Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Traveller’s Extreme Exposure (Not Your Typical DAVAO Adventure)

               DAVAO is a Metropolitan City and is the Capital of Mindanao, it is a host for numerous activities such as the Pearl Farm White Beach Resort located in Samal Island, the Philippine Eagle Center, Crocodile Park, White Water Rafting, Mount Apo Hiking and the OUTLAND ADVENTURE which I tried in my limited stay in Davao.

                Davao also has popular restaurants that serves delicious cuisines like the Roadhouse Cafe, Karlyn’s Steak, Coco’s Grill, Nanang Bebeng’s Eat All You Can and Penong’s Barbecue Seafoods and Grill.

                I arrived at the Davao Airport at 6 in the morning and from there, I took a taxi to Outland Adventure located near the Diversion Road of GAP Farm. I was too early so I waited until it opened at 8 in the morning. While waiting, I already toured the place, I saw some rope challenges, Gazebo’s and a medium Zipline that were used for team building purposes. And all of their profits will go to the Outland Project Foundation.

                Their main attraction is called the XCELERATOR, the longest, fastest and highest Zipline in Whole of Asia. With 1,200 meters long, 46 seconds and 400 feet high. However, you should take note that not all Ziplines are safe, so make sure to check for safety first and the XCELERATOR is Internationally accredited and meets Worldwide standards. These will definitely accelerate your blood flow! There are corresponding prices you can choose from which are 300 for 1 ride, 400 for 2 rides and 500 for unlimited ride and I got the ZIP ALL YOU CAN PACKAGE with a free refreshment. So you will begin in the Harness station where you are free to decide which position you would want and these are the Inverted, Superman and Sitting positions. So I chose the Inverted or Upside Down first. The next thing you have to do is to use the raft in the lake to transfer to the other side of the park and trek 410 steps to ascend to the top of the Hill. Then Zip yourself all the way to where you have started.

                Thank you to the kind and friendly staff Sunshine, Jawer, Jonahvieve, Henry and James for taking good care of me. They even told me that I was the only customer who did an Inverted position in my first ever Zipline, others were doing Superman first, thanks to my love for intense experiences. They also told me that I was the first one to arrive in such an early time, thanks to my early flight. And again they told me that I was the first to ever count the steps, even the staff never counted the steps. Well, thanks to my readers for inspiring me to do my job efficiently so that they can imagine the whole scenario easily. And lastly, I was the first ever to do 4 Ziplines within 3 hours, all customers took the whole day to do what I did, that’s because my time is so limited and thanks to that, it made me a record holder in Outland Adventure.

                OUTLAND ADVENTURE shows the other side of DAVAO, the extreme part that we never saw and this is not your ordinary and typical DAVAO Experience…

- Happy Loner Traveller

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Traveller’s Captivating Hideaway (Niagara Falls Of The Philippines)

                BISLIG CITY, Surigao Del Sur in the Southeastern-most part of Mindanao facing the Pacific Ocean is the home to the most beautiful Tourist Spot in the Whole of Philippines. I have been around the Philippines, from the Northern-most part of Luzon up to the Southern-most part of Mindanao, even to other countries like Hong Kong, Japan, China and USA and I can only say this… That the most astounding, majestic and breath-taking view I have ever seen is found in BISLIG CITY and it is known as the “NIAGARA FALLS OF THE PHILIPPINES”, The TINUY-AN FALLS. For me, this is my Top 1 of the most wonderful spots in the Philippines.

                It’s 55 meters high and 95 meters wide, with a 4-tiered Waterfalls. It may not be the biggest in the World but the thing that separates this from the real Niagara Falls is its Virginity. Its untouched and unspoiled sanctuary of Rainforest that nestles this Falls is unremarkable. Exuding a natural and cool breeze just makes you feel separated from the reality of the urban world. In the early morning, when the light rays of the Sun hits the Falls, a colorful glowing Rainbow will form, it’s as if you’re in a location where Fairy Tale stories are told…

                To get to BISLIG, its gateway is Davao or Butuan, I chose the Davao route. I rode in an Air-Conditioned Express Bus called Bachelor for only 285 Philippine Pesos and the Travel time is a maximum of 6 hours. Just go to Davao Ecoland Bus Terminal. As I was Travelling, you will pass by a heavy rough road that will last for an hour. It’s tiring but the prize is so worth it. Literally, Towering Trees from the Jungle will be viewed as you approach Bislig City. And when I arrived at Bislig City, I stayed at PAPER COUNTRY INN for only 600 Philippine Pesos per night, the most popular hotel in MANGAGOY BISLIG.

                Thank you to the wonderful staff of the Hotel namely Alma Espinosa, Tita Magoncia and Marleen Pongsi for pampering me and cooking sumptuous affordable meals like Seafoods such as steamed 800 gram Crab, grilled Squid, garlic Shrimps and grilled Tanguige all for only 450 Philippine Pesos.

