ILIGAN CITY | Pampam Falls

Iligan City after all has 23 waterfalls for me to go around. This weekend, I got to visit, by accident, 2 of these in one day. One of the waterfalls in Brgy. Dalipuga, Iligan City is the Pampam Falls. Pampam Falls is 13kms away from the city, and another 15-20mins trek from the humble barangay to the location, this falls is a favorite hangout place for the locals. You can catch groups of teenagers, a gathering of families, and a few exited and playful children on its surrounding. It is a two pieced slabs of boulders, one on top of another where which the water glides down to. The water basin is not deep. Around 4-5ft. in depth, almost anyone can enjoy dipping on it’s cool waters.

The trail: Manageable; LOD: Easy, but we have to ask a local on taking us to the falls. We were,l actually, expecting a different one — Kalubihon Falls, but we took a different trail that led us to two of the three water falls in the area. — missing out Kalubihon Falls. But, two falls for one planned waterfall visit is not bad for the lost explorers. LOL.
We spent a few minutes on that falls before heading downstream. Alex had not had lunch, and had to just take it. That makes a window time for a  quick dip and a swim.
I got a hygro massage at that. LOL. The falling water was enough to give us  pressure on the back for a massage only nature can give.
Here’s a shot from the water basin, the closest that I could get. I had an interesting comment on Facebook regarding it’s shape..^^ Hmmmmm… What do you think? 

TRAVEL NOTES:
+ Visit the falls with a local guide, the trail is easy but you could, also, easily miss a turn and get lost.
+ You can visit both Pampam Falls, and Kalubihon Falls in one setting.
+ Bring your own provision if you’re planning on staying a bit longer.
+ Bring the essentials: Swimsuit and Camera — then again locals are not used to bikini-clad visitors. LOL! Any outfit will do.
+ Waterproof camera would be best, but in the absence of such, dry packs is must.
+ Pick up and carry your trash back to town and care after yourself.

DIRECTIONS | HOW TO GET TO PAMPAM FALLS:
A.1] City Proper to Kalubihon, Brgy. Dalipuga Intersection:
    2] Dalipuga Jeepney Line (Travel Time: 15-20mins)
        —> Ask the driver to drop you off the intersection for Kalubihon at Brgy. Dalipuga
    3] Take a Habal-Habal to The Kalubihon Elementary School
         Travel Time ~10mins
    4] Ask the locals for direction, better yet, ask to be taken to it.

        And do not forget to budget some food for your guides too!

B.] Taxi (No metered taxi available, passenger and driver agreement)

C.] Private Vehicle

You might also like to check out the rest of the ILIGAN WATERFALL SERIES posts:
Ma. Cristina Falls    Tinago Falls       Limunsudan Falls
Mimbalot Falls         Hindang Falls    Kalubihon Falls
Dodiongan Falls       Pampam Falls   Dalipuga Falls

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“In the woods we return to reason and faith. 
There I feel that nothing
can befall me in life–no disgrace, no calamity (leaving me my eyes), 
which nature cannot repair.”
– Michael J. Cohen
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ILIGAN CITY | Paradise Resort and Eco Park

Situated at the upper portion of the Mimbalot Falls, the Iligan Paradise Resort and Eco-Park at Brgy. Buruun, Iligan City, has come to be as one of the destination hot spots in Iligan City. The then-family-owned-private-resort was developed and opened it’s gates to the public and is promoting the eco-adventure lifestyle to it’s clients.
It is accessible via the Talipapa Road the very same one you take when you’re bound for Tatay Resort, Maze Parks and Resort, and the famous Tinago Falls. Can’t get any better than that, does it? But wait, there’s more. LOL! ( For a second I sounded like a TV ad or something)

