Day 8: Last Day in Mindanao

“Make friends, have fun, travel forever and have memories that can last a lifetime”

– Fakir

Features: Hagimit Falls, Maxima Aqua Fun, Buying Souvenirs, Bangkeruhan Market, Day Tour in Kaputian Island

My 8 days and 7 nights Solo Backpacking in Mindanao

I woke up early, beat and with heavy heart. This will be my last day in Davao City. Grab a quick breakfast, pandesal and coffee near Daylight Inn. Chat with the local vendor and bid my farewell to Grace. She will be back in Manila on an early flight, mine will be at 2300. I went to Bangkeruhan to buy Pomelo and Durian for my family/friends. I tried Marang while waiting. Back to the inn, I pack my bags and check out. I stay in Daylight Inn covering my 3 nights in Davao for Php 250/night fan room. I will not recommend this place if you have other choices like My Hotel or other hostels around Davao. I’ve got tick bites all over my legs, swelling and itchy for the next days.

I went back to my friend Rosa’s place to drop my bag then start my day tour in Kaputian Island. I ride a jeepney from Davao Doctors to Aldevinco, fare cost Php 8.00 to buy my souvenirs. I bought my ref magnet, t-shirt, scarf and tie-dye pajama. Buying all those stuff cost me Php 370.00, I forgot the prices of each item (SORNA!). After buying my pasalubong I ride a jeepney from Aldevinco to Sasa Wharf for Php 15.00. I ride the barge to Babak Wharf for Php 10.00. Kuya Jay, the habal-habal driver is waiting in Babak Wharf. He will drop me to Hagimit Falls and Maxima Aqua Fun for Php 150.00, travel time 30 – 45 minutes. I did not agree on taking the day tour since I went to Monfort Cave the other night. But you can rent his service for Kaputian Island Day Tour for Php 800.00 – 1200.00 good for 2-3 pax. Kuya Jay contact: 0916 115 0189, he is really nice. I like him because he’s not nosy unlike other guides.

He drop me in Hagimit Falls, entrance fee cost Php 40.00 and parking fee for Php 5.00. The spring resort is really refreshing. The water is cold and swimming will be nice but I ditch it. I just want to check out the place, take some photos. I stayed here for a good 30 minutes. Then, we went straight to Maxima Aqua Resort. What a nice person Kuya Jay, I recommend him to my friends that went to Kaputian Island.

Maxima Aqua Fun, its infamous SUPER SLIDE attach from the cliff. I ditched Pearl Farm (too expensive for me). Last day in Davao should be filled with adrenaline and FUN. Day tour is Maxima Aqua Fun cost Php 300.00 in which you can stay from 0900 – 1700. I arrived around 1230, roam around and change to my swim attire. The resort attractions are really fascinating and not for the weak heart. I slide several times until waters filled my mouth, ears and nose. I jump from the diving board. Best thing to try is their WATER BLOB. Really exhilarating! It’s a must!

I got exhausted from the activities. My skin is burned from the sun. I met people who add me up in facebook. Last day here in Mindanao is nothing but fun! It’s time to go back in Davao City. A group of soldiers in vacation and me chipped in habal-habal back to Babak Wharf. These young people are brave and pride our country. it was nice to meet them.

Back to Sasa Wharf, I ride a jeepney to People’s Park downtown. I ate in Penong’s, I love their Inasal Chicken and unlimited rice for Php 98.00. Chow time in Davao is cheap and real good. Penong’s is in every corner of the city. After eating, I went back to Rosa’s apartment to get my things and bid goodbye to my college friend. From Ilustre St, there are jeepney to the airport. You can take a cab as well. Downtown Davao to Francisco Bangoy International Airport PUJ fare is php 16.00 – 20.00, taxi fare is Php 230.00 – Php 250.00. Grab Car/Taxi is also available in the city for your comfort.

I arrived at the airport at 2230, flight is schedule at 2305. Check in my bag, feel the infinite pricks on my skin and itchy tick bites. I board and dozed my way back to the bustling city of Metro Manila. I got home in Pasig City around 0200. Mindanao is the best trip of my life. I am going to do this until I can.

Ultimately, the overall trip cost me around Php 15000.00 including my airfare. I will provide the itinerary and budget on my next segment.

On my way to our next trip PIRATES!

Source: Personal Photos Jerleen Custodio Copyright

Manlalayag is Seafarer in Filipino. I want to be a pirate who travels to Collect Memories and Steal Happiness from the places I want to go.

Day 7: Exploring Samal and Kaputian Island

“Let the sun bathe you with goodness and a warm of life”

– Fakir

Features: Samal Island, Isla Reta, Babusanta Resort, Dayang Beach, Kaputian Island, Monfort Cave and Sta Ana Wharf

My 8 days and 7 nights Solo Backpacking in Mindanao

Walking around Davao City is tiring but I need to get up to finish the itinerary I set. Grace and I will explore Samal Island today. This is my 7th day, sun burned and a bit exhausted from the tour. We ride a jeepney from Daylight Inn to Sta. Ana Wharf around 0800 for Php 8.00. I did not check the ferry schedule so we are 1 hour ahead its departure. We grab a bite and buy ingredients for lunch. She brought TUNA and my mouth is watering. I am hoping lunch time could be near. HEHE!

The Isla Reta ferry departs from Sta Ana Wharf at 0900 – 0930. It will depart early if its full, unfortunately its off-peak and we need to wait a little bit longer. Fare cost Php 80.00 for a 20 – 30 minutes ride. Upon arriving in Isla Reta Beach Resort, the boat crew will ask if you are going to join the trip back to Sta Ana Whar at 1500. I did not sign up because I want to explore the island. Isla Reta entrance fee cost Php 100.00 and chairs and table are for free unless you check in into their cabana or rent their tents. Overnight stay can cost Php 300.00 – 1500.00 with accommodation.

The blue sky, warm sun and aquamarine water invite you to a peaceful serenity. Beach is really white and pristine. Real good relaxation. After we explore the place. I cook our lunch, I prepare my camp stove and Kapampangan cooking prowess for our Sinigang and grilled TUNA. This is the chill part of my travel. No jumping, no trekking or anything involves adrenaline rush. This place should be visit by peace who love low profile travels.

