More than 15 hours on the road can take a toll, especially if there are lulls in between and I wasn’t able to get enough sleep from that night bus. But on the final stretch on the road from Tabuk to Tinglayan, I kept my eyes peeled, trying to pave-off these drowsy eyes just to see the winding road along the mountains, the rice terraces, the Chico River and on my left, the imposing Sleeping Beauty Mountain looming over the rustic town of Tinglayan, Kalinga. We reached the town center and our drop-off, none other the Sleeping Beauty Inn, where we met with our tour guide and our home in Tinglayan.
“Nung dumating yung mga rescuers dito, di sila makapaniwala sa lakas ng hangin. Yng mga puno ng niyog di lang nabaluktot, naputol din sila at maraming nabunot. (When the rescuers came in, they couldn’t believe how strong the wind was. The coconut trees were not only bent, they were cut in half and many uprooted.)” Narrated our 60-year old forester guide with us, recalling the harrowing experience with the 2010 Typhoon Juan as if it happened only a few days ago in Maconacon. Almost a couple of years have passed, Maconacon is showing signs of revival despite the scars left by the typhoon. The houses and government buildings have been rebuilt and they now have electrical power (albeit only 7 hours a day). Nature however is slow to recover, the once bold wall of a mountain-face still shows significant scars and the landscape changed as we have discovered while exploring some Maconacon attractions.
I received an invitation from a bunch of young professionals from Melaka, Malaysia to join their “A Date with Bloggers,” an event to showcasing their rich food and culture of Melaka. It’s been almost four years since my last day trip there and since I have a spare ticket to use at that time, I decided to go and possibly explore the area in a few days. From Manila, I flew to the LCCT airport, got on a Melaka bound bus. One and a half hour later, I was at Melaka Sentral. I was met by a young local organiser of the event and took me to my lodge, Sayang-Sayang Guest House which is found on the Melaka Riverside. I explored the back of the guest house and was immediately awed by the sight of the river and rows of houses filled with creative murals. I got a feeling I’m gonna like it here.
Following our exciting hike and visit at Bugtong Bato Waterfalls, it was time to for a much deserved lunch. Our habal-habal drove us back past Baranggay Tuno, back on the dirt road we passed by earlier to a large spacious hut hanging by the cliff road. We had our hearty meal of adobo and grilled fish on that breezy hut while hearing the ambient sound of the nearby river. Our wet adventure isn’t over as we check out the rapids of Tibiao River for some whitewater kayaking.
Without any vast lands to cultivate in this small Cotabato City, Trade and Commerce is the main livelihood in the city. With its strategic location, found at the heart of Mindanao, it is easy to travel to different points of Mindanao from the city, making it a popular transit and drop-off point for goods before bringing them to other areas. Staying at Don Rufino St, near and Parallel, Matampay River, a tributary of Rio Grande River, I visited the riverside “Bagsakan (drop-off)” and discovered a lively market scene filled with a splash of local colors.
There was still time when I got down from Sagaing Hill. I asked my motorbike driver Tubo, if we got time to visit this one temple I was eyeing. He insists it wasn’t included on what Olsen advised him so he cannot. Insisting further that it’s just a few minutes away, he stood his ground. I wasn’t in the mood to argue so I just asked his suggestion on where we could kill time before going to our sunset spot. He told me we could visit Tupayon Paya just a few yards from Ava Bridge. So off we went.
The Enchanted River in Hinatuan was one of the places I was looking forward to in our Surigao del Sur trip. First seen on the famous Travel/Docu show “Born to be Wild”, I was immediately curios to see it for myself. Mid-day after taking lunch coming from Tinuy-an Falls, we proceeded to Hinatuan which is roughly an hour away from Bislig. Finding it gave a sort of mix feelings. Only to discover it’s not how I envisioned it seen from the famed TV show.