The Real Thrill of Kapatagan Highlands

From a boozy dusk till dawn, I woke up being greeted by the cold morning mists of Kapatagan Highlands. It was 5 o'clock in the very morning when I woke up battling against the cold mountain breeze. I intended to wake up early to catch the beautiful sunrise of the mountain. But hurray, it was not just a beautiful sunrise that I saw but the amusing scenery that surround us. 


The Majestic Mount Apo - Philippines' Highest Peak


"The heights charm us, but the steps do not; with the mountain in our view we love to walk the plains." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
Photo Courtesy of Roy Geonzon
Still fresh from a great weekend getaway at Gensan's Tuna Festival, another weekend after that was spent at the stunning highlands of Kapatagan in the City of Digos located at the Province of Davao Del Sur. This time, I was with my equally adventurous friends - the RTours.
Photo Courtesy of Joem Escovilla
It was late Saturday afternoon when we left Davao City from the Terminal. Good thing about it, there were total of 18 pairs of itchy feet in this trip. So instead of taking the bus ride, we hired a van that will take us straight to our destination in Kapatagan. Off we go and 2 hours later we safely arrived at our destination. It was my first time to visit the scenic Kapatagan. Honestly, while on our way to get there, I was hoping to see its beautiful landscape and the majestic Mount Apo while on board the van but to no avail. It was already dark since we started to ascend the main Kapatagan Road. Getting there, it was already one cold dark night.


From a funfilled first day of my Tuna Festival Experience, my second and final day at the City of the Generals was expected to be a bit hectic and awesomely surprising. HECTIC because I was the official judge of the Tuna Festival's Mardi Gras Street Dancing Competition performed in the morning and the afternoon; and SURPRISING because Avel Manansala told us he had prepared added surprises for us Bloggers from Davao. I was actually catching up a good sleep when my blogger roommates Jong Lim and Dr. Remo Aguilar woke me up to remind me that today was a big day. So, I hurriedly got up and readied myself for what was expected to be a long day.
Together with Avel Manansala, some SoCSKSarGen Bloggers, and my fellow Judges Lyle Santos, Brendel Balaga, Dulce Lada and Leah Valle, we headed to the Pioneer Avenue for the Mardi Gras Street Dancing Competition.


I woke up a bit late on my first day in General Santos City for my 2010 Tuna Festival Experience. It was very late in the evening when we head back to Hotel Dolores the night I arrived at the Tuna City. Hotel Dolores was my official home for three nights and two days in Gensan City.

It was a sunny Saturday when I woke up. From the window of my room, I have a very good view of Gensan's busy Wet Market while at Hotel Dolores' Miss Mocha located at the Roof Top is the busy City Streets of Gensan.


Finally, I am here at the Tuna Capital of Philippines - General Santos City for the celebration of its annual TUNA FESTIVAL as one of the judges of the Mardi Gras Street Dancing Competition.I left Davao City at 6 in the evening and got here at 9. Hotel Dolores will be my official home for my two day stay here at General Santos City. Upon billeting, my very good hosts Avel Manansala together the fellow Davao Bloggers fetched me for Dinner at Piyesta KTV and Resto Bar owned by fellow Blogger Donna Mae Congson. Later, the ever famous Orman Manasala arrived. I was treated right away with hot and spicy KURASTICKS and the mouthwatering PINAKBET. I was totally blown away the Kurastick. It was indeed nakakakurat! It was a very good welcome night for my first ever Tuna Festival Experience.
TODAY, when i woke up, this scene welcome me here at General Santos City!HAPPY TUNA FESTIVAL GENERALS.

TUNA FESTIVAL 2010 - The Invitation!

WHOA GENSAN! Yes, General Santos City will be celebrating its annual Tuna Festival on September 18 to 26, 2010 along with the celebration of the city’s 42nd City Charter Anniversary.Being the country’s Tuna Capital, General Santos City is ready to showcase the grandeur of this year’s Tuna Festival as tribute to the significance of the Tuna Industry to the City’s fast and growing economy.

With this year’s theme “Go Global GenSan: We Are Ready for the World”, the Generals are ready to show their renowned talents and skills in the different spectacular events set for the Tuna Festival. Various amazing events are already lined up to give colors and radiance in this very festive occasion.

I am very fortunate to be invited by Mr. Orman Manansala, the Tuna Festival Director, to be one of the judges of the very spectacular GenSan Tuna Experience (GTX) Mardi-Gras Competition. This is the festival’s version of Street Dancing Competition that is also said to be the highlight of the celebration.

