Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Mt. Puting bato is the highest summit in Island Garden City of Samal (IGACOS) with an elevation of 1,345 feet (410 masl). There are 2 trails that leads to the summit. The easiest way is a 15-minute trek via Sitio Tayapoc but if you want a longer and challenging trail you must try the 2- hour  trek from Brgy.  Guilon.  I have been to Puting Bato several times because it is one of the nearest mountain near Davao City and the view above is breathtaking.
Photos were taken during our warm up climb last February 2009:

 Photos were taken from our  May and October 2010 climb  via Tayapok trail (photo courtesy of  Olan Emboscado, Joemarie Escovilla and Caroline Espejon)

Getting There:

From Davao City, Island City Express bus is  available  at Php40.00 per way on non aircon and Php50.00 per way on aircon bus with trip schedules from 5:30 am to 10:30pm that will take you to PeƱaplata or you may try the barge and boats in Sasa. Upon arrival in PeƱaplata a motorcyle will take you to Brgy. Guilon or Sitio Tayapok. For first timers it is better to secure a guide for you not to get lost along the way but if you will go to Sitio Tayapok guides are no longer necessary.


Friday, May 27, 2011

Sarangani Bay Festival 2011 Tour

It was 6:30am when the group leave Davao City. Some Participants were picked up along the way. We arrived in Malandang, Malungon, Sarangani Province where we ate our breakfast at 3 Doe fast food. Afterwards we dropped by at Isla Parilla for a few minutes for picture taking  then   proceeded to Gumasa in Glan Sarangani for the Sarangani Festival 2011. Various activities was held on designated beach resorts like skim board exhibition, sand sculpture competition, frisbee competition, beach volley, bay bodies competition and summer party at the bay. It was already late when the group returned to General Santos City.

Sand Sculptures in Coco Beach Resort

Bay Bodies Contestants in their  summer wear
We checked in at Sarangani Highlands in Purok Wal, Tambler, General Santos City. The place was awesome as it is located on a hilltop with spectacular overlooking view of the city, sarangani bay and on day time the magnificent Mt. Matutum is visible.

On the second day we went to Fort Maasim, in Sitio Tamboan, Maasim, Sarangani. It was the military camp of  73rd Infantry Batallion headed by Col. Rodolfo Espuelas Jr. The soldiers warmly welcomed us as they tour us around the area. They have "Flirtation Park" which was designed for the soldiers to flirt with nature if they missed their loved ones.

Fort Maasim
Group photo at Flirtation Park in  Fort Maasim(courtesy of Dr. Pen Casel)
From Fort Maasim, it took us an hour to arrived in Kiamba, Sarangani. After  we took our lunch we went to Pangi River in Barangay New La union, Maitum, Sarangani  for our  "White Water Tubing"Adventure. In every participant one guide is required since the  strong current of  water.

At Triswood Snack haus located in Kiamba facing Sarangani Sea (courtesy of Dr. Pen Casel)
I would like to thank  the sponsors  Gov. Miguel Dominguez, Cong. Manny Paquiao,  Kiamba Mayor Danny Martinez, Brgy. Captain Flora Benzonan, 73rd Infantry Batallion,  Mindanao Tourism Council specially Sir Jon Perez and Board Member Eleanor Constantino-Saguiguit.

Sarangani Province Tourist Destinations:

Glan, Sarangani : Coco Beach, Rosal Resort, White Haven Beach Resort, Isla Jardin del Mar

Isla Jardin Del Mar
Rosal Resort  Floating Cottage
White Haven Beach Resort
Alabel, Sarangani:   Isla Parilla Resort

Isla Parilla Resort
Maasim, Sarangani : Fort Maasim, Lemlunay Dive Resort
Kiamba, Sarangani: Tuka Marine Park, Badtasan Falls, Nalus Falls, Maligang or Nabol Falls,
                                Bocay-il  or Twin Falls, Kansan Falls, Lomuyon Falls, El Kawil Falls
Maitum, Sarangani: White Water Tubing, Anthropomorphic pottery museum

                                             (courtesy of Dr. Pen Casel)