Swim, sunbath and drink all the beer you want. It’s already 1500, day trippers can now go back to town proper or can stay. I decide to stay to check out other resorts in Samal. Grace went back to the inn and call it a day. There is a boat going to Kaputian Island around 0500, so I have 2 hours to spare. I rent a habal – habal for Php 170.00 which an ultimate haggle price. Habal – habal rental cost Php 200.00 – 300.00 good for 2 pax.

I visited Dayang and Babusanta Beach Resorts which are more beautiful than Isla Reta. The sight is just endless blue sky and crystal clear water. I will go back here and stay for a couple of days to relax and drink all day. My habal driver is really nice and talk my way through the resorts for free. Entrance fees cost Php 70.00 – 80.00 each resorts. I save a lot because of him. I took my photos, drink fresh sweet coconut and swim a bit. We return to the wharf so that I can catch the last boat to Kaputian Island.

From Sta Cruz Port (Port near Isla Reta) to Kaputian Wharf the fare cost Php 10.00. Travel time is 3 minutes. The sleepy town of Kaputian also have their day tour and resorts that offers overnight accommodation from backpacking inns to expensive beach hotels like Pearl Farm. It’s almost night fall when I rent habal-habal for Php 230.00 to visit Monfort Bat Cave. From Kaputian wharf to Monfort cave travel time is 30 – 45 minutes. The day cave tour entrance fee Php 100.00, night tour cost Php 200.00. I was agitated because of the price increase but when I check out the caves. It’s mesmerizing, the bats are about to hunt and they re flying out of their caves. The price pays it off. I also recommend the night tour!

My habal driver (Kuya Jay) drop me off in Babak wharf back to the main land Davao. Sasa Wharf operates 24/7 transferring commuters and vehicles off Kaputian Island. Fare cost Php 10.00. From Babak to Sasa Wharf travel time is around 2 – 3 minutes. From Sasa Wharf to downtown Davao travel time is around 30-45 minutes fare cost is Php 23.00 – 25.00. Its night-time when I arrive San Pedro St., chow at Kusina Dabaw. Ordering their famous LOMI and SIOPAO, dinner cost Php 95.00.

I got tired from my adventure today. I will go back in Kaputian Island tomorrow. Last day in Mindanao will be awesome!

High five PIRATES!

Source: Personal Photos Jerleen Custodio Copyright

Manlalayag is Seafarer in Filipino. I want to be a pirate who travels to Collect Memories and Steal Happiness from the places I want to go.

Day 5: The Grand Tinuy-An Falls and Hinatuan Enchanted River

“Start the day with breathing life in and exhaling all the worries away”

– Fakir

My 8 days and 7 nights Solo Backpacking in Mindanao

Features: Tinuy-An Falls, Bislig City, Hinatuan, Enchanted River, Habal-habal Tour, Surigao del Sur

I woke up heaving with excitement for my 5th day here in Mindanao. Everything I do here makes me feel the utmost freedom I wanted in life. The day will be as amazing as the previous days. I continuously fall in love with this place. After having my breakfast, I called my guide to start my day in Tinuy-An Falls. I read from other blogs that you need to go there early in the morning to catch the rainbow so I decide to go there around 0600. Bislig air is refreshing as Siargao Island. It’s a quiet place and very peaceful.

My guide fetch me at 0615, we started the trip to Tinuy-An Falls. From the main road going to the falls will be a rough drive. It will be a 30 minutes bumpy ride. Road blocks, mud and stone path will welcome you. We arrived around 0700, I am the first tourist of the day. I guess I was too early. I paid the entrance fee for Php 20.00. You can explore the place, swim if you like and get all the pictures you want. My first impression, I was overwhelmed by the grand falls in front of me. Pictures don’t give justice to the beautiful fall in front me. The Tinuy-An falls is very high and the curtains of water gives refreshing treat to the guest.

So at this point of time, Pryde (my camera) decides to kill its manual mode. HAHAHA : ( It was busted for some reason so I decide to get my pictures using my ipad and action camera. Still hopes high and enough cameras to cover my trips, I proceed in exploring the falls area. The Manobo tribes are the land lords so they will your guide if you want to check out the upper curtains of the falls. My guide is as quiet as I am as we go further up. There is a man-made stairs that will help you climb. Kuya guide is very kind to help me when we reach the slippery area. The cold splashes from the falls give me the refreshing feeling.

I reached the upper part of the falls, then swim in the ice cold water. The view was as fascinating as you view it below. Getting into high places relieve my addiction to adrenaline. It seems like all the issues in my life wash away by any scenic landscape in front of me. The love for adventure will definitely continue for as long as I can climb and hike and travel and walk and love this life. Tinuy-An Falls is a beauty you cannot see from its photos. It speaks more glamour in real life than check it out from the photos. It’s too dreamy to capture. To pretty to catch. Too real to get. These are my feelings as I view the wonders of the area. Really cool! Returning back to the main road after the trip, you need to ride into the Tribal Habal-habal which is actually part of the ordinance set in Bislig since they are the landlords of the area.

I made new colleagues all the way from Siargao Island. Upon embarking my way to Enchanted River, Jel’s friend from the DIY is also in Bislig for the same tour. I was just too early and unable to check that she messaged me several times for us to cut the cost of the habal-habal. Sometimes being too early can missed cheap opportunities. So, we fetch Grace from her inn and proceed to Hinatuan. We manage to cut the cost from Php 1000.00 to Php 700.00 which is still a good price. The motorcycle ride to Hinatuan is not a joke; another butt numbing trip for 45 minutes on a endless highway starts again.

We arrived at Enchanted River around 1000, registration fee Php 50.00 and you can explore the entire area which currently manage by the local government. At first glance, I am not as fascinated towards the River. It’s way different from the pictures shown in the internet. The turquoise color is gone and the deep blue abyss is not there. A bit disappointed but our guide said it’s currently not good to look because its high tide. Even the water taste a little bit salty. Since its high tide, river water meets the sea which is the reason why it’s a bit salty. Going here made me sweaty so I take the opportunity to dip into the cold relaxing water.

