduc Falls, it is higher than I expected. The waters are abundant and the gushing sounds of the cascades are soothingly loud. Everyone was delighted seeing such natural splendor. At an instant, I wanted to bathe in its cool filtered waters but we had to hurry for another destination.
Trekking back the same trail, I left Kasilac Falls in contentment. I have been to different waterfalls in the Philippines bigger, higher and taller than it is but still Kasilac Falls has its own enticing appeal. Truly I say nature has its own way of captivating one’s soul. Undoubtedly, I was captivated.
From the jump off point of Kasilac Falls, we traveled our way for another 20 minutes going to the Bonduc Cave. From the jump off area situated along the main road, going to the opening of Bonduc Cave is just around 15 minutes hike. It was a very easy hike but going inside the cave was another story.
You see, I have ophidiophobia, an abnormal fear of snakes. How I get this was a long story. Snakes, of all kinds, make me weak. It makes me tremble I could die in nervousness. I know for a fact that caves are resting places of snakes. As a matter of fact, it is among the preferred resting place of banakon or king cobras, one of the most venomous snakes on earth. Thus, caving is the only kind of adventure I always decline to join when I got invitations – simply because of the snakes.
Why I was convinced to go caving, the real one, for the very first timewas because I learned that New Corella is home to more than 100 unspoiled caves where 70 of which were explored and some were identified as world class caving system. This has convinced me to brave my fear and explore a real cave for the very first time.
And so, spelunking at Bonduc Cave started. Together with the company of YAMOG, we went inside the very opening of Bonduc Cave. I was mixed emotions when I went inside. Fear, excitement, anxiousness, fun, tenseness, and thrill – all consumed me. When I was already inside with the headlamps and the lights where focused on the stalactites and stalagmites abounding there, I slowly began appreciating the beauty of what’s underneath. It was a world I am so unfamiliar with.
Rocks formations of different sizes amazed me. The stalagmites and stalactites of different forms, shapes and sizes astounded me. I was in astonishment seeing all these things that I missed to see in my life’s travels. If only I was brave enough, I could have done this long before this trip. I can’t help but mumbled words of amazement seeing every single thing inside that wowed me. “Wow! Wow! Wow!” I always muttered!
Going further, one beautiful spot caught my interest. It is a hole from the top where sunlight passes through giving a dramatic light inside the cave. It was so beautiful that I spent much time photographing that particular spot. So picture perfect!
Contented, we moved forward and headed our way out to the egress of the cave. The moment I stepped out completely of Bonduc Cave unharmed and sound, I almost broke into tears knowing I was able to conquer my fear and experience a new adventure that I’ll surely be doing again in my life. I felt so triumphant communing with a beautiful world underneath me. It was surreal experience. That 45-minute experience being inside the cave is already a big thing for me. Being my very first, it will always be an unforgettable experience.
From Bonduc Cave, we traveled back to Barangay New Cortez. All of us were exhausted from a daylong eco-adventours but like me, we all ended the day in high spirits having experienced the enticing allures of the natural wonders of New Corella. Indeed, these cascading waterfalls and cavernous caves of the New Corella make the town the newest eco-adventure destination not just in the province of Davao Del Norte but the whole Davao Region.
HOW TO GET TO NEW CORELLA: From Davao City, take a passenger bus going to the City of Tagum, the Capital Town of Davao Del Norte. Drop off at the Tagum City Overland Transport Integrated Terminal. Once there, look for the place where passenger jeepneys bound to New Corella are stationed. Davao City to New Corella is about two hours travel time.
FOR ASSISTANCE, you may call:
MR. JOEL QUINANAHAN
Municipal Budget and Tourism Officer
Municipality of New Corella, Davao Del Norte
(0921) 265 6668
♫ “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.
“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go…” This is exactly the right song one should be singing when visiting the City of Tagum today.
Davao Region’s Tallest and Grandest Holiday Tree
The City of Tagum in the province of Davao Del Norte is branded as the Palm City of the Philippines and home to the various festivals celebrated every year. As a matter of fact, it is the only city in the whole Davao Region (Region XI) to boast 14 different grand festivals that truly depict the colorful culture, vibrant lifestyle and good governance of the Tagumeños. This holiday season, the City of Tagum once again made another mark in the whole Davao Region as they welcome the Yuletide Season with the traditional Lighting of the Giant Holiday Tree. Luckily, I am amongst those honored guests given the privilege to witness this event up close and personal. With a towering height of 108.60 feet (33.10 meters), the Giant Holiday Tree of the City of Tagum is considered as the tallest in the Davao Region and probably in Mindanao. Its traditional lighting spearheaded by no less than the father of the City, Mayor Rey Uy, marks the beginning of the bright shining glittering Christmas Season in the whole City of Tagum. For six years now, the Giant Holiday Tree which is conveniently situated at the City’s Freedom Park has attracted thousands of visitors and tourists to come to the City to feel its Yuletide Spirit. It has become the City’s landmark that Tagumeños and visiting guests look forward to every Holiday Season. For this reason, the City Government of Tagum considered the Giant Holiday Tree as a landmark fit to be given much interest as part of the City’s tourism campaign. Thus, the City Engineer’s Office is tasked to come up new plans and fresh designs to make the Holiday Tree more appealing and inviting every year. Like the Giant Holiday Tree, its annual Traditional Lighting is also an anticipated event that everyone, including this writer, look forward to this Holiday Season.
And on the breezy evening of November 16th, 2011, this year’s Giant Holiday Tree came to life as Mayor Rey Uy together with other City Officials switched on the thousands glistening lights of the towering Christmas tree. At 33 meters in height lighted in full glory, the Giant Holiday Tree becomes the main attraction of the evening putting every spectator including myself in much awe and admiration.
This year’s Giant Holiday Tree is adorned with the different symbols of Christmas Season. Decorative shapes of flowers, snowflakes, angels blowing horns, doves, fruits and musicals notes abound the steel tree. Thousands of pixie lights and rice bulbs ranging from yellow, green, blue and red put these decorative shapes to life. The giant Bethlehem Star on top made the Holiday Tree more interesting and eye-catching.
During the formal lighting ceremonies, spectators are treated to a Street Choir Performance of the Tagum City Composite Chorale and Symphonic Band. The Christmas Carols sung by the 100 Voices Ensemble added flavors and drama to the lighting of the Giant Holiday Tree. My friends at the City Information Office of the City of Tagum led by Mr. Edwin Lasquite proudly told me that the Giant Holiday Tree is the symbol of the love, peace and progress that the City of Tagum is experiencing day by day. He added that it has been the vision of Mayor Rey Uy that the Giant Holiday Tree will be fitting venue that will provide Tagumeños an opportunity to commune together to celebrate the yuletide season and share its message of peace. It is a holiday spot where families can come and bond together during yuletide season.
This particular photo was taken last year during the lighting of the 2010 Giant Chirstmas Tree and won the Juror’s Choice Award for the Tagum City Photo Contest.
Having attended the grand lighting of the Giant Holiday Tree and felt its significance to the City of Tagum for two years now, I concluded that Mayor Rey Uy’s vision has reached thousands of people not just in the City of Tagum but its neighboring cities and towns as well. I, for one, was among those individuals looking forward to witness the lighting of the significant steel tree feeling one with the Tagumeños in welcoming the Yuletide Season. But it was not just the lighting of the Giant Holiday Tree that I’ve witnessed, but the message of love, peace and hope delivered and shared during the event.
This Blogger with the Children of the 100 Voices Ensemble
To the people of Tagum and Mayor Rey Uy, thank you for opening your doors for us to experience “Christmas in the City of Tagum”!