Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sarangani, Davao del Sur (Balut Island)

BALUT ISLAND is located in the west part of Sarangani, Davao Del Sur with an elevation of  862 masl.   It is composed of twelve barangays where residents are usually  sangils, bilaan and muslims. Three shipping lines are catering trips to Balut IslandBoats are loaded with cargo since almost all  basic needs in  the island were bought in General Santos City from food, furnitures and some accessories. There are no daily  trip to Balut Island so it is better to contact the shipping lines for the trip schedule.

purchasing our tickets bound for  Mabila, Balut Island
Lions Beach Wharf
cargo loading
M/V NIEKY 2 (photo courtesy of  Sir Maulvi Bajunaid)

From Davao City take a bus or van going to  Gen. Santos City. The port of   M/V SONG OF DOLLY 3 is located at Lions Beach and  Puting Bato wharf  for M/V NIEKY 2 and M/V SABHANG.  Estimated time travel is 6 hours.

Tourist Attractions:

Ulaniban Island (photo courtesy of  Sir Maulvi Bajunaid)
the Lighthouse at Ulaniban Island (photo courtesy of  Sir Maulvi Bajunaid)
Sabang Hotspring

Bolae Cove
swimming time at Bolae Cove
Balut Island as seen from Bubo Beach
Bubo Beach
Tuke Maklang Resort owned by Mayor Jerry Cawa
With Mayor Jerry Cawa in Tuke Maklang Resort

Tuke Nunsol
crystal clear water in Tuke Nunsol
Villalobos or Balistic  Island
ruins of rocks made in 15th century which was used in the war against Roy Lopez Villalobos
Balut Island Peak is a 30- minute ride  accessible by motorcyle
Municipal Hall of  Balut Island,  Sarangani, Davao del Sur
with the municipal mayor Hon. Jerry Cawa
I would like to thank my  travel buddies Cheryl Arcilla, Kristina Corpuz for coordinating with HRMO, Sir Maulvi Bajunaid for sharing some photos and Sir Rolando Paalisbo specially to  the Honorable Mayor Jerry Cawa  for the warm accomodation in Balut Island.  Some Photos are  courtesy of  Sir Maulvi  Bajunaid and Kristina Corpuz.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


                                                                               Sunrise in Mt. Kitanglad
MT. KITANGLAD is the fourth highest peak in the Philippines with an elevation of 2,899 metres. It was declared as an ASEAN National Park last 2009.  Bringing of tent is not necessary since there is a bunkhouse at the summit. Electricity is also available where hikers may enjoy watching television and charge their cellphone. The average climb is two days only.  Fifteen persons are allowed to climb per batch.  To those who wish to climb Mt. Kitanglad, it is important to make an early registration at the PAMBI Office in Malaybalay, bukidnon to avoid inconvenience.

From Davao City, take a bus to Malaybalay,  Bukidnon. Upon arrival at the terminal, look for jeepneys  that goes to Sitio Intavas, Impasug ong, Bukidnon. Porters and guides may be arranged upon arrival.   

the summit of Mt. Kitanglad

outside the bunkhouse with our porters

Thursday, April 14, 2011

My First Mt. Pulag Experience

Mt. Pulag Peak
It was one of my dream climb. I never thought I would climb at the "Playground of the Gods".  Mt. Pulag is   is the third highest mountain in the Philippines with an elevation of  2,922 masl. The system in Mt. Pulag is well organized so its easy to arranged your bookings from   registration, transportation, guides and porters. Two trails are available for the climb: Ambangeg trail is a 2-day climb and the easiest while Akiki Trail is a 3-day climb.   

Ambuklao Dam

Prior the climb  transportation from Baguio to Ambangeg, guides and porters were already arranged  through Ma'am Emerita Albas, DENR Supirentendent. With five of us from Davao and four from Manila. It was our first time meeting them but they were very good company. Since we have different flight schedules from Davao we decided to meet up at Jollibee Baguio at 6:00a.m. Our jeepney service was also there to take us at Ambangeg. All of us are first timers so we were very excited to trek Mt. Pulag. We had a briefing at the DENR office and had our lunch then we proceed to the Ranger Station. It took us four hours of trek to reached the campsite. I had the chance to helped in prepared our  food but when the sky starts to dark the temperature dropped. It was really cold that I couldn't even get out of the tent to get my food. Luckily, we had the rented warmer blanket. It was a big help for us. 

At 4:00am the next day was our wake up call. We were glad that the weather is good. After an hour trek we reached the summit of Mt. Pulag. The view was just amazing with sea of clouds and sunrise. I was really happy because it was a dream come true for me. Our group returned the same day with full of satisfaction.
I would still love to come back to "The Playground of the Gods". 