My high school friend Nilo was here when he globetrot Philippines for his work. I saw several of his photos from here so this made me decide to include Enchanted River as part of my Mindanao backpacking trip. I am a good swimmer but never a good diving. Taking my underwater photos gave me a hard time. This is part of the disadvantage of backpacking alone. No one will take your damn pictures. Good thing someone invented a timer for cameras. Whoever you are, thank you.

We waited for the fish feeding program in Hinatuan which starts at 1200. Grace got a really good spot at the upper portion and I got one on the lower portion. The staff feed the fishes for the next 15 minutes with background music. After the gig, we decide to go back to Bislig for Grace to take her Tinuy-an Falls trip and me to ready my pack. It was a quick day tour for both Tinuy-An Falls and Hinatuan. I cleaned up back to the hotel and ready my bags to Davao City. I ate roasted chicken for lunch which cost me Php 120.00 with drinks and rice.

I waited for Grace and we hopped into Bachelor Bus bound to Davao City, fare cost Php 300.00 for ordinary bus. The February wind is like a lullaby as we begin our journey. The road trip started around 1700, as we view Banana Plantation and endless greens of Mindanao. This time of my life really change my perspective about travelling this beautiful country. Its broaden my mind and views as we passed by the town after town. There are several bus stops for break and dinner time. As the night time crossed the sky line, I fell asleep and when I woke up we were in Davao Ecoland Terminal. The entire transfer took us 7 hours and it’s worthy. We catch a tricycle to My Hotel to check in but they are fully booked. They refer us to Daylight Inn, we got our double bed fan room for Php 300.00. Same pricing to surrounding inns in Davao, our is near the famous Bankeruhan and other establishment.

Finally, I was able to set foot in the one of the safest place in the world. Tomorrow will be the time to explore Davao City. For now I need to take a rest and have the best sleep.

Touch Down PIRATES!!

Source: Personal Photos Jerleen Custodio Copyright

Manlalayag is Seafarer in Filipino. I want to be a pirate who travels to Collect Memories and Steal Happiness from the places I want to go.

Day 4: A Long Run Around in Mindanao

“A trip so long is a journey to patience”

– Fakir

My 8 days and 7 nights Solo Backpacking in Mindanao

Features: Sea and Land Transfer from Siargao Island to Mangagoy, Bislig Surigao del Sur, Travel time, Tinuy-an Falls, Enchanted River, Hinatuan, Bislig and finding a hostel

I am leaving Siargao Island with a little bit of a heavy heart. The life in this island is like a dream I never thought of. I share my life with people I met here and have the waves of desires in our lives. To travel the world and to live in peace. I will never forget the experience Siargao had given me. It was 0400 when I woke up, I barely sleep because I want to stay longer here but I need to move on to my next destination. I clean my locker in Paglaom Hostel, closed my pack and hopped to my habal-habal. The habal-habal rental cost Php 200.00, one of the nearby hostel guest don’t have a ride to we share. Indeed, I am a lucky bastard.

Within 15 minutes we arrived at Dapa Port, the port area is busy with hundreds of tourists and locals line up to get the ferry tickets. I bought a Mabuhay ticket for Php 260.00 and terminal fee for Php 15.00. Economy and business tickets are sold out. The fare is a bit expensive but when I hopped into it, I changed my mind. The Mabuhay class have air-condition, comfortable seat and airplane seat feel. I still wonder why I did hop to a small boat going to Siargao Island. The tricycle driver from Surigao City seems to drop me to a different port. No wonder, all passengers are mostly locals at that time.

I fell asleep as we sail out to the vast sea. The travel time is less than 2 hours since this is a huge vessel. I arrived in Surigao City really drowsy, my head is starting to ached and I need to find my way to the Terminal. I take a jeep to the terminal for Php7.00. I was about to take a bus to Butuan, then another bus/van going to Mangagoy. When I reach the terminal, I learned that vans bound to Davao City are available in Surigao City. I hopped into the crowded van, paid Php300.00 going to San Fran Integrated Terminal. The van route to Butuan City then bound to Surigar del Sur. The entire stop/go routine lasted for another 6 hours of my life before arriving to San Fran. I was tired and weary; I barely slept in the van because the view is just to awesome.

From San Fran, I need to take another ride to Mangagoy, Bislig for my Tinuy-An Falls and Enchanted River escapade for the next day. I decide to take Bachelor Bus to Mangagoy paying Php150.00 fare. Van transfer fare is cheaper for Php 80.00 – 100.00. Take the van instead if you want to have a cheaper rate. The travel time from San Fran to Bislig is another 2 – 3 hours butt numbing trip. I met local ladies who are kind enough to give me shelter for the night. I was tired when I got in Bislig, the drivers are hauling around me. I cannot decide because I am starving and headache is around the corner. The local ladies pulled me from the haggling drivers and decide to check me in their houses. I am too grateful for their offer but I decide to say no. I am a bit uncomfortable staying in to someone else’s house rather than taking an inn. They helped me get an air-conditioned room instead in Star Dormitel for Php 300.00 instead of paying Php 550.00 in which I am very thankful.

I was gasping for food when I reached my room. I am tired and really starving so I decide to complete my stocks again and went to Gaisano Mall to purchase some stuff. Bislig City is pretty quiet place to live, its warm and peaceful compare to nearby cities. After getting my food, I ate in my room and search for my habal-habal to fetch me for tomorrow’s adventure. I stayed outside and eat Balut to my heart’s content. I cannot find any available driver so I decide to contact Jel to get her contact instead which she provide immediately (Such an angel to have bumped into). I was able to contact the guide and settle for Php 1000.00 for the entire Tinuy-An and Hinatuan River tour. Everything is settled, I got the food and things I need for the next day activities. I conclude my 10 hours transfer from Siargao Island to Mangagoy, Bislig a huge success with a butt numbing ride to the far flung of Surigao.

Let’s do this PIRATES!!!

Source: Personal Photos Jerleen Custodio Copyright

Manlalayag is Seafarer in Filipino. I want to be a pirate who travels to Collect Memories and Steal Happiness from the places I want to go.