We were greeted by the Iligan Paradise Reort and Eco-Park Manager, Mr. Jopet Gerona no less. Yes, the nurse-entrepreneur (kudos!) had stepped in on the family business in managing the resort. I knew the guy from Iligan Medical Center College, and he is as articulate and as accommodating as he was before making sure everyone was comfortable as he showed us around the facilities and services they offer.
The eco-park is spacious with enough cottages to accommodate large guest of families, friends, or a travelling pack. They have ATV Rides (200Php/30mins), Kayak Single (100Php/hr.), Kayak Double (110/hr), and Kayak 3Seater (120Php/hr). I was looking forward to the eco-adventure facilities they have.
CABLE CAR (110Php)
A cable car good for 3 persons runs from one side of the resort to the other side, and then back. Ma’am Bing of Adventures In Life and Xy-za of Purple Slipperz
 took the ride with Francis of Simply Francis.
You get to cross over the gorge and have a view of the cascading waters of the Mimbalot Falls at a corner with luscious vegetation. You get to catch the same view of the falls if you take the Zip line or the Superman as it makes it’s way across the gorge.
ZIPLINE (110Php)
SUPERMAN (130Php)
I took the Zipline wanting the same view of the falls, but rather be suspended on the cable with harnesses.
The first station was under construction as they are extending a second story for additional zip station and landing pads.
There’s me! 
What I like about their zipline is the soft stop you get instead on the big thump when you reached the abrupt halt.
INDIANA JONES and PLAYGROUND (60Php/Kid/Whole Day)
They also have an Indiana Jones and playground for kids to run about and have fun. The fee is good for the whole day, and the kids would love getting on the single parallel lines doing the Indiana Jones swings.
EURO BUNGEE (120Php/3mins)
Here is my feeble attempt at Euro Bungee, also known as Bungee Trampoline. I was looking forward to trying this one out, that I watched over videos of it on You Tube. Taking on the adventurista in me, I packed all guts and braved up to be the first to do the Bungee Trampoline.
Braving on a smile! In Truth, my facial muscles were scared stiff! LOL!
This was my first time to try this. 
 They have to take the weight of the person to compute for the elasticity needed for them to be catapulted up. The colored rubber lines has it’s own counter weight. As soon as the crew fitted you with the harness, they would then, one by one, attach the rubber lines, according to the weight of the person.
Do NOT by all means make the same mistake that I did — Wearing shorts!
It was harness + skin contact + gravity + pressure = friction = abrasions on my thighs = Awww!
But I had SUPER loads of fun!!! 
I guess there’s always casualty at war, a few skin cells in this case was okay.
Being catapulted in the air was exhilarating.
LOL! But going back down the trampoline made the butterflies fluttering wildly in my stomach!
Here’s a short vid taken by Maam Revilla with me on the Euro Bungee. LOL! I can’t stop laughing at myself.
Here’s one, DEFINITELY, for the blog! *grinning*
TRAVEL NOTES
+ Make sure that you visit Iligan Paradise Resort and Eco-Park on a clear and sunny day. That way you can avail on its rides and services.
+ Recommended rides and services —> take the Euro Bungee! *grins*
+ Bring your own provisions, they have a store/canteen but it may not have what you need or want. 
+ Bring your cameras ofcourse!
+ Take the whole family, there’s something for everyone

Entrance and Service Fees of Iligan Paradise Resort and Eco – Park:

Contact Details:
Iligan Paradise Resort Facebook Fanpage: HERE
Contact Number’s : +63-905-61-42728 or +63-942-679-8818 
Operational Hours: 8:00AM- 5:00PM
Entrance Fee:     25Php (adult), 15 Php (Children)
Service Fees:     Kayak Ride: 110Php (1seater); 120Php (2seater); 130Php (3seater)
                          Euro Bungee: 120Php/3mins, 5mins lng sana
                          All Terrain Vehicle Rental: 200Php/30mins
                          Zipline: 110Php; Superman: 130Php
                          Indiana Jones and Playground (60Php/kid/whole day)
***Rates may change depending on approved rates. (Date Post: August 2011)

Directions / How to Get to Iligan Paradise Resort and Eco – Park: (Map: HERE)

