Thursday, December 27, 2012

Climbing Mt. Matutum

Mt. Matutum as seen from  Sitio Glandang, Tupi, South Cotabato

When climbing Mt. Matutum all  trekkers are  required to plant seedlings at the foot of the mountain.   This  program was made by the local tourism Office of  Tupi  called "AMYAK MALEH MATUTUM" means climb and plant in Mt. Matutum. 

Our Porter Mang Natu at 62 yrs old (center) together with his younger brother at 56 yrs old can still climb the 2,286 masl Mt. Matutum
It was my friend Tina who planned the climb in celebration of  her  birthday. We left Davao Overland Transport Terminal at 4:00am. Arrival in General Santos was 7:00am. Our packed  lunch was bought at a nearby fast food at General Santos City Terminal  before we took  another bus bound for Tupi, South Cotabato. RegistrAtion fee and Porters were  already arranged by our friend and also our guide for this climb Sir Maulvi Bajunaid.

                                                                 Rare Plants found in Mt. Matutum

Phase 1 trail is an easy trail. The average hike is about 3-4 hours.  Flora and Fauna can be seen along the trail. We stopped to have our lunch before reaching Phase 2. Phase 2 the trail was a  difficult trail with an  average hike for about 3-4 hours until we reached the summit .It was 4:00pm when all of us arrived at the summit. The summit was surrounded with trees. We pitched our tents and prepared our meal for the night. The night was so cold with strong winds blowing that could flew our tents if

The next morning the whole surrounding was filled with fog.  We weren't able to witness the sunrise. We met some fellow mountaineers at the summit. It was fun talking and taking photo's with them. At 9:00am our group descend back and arrived at 3:00pm  at the jump off point.

with Fellow Mountaineers we met at the summit of Mt. Matutum

Getting There: 

From Davao City Overland Terminal take a bus to Tupi (php 280.00 estimated fare one way). Just inform the driver to drop you off Barangay  Kablon. Single motorcycles will take you to TOURISM GUARDHOUSE, in Sitio Glandang, Brgy. Kablon (Php150.00 pero motorcycle one way). Make sure to have an early registration prior the climb to avoid inconvenience. Registation fee is Php150.00 per person. Porter fee is Php 250.00-300.00 per day. If you need a guide feel free to contact Maulvi of Tupi (09269031934).

*Some photos are courtesy of Pen Casel and Anthony Elisar



Thursday, November 29, 2012

Matigol Falls in Arakan, North Cotabato

Bani Waterfalls

The  first time I went to Matigol Falls  also known as Bani Falls was with my fellow mountaineers a few years ago. It was also a day hike but the trail we chose was  a little difficult since we follow the trail from the uppermost part of the waterfalls going down to the foot of the waterfalls.

This year Louie, Leo, Keir, Madayaw and I had our day trip to Matigol Falls. We arrived in Arakan Valley at 8:00am.  Hired   motorcycles  took as at the jump off point. From the basketball court our trek begins and after 30 minutes we reached Sitio Inamong, Barangay Datu Ladayon where we secure our guides and pay our registration fee.

"Traveling Louie" and "Journeying Sarah" at the top  of  Matigol  falls (photo courtesy of Madayaw Wowdagway)

Our first destination was to set foot at the  top most part of  Matigol Falls. We relaxed for a while and took some photos before we climbed back, took  another trail to reach the foot of  Matigol Falls.  Be sure to bring an umbrella with you because the weather is really hot on daytime since you will trek mostly on  grasslands. An hour and a half hour of trek  took us to see another beautiful gift of nature.

The Trail

A glimpse of  Matigol falls before descend
The foot of  Matigol Falls
Getting there:

From Ecoland Terminal took a "Rural Transit" bus bound for Cagayan via Budha. Just inform the driver to drop you at Arakan, North Cotabato. The fare ranges from  Php 80-100 non aircon bus.You may chosse to walk from the national highway or ride in a motorcyle all the way to Sitio Inamong, Barangay Datu Ladayon court at Php 50.00 -Php80.00 per person.  Registration Fee is Php25.00.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Exploring Combilan Cave and Awao Falls

Exit Point of Combilan Cave
 Monkayo, Compostela Valley was my best friend's hometown. Since college I've been visiting their place to explore waterfalls and caves. One of the best tourist destinations  found in Monkayo is COMBILAN CAVE, in Brgy. Casoon and AWAO FALLS in Brgy. Awao, Monkayo, Compostela Valley which can be explored in a day.

From Davao City Overland Terminal, take a bus or van bound for Monkayo, Compostela Valley. Upon arrival at the terminal "skylabs", a single motorcyle with extended wooden seats that can accommodate up to 14 persons are available to take you to Brgy. Casoon.   It is advisable to coordinate with the tourism office of  Monkayo or  the Barangay Officials  before  planning to go to Combilan Cave and Awao Falls.

Natural wonders of  Combilan Cave
This was the hardest part of the trail but actually we were lost at  that  time

Combilan Cave  has many chambers inside so be sure to secure a guide before entering the cave to avoid from getting lost. There was also another cave that has a flowing water inside and when you reached the exit way there was a small stream that you would want to dip in the cold water.

The 2nd  cave on the other side  which has a flowing water inside
Swimming time at the exit of the 2nd cave

Awao Falls is located in Brgy. Awao. You may hire a single motorcycle from Monkayo Terminal  up to the jump off point but since we traveled in group we requested from the tourism office to use their dump truck.   There was no signage from the jump off point  so be sure to hire a local  guide. The trek going down to the waterfalls is only  thirty minutes. 

Awao Falls

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Natural Wonders of Oslob

OSLOB  is a two  and a half hour bus ride from South Bus Terminal in Cebu City. Located in Southern Part of  Cebu which offers one of the best tourist destinations.

