Tag Archives: davao

backpacking.Mindanao

the story started with a free ticket, a fake ID, and one poor, adventure”ful” ass. yes, thats mine me.

i never intended to visit this side of Mindanao. eastern side.

plainly because its the favorite setting of news men when reporting on kidnappings and bombings. and as much as i would want to appear on tv or newspaper, well, certainly,  not on these circumstances.

but, during one stormy afternoon. Nic of www.pinoyontheroad.com gave away his round-trip ticket to Zamboanga. and being the happy-go-lucky cheapskate, adventure”ful” ass that i am. i said yes, even before my brain comprehended what it entailed. you know, like, actually, going to this side of Mindanao and be, physically, in those backdrops  i only see on Tv Patrol.

since i am not fully knowledgeable about the geography of  this part of the country, i googled some maps and to my surprise horror, Zamboanga city is apparently 1 centimeter away from Basilan, an inch away from Jolo etc etc.

scared? terrified.

i kept this trip a secret since i do not want anyone to worry about my travel stupidity. you know, incase, there are, actually, people who feel that way.

all i said at home was i’m going out for a shoot and hike in Bicol. and that i’l be gone for a few days.

the day before the travel, my stupidity, apparently, started to kick in(mala “Liu Kang’s flying kick). and it did scare the hell out of me.

after all, it is the first time i am travelling with a different name and a fake ID to a place i had only seen glimpses of during 2-minute-Newsflashes or excerpts from TV Patrol or sometimes on a front page of a newspaper. not very enticing, right?

but i knew that if i let this opportunity pass by, i will never be able to get myself there, ever.

and since i love giving myself a good scare, at times. i single-handedly braved this trip.

i had two options Zamboanga-Basilan-Tawi tawi and Basilan-Zamboanga-north-west-south Mindanao. i followed the latter.

so how did it go, you say? well, i am back in Manila and still alive, obviously, so thats good news… right? oh yeah, of course it is. =)

few highlights:

-the airport scene that played in my head prior to my flight wherein some suspicious men with shades and sahal would follow me and my every move until finally cornering me outside the airport in Zamboanga didnt actually happened. buang.

-was able to fly with a different name and a fake ID. i dont advise this though =)

-zamboanga is the sh*t. i would walk in the streets back to my hostel past midnight, drunk, its safe.

-even my new-found friends in Zamboanga got scared to go with me in Malamawi in Basilan.

-Merloquet falls is charming. Malamawi is the best beach in the south( but thats just me). Tinuy-an Falls looks better in photos(opinion ko lang din yan). Had a good swim in Hinatuan enchanted river. failed to get awed by Glan… for the second time.

-dont camp by the beach when a storm is brewing.

-Greenwindows dormitel in Davao is the best backpack accomodation in the PI( wasnt paid to say that, but if you guys are reading this, i wouldnt mind a free sleep next time.) affordable at 188. its clean. safe. airconditioned. =)

-buses in western Mindanao are better than those on the eastern side.

-10,000pesos is enough to circumnavigate the main island of Mindanao( ala true blue explorer.lol)

-satti is delicious. and so is knickerbucker.

-slept in a bus for several nights to save on accomodation. sayang. pangBeer din yon. lol

-things will not always go smoothly. there will always be that one stranger who will fukc things up.

-if you want friends, first, be a friend.

-i dream of time when people would go to Mindanao without hesitance, just pure excitement.

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amoy.durian


sarap ng bakasyon sa gensan. isang linggo na kami at di pa din naman kami tinataboy sa bahay ng barkada namin. at dahil pare-pareho kaming makakapal ang mukha, patigasan at walang gumagalaw pabalik sa manila. bakit nga naman hindi, libre ang chibog, libre ang libot, libre ang alak(Absolut at Domecq 1820..lol, gabi gabing lasing)… at unlimited na Balbacua(visayan bulalo) isang drum yta yon isinalang. at isinalang ng dalawang araw. sarap!(buong barkada e nagluluto) kaya ayos lagi ang kainan.

kaso lang, biglang nagkaroon sila  ng affair sa simbahan para sa tatlong araw, retreat daw, nun weekend na yon. at dahil kasali silang mag-asawa, at iba pa namin barkada,  pati kaming bisita . inubliga na din. boom.

bago pa nila ma-ispell ang R.E.T.R.E.A.T. nag-impake na ako agad sabay banat na kailangan ko ng bumalik ng davao at dun na lang sasakay pauwi ng manila. sinabi ko na lang may biglaang lakad din. nyahaha. lol

at dahil kasama ko pa ang isa pang magaling… at di pa din nman talaga psyched na bumalik ng Manila. desisyon na lang palipasin muna weekend sa davao at kumuha na lang ng flight ng lunes..fx papuntang Davao(around 200 yta)
pagdating sa davao, nangungulit yon mataba  na may nakita daw sya sa airport na ad na less than 200 per night accomodation dun na lang daw kami. magaling! kaso ni address at kahit pangalan e di man lang nakuha. ang naalala lang ni mokong e yon presyo. hayup. U ALREADY! haha

i dont know how exactly we got the hotel info but somehow we did. think we phoned airport and asked one of the officer about the certain ad. and gooodgod she was kind enough to walk through the arrival area to hunt for the wall ad. Greenwindows Dormitel, 188/night/pax.

we arrived in the building around noon and, damn, it didnt look somewhere you could get a 200-peso-overnight-accomodation at at all. free wi-fi, floor to ceiling windows, locker, pantry, at airconditioned pa oohlala. definitely, the best accomodation, for that amount, in all of my travels in Luzon,Visayas and Mindanao. its like one of those sleek backpacker dorms that abound in the backpacking state of Thailand only half the price and minus the westerners. haaangmura talaga!

i planned to travel the next day to Surigao to check-out  Tinuy-an falls and Hinatuan river. both very picturesque as shown in pictures.

as i was unpacking my stuff that night, getting ready to hit the sack early. one of our bunkmates asked us to go out for the night, it was a friday. and you know, my tolerance to alcohol invites is as strong as Cali shandy(lol, meron pa ba nun..hehe) so instead of hitting the bed, we hit the bars. its not Matina Town Center, but its also a complex of bars and clubs( forgot the name). night passed like a blur.

i woke up in my bunk around 10am next day with a bad, mean, hangover. i let go of the 6-hour bus ride to Surigao and spent the whole day nursing my hangover instead. ate in my favorite Penongs and pampered myself with a massage.

i planned to spend the next day in Canibad beach in Samal Island. its on the far side of the island opposite to Blue Jaz and Paradise. but that night, we got drunk again. same same. skipped the trip and spent the whole day walking around the city taking pictures instead. checked out Aldavinco and got myself one of those indian shirts(white&pink).

i was not in the mood to really explore the city on that trip anyway. since i was able to do that with my family on my last visit a couple of months back. plus, the weeklong  roadtrips around Saranggani, Gensan, South Cotabato and Davao had taken its toll on my body.

the impromptu Davao trip was a welcome surprise to capped off my January trip which started in Cebu on the first week of January(right in time for Sinulog), Siquijor, Dumaguete then the South Mindanao leg.

i miss travelling. could it be that the travel bug that has bitten me in the last couple of years had finally  lost its sting? my birthday just passed and it was my first time in 8 years to spend it here in Manila. supposed to go on a trip somewhere in Luzon(budget constraints) but nothing seemed to catch my fancy. hmmm

 

***Greenwindows dormitel is minutes away by foot from Peoples park
Penongs is beside Peoples park.
surprised to know that most of the restaurants dont allow customers to eat Durian inside restaurant premises
indian shirt at P180