LIFE IS HERE AT MY HOME CITY OF DAVAO.


There are places on this planet that I have always longed to see. I have always wanted to travel to different parts of the world. First, discovering the many beautiful places in my home country the Philippines and step by step, the world. Traveling has become my passion. If given a chance, I would love to explore the mystical land of Egypt and decipher its alluring mysteries. All inclusive holidays to Egypt nowadays are becoming affordable. In the Philippines, there are many beautiful places to see and discover. But if there is one city I would love to live and grow old, it would be my home City of Davao. Why? Very simple. LIFE IS HERE.
This Blogger at San Pedro Street
LIFE IS HERE. This is the newest strapline of Davao City Tourism Office. Acclaimed by Asiaweek as the Philippine’s Most Livable City in 1999, Davao City is the center of commerce and industry in the southern part of whole island of Mindanao. In spite being the only metropolis in whole Region, Davao City continues to straddle two worlds – the new and the old.

How To Get To Bucas Grande Islands

The Bucas Grande Islands is part of the town of Socorro. Socorro is one of the towns comprising the province of Suriago Del Norte in CARAGA Region. Not known to many, Socorro is among the nine municipalities that comprise the whole Siargao Islands. Yes, Socorro is Siagao and Bucas Grande Islands is Siargao.
While the other 8 municipalities of Siargao Island features world class surfing waves, the town of Socorro offers yet another world class tourist attraction that is also a pride of the whole Siargao Islands and that is the Bucas Grande Islands. Yes, the Bucas Grande Islands is also considered a pride of Siargao. Thus, when in Siargao, it is also recommended to discover this part of the Island.

BUCAS GRANDE ISLAND: THE OTHER SIDE OF SIARGAO.

I've heard so many fascinating things about SIARGAO, the surfing capital of the Philippines. Talk about surfing, Siargao tops the list. Siargao is part of the province of Surgao del Norte in Caraga Region. Good thing about the Island, there are direct flights servicing Siargao from Manila and Cebu. This will give the options to either stay in Cebu or a Manila hotel. Since hotels there are more affordable. Worry not, there are airlines in the Philippines offering cheap fare going to Siargao. This is comparable to Tenerife, the largest island of the Canary Islands in Spain offering many things to do and visit. Like Siargao, there are plenty of cheap flights tenerife which tourist can really take advantage. As for Siargao, as soon as you get there, the alluring beauty of Island will definitely make your stay worth every penny.



Siargao Island is composed of 48 islands and islets-politically divided into nine municipalities: Burgos, Dapa, Del Carmen, Gen. luna, Pilar, San Benito, San Isidro, Santa Monica, and Socorro.

MY JOURNEY AT THE BUCAS GRANDE ISLANDS

My dream of experiencing the enchanted Islands of the Bucas Grande in Socorro, Surigao Del Norte was about to come true upon reaching the Port of Hayanggabon in Claver, Surigao Del Norte. From the port, going to the Islands took about 40 minutes. Going there, the beauty of the seascape and the many Islets that scattered in the blue waters struck me. I was bewitched by natural wonders in front of me. Stunning! Glorious! 
Nearing the Bucas Grande Islands, our gracious tour guided merrily told us we were about to experience a pristine island adventure at its finest. He explained that some parts of the islands are proclaimed by the government as National Park and conservation of its natural beauty is maintained. I looked around the whole environs, indeed, everything is unspoiled – a rare beauty so immaculate and magnificent. Seeing those, I began to drown myself to full admiration.

HERE'S THE ARE THE PHOTOS

THE WELCOMING SUNRISE OF CLAVER, SURIGAO DEL NORTE

My journey to Bucas Grande started in the Port of Hayanggabon in the town of Claver in the province of Surigao Del Norte. Yes, it the the jump off Port going the Enchanted Bucas Grande where the feel and beauty of the islands are like those of the Cuba Twin Centre Holidays.