Things to do in Surigao Del Norte

“You live as if impossible don’t exist”

-Fakir

Features: Siagao Island, Bucas Grande and when in Surigao del Norte.

These are the things that fascinate me as I visit the Southern part of the Philippines. Paradise for both who love adventure and serene beauty of nature. Siargao Island and Bucas Grande offers it all. For surfer and non surfer, this place will satisfy your cravings to nature.

  1. Be captivated by General Luna’s coastline.

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2. Man-made infinity pool in the heart of Siargao Island.

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3. As part of the Siargao Island hopping. Daku means big. Daku Island will surely take your breath away.

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4. The infamous Cloud 9 of General Luna.

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5. Paglaom Hostel. Happy vibe and owners. Php 300.00 / night. Cheap find to meet rare people.

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6. Cliff diving. Just jump!

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7. The view is rare. I find utmost peace. This is life we all deserve.

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8. White sand and sun. Naked Island will burn both your skin and heart. So pretty.

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9. Tojoman Lagoon in Bucas Grande. See the colorful stingless jellyfish!

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10. Ride with the local paddler going to the Tojoman Lagoon.

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11. Watch locals as they catch fish using spears and traps.

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12. The Snoring Cave gives you delight in your eyes as the aquamarine water beams underwater.

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13. Paghungawan Marsh is home of the Philippine Crocodile.

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14. YUP! Siargao Island. Surfing Capital of the Philippines.

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14 marvelous things you can do in Surigao del Norte!

Ay! Ay! Pirates!

Source: Personal Photos Jerleen Custodio Copyright

Manlalayag is Seafarer in Filipino. I want to be a pirate who travels to Collect Memories and Steal Happiness from the places I want to go.

Bukidnon: Whirlwind Romance in Dahilayan Adventure Park

“Go to places you wanted to go. This time no excuses allowed” – Fakir

Dahilayan Adventure Park Tickets

Dahilayan Adventure Park Tickets

Features: Dahilayan Adventure Park in Manolo Fortich (Longest Zip Line in Asia, Base Jump and Drop Zone

Part 3 of our Cagayan de Oro – Camiguin – Bukidnon Backpacking Trip: Beast Mode Itinerary

Running with heavy load on our backs we reached Agora Terminal in Cagayan De Oro City around 1300. Dahilyan Park will close at 1600. The time constraints made us decide to cancel the trip. Truly saddened me, this Park is included on my lifetime bucket list. Arriving in the terminal made the decision worst. Again, haggling for taxi ride to Manolo Fortich was difficult because the porters are maddening me enough. I let my sister do the talk, I am fidgeting, starving to death and weary that we might not be able to reach Bukidnon in time.

Safety harness for the shorter Zip Lines

Safety harness for the shorter Zip Lines

We were able to close the taxi deal for Php 1200.00 for the three of us. Settled and secured by the driver that we will be able to travel in one hour. This will be the most unsettling taxi ride of my life. I don’t want to get mad but…. First, we need gas for the vehicle to run, it took 10 minutes to refuel. Second, the driver don’t know the way to Dahilayan Park in which he need to stop and asked around. Third, there is no TRAFFIC and the car is running around 20-40 kph. It took a lot of toll to keep concentrating and praying that we will make it under these circumstances.

The sweaty and scared cat

The sweaty and scared cat

Selfie on 800m Zip Jump Off

Selfie on 800m Zip Jump Off

Heaven granted our wish, we made it before the park closure. The idea of chasing something and might missed the chance to be with something that you wanted for a long time will actually kill you softly. The stress washed out after arriving at 1430. I still enjoy the view of the Kitanglad Mountain Range and the Pineapple plantation on our way. Even though I am worried sick of the entire road trip. LIFE IS WONDERFUL!!

800m Jump Off

800m Jump Off

Gates are still open, we were able to get our tickets to try all the amazing killer amusement on this Park. I selected the ZipZone Zip Challenge Package for Php 1200 which includes 800m, 320m and 120m zip lines. Also includes the Base Jump and Drop Zone. The weather in Manolo Fortich is comparable to Tagaytay. It was cool and breezy. Pine Trees all around the place and it was the right place to chill. We need to finish all the “ride” in 1 hour and 30 minutes. The feeling of wanting to puke lingers for a while.

This is the view when you do the ZIP

This is the view when you do the ZIP

First to try, longest zip line in Asia. We ride the multicab going to the highest point of the park. Zigzag and off the pavement road make all of us shiver. I can feel the relentless nervousness of my sister Bakeks and her love team Chris. Sweaty palms and chills on our spine. Were all geared up to FLY.

THE WHOLE NEW WORLD Feeling

THE WHOLE NEW WORLD Feeling

We came across a group of 5 so I decided to partner up with one of them (flying with stranger) LOL!! Bakeks and Chris are my ever travel buddies, we started this in 2012. As precautionary measure by this couple, I am always the guinea pig. To jump in a cliff, to dive, to swim the dark murky water, to eat the exotic delicacy, to parasail, to goof around and to zip! Grab by one of the staff, as they connect me to the WIRE. They just toss me and then I AM FREAKING FLYING. I am singing in my mind “A WHOLE NEW WORLD”. Its one of the most amazing things I’ve done in my life. It was rejuvenating and I THANK THIS UNIVERSE for giving us the beauty of the Kitanglad Range. The experience that I will treasure the most. Absolutely AWESOME TO LIVE THIS LIFE!!!

800m Zip Line Drop Off

800m Zip Line Drop Off

Next in line, The Base Jump. A 8-storey structure built near the entrance, equipped with helmet and harness. We climbed the stairs and reached the “jump off”. Literally to jump before 8 storey, height and determination. I can feel my knees were oddly shaking when we reach the start. I can do it without hesitation and I can feel my own NERVES! HAHA! My sister is about to die, her hands are cold as ice and here lips were BLUE. I ask her if she wanted me to go first but I was very proud of her that she decided to go FIRST. It was brave of her to try the deal before me. She was ready to jump in three, two, one. But, she decided she can’t do it so she asked the staff to push her instead. She doesn’t want to jump because she feels like killing herself. After her inner turmoil, its my turn to jump off. I can feel the sweat running inside my jacket, my underarms are really SWEATY due to nervousness. I want to end it so after the rope is pulled up, I was connected. In THREE, TWO, ONE. JUMP FOR LOVE!!