City Proper to Brgy. Buruun

1. Take the Brgy.Buruun jeepney line (Travel time: ~15 mins.; Fare: 20Php)
—> and ask the driver to drop you off at Talipapa Market (Map: HERE)
—> Take a Habal-Habal and tell the driver you’re heading for  Iligan Paradise Resort and Eco – Park (Travel Time: 7-10mins; Fare: 25-30Php)
—> Ask for the drivers mobile number, just incase you might find difficulty in getting a ride back to the main road.
***Fare Rate may change depending on approved rates. (Date Post: August 2011)
2. Taxi (No metered taxi available. Passenger and driver agreement on fare rate)
3. Private Vehicle
__________________________________________
It is in the compelling zest of high adventure and of victory, 
and in creative action, that man finds his supreme joys.”
 -Antoine de Saint-Exupery 
__________________________________________

I Got a Pinoy Travel Bloggers Welcome

Pinoy Travel Bloggers is group of individuals with the same passion — to travel, take on an adventure, and to be able to share their experiences with others. If you go through each blogs, you will see their knacks and styles and you’ll find every one of them fabulous under their own spotlights. The group has  187 members, the time I became, and was included as one of them. 
NOTE: The Pinoy Travel Bloggers is by all definition of the name of the group. I need not say that one should be Filipinos with travels blogs because it is called such. For a blog to be considered a travel blog, it has to have 20 blog posts with a minimum 80% travel post.
Shout of thanks Josiah Sicad of Lakas ng Trip, who happens to have stumbled on my blog and requested Pinay Travelista to be on the PTB list. Many thanks to Pinoy Travel Bloggers for giving me the warmest of the warm welcome. 
Check out their links, get lost on their blogs, and read their experiences on the road. I may not be able to update the list below as I should but follow https://www.facebook.com/PinoyTravelBloggers to find their content there. =) Enjoy!

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PINOY TRAVEL BLOGGERS LIST (Update : Aug. 2012)