Aside from Mardi-Gras Street Dancing Competition, Tuna Festival has in stored crowd drawing events that will surely wow the people and simply put them at awe! Among the major highlights of Tuna Festival are as follows:

* Search for Ms. GenSan 2010 on Sept 25

* Searh for Mr. GenSan 2010 on Sept 25

* Pasiklaban Cheer Dance Competition on Sept 18

* Campus Radio’s Sayaw Sa Baybay-Kids Edition on Sept 21

* Search for GenSan Pop Idol Year 6 on Sept 22

* GenSan Pop Star Kids Competiion on Sept 23

* Fishdance Hip-Hop Dance Competition on Sept 24

* Search for GenSan Band Idol on Sept 24

* Tuna Motorbike Competition

* Beach Volleyball Competition

* Robinsons’ 1st TunaBodis Body-Building Competition

* National Skim Boarding Competition

* Robinsons’ Inter-Tribe Tuna Cookfest

* Bombo Radyo’s Bancarera

* Langoy-Bugsay Marathon Challenge

* 1st Lawihan Street Dancing Competition

* Foam Parties @ East Asia Royale Hotel Arcade Parking Lot on Sept 24-25

* Robinsons’ Al Fresco Sashimi Night featuring the Best of GenSan Bands on Sept 25

* Tinda-Tinda sa GTx (Flea Market) at the City Oval Plaza

* Tuna Food Plaza at the City Oval Plaza

* Tuna Fiesta Carnival at the City Oval Plaza

* Plantuna Garden Show at the City Oval Plaza

* San Miguel Beer Barkada Zone at the City Oval Plaza

The must see Major Highlight of Tuna Festival will be happening on the Culmination Day on September 26, 2010.

* Tuna Float Parade Competition

* GenSan Tuna Experience (GTX) Mardi-Gras Competition (Street Dancing)

* Splash in the Sky Fireworks Display

I am truly excited for my first Tuna Festival Experience and I know this will definitely be a huge blast!

For that I would like to invite fellow festival enthusiasts, lakwatseros lakwatseras, photography hobbyist and alike, outdoor fanatics and travel lovers to come and visit GENERAL SANTOS CITY and EXPERIENCE TUNA FESTIVAL 2010...

All the Graphic Designs and Logo are courtesy of Mr. Avel Manansala.


Are you tired of seeing the busy streets in your place? Are you sick of the deafening sound of your urban living? Are you getting headaches from the pressures your fast paced chosen world? Do you want remedies? Do you desire to be in a place where peace and tranquillity can be felt? Where being one with nature is at its peak? Where nothing but total relaxation can be attained? If so, it’s time for you to visit Island Garden City of Samal.The Island Garden City of Samal, fondly called IGACOS is one of the best visited islands in Mindanao and now the fastest growing tourist destination in the country.It is actually just a 10 minute boat ride from the City of Davao. Just imagine a 10 minute boat ride will take away from busy city life – indeed amazing!The Island nestled at the Southern part of the Philippine Islands. It is strategically located in the Asia-Pacific rim. The island offers exciting features - from pristine white sand beaches to diverse natural attraction. For those who love scuba diving, Samal Island is rich in coral reefs of different formations and varieties. For aqua sports fanatics, snorkelling, sailing and other aqua sports are its best. For beach and Island lovers, the Island of Samal is definitely a must try Island Hopping experience.But not only that, Samal Island is blessed with natural wonders. It boasts natural springs, waterfalls, numerous caves, world renowned Bat Caves and mountain ranges that are absolutely a gem-prize for adventure seekers. The physical topography of the island is a must visit destinations for individuals who are always in quest for extreme challenges and adventures. Above all, IGACOS is also a perfect place to commune with nature.

CARAMOAN GROUP OF ISLANDS: Its Alluring Sunrises and Sunsets

An authentic and unblemished paradise of nature lovers and beach enthusiasts far from the jam-packed crowded commercialized type of tourism yet you can see, feel and experience being with nature at its finest. That is what Caramoan is for me. Group of Islands that have remained pristine and beautiful - just like its SUNRISES and SUNSETS...


I love Caramoan Group of Islands... I just love being here!


Caramoan is one of the thirty-five municipalities of the Province of Camarines Sur in the Bicol Region. It is situated at the heart of the Caramoan Peninsula at the southernmost tip of Luzon.

Isolated from the rest of Camarines Sur, this Philippine's Secret Paradise remains unexploited and laid back.But the islands remain so enchanting and alluring attraction tourists, both locals and foreign, to come and experience its beauty and grandeur.

Proof of that, Survivor France, Survivor Bulgaria, Survivor Serbia and now on its second season Survivor Israel is entirely filmed at this very beautiful Group of Islands.

Caramoan gives Island Hopping a new meaning. One can enjoy its beauty in many ways. Great and exciting Ocean Adventures waits for kayakers and beach addicts. Snorkeling and scuba diving is a great experience getting closer to the diverse marine life.

A trek and search for the enigmatic lagoon hidden in the lushes of Limestone Mountains is an amazing experience. Rocks climbing the limestone cliffs are awesome and many other wonderful experiences these Group of Islands offer.Visit CARAMOAN and experience all these adventures.