It was a very good start of the day where me and my travel buddies were welcomed by an amazing dawning of the day - a perfect sunrise like I've never seen before. That sunrise promised a fun-filled journey to the Islands of Bucas Grande where I have dreamed to set foot. This is the start of my travel to the Bucas Grande Islands.

DREAMING OF GOING TO BUCAS GRANDE IS COMING TRUE.

I have been wanting to be in the beach again. If only I have the luxuries of time, cheap holiday to Cuba is waiting for me where staying in Cuba Twin Centre Holidays is surprisingly affordable. But I am in my beautiful country Philippines and going to Cuba remains a dream. So, I'd rather dream of going to places I know I can possibly reach. Beside, beaches in my country is undeniably beautiful and pristine. So now, I am dreaming of going to the beautiful islands and islets of BUCAS GRANDE in Surigao Del Norte. One of  must see islands in my beloved Mindanao.
Photo Courtesy of www.skyscrapercity.com
BUCAS GRANDE is one of the places I have been dreaming to see. Going there is like spending a holiday in St. Lucia or a holiday in Cancun. The beaches are amazing. Looking at the photos in the internet, it make me wanna go there right at this moment. Indeed, a perfect destination for beach fanatics like me.

THE COLORS AND VIBES OF KADAYAWAN FESTIVAL 2011

TEN TRIBES, ONE VIBE. This is the Kadayawan Festival 2011 official theme that truly was a celebration of culture, heritage and history of the ethnic Davao. The tribes of Ata, Matigsalug, Ovu-Manuvo, Klata-Djangan, Tagabawa, Tausog, Maguindanao, Maranao, Kagan, and Sama are the ethnic groups that comprised the 10 different tribes of Davao. 

STAGE IS SET FOR KADAYAWAN PERFORMERS FOR INDAK INDAK SA KADALANAN 2011


As early as August 17 in the evening, the new stage is being built in front of Rizal Park stage in preparation for the Indak Indak sa Kadalanan and Floral Float Parade, two of the festival’s highlights slated this weekend.
Because of the new setup, a huge stage measuring 30x16 meters with a level of 3 feet, the capacity becomes limited around the performing and judging area.  Risers at 3 feet will be placed in strategic routes of parade where photographers and media can cover the activities freely.

“KADAYAWAN FIESTA 2011 AT THE APO VIEW”


The merriment of blessing for the bounties of nature, the richness of culture, the gifts of bountiful harvest and the tranquility of living, these among others are the reasons of celebrating Kadayawan Festival!
Paying homage to Davao's artistic, cultural and historical heritage, The Apo View being the city’s premier hotel joins the people of Davao in celebrating Kadawayan Festival right at the very heart of the Apo View Hotel.  
 

DISCOVERING BRITANNIA GROUP OF ISLANDS


Down south in the coastal Province of Surigao Del Sur lie stunning 24 group of tiny Islands so beautifully scattered in the waters Lianga Bay facing the great Oceans of the Pacific. These amazing natural wonder is called BRITANNIA GROUP OF ISLANDS. Spending weekend holidays there is like having a Barbados Holidays like no other. 
Britannia Group of Islands is located in Barangay Britannia of San Agustin in the central region of Surigao Del Sur. From Davao City, San Agustin can be reached by passenger bus or private vehicle approximately 6 hours away. The road trip going there may be dull but rest assured these Islets are worth the long travel.

THE TRAVEL TELLER AT FACEBOOK

THE TRAVEL TELLER AT FACEBOOK
Getting a firsthand experience on all the best kept secrets in the Islands of the Philippines and beyond, THE TRAVEL TELLER hopes to share exciting travel stories and experiences about several destinations in the Island Philippines and perhaps the world, some known, some never heard of and some you don’t know much about. LIKE HIM AT FACEBOOK AND FOLLOW HIS TRAIL.


THANK YOU AND I WILL KEEP YOU POSTED!

FOR YOU MAMA... A Eulogy of a Mourning Heart...