Base Jump Tower

Base Jump Tower

Base Jump Video Jei

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It was exhausting me mad but the beat of adrenaline gives me additional energy to move on our next adventure. The Base Jump gave me the power to attempt more extreme amusement like sky diving and bungee jumping. Next will be the shorter zip lines, the 320m and 180m. In a seated position, I made a selfie video doing these zips. They are fun enough that you will want to laugh all the way. I am pretty much having fun in here. This will be one of the best park I ever gone into. Coming here all the way from Manila was the best trip decision I ever made in my entire travel career!!

Bakeks Base Jump

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We are all in the mood to be joyful after those fascinating zip lines. We went to the Drop Zone area to end our day. You can ride solo or dual, so me and my sister tag along for this ride. The DROP ZONE facility was made in the middle of a coy fish pond. HOW MESMERIZING! You can feed the fish while waiting. There were 2 groups ahead of us, the group who is trying the drop is now in different warp zone. Ahaha! Screaming their lungs out before the wires which pull them higher and higher. As I write this, my hands started to sweat because I remember the feeling of being pulled meter by meter from the ground. To our surprise, the rider will be the one who is going to pull the TRIGGER to swing you down. TOUGH ORDEAL!!

We deserve this POSE

We deserve this POSE

The group ahead of us are actually on the fainting stage. I feel good about it, I don’t have acrophobia I love going to higher places, I hike 16 mountains and I trek highest point on every city I visited. I love being at the top, it seems like presenting the beauty of the world. The appreciation and the thrill of going up is like flying even humans don’t have wings. It was our turn, Bakeks hands were cold, blue lips and weak knees. I feel incoherently sane, the lasting feeling excitement is dwelling very well with my nerves. Geared up and safely connected to be a HUMAN PENDULUM.

Drop Zone Video

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Slowly moving up, the water seems to get far away until we reached the high-end. So I was the one assign to pull the TRIGGER TO SWING. Briefed by the staff about the guidelines and precautions. We were now seeing the lush pines and greens while being hang in between wires and ropes. The staff counted, 1….. 2….. 3….. PULL!!!!!! First attempt was not a success because it was hard to pull. My sister is breaking sweat and I’m deafened by her shout. I actually forgot to shout because I can hear the buzzing sound on my ear due to her screams. Hehe! After trying 3 times. CHAAAARAAANN! Damn that dive!! We dive into the ground almost 180 degrees which caught my breath, I forgot to scream again! Ahahaha! After plummeted down, swing to the right. Then swing backward, I was able to pull out that SHRIEKED I deserve!! It was a good 2 minutes of being a HUMAN SWING.

We SURVIVED Drop Zone!!

We SURVIVED Drop Zone!!

CLAP CLAP CLAP!!!

Successfully finishing all our rides before 1600, we walk back to the entrance. Still full with adrenaline, I was calm by the halumigmig (mist) from the pine trees. I deserve the walk in silence and feel the scene. This time, the feeling of WISH YOU WERE HERE already vanished from my system. All I can think about is the next travel I will have across this beautiful land. Someday, across the whole world. I have a DREAM, that dream is coming true. I graduated from the EMPTINESS OF TRAVELS. Evolve into someone who want A LIFE EXPANDED by experience. I was glad for this trip, this made me want to visit more provinces. With or without companion. The SEARCH FOR MY SOUL is over. I found my soul lingering to the happiness of being a travel maniac.

How to be a Human Swing

How to be a Human Swing

Indulging with these extreme rides is over. We went to DAHILAYAN FOREST PARK to try the LUGE but it’s already closed at 1630. So we decide to go back to Cagayan de Oro. We haven’t eaten yet a good decent meal coming from Camiguin Island so we are all starving. We reached Agora Terminal CDO around 1800, check-in online via Cebu Pacific website to save time checking in manually in the airport. After getting our print out, we head to POLDO’S LECHON for our combined breakfast/lunch/dinner meal. Taxi from Agora to Poldo’s took 10-15 minutes for Php 80.00.

Groupie in Base Jump

Groupie in Base Jump

The smells of cooked meal made my mouth water. I want to eat and drink, we ordered ½ kilo of lechon. BTW, Sarsa/Mang Tomas/Liver Sauce is not available here to our dismay. Unlike in Luzon, Lechon and Sarsa have the best relationship. Here, you need to dip that crispy lechon skin in soy sauce and vinegar. I will bring Mang Tomas when I travel in Mindanao next time. HEHEHE

Dahilayan Adventure Part Pines and Me

Dahilayan Adventure Part Pines and Me

The scent of Pine Trees

The scent of Pine Trees

After our meal, we head back to Agora via Public Jeepney for Php 7.00. Then duct in a SUV to Laguindingan Airport for our 2140 flight to Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Van fare cost Php 120.00, again after haggling to the driver and bunch of porters. We reached the airport in 1 hour and 30 minutes. Another delayed flight due to air traffic, 3 hours delay this time. I got my sarong and sleep in the passenger area, too tired to get stress from delayed flight. We reached NAIA around 0100, took taxi to Victory Liner for Bakeks and Chris last ordeal and head back to Pampanga. As for me, I ride a jeepney to Baclaran, catch the Bus to Shaw then catch a Jeepney to Pasig. Arriving safe in my apartment, this trip is now gone.

Beast Mode Itinerary DONE!!

Beast Mode Itinerary DONE!!

This shall end our CAGAYAN DE ORO – CAMIGUIN – BUKIDNON TRIP.

SO LONG PIRATES!!!

Source: Personal Photos, Jerleen Custodio and Jereca Custodio Copy Right

Manlalayag is Seafarer in Filipino. I want to be a pirate who travels to Collect Memories and Steal Happiness from the places I want to go.