CAMIGUIN ISLAND is an island born of fire. One of the best tourist destination in Southern Mindanao. If your looking for  waterfalls, hot spring, cold spring and white sand beaches, Camiguin Island has it all. The island is also known for  " PANAAD" held every holy week  wherein devotees walk around the 64 km. island of camiguin or climb the old vulcan to pray. It was not my first time to visit camiguin but I still love to come back to the place specially if you are with your good friends.

Camiguin Island as seen from Balingoan Port, Misamis Oriental
                                                                      (photo courtesy of alan molina)
A must visit tourist attractions:

Katibawasan Falls-  250 ft. waterfall  located in Mambajao. Entrance Fee is Php15.00/person. (photo courtesy of alan molina)

Ardent Hot Spring -a 40 degree celsius warm hot spring also located in Mambajao. Entrance Fee is Php30.00/person.

Sto. NiƱo Cold Spring - located in Looc. Entrance Fee is Php40.00/person.(photo courtesy of  jenny plaza)

Tuasan Falls - located in Catarman. There is no Entrance Fee but you have to hire a guide to take you the waterfalls. The water is very clear and clean.

Mantigue Island - a  four hectare  island located in Mahinog. The island is visible from benoni port. Roundtrip Boat fare is Php500.00.(photo courtesy of alan molina)

White Island - a white sand bar located between Barangay Agoho and Yumbing. Roundtrip boat fare is php300.00. (photo courtesy of alan molina)

Sunken Cemetery /Old Church Ruins - remains from the eruption of old vulcan in 1871.

Mt. Hibok hibok -one of  the active volcano in the Philippines. To those who wish to trek Mt. Hibok hibok the jump off point is near Ardent Hotspring. A guide must be secured before climbing.


From Cagayan de Oro City:

There are two options going to Camiguin Island: First is by PARAS SEA CAT  from Cagayan de Oro to Benoni Port.
                            Cagayan - Benoni          8:30am    daily
                             Benoni-Cagayan           4:00pm    daily


 From Cagayan de Oro, take a bus or jeepney going to Balingoan Port, Misamis Oriental. Several trips  from 5:45am - 6:00pm daily at php130.00 for one way fare are available on ferries that will take you to Benoni Port.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Mt. Dulang-Dulang:Philippines 2nd Highest Summit

It was holy week when our group climbed  Mt. Dulang-dulang. Climb permits must be secured from PAMBI in Malaybalay, Bukidnon as earlier as possible  since only 15 hikers per group in a day are allowed to climb. We made the booking from PAMBI five  months ahead of time since holy week is a climbing season with the help of  Mr. Ronan Montero  of  Panahik Outdoor Shop in Malaybalay,  Bukidnon. 

The road to Lantapan, Bukidnon with Elmer, Jenny, Kuya Ely, and Jandy
 Mt.  D2  is regarded as a sacred place for the Talaandig Tribe in Lantapan, Bukidnon . A ritual is required  from  the Datu of the tribe before the climb. The things needed for the ritual were three live chickens, 15 pcs. 1 peso coin, 1 bottle Fighter Wine, 1 bottle Mallorca, 15 pcs. eggs,  red and white cloth and a ritual fee of Php500.00 per group.  When we arrived at  Lantapan, Bukidnon the DATU of the village accomodated us in his house for us  to stay overnight.

"DATU" of  Talaandig Tribe preparing for the ritual

Early morning the next day everyone was all set to climb. Our trek started in a two-hour open trail before we entered the sacred forest of Mt. Dulang-Dulang. From the foot up to the last campsite all you would  find was mossy forest and rare flora and fauna's. When we reached  Manny's Garden late in the afternoon  we knew that we were near the campsite. Glad that we're already in the campsite when the rain started to pour. During the night nobody dares to get out of their tents since it was very cold. All tired, our group decided to sleep early.

open trail
A rare flora in Mt. D2
Manny's Garden

Wake up call was 4:30am to watched sunrise at the peak but due to a very cold weather only me and the guide went to the peak that early but everyone followed us after a few minutes.  At the peak you will find a tree with white ribbons, that's the place were the tribe members made their rituals. After our breakfast, we packed our things and descend back to the barangay. 

On top of the tree ( at the back is Mt. Kitanglad)


From Davao City take a bus (Rural Transit) bound for Malaybalay, bukidnon. Jeepneys are available in Malaybalay  public market that  will take you to Lantapan, Bukidnon.