I was wondering until when Id break my fast with blogging and it was not until I found out that the Pinoy Travel Bloggers is hosting a blog carnival featuring Mindanao.
If there was something I’d like to share about Mindanao, its the stuff that I miss, as it has been months since I last visited. As I reminisce the experiences and all the great things the south has to offer.
1. The First Time . it was in Davao that I experienced a lot of firsts. I was starting out as a photographer back then. On assignment for a travel magazine, my heart raced as I found out that I was going to Samal Island. Research told me that I was going to get a lot of good photos, as the place showed crystal clear waters, vividly blue skies, and real nice beaches. Ive done and seen quite a few firsts in this trip: It was my first assignment as a photographer. It was also my first time to travel with someone I didn’t know (a travel writer whose name I forgot). Come to think of it, it was also my first time to fly local. It was my first time to see four people ride a motorcycle (habal-habal). It was my first time to go diving, and my first to sleep in a small island, in my own little beach hut, with someone serving coconut, waking you up in the morning, and asking you what you’ld like to have for breakfast.
I couldnt find my photos except for this one. That island you see from afar is Island Buenavista. That’s the little Island I was telling you about.2. The Waters. I love the beach. I love water. And most especially, I love it all clear and pristine. I had my first intro dive in Samal Island (I had three), and the best thing about it is that I fell in love with the ocean even more. Mindanao has a lot of hidden treasures under its deep blue,even the shallow green is a sight to behold. I wish I could take a plunge right now.
3. The Food. What can I say, I love eating. The fruits, the delicacies, the delights, Mindanao Offers a wide variety of treats.. well, ok, any other place can offer you that, but truly, I always get a pleasant treat when I go to Davao or where-ever.
The best Buko Halohalo in the World!
4. The SeaFood. Im a sea food addict, from prawns, clams, crabs, squid, and fish (ok, its not technically categorized as seafood, but oh well). Whether im in Koronadal, Pagadian, Lake Sebu, or Davao. My tummy is prepared for the fresh sea delights.
5. The Culture. What I love about Mindanao is that somehow, there are still places that preserve their heritage, and the culture of Mindanao is very colorful. It is a photographer’s haven, and you don’t have to search for your shot.
6. The Festivals. The music, the color, the culture, and the dances. Festivities down south makes not just for good photographs but great memories too. Having judged at several festivals in Mindanao, I always look forward to being invited again.
7. The Buys. The local market offers a wide variety of finds, and you get it at really good prices too. The culture that you see in photos, are mostly found in the market, and marketplaces in Mindanao are the best.
7. The Photographs - If youre a photographer like me, you will never run out of photo opportunities. Photos are waiting for you in Mindanao, whether youre in the street, in the market, in a festival, in the outskirts, at the beach, at a mountaintop, maybe even inside your hotel room, yould find a shot as there are a lot of subjects to choose from that you normally wont find in the Metro.
Raw Muscovado. Choose your pick!
8. The 100 peso massage. When Im in Tagum City, I never fail to get my massage at the trade center. It doesnt matter what social class you belong, or gender, or fashion preference, what matters is that these guys are really good, and people dont really care what’s happening. With the cost (which i think and assume already went up) of approx 100 pesos, you can get one everyday. Your regular massage fare for 1 hour in manila is double or triple the time here.
Yes! That’s my foot!
9. The Durian. Do I have to explain this? Yes I am a fan Whether it be the fruit itself, Durian candy, Durian shake, Durian pie (oh yes), pan de Durian (like pan-de-coco or pan-de-monggo), Durian yema, Durian whatever.. my favorite of course is Durian delights (its a cross between yema and pastillas. My favorite brand is Lola Abon’s and I make sure i pass by their store whenever im in Davao.
Theres also Marang which taste can be slightly compared to an atis, and Mangosteen, which I can eat all day.
10. The Looking Forward. There are still a lot of places I havent been to in Mindanao, which means, there is still a lot for me to see and look forward to. I too long for the time that I visit all provinces in the Philippines. But at least for now, I have memories to keep me going.
This is my entry to the Pinoy Travel Blogger’s Blog Carnival for November 2011 entitled Mindanao Bliss hosted by Olan Emboscado of the The Travel Teller.