Camiguin Island

“Envelope patriotism and nationalism good enough to stay within thy country”

  • Fakir

Backpacking to Camiguin Island

Backpacking to Camiguin Island

Features: Sunken Cemetery, Gui-Ob Church Ruins, Bura Soda Water, Tuasan Falls, Sto Nino Cold Spring, CheckPoint, Ardent Hot Spring, Vjandep Pastel, Luna Ristorante and White Island

Balingoan Port

Balingoan Port

Part 2 of our Cagayan de Oro – Camiguin – Bukidnon Backpacking Trip: Beast Mode Itinerary

Part 1: Cagayan de Oro Article: http://lenlenmanlalayag.com/2015/10/07/cagayan-de-oro-less-than-24-hour-adventure/

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The WHITE RAFTING experience in Cagayan de Oro lifted our spirit so high that we do no longer want to stop this madness. After more than 24 hours of sleepless escapade from my office to our ordeal in CDO, I finally succumb in slumber. Wake up call 0330, finished the pack and head out to Agora Bus Terminal to catch a trip to Balingoan Port. From Sogo to Agora, we took tricycle for Php10.00 per pax for a 5-minute ride. You can take van or bus bound to Butuan to the port. Van fare cost Php120.00.

Arriving at Benoni Port

Arriving at Benoni Port

From Agora to Balingoan Port take 1 hour and 30 minutes – 2 hours travel time. We took off around 0500 and made it on time for 0630 Ferry Ride to Port Benoni in Camiguin. Fare cost Php 180.00 and Php 2.00 terminal fee. Gates open on time, ferry is consist of 3 decks (ground deck for vehicles, 2 decks for passengers) we set ourselves in the uppermost deck. The ferry sail away around 0715. It was my first time to ride RORO (Roll On Roll Off), it was not fancy and slow. It took 1 hour and 30 minutes travel time. The sky is gloomy all throughout because of the typhoon hitting Northern Philippines.

Road trip in Camiguin with this view

Road trip in Camiguin with this view

We reached Benoni Port around 0900, the weather is just right even though the sun seems to be sullen that day. Regardless, this will be the marked of our Camiguin Escapade. The island is brimming green and Mt Hibok-hibok is just around the corner, the diversity of the island seems to be maintained properly by its government and locals. From Benoni Port, we ride a multicab to Mambajao Terminal where our habal-habal (motorcycle) is waiting for us to start our tour. We met Kuya Nilo, fancy he look like goon from an action movie. Hehe. Our contact Kuya Ramil wasn’t able to accommodate us because he have larger group guest to tour. But, he was calling us throughout the tour and always asked if we are enjoying our trip. Kuya Rodel Contact: 09362494760 Php 800.00 for Camiguin Habal-habal Tour which is good for 3.

Camelia Home Stay. Sorry if its blurred, this is the only picture I have

Camelia Home Stay. Sorry if its blurred, this is the only picture I have

From Mambajao, I took the most uncomfortable motorcycle ride of my life for 30 minutes. My bag is pulling me back and my back is getting numb. Still, need to endure it until we reached our inn. Camellia Home Stay, a decent inn with air-condition for Php 600.00 per night good for 3-4 with queen size bed and extra bed. There was no electricity when we arrived so we we did notice that the bathroom was dusty which infuriate my couple buddies. Beast mode when it comes to cleanliness. Haha! They were annoyed until the stay last. After setting our pack down, we change clothes and hit the road to our OFFICIAL CAMIGUIN TOUR!!

Sunken Cemetery Commemorative Cross

Sunken Cemetery Commemorative Cross

First stop, Sunken Cemetery. The enveloping feeling surrounding me, as a child I see this view through the movie scene and now glancing it LIVE. It’s also my first encounter with Camiguin Lansones which cost Php 18.00 – 25.00 per kilo here. As I chomped down my fruits, I marveled myself with the Cross in the middle of the sea and underneath is the cemetery swollen my earthquake due to Mt Hibok- Hibok eruption. Nature indeed create what it wanted. The cross is a commemorative symbol of the sunken cemetery.

Sunken Cemetery

Sunken Cemetery

Bay view of the Sunken Cemetery

Bay view of the Sunken Cemetery

Next, Gui-Ob Church Ruin. Almost pulverized by volcanic eruption. The church foundation still stand on its ground.

Gui-Ob Church Ruins Historical Tab

Gui-Ob Church Ruins Historical Tab

The foundation of the church being one with nature

The foundation of the church being one with nature

Imagining this powerful structure as a solid Catholic Church near a cliff and with astonishing view of the sea will make you want to travel time to experience the grand architecture.

The Church Bell Tower

The Church Bell Tower

Couple of Jump Shot in the RUINS

Couple of Jump Shot in the RUINS

Catholic influence is very upright in Camiguin even though its part of Mindanao. Islamic influence is minimal unlike in Cagayan de Oro.

Maze Runner in Gui-ob Church Ruins

Maze Runner in Gui-ob Church Ruins

Inside the Gui-Ob Church

Inside the Gui-Ob Church

The rain pours as we head to Bura Soda Water Resort. The resort is very clean, entrance fee cost Php 30.00. They will not asked for nipa hut rent if you are just going to swim for a few minutes. It was getting colder but the water is inviting but I skip the chance though. It was getting late, we need to rush to cover the other sites we need to see. We are curious about the soda water.

Bura Soda Water

Bura Soda Water

According to the staff, its a carbonate water that springs from the mountains. They were very accommodating with our questions about it. They also gave us a bottle of soda water, it was not that carbonated like Sprite. Haha. It’s like Sprite in a bottle kept open for three days.

Facts about soda water

Facts about soda water

In a hype, laughing all the way to Katibawasan or Tuasan falls. Mild rain shower on our faces did not matter. The entire town is covered with lush coconut and lanzones plantations. It was pretty sight to capture.

Tuasan Falls

Tuasan Falls

Delicious KIPING of CAMIGUIN

Delicious KIPING of CAMIGUIN

Camiguin is winning my heart all the way! There is no entrance fee in Tuasan nor donation box, you just need to register. On the entrance we bought KIPING for Php 6.00 with caramelize coconut sauce on it. The awesome taste of sweet and crunchy taste of KIPing will KEEP you here.