Albino Christopher Chua | http://wanderme.wordpress.com/
Aleah Phils | http://solitarywanderer.com/ | Twitter: @AleahPhils
Alex De Vera Dizon | http://rammmpa.blogspot.com/ | Twitter: @_AlexDizon
Andrew Abella Dela Serna | http://www.yeahdrew.com/
Andros ‘Andie’ Novido | http://theviewingdeck.blogspot.com/ | Twitter: @andoyzki
Angel Juarez | http://lakwatsero.com/ | Twitter: @theLakwatsero
Antonio Magno Carranza Jr | http://pusangkalye.net/ | Twitter: @pakaleklalawak
Ariane Campanilla | http://rakistangnars.com/ | Twitter: @rakistangnars
Audrey Rose Mecabalo | http://www.lagawan.info/
AudreyGladys Barok Tamayo | http://www.byahengbarok.com/ | Twitter: @byahengbarok
Avel Manansala | http://www.gensantos.com/ | Twitter: @bariles
Ayan Villafuerte | http://pinoydaysleeper.com/
Berniemack Arelláno | http://habagatcentral.com/ | Twitter: @habagatcentral
Bonzenti Panganiban | http://www.contourblog.com/| Twitter: @Bonzenti
Brenna Bustamante | http://philippinetravelogue.com/ | Twitter: @biyachessa
Catherine Iblan | http://seekingfelicity.com/
Cedric A. Solidon | http://www.galapinoyredux.com/ | Twitter: @csolidon
Christine Fernandez | http://jovialwanderer.com/ | Twitter: @advnturechrissy
Cristine Tabing | http://tinniewanders.com/ | Twitter: @tinniewanders
Darwin Miranda Cayetano | http://trackingtreasure.net/ | Twitter: @dmcayetano
Edcel Suyo | http://soloflighted.com/ | Twitter: @soloflighted
Edelweiza Mabalay | http://lifeinmanila.com/ | Twitter: @edelweiss_19
Edgar Alan Zeta-Yap | http://eazytraveler.blogspot.com/ | Twitter: @eazytraveler
Eileen Campos | http://possiblypinay.com/ | Twitter: @possiblypinay
Elal Jane Lasola | http://www.elaljanelasola.com | Twitter: @dshadesofgrey
Enrico Dee | http://www.byahilo.com/ | Twitter: @byahilo
Eric Baroy Mahinay | http://www.viker.blogspot.com/
Estan Cabigas | http://langyaw.com/ | Twitter: @estancabigas
Ferdz Decena | http://ironwulf.net/ | Twitter: @ferdzdecena
Franc Ramon | http://francramon.com/ | Twitter: @franckxethee
Galwin Fabian | http://intrepidwanderer.com/ | Twitter: @intrepidw
Gay Mitra-Emami | http://pinaytraveljunkie.com/ | Twitter: @nomadwifey
Graciel Cecilio | http://www.pinayonthemove.com/ | Twitter: @gracehcecilio
Hazel Beth Gingoyon | http://www.indayguapa.com/ | Twitter: @indayguapa
Ian dela Pena | http://www.brownmantrips.com/ | Twitter: @ian_delapena
Isabella Rafols of Where-The | http://wherethetravels.com/ | Twitter: @wherethetravels
Ivan Briñas Cultura | http://ivanlakwatsero.blogspot.com/ | Twitter: @ivanlakwatsero
Ivan Henares | http://ivanhenares.com/ | Twitter: @ivanhenares
Izah Morales | http://tripadora.com/ | Twitter: @tripadora & @izahmorales
Jaypee David | http://enjayneer.com/ | Twitter: @enjayneer | Instagram: @enjayneer
Jeffrey Jacob Ponce | http://jeffponce.blogspot.com/
Jennifer Valmonte | http://www.jennonthego.com/ | Twitter: @janujennifer
Jerome Baluyut | http://www.balintataw.org/ | Twitter: @supertikoy13
Jinkee Umali | htttp://calamba-online.com/ | Twitter: @jrumali
Joel Balance Catimbang | http://balance31.blogspot.com/
John Marx Velasco | http://www.marxtermind.com/ | Twitter: @marxtermind
Jojo Ayson | http://lakwatsero.me/ | Twitter: @lakwatsero
Jonna Baquillas | http://www.thebratpacker.com/ | Twitter: @TheBRATpacker
Josiah Sicad | http://www.lakas.com.ph/ | Twitter: @LakasNgTrip
Journeying James | http://journeyingjames.com/ | Twitter: @journeyingjames
Karen Cayamanda | http://www.kcgoesforit.com/
Karla Vanessa Redor | http://pinoytravelr.com/blog/ | Twitter: @karlaredor
Karlo de Leon | http://www.karlodl.com/ | Twitter: @karlodl
Kat Torres | http://excursionista.net/ | Twitter: @torres_kat
Katie B. Buenaobra | http://iwanderiwonder.com/
Kimberly Lim | http://www.indieescape.com/ | Twitter: @indieescape
Lakbay Pilipino | http://lakbaydiva.com/
Lisa Marie Mirasol | http://www.pinaytravelista.com/ | Twitter: @PinayTravelista
Lilliane Cobiao | http://www.wanderlass.com/ | Twitter: @wanderlass
Lovette Jam Jacosalem | http://www.traveljams.com/ | Twitter: @lovettejam
Marcos Caratao | http://ambot-ah.com/
Marcus Castle | http://panukad.net/ | Twitter: @markpaul
Marie Aileen Regina Dreyfus | http://www.thetummytraveler.com/
Marinelle de Leon | http://pasahera.com/ | Twitter: @pasahera
Melo Villareal | http://outoftownblog.com/
Mercia Racquel Along | http://momotkuyit.blogspot.com/
Micaela Rodriguez | http://senyorita.net/ | Twitter: @micamyx
Monette Fernandez | http://www.fliptravels.com/ | Twitter: @fliptravelsTWIT
Nicely Rom | http://travelingnicely.com/ | Twitter: @qtnice
Nikka Corsino | http://www.nikkacorsino.com/ | Twitter: @nikkacorsino
Nina Fuentes | http://justwandering.org/ | Twitter: @NinaWanders
Nina Gracia Sarmiento | http://solofemaletravel.net/ | Twitter: @prime_sarmiento
Noel Amo | http://batangala.blogspot.com/ | Twitter: @batangala