Experience the encounter with the Whale Sharks or "TUKI" in Oslob.  Guests have 2 options either Whale watching or Snorkeling at the rate of Php300.00 and Php500.00. Waterproof Camera is also available for rent.  Make sure to proceed directly at  the Registration and Briefing Area to avoid unnecessary entrance fee's. After whale watching, a side trip to Sumilon Island  would be very nice by renting a boat at  php2,500 but the rate is negotiable.

Guests for the whale watching acitivity in Oslob
You may also visit the following tourist destinations in Oslob:

 * Tumalog Falls - Entrance fee is Php20.00. 



 *Immaculate Concepcion Parish


To those who planned to stay overnight in Oslob there are resorts near the whale watching area but the last time we were there we stayed at  Oslob Garden Stay Resort  located in Brgy. Lagunde, Oslob. The staffs are really nice. They will accommodate you well so that you would  feel at home.

Inside the Nipa Cottages

Oslob Garden Stay Resort Contact numbers and contact persons:

Christine Vale- marketing manager contact nos. 09228111575 - sun, 09165719508 - globe

Mary Mae cabanlit- staff. Contact nos.
09336681806 - sun , 09205402340 - smart

Garden Stacy's landline no. (032) 481-8072

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Mystical Siquijor Island on a Day Tour

Siquijor Island is the smallest province in the Philippines composed of  six towns Siquijor, San Juan, Lazi, Maria, Enrique Villanueva and Larena.

It was my  third time visiting the mystical island of  Siquijor  but this time its different because I'll be able to tour around the whole  island in a day.  We catched the 5:45am scheduled trip to Siquijor, Siquijor on board via GL Shipping Lines. When we arrived our tour guide Sir Sanny was already at the Wharf. After breakfast  we started our day tour adventure in Siquijor Island. 

A must visit places in Siquijor for a day tour:

*  Church in San Juan(San Juan, Siquijor)

*  400-year old  Balete Tree (Lazi, Siquijor)

* St. Isidore Church (Lazi, Siquijor)

*Lazi Convent  (Lazi, Siquijor)

*Cambugahay Falls (Lazi, Siquijor)

*Kagusuan Beach (Maria, Siquijor)

 *Our Lady Church (Maria, Siquijor)

* Saint Rita of Cascia can be found in Our Lady Church (Maria, Siquijor)

*Salagdoong Beach Resort (Maria, Siquijor)

*Cang-Isok is the oldest house in Siquijor (Enrique Villanueva, Siquijor)

*Provincial Capitol of Siquijor (Siquijor, Siquijor)

 *St. Francis Assisi Church (Siquijor, Siquijor)

*St. Francis Assisi Belfry (Siquijor, Siquijor)

Coming back, we took the 3:00pm trip via Delta Shipping Lines back to Dumaguete City.

To those who are interested to tour around Siquijor Island  feel free to contact Sir Joam Camingao (+639276932095) or  Sir Sanny Ontoy (+639269973943).

G/L Shipping Lines trip schedule and contact number

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Palawan Adventure Trip

The trip was for my daughter's birthday and the first time just the two of us traveling together. Thanks to Cebu Pacific Air for having a direct flight from Davao to Puerto Princesa (v.v.).

It was drizzling when we  arrived in Puerto Princesa City. From the Airport, we proceeded directly to "PUERTO PRINCESA UNDERGROUND RIVER" booking office to register for the next day tour. But it was already fully booked. Guests were limited due to bad weather.  Glad to meet Miss Jean of JD Travel who helped us arranged  our booking for the day tour in Puerto Princesa underground River but it was scheduled two days after.  

We checked in at Princesa Inn. Later that  afternoon  we went to the Cathedral, Plaza Cuartel, Baywalk, strolled along  Rizal Street and had our dinner at Jollibee.  

The Cathedral
Inside the Cathedral

Plaza Cuartel
On our second day, we had our Do-it-yourself City tour.  The places we visited were Binuatan Creations , Butterfly Sanctuary, Bakers Hill, Mitra Ranch, Palawan Wildlife and Rescue Center, Palawan Museum and  Capitol of Palawan. Before we went back to Princesa Inn, returned  to Baywalk. My daughter enjoyed riding the bicycle for rent at Php25.00 per hour. We tried eating  street foods at the Baywalk. We also had our  sumptuous dinner in KaLui Restaurant, known to be the most famous restaurant in Puerto Princesa.
Binuatan Weaving Center

Crafts and Souvenir Items are available at Binuatan Creations

Butterfly Sanctuary

Aside from their famous Hopia, Kids will enjoy at the playground of  Baker's Hill with statues of  Cartoon Characters. They also have  Baker's Kitchen Pizza, Restaurant a Canteen.

Mitra Ranch offers horse back riding and Zipline activities. No entrance Fee.

Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center (Entrance fee for Adult Php40.00/Children Php20.00)

Palawan Museum
Provincial Capitol of  Palawan

Bicycle's for rent at the Baywalk

With my daughter at Kalui Restaurant
Our last day was spent on  a day tour in Puerto Princesa Underground River.  A van fetched us as early as  6:00a.m. since all of the guests had our flights in the afternoon. We arrived in Port of Sabang at 8:00a.m. Everything was arranged by our guide from boat transfers to and from  Puerto Princesa Underground River. The tour inside took around 40 minutes. We cannot take good photos inside since they only use one lamp in every boat. Before we return to the airport, we had our  buffet lunch in a nearby resort in Sabang. 

Port of  Sabang
Getting Ready for the PPUR Tour

If you have plenty of time in Palawan don't miss  the Honda Bay Tour and Ihawig Firefly Sanctuary. Hopefully it will be included in our next trip.