                To go to Tinuy-an Falls, you have to ride a “Habal-Habal” and luckily I found a kind driver who is a local Tour guide as well, his name is Toto Agopitac and he gave me a price for only 550 Philippine Pesos, very cheap. It will take you about an hour to arrive at the Falls. And I met Marlyn, the oldest caretaker there in terms of service, I just told her how the Falls just shut my mouth up with so much amazement. The entrance fee to the Falls is 10 Philippine Pesos, you can also rent cottages for an overnight stay, as well as lifevests and other floating devices.

                The First time I saw Tinuy-an Falls, I was just speechless and I told myself “I was just Captivated by its Power and Majestic Scenery”. From there on, it has been on Top 1 in my list of the most beautiful places in the Philippines…

                I definitely would want to come back to Bislig City a million times, just by being here makes you the closest to nature. I really fell in love with TINUY-AN FALLS, the Largest Falls in the Philippines.

                The best time to go here is during the rainy season in Surigao Del Sur as the volume of Tinuy-an Falls is larger. And when leaving Bislig City, the available Air-Conditioned Express Bus of Bachelor is around 2 A.M and 9 A.M.

                I never thought that we actually have this kind of natural treasure here in the Philippines, it’s as if you are in a different country. This place called Bislig City just took my Breath away…

- Happy Loner Traveller

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Traveller's Natural Prodigy (Philippine’s Pebble Beach)

              SURIGAO CITY is known as the Gateway to Mindanao. It is part of Surigao Del Norte Province, CARAGA Region. It is also the Doorway to the Famous SIARGAO Island. Surigao City also boasts of its own Tourist spots which is unique in many different ways and in my short stay in Surigao City, I had to include all of these in my Itinerary.

                It is only in Surigao City where you can find the only PEBBLED BEACH in the Philippines which is located in MABUA. The Beach is all white stones and no sand. I was astonished with this kind of Beach because it is a Natural Wonder of Science, Earth sculptured this Pebbled Beach into the way it is. It is not a Man-made scenery but a pure miracle of nature.

                There are also other attractions that promotes Sun, Sea and Sand combination which are Basul Beach, Sagisi Beach and Buenavista Cave and Beach.

                I stayed at E.Y TOURIST PENSION for only 895 Philippine Pesos per night. I love the accommodation because its interiors are beautifully designed, as if you were at a hotel in Europe. I also ate at two delicious and popular restaurants which are Island Seafood House and Mario’s Grille.

                It’s an obsessive and bewitching feeling when you’re exploring Eastern Mindanao. Its Natural Riches will invite and entice you to stay a little longer to the mesmerizing beauty of Eastern Mindanao and it is best to start with its gateway which is Surigao City of the CARAGA Region…

- Happy Loner Traveller

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Traveller’s Spell-Binding Sanctuary (Haven Of Nature)

                SOHOTON COVE, SOCCORO, BUCAS GRANDE located in the Province of Surigao Del Norte which is a part of the CARAGA Region in Mindanao is a place where the word amazing is an understatement. This place is more than a Paradise, it is “Heaven In The Seas” as I call it…

                It has been converted to an Eco-Tourism Park because of its potential to be one of the greatest natural wonders of the World. Thanks to Dhodo Ajoc, the Tour Operation In-Charge for his warm hospitality. For me, Converting Sohoton into a Marine Protected Sanctuary will have a double effect. It will not only preserve the marine life and ecology but allows an increase in job opportunities of the locals residing in Bucas Grande. The locals will also learn how to take care of their God-Given Natural Treasures and will be able to socialize with their fellow Filipinos and people from foreign lands as well.

                So I started my Bucas Grande exploration by renting a boat, My boatman and local guide is Lito Magalona, Thanks to him for giving me a big discount. So at 5 in the morning, I went to the public market to buy some foods that will be cooked during my visit to Bucas Grande. The boatman and I met at the Boulevard Beach in Siargao where the boat is located and from there, We started our journey…

                As I entered the Ocean boundary of BUCAS GRANDE, Nature already greeted me with a warm welcome, an almost 2 feet long Barracuda jumped from the Ocean in front of the boat where I’m located. It really excited me more that I can’t wait to swim in this staggering Nature’s Haven.

                When I arrived at Bucas Grande’s Sohoton Cove, I was so speechless with its beauty. Literally, there’s no word to describe on how marvelous and wondrous the scenery is… I visited the 2 main attractions of the Sohoton Eco-Tourism Park which is the Snoring Cave and the Diving Cave which lead me to do spelunking up to the other end of the cave and allowed me to jump on a 15 foot high board, another extreme adventure to put on my own record book.

                I stayed at this fabulous Hidden Island Resort in BUCAS GRANDE. I got the largest room for only a cheap price. Definitely, a great place to stay in BUCAS GRANDE.

                I agree with the nature’s call for help, I wouldn’t request anything like development of establishments around the Sohoton Cove as it would allow the possibility of destruction in the Natural Marine Life and Ecology. I would only recommend the preservation and protection of it. That We Humans must also RESPECT the Course of Nature.

                And what’s there to improve when it’s already perfect for being just the way it is… Sometimes, you don’t need to enhance a thing to see its real beauty, just by opening our eyes with admiration and appreciation is already enough to draw our existence with its unquestionable excellence…

- Happy Loner Traveller