Olan Fernandez Emboscado | http://www.olanology.com/ | Twitter: @olanemboscado
Pamela Esmee Siy | http://leavethecube.blogspot.com/
Pang Seguban | http://mybackpackdiaries.blogspot.com/
Patricia Mae Tan | http://manilaandbeyond.com/ | Twitter: @manilaandbeyond
Paula Anntoneth O | http://www.ponderingpaodaolei.net/ | Twitter: @paodaolei
Paula Peralejo | http://www.ourrestlessfeet.com/ | Twitter: @filipinadiver
Peachy Valderrama-Adarne | http://www.thewanderingpeach.com/
Philip Stanley Amigo Palisada | http://contrailsshareasyougo.blogspot.com/
Phing Travels | http://phingtravels.com/ | Twitter: @buxomglori
Pia C. Paguio | http://2girls1journey.com/ | Twitter: @2girls1journey
Pinoy Adventurista | http://pinoyadventurista.com/ | Twitter: @adventuristaako
Plif Damon | http://flipnomad.com/ and http://bananaroti.com/ | Twitter: @flipnomad
Pol Mangilog | http://pinaytraveller.com/
Prime Sarmiento | http://solofemaletravel.net/ | Twitter: @prime_sarmiento
Rain Amantiad | http://rainamantiad.com/ | Twitter: @rakistangnars
Remo Aguilar | http://hikersitch.com/
Regine Garcia http://betweencoordinates.com | Twitter: @IamRegineGarcia
Reiza Dejito | http://gin-diary.blogspot.com
Renevic Amago | http://renevicamago.com/ | Twitter: @RenevicAmago
Renz Bulseco | http://www.thetravelingnomad.com | Twitter: @renzybenzy
Rhuel Andrew Mercado | http://southernsabits.blogspot.com/
Robx Bautista | http://www.thetravellingdork.com/ | Twitter: @thecreativedork
Rogelio Gabiano Jr. | http://www.pinoytravelfreak.com/ | Twitter: @gabzki
Rojae Marie Braga | http://adventuroj.wordpress.com/| Twitter: @irojaeb
Roman Leo Reyman | http://romanleoreyman.wordpress.com/
Rome Espinosa Diwa | http://www.gesttoutopia.com/ | Twitter: @romepedia
Ron Cruz | http://www.fliptravels.com/ | Twitter: @fliptravelsTWIT
Roniel Magtoto Macatol | http://eatinghalfway.blogspot.com/
Ruby Batallones | http://antsybee.blogspot.com/ | Twitter: @rubybatallones
Ruth Francisco | http://project7107.wordpress.com/
RV Escatron | http://livinginabackpack.blogspot.com/ | Twitter: @backpack_life
Ryan Mach | http://www.pinoywanderingboy.blogspot.com/ | Twitter: @wandering_pinoy
Sarah Garcia | http://saggi-space.blogspot.com/
Sharlyne Ang | http://kaladkaringpaa.com/ | Twitter: @rockerfemsha
Shawi Cortez | Cheap Travel for Women | Twitter: @shawicortez
Sherry Apostol | http://ispyphilippines.com/
Sinjin Pineda | http://www.libotero.com/ | Twitter: @thelibotero
Sol Victorioso | http://traipsingchronicles.blogspot.com/ | Twitter: @sojournersol
Stanley Ang | http://leavethecube.blogspot.com/
Suzette Cuerpo | http://globetrottinglife.blogspot.com/
Teng Romero | http://tengturista.blogspot.com/
The Poor Traveler | http://www.thepoortraveler.net/ | Twitter: @thepoortraveler
Thots Urpiana | http://lakbaylente.com/ | Twitter: @incrediblethots
Tina Capati | http://www.tinathefrustratedtraveler.com/
Tina Corsame | http://www.viva-trips.com/
Traveler on Foot | http://traveleronfoot.wordpress.com/
Triccie Marie Dizon | http://www.skulgirltrx.com/ | Twitter: @skulgirltrxxx
Trina Joy A. Solidon-Mercado | http://southernsabits.blogspot.com/
Upper Viceo | http://www.offbeatwanders.com/ | Twitter: @upperviceo
Valerie Alla Teves | http://www.weekendhaven.com/ | Twitter: @weekendhaven
Vangie Montalbo | http://bangigay.wordpress.com/ | Twitter: @banggigay
Violy Vallester | http://vivisrandomramblings.blogspot.com | Twitter: @vivallester