The most painful conversation I ever had in my life happened a month ago when my sick Mom called me for a solemn talk. She was so very sick, bedridden and helpless on her bed. That was two weeks after she was discharged from the hospital coming from a heart attack. That conversation was the turning point for me to realize that the WOMAN who gave me life had finally given up her life’s journey. It was the only time after all these years to see my Mom finally resigned from her life’s battle against her “end stage renal failure”. But that conversation made me see the kind of a WOMAN my mother had been to me and to the rest of her family.
For most of you here today, you remember our mother as the lady next door who prepared viands for her food store every day. Perhaps, it is the biggest legacy she left for us. Poldang’s Carenderia. But our Mother is more than just that.

SAMAL ISLAND'S MOUNT PUTING BATO

If you love mountains but so anxious to do tremendous hiking, worry no more because I’ve found the perfect day hike destination so ideal for first time mountain hikers. The place is called MOUNT PUTING BATO in Samal Island – one of the featured stops of OLANOLOGY'S Samal Island Ultimate Adventure participated by 20 equally thrill-seeking Bloggers and outdoor enthusiasts organized by yours truly in response to the "Visit Samal Island" summer campaign of the Island Garden City of Samal and the DOT-Region XI Office. 
Mt. Puting Bato is the highest point in the Island Garden City of Samal Island. Being easily reached, it has become one of the favorite climbing expeditions of many adventure seekers in Davao Region and because of such, Mt. Puting Bato becomes one of the Island’s popular destination. Like those ultimate getaways in Cancun Holidays, this spot in Samal is a must visit.

THE MAREX BEACH RESORT OF SAMAL ISLAND

An eco-friendly beach resort blessed with powdery white sands offering laid back beach life and fun filled Tropical Island escapade. This is how I define the MAREX BEACH RESORT – the second stop of OLANOLOGY'S Samal Island Ultimate Adventure participated by 20 equally thrill-seeking Bloggers and outdoor enthusiasts organized by yours truly in response to the "Visit Samal Island" summer campaign of the Island Garden City of Samal and the DOT-Region XI Office.
Marex Beach Resort is situated at Sitio Baybay in Barangay Tambo, 20 minutes drive from Babak District of the Island Garden City of Samal. It is five minutes away from the renowned Monfort Bat Cave

THE MONFORT BAT CAVE

Did you know that the largest colony of fruit bats in the world is found in the Philippines? Yes! The Guinness World Record holder of such title is the MONFORT BAT CAVE located in the Island Garden City of Samal, an island city in the Province of Davao del Norte, Mindanao. This is the first stop of OLANOLOGY'S Samal Island Ultimate Adventure attended by 20 equally adventurous Bloggers and outdoors fanatics organized by yours truly in response to the "Visit Samal Island" summer campaign of the Island Garden City of Samal and the DOT-Region XI Office.
The Monfort Bat Cave also known as the Monfort Bat Cave and Conservation Foundation Park is a 24-hectare property owned by the Monfort Family located in Barangay Tambo, Babak District of the Island Garden City of Samal.

SAMAL ISLAND ULTIMATE ADVENTURE

Officially, SUMMER 2011 is here! Undeniably, the most awaited and exciting season of the year where people flock to beaches, go on Island Hopping, trek on mountains, and discover exotic places of interests in the different parts of the country.
The Island Garden City of Samal is the most popular island destination here in Davao Region and probably one of the best in the whole Mindanao. So kicking off this hotta hotta season, OLANOLOGY: Chronicling A Good Voyage responded to DOT-Region XI and Samal Island's Summer Campaign - the VISIT SAMAL ISLAND by organizing "Samal Island Ultimate Adventure - From Islands To Highlands" where 7 of the must visited destinations in the Island were explored, experienced and enjoyed! A total of 21 adventurous bloggers and outdoor enthusiasts participated the event and braved the challenge of island hopping, waterfalls trekking and mountain climbing in these seven equally worth-the-visit places. These adventurous fellows each deserve a cool customized bobblehead for surviving the challenge.