(courtesy of Dr. Pen Casel)
white water tubing in Maitum, Sarangani Province (courtesy of Dr. Pen Casel)


Tuesday, May 17, 2011


SAGADA is a fifth class municipality located in Mountain Province in Northern  Luzon. It is one of the best tourist destinations in the Philippines even it's a 12 hour ride  from Manila.  Foreigners  from different  countries  loves to  visit  Sagada  because they offer great tourist destinations  and it is one of the best place to relax because of  its cold weather.  When it comes to tourism, they have an organized system. They have  a blogsite (www.sagadagenuineguides.blogspot.com) which all informations from room accommodation, transportation, restaurants, tourist spots, and guide fees are posted.


There are 2 options going to Sagada. The most convenient way is  from Manila take a bus going to Baguio City at php440.00 one way fare. I suggest you take an evening trip around 10:00pm or 11:00pm for you to arrive at 5:00am in Baguio City. Then proceed to Dangwa Terminal and look for Lizardo Trans Bus Liner.The first trip is 6:00am. There is a cafeteria beside the terminal where  you can take your snack while waiting for the bus to depart. The fare would cost php220.00 one way. 

stopover for breakfast along halsema road, Benguet
The second option is a 12 hour bus ride  from Manila to Bontoc via Cable Tours Bus Line located in E. Rodriguez Street ,Quezon City. They have daily schedules leaving Manila at 8:30pm at Php650.00 one way fare. From Bontoc, take another 45 minutes jeepney ride to Sagada at Php40.00 one way fare.

All tourists are required to register at Sagada Tourist Information Center  upon arrival

Lumiang Burial Cave Entrance
extreme trail of  Lumiang Cave
Sumaguing Cave
                              (Note: To those adventure seeker, cave connection is a real thrill)

sea of clouds at Keltipan Peak
The Century Bell
Sagada Episcopal Cathedral
Echo Valley
Sagada Rice Terraces 

Monday, May 16, 2011

MT. TIMBAC (Atok, Benguet)

MT. TIMBAC also known as Mt. Singakalsa ranked as the  9th highest summit in the Philippines with an elevation of 2,717 masl. Mummies and vegetable terraces can  be found in  Mt. Timbak.  The weather is freezing cold at night like Mt. Pulag so make sure to bring proper clothing.  The coldest season in Mt. Timbak is between December to February that the crops are frosting.  The  locals are very kind and accommodating.    
I will share with you our itinerary during our side trip  to Mt. Timbak  after our Sagada Tour  last July 2010 with my travel buddies Ariel, Tina, Cheryl and  Jay:

10:00am      Departure from  Sagada

3:00pm       Arrival in Km. 55, Atok, Benguet /start trek.

a breathtaking view of  vegetable terraces
After a few minutes of walk a truck loaded with chicken dung fertilizer going to
Kabayan, Benguet pass by  so we grabbed  the opportunity to hitched a ride

a closer look at the vegetable terraces
 4:00pm      Arrival at the village near  the tomb of mummies and arrange for overnight
                    accommodation with the locals.
on our way to the mummies

  4:30pm      visit the MUMMIES  of  Timbak
  5:30pm      early dinner

Ariel and Tina wearing their emergency blankets
  6:30pm      sleeping time 
  3:00am      wake up call /start trek to summit

at the summit

7:00am     Arrival in  Mongoto Elementary School

8:00am      leaving  Mt. Timbak via hired vegetable jeepney

with the locals of  Mt. Timbak
8:30am      Arrival in HALSEMA ROAD (Highest point of elevation in National Highway)

   9:00am    Back to Baguio
 11:00am    Arrival in Baguio City

Buses are available 24 hours from Manila to Baguio City at Php440.00 per way. Upon arrival in Baguio City you may proceed to Dangwa Terminal and look for Lizardo Bus Liner bound for Sagada First trip is 6:00am at Php80.00 one way fare and travel time is two hours.  Please inform the driver that you need to stop at The waiting shed in  Km. 55, in Atok Benguet. Just follow the main road  going to Mongoto Elementary School. From there it is 30 minutes hike to the summit.