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Packing the Smart and Eco-Friendly Way: Pack, Unpack Repack!

Packing is the most used and done-to-death topic when it comes to travelling, isn’t it? What else is there before taking any trip anyways?

Packing what is essential, if you’ve been travelling for some time, might come as easy and routinely for you. A mental list of: # of shirts, # of pair of pants, scarves, sneakers, shoes/sandals, and the list goes on. This time, I’m going to share to you my “Eco-Smart Packing” routine in the efforts to campaign for clean and green Sustainable Travel. What is “Eco-Smart Packing” routine anyway? It my way of packing the essential stuff — from clothing, toiletries, gadgets, and more — that lessens the ecological impact I have to the place where I am going.
Start with buying the resilient and multi-use bag. You don’t have to buy different bags for different trips unless you REALLY need the point to do so. It will decrease your carbon footprint. That also applies to bringing manufactured processed food, if you can help it, pack decently on fresh produce and lessening on processed foods at that — this will reduce it by half on food alone.


PACK
Pack your stuff as you always would. Gather what you need and what you think you need. Place them in your packs and then look over your packing list — be it on paper or mentally. and then take out the stuff you can do without in your travel. When you are done with saying goodbye other stuff. Mentally go through your days travel and the clothes and other things you will be using and needing. That is how the scenario is as you pack your things as you always would.

UNPACK

Why? You already took out most of your stuff? This phase, you need to sort it out on the destinations-view point. What am I saying? You have to put yourself in the shoes of where you are to travel to. The reason behind that is that, you will mostly have a human impact on that place. And you are unpacking your stuff to find a safe ground to lessen that impact to it.

REPACK
This time pack as though the environment, it’s plants, and animals are watching you very step of the way.

  • Pack your clothes which good for the # of days you will be on the road. If you happen to be travelling for a considerable amount of time, and that you must wash some of your clothes along the way — bring and use biodegradable detergent. this tip is best when you take nature treks or hikes for more than one 1 week.
  • Take it a habit to carry around a water canister/bottle and try refilling it wherever you go. That is 1 to 2 or more less plastic bottles from the human population for that day.
  • Use those reusable liquid containers. You can also reuse the canister you may have around, just make sure there are plastic identification codes, that way you’ll know which products are safe to go into them. It would also mean that you promote the use of recyclable plastics.
  • Carry as little amount of plastic, or use those reusable container packs, unless you want to regret it for the next few decades. Exactly that time frame it needs for the plastic to degenerate. I must admit that my zip locks for liquid toiletries have been used, washed, dried, and used. I usually discard them by the time they don’t function as they should — leak proofing!

Let me leave you with words I’ve read somewhere, which inspired me to take on promoting the awareness for eco-travelling,  “We did not inherit Mother Earth from our ancestors, we merely borrowed it from our children’s children“.

ILIGAN CITY | NPC Nature’s Park Zipline

Let me start off by saying, I am not afraid of heights, I just don’t like looking down the ground when I am high up there. LOL! I was adamant on taking the zip at NPC Nature’s Park having done so before. I, regretfully, left my shoes at home