T'DAAN KINI FALLS: Lake Sebu's Newest Attraction


If there is one thing cheerless to hear about the Seven falls of Lake Sebu, that is swimming and bathing is not allowed there. The water source of the Seven Falls comes from the three lakes of this town. These three lakes are the main sources of livelihood of the town – the tilapia culture. Numerous fish pens and fish cages are built everywhere and synthetic fish feeds are generally used for growing. Hence, for health reasons especially for the skin, swimming and bathing at the Seven Falls is not encouraged.
With that fact, the Lake SebuTourism Council opens the door to discover and experience yet another must-see natural attraction in the town, the T’daan Kini Falls.

THE SEVEN FALLS OF LAKE SEBU

LAKE SEBU in South Cotabato is a mixture of both well preserved culture and luxuriant nature, all at its finest. For that reason, Lake Sebu becomes SocCKSSarGen’s most preferred ideal escape for nature lovers, culture fanatics and outdoor aficionados. Who wouldn’t? With the three great lakes, verdant rainforests, abundant floras and faunas and other natural attractions, Lake Sebu is every nature lover's dream destination.
Among these natural wonders,  the now renowned Seven Waterfalls of Lake Sebu is considered the town's most important tourist spot attracting thousand of local tourists in the country. It is a perfect blend of both nature and adventure. With its fast rising fame, Lake Sebu has gradually turned into an adventure filled destination. And being there, I did not miss the chance of experiencing the thrill that has captivated the adventure spirit of the many.

LAKE SEBU: The Mystical Eden of South Cotabato


I had the great opportunity to be among the few invitees of the SoCCSKSargen Experience (SEX) Tour organized by the SoCCSKSargen Bloggers. The team is led by the award winning blogger Avel Manansala. SoCCSKSargen is comprised by four provinces and one component city in Mindanao namely South Cotabato, Cotabato (formerly known as North Cotabato), Sultan Kudarat, Saranggani and General Santos City. The SEX Tour aims to promote the beauty of SoCCSKSargen and help spread news about the many wonderful tourist attractions in the region. One of the most visited towns frequented by both local and foreign tourists in the Region is the mystical town of Lake Sebu located in the Province of South Cotabato. I would say, one of the best part of this event.
It was not my first time visiting Lake Sebu. I was there way back 2001. So this recent visit I had is my second after ten long years. I was very excited during the 2 hour travel from General Santos City to Lake Sebu. It’s like reuniting myself to a long lost friend after 10 long years. The greeneries of the countryside added drama to my travel. It was surreal.

PANGASINAN: Another Quick Side Trip

Since I have mentioned my quick yet noteworthy side trip to the Province of Tarlac, I might as well include another hurried yet remarkable visit to some of the key cities in the Province of Pangasinan.
The Hundred Islands National Park was actually my target destination but with my instant stop to some places in the province made me realized that Pangasinan is not just about the Hundred Islands. For travellers like me, there are many interesting places to appreciate while in the Province. And for my friends who also joined this trip, it was a great opportunity to see another new town in Luzon.

TARLAC: A Quick Side Trip!


My North Luzon Trip including my trek to Mount Pinatubo and Island Hopping at the Hundred Islands National Park will not be complete without mentioning my quick yet worthy side trip to the Province of Tarlac. Going there for the first time is like spending CUBA HOLIDAYS.
My side trip to landlocked Province of Tarlac brought me to some places that had somehow impressed me in a different way. I have heard of Tarlac as hometown of the Aquinos and Cojuangcos but never did I know that by some means Tarlac is not all just about that. There are many places to see and to discover in this landlocked Province.

THE HUNDRED ISLANDS: I Came To See You!