Keeping the KIPING

Keeping the KIPING

Capturing myself with Katibawasan Falls

Unfortunately, we were unable buy another one because we’re always on a run. The falls is majestic standing tall and mighty. The water is cold like feelings towards my ex boyfriend. LOL! We tried to swim but the water is ice-cold, we decide to skip another dip.

Grilled Banana with Butter and Sugar. PUSO (Heart) Inside is usually sticky rice

Grilled Banana with Butter and Sugar. PUSO (Heart) Inside is usually sticky rice

The highway and traffic system in Camiguin is 95% success! Truly nice for a road trip. We head to Sto Nino Cold Spring Resort. Entrance Fee is Php 30.00, tube rental is Php 20.00 and souvenir shops are available here. This time we swim and the cold will punch you in your gut at first dip but it will eventually dissipates after a few minutes. The water is crystal clear, no chlorine and its flowing water. It was worth the try to freshen us up from non-stop road trip. Time check: 1230. Buchi for breakfast and water from the Bura landed on my stomach. I am hungry and its time to take our breakfast/lunch.

Street Food in the Philippines. Available EVERYWHERE

Street Food in the Philippines. Available EVERYWHERE

Backpacking Tips: If your planning a road trip with swimming activities. Make sure your geared up with clothes that dries fast so that there is no need to switch clothes which will consume time. E.g. Rash Guard, Dry-fit shirts/shorts, sports leggings, trekking pants/shorts and shawl to dry your hair.

Ardent Hot Spring Rules and Regulations

Ardent Hot Spring Rules and Regulations

Before taking our lunch, we were notified that boat trips to White Island is only up until 1500. It’s already 1400, it was not anticipated this is due to high waves. We decide to move the White Island trip on the next day which actually delay us big time on our itinerary. Anyway, we made it even though time constrict us cruelly. For now, its time to eat and feed this voracious tummy.

Ardent Hot Spring

Ardent Hot Spring

Lunch at CheckPoint, it’s bar restaurant beside Luna Ristorante. We ordered Shrimp Sinigang, Calamares and Sizzling Squid with tons of rice to quenched our famished souls. They have big servings enough to feed the 4 of us. Food expense around Php 300-500.00 which is good for 2. After the humongous meal, we continue our trip.

Entry signage of Ardent Hot Spring

Entry signage of Ardent Hot Spring

Arriving in Ardent Hot Spring, both awesome and sleepy at the same time. Entrance fee cost Php 30.00, the spring was just right for our tired and cold bodies. The warmth that you wanted when your about to collapse from food coma and lack of sleep. Guests list is full due to touring college students, the right field trip by rich universities.

Hot Spring Pool

Hot Spring Pool

The pools consist of 4 parts; 2 mini pools and 2 large pools. The shouts of youngsters remind me of my own school trip way back in college. Anyway, the spring water was warm enough and made us instantly comfortable. The cold wintry air will electrified you once you get out of the water! Haha

Promoting Ardent Resort

Promoting Ardent Resort

We finished our day in Camiguin at 1700. We went back to on our inn, there still no electricity. I always bring my head lamp wherever I go on a trip. It was very useful because power outage is still issue in the Philippines.

Pizza in Luna Ristorante

Pizza in Luna Ristorante

The day trip ended quickly, after taking my nap and washed up. Our contact Kuya Ramil, sells us Lansonez for Php 150.00 for 8 kilos for our pasalubong. Very cheap compare but the ordeal is to travel along with the Lansonez. Hehe!! We went to Luna Ristorante for our dinner. We ordered pizza and seafood pasta. The brick oven pizza is really good, the crust was just right and it was not that oily type of pizza. Olive oil, pepper, salt and hot sauce condiments are available. Dinner is done and we found ourselves back to our inn for a good night sleep.

Seafood Tomato Pasta in Luna Ristoranti

Seafood Tomato Pasta in Luna Ristoranti

I woke up around 0530, changed to swimming attire and walk to the bay for our boat ride to White Island. It was a good thing we were near Paras to catch the early boat ride to White Island.

Renting a Pumpboat Cashier

Renting a Pumpboat Cashier

Environmental Fee Cashier

Environmental Fee Cashier

One boat cost Php 450.00 good for 4-6 pax and Php 20.00 environmental fee. We were able to ride with a group consist of 3 and settled for a 2 hour stay. They will need to catch a plane ride and we need to go back early in CDO for our Dahilayan Park Tour. We rented snorkeling gears and life vest for Php 150.00. I highly discourage renting snorkeling gear because there are no coral reefs in White Island. Phew!

White Island and Mt Hibok Hibok

White Island and Mt Hibok Hibok

We arrive in White Island around 0615. The vendors are settling their stores when we arrive and few groups are ahead of us. The sun is peaking slowly across the sky and the beautiful Mt Hibok-Hibok is just as grand along the sea. It was high tide, the famous sand bar is not showing.

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Regardless, it was splendidly pretty and lucky enough to get the morning sun. We bought sea urchin from a local vendor, Php 50.00 for 3 yummy seafood with vinegar. We swim along the waves and marvel until it was time to go back. Before we left the entire island is jam-packed with groups and it was not a pretty sight. You need to be very early before its CROWDED.

Crowded!

Crowded!

CROWDED!!

CROWDED!!

Crowded White Island!!!

Crowded White Island!!!

We need to catch the 0930 ferry ride to Balingoan Port, otherwise we will be too late to take our Bukidnon ride. From Paras to Mambajao via Tricycle took a good 30 minutes for Php 10.00. We purchase Vjandep Pastel for Php 120.00 per box (dozen) before taking the van to Benoni Port, fare cost Php 30.00. Arriving at 0930, we were able to catch the Ferry ride on time. Reaching Balingoan Port at 1130, catch another van to CDO without further a do. We ride an old filthy Starex Van to CDO for Php 100.00 in 80-120 kph. With this I end our Camiguin tour, next will be our whirlwind romance in Bukidnon. Happy Yippee Yey!!

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Source: Personal Photos, Jerleen Custodio Copright

Manlalayag is Seafarer in Filipino. I want to be a pirate who travels to Collect Memories and Steal Happiness from the places I want to go.

Cagayan de Oro: Less than 24 hour Adventure

“You cannot go back in time so make out of it while its present”

  • FAKIR

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FEATURES: White Rafting, Great White Waters, Kagay-Anon Restaurant, Missy BonBon and Sogo CDO

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Part 1 of our Cagayan de Oro – Camiguin – Bukidnon Backpacking Trip: Beast Mode Itinerary

cdo

OOTD!!

OOTD!!

The long wait is over, after 2 months and 2 weeks of waiting. Cagayan de Oro, here I come!! Marking my first Mindanao trip a SUCCESS. It was July when we booked our plane ticket via Cebu Pacific , offering low fares. I actually booked additional ticket to Butuan and Davao for my 2016 backpacking. Ticket cost us around Php1100.00 / $25.00 round trip, NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport) to Laguindingan Airport vice versa. Saving us almost Php 3500 per person over normal airfare.

White Rafting Jump-Off

White Rafting Jump-Off

Our itinerary is a bit tough because time is very restricted to cover three provinces. Good thing our aircraft was just delayed for 20 minutes. We schedule a CDO-Camiguin-Bukidnon in 3 days and 2 nights arriving in Laguindingan Airport around 1130AM. Van transfer to Cagayan de Oro City proper took us an hour, van fare cost Php100.00.

We need to PRAY for OUR SAFETY for this ADVENTURE

We need to PRAY for OUR SAFETY for this ADVENTURE

Other van company offers Php200.00 so you need to haggle to the nth time to minimize the cost of your trip. DISCLAIMER: Porters and barker will actually give you headaches, offering their transfer services upon arriving to the airport to your overall trip which is actually a bit irritating. Imagine speaking to 5 person at the same time while haggling their fares.

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Upon reaching CDO proper around 1245, we bought our lunch and picked up by Great White Water Tours for our first activity. The agency picked us up in Ayala Mall, ate on the road and met our partners in rafting (Janine, Elmer, Ed and Marg). Water rafting requires at least 6 persons to cut the expense of the adventure, otherwise, you need to pay for the entire raft. Good thing we met first timers who are willing to undergo the advance level instead of selecting the Beginners Level. Rafting cost Php1000.00 per pax.

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It was raining hard due to thunderstorm on our way to Great White Water Office to retrieve rafting equipments and securing personal belongings. You need to leave everything in a secure bag in the agency office. Bringing a un-waterproof dslr camera and not owning an action camera is inconvenient. Due to the rain, I need to leave my camera and we cannot use cellphone to capture our rafting moment (insert SAD FACE here). To trim down the expense of our rafting activity, we opt out the snacks from our package. Two staff from the touring agency will be the once who will capture the photos with their smaller raft that looks like a kayak. Photo ops is part of our package. Haggle all the way!! We were able to cut the price from Php1500 to Php1000.00. Good thing our rafting mates brought their waterproof camera which we owe them a lot!! YEHEY!!

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After gearing up, our guides gave the guideline in water rafting. Forward paddle, back paddle and our BATTLECRY. High Five!!! Our guides are very enthusiastic in teaching us the dos and don’ts when it comes to water rafting. We are all newbies but we took the ADVANCE LEVEL with 21 rapids that can last 3-4 hours. The first RAPID was an experience of a lifetime. This sports is quite adrenaline producer which will make your heart EXHILARATE.

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The best things about trying WHITE RAFTING in Cagayan de Oro is the endless beauty of the nature. The surrounding is very diverse and you can enjoy it while you paddling in still water. Wherever you look, EVERYTHING IS JUST GREEN and AMAZING. The SEVEN RAPIDS from the Advance Level were very exciting. Our guide, Kuya Ramil was very entertaining giving out old school jokes and pick up line. I smiled, laughed and got excited the entire time. It is very enjoyable incomparable to other water sports activities I tried.

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Two hours passed, I asked our guide if we can do the EXTREME LEVEL or TUBING next time. He said those options are currently UNAVAILABLE due to some incidents happened before. I want more and there are few shallows rapids on our way. Our guide said we can do the TITANIC or ICEBERG.

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All of us transferred to the last and second to the last row of the boat, then they paddle towards a big rock causing us to submerge in the water. THAT is EXTREME and can cause HEART ATTACK but it was an experience of a LIFETIME. We also jump into water, SHALLOW RAPIDS ahead of US and we just need to GO WITH THE FLOW!!!

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My inner self is crying with JOY, truly going to an adventure will make my heart satisfied. Even though VERY HUNGRY. HEHE. Go to Cagayan de Oro, booked your rafting company and try it. Its all worth the pain and fear. Finishing the last RAPIDS of Cagayan de Oro River, all of us are ABSOLUTELY SATISFIED CUSTOMERS. Two thumbs UP!!

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Exhausted yet happy, Great White Water shuttle send us off to Jeepney were me can ride to SOGO and checked ourselves in. We got a room for 10 hours for Php 600.00 which is good for 3, cleaned up and went to Limketkai to eat. We dine in KAGAY – ANON Restaurant to try their Ostrich Salpicao which taste like beef tapa softer version. We also tried their cheesy scallops and rice. This is a semi fine dining resto and can can cost from Php 300.00 – 500.00.

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After dinner, we went to MISSY BONBON to my heart’s delight. We ate PASTEL and tried their GELLATO. Later on we compare it with VJANDEP PASTEL which taste better.

OSTRICH SALPICAO (KAGAY-ANON RESTAURANT)

OSTRICH SALPICAO (KAGAY-ANON RESTAURANT)

The GELLATO is really good that you wanted to cry, we selected Pistachio and Strawberry which for I know were MADE IN HEAVEN!!!

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Setting foot in MINDANAO for the first time is an lifetime achievement. DAY One is over, I love here and I will continue to conquer all PROVINCES OF THE PHILIPPINES. Next stop, CAMIGUIN.

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Source: Camera from Elmer Espino and Janine Bernadette Pobre (Thanks a lot!!!)

Shots from Great White Water Employee! Thank you so much for the wonderful photos!!

Manlalayag is Seafarer in Filipino. I want to be a pirate who travels to Collect Memories and Steal Happiness from the places I want to go.