Back in my grade school years, one of my favorite subjects is "Sibika At Kultura". I find it very interesting and educational among other subjects taught in the class. The book, "Sibika At Kultura", illustrated the many "Wonders" of the Philippines that made my innocent mind realized that there are bountiful numbers of beautiful places to see and discover outside of my hometown Cateel. The book became an instant hit to me. It is where I first see the picture of Banaue Rice Terraces, referred as the 8th Wonder of the World; Mount Mayon, known for having a perfect cone; Taal Volcano, the smallest volcano in the world; Mount Apo, the country's highest peak; the Chocolate Hills, famous for its unique unvarying formation; Maria Cristina Falls, the country's tallest; the Hundred Islands, the first declared National Park in the country; and many other important landmarks the truly become Philippines pride.
The book inspired me to make a quest in seeing all those mentioned places and somehow prove to myself that what the book has written is indeed true and correct. True enough, as time passed by, I have gradually fulfilled this quest. Blessed to afford a worthy travel, I have been able to visit many of those mentioned places in my Sibika at Kultura book. And without a doubt, those places are worth visiting especially for every Filipinos like me. For this year, on the top of my list is the world famous "HUNDRED ISLANDS" of Alaminos City in Pangasinan.

JOURNEY TO THE MAJESTIC CRATER OF MOUNT PINATUBO

One of the best known off road adventures today in the Philippines is the day trek to the Majestic Crater of Mount Pinatubo. Having seen the scenic beauty and read many interesting reviews on the internet of this once a destructive volcano, my interest of setting foot there was enough to make me fly to Manila from Davao City.
 

Just a little history, Mount Pinatubo became famous when it erupted violently in the year 1991. The eruption was recorded as the second largest volcanic eruption of the twentieth century. It killed 800 people and left 100,000 homeless. Not only that, the effects of the eruption were felt worldwide as millions of tons of sulfur dioxide were discharged into the atmosphere, resulting in a decrease in the temperature worldwide.

MY HOMETOWN CATEEL

“I'm going home to the place where I belong
where your love has always been enough for me
I'm running from you know I think
you got me all wrong
I don't regret this life I chose for me
But these places and th
ese faces are getting old
So I'm going home.”
I get emotional whenever I hear Chris Daughtry soulful rendition of his song “Home”. It reminded me literally of my hometown Cateel in the province Davao Oriental. Away from the city where I am now but remains so near in my heart! As a saying goes, there's no place like home, we always go back to our roots. Like those folks availing Cheap Holidays to Egypt just to be home, a home sweet home is incomparable. 

EPOL - The Lover's Delight

I would like to share one travel I had recently not really far from downtown Davao City that I find so amusing and undeniably worth to remember. The destination is EPOL in Marilog District along the Davao- Bukidnon Road.

I have been told about this place long before I had started traveling and going to different places. In short I have heard so much about it long before I started my quest "Chronicling A Good Voyage".

Back in my college days, my friends frequented a popular place they call Epol located in Marilog District. Who wouldn't, it is just an hour and a half  travel from downtown Davao. My college friends, especially those who are couple, loved to spend their weekends here. They said, it is a perfect place to commune with nature along with someone special. They said, EPOL is a "Lover's Delight". I don't ask why. I got load of invitations to visit the place but I always declined. I was never tempted to experience that "Lover's Delight" moment they were saying. EPOL, in spite of its proximity to the downtown city, remained a stranger to me not until my friends at RTours decided to visit the place.

TAGUM CITY AND IT'S HIDDEN ALLURE

Have you experienced wandering to a place you frequented so much yet you thought so dull and boring but never realized how amazing it was until somebody showed you its hidden splendor? I just had one. The most frequented place – the CITY OF TAGUM!
The City of Tagum, tagged as the Palm Tree Capital of the Philippines, is the Provincial Capital of the Province of Davao Del Norte.
I have been to the City of Tagum countless of times. It is one of the Bus Stop Towns when traveling from hometown Cateel, Davao Oriental to the sprawling City of Davao. But even if I've  been there for hundred times, I never had the chance to roam around then called Municipality of Tagum. Even the time that I became a Davao resident where Tagum is just an hour away, I never had the chance to explore the City. Honestly, I was thinking, Tagum City will forever be a Bus Stop Station from my hometown Cateel to Davao City. This has been my thought about Tagum City not until I was invited to participate the very 1st Tagum City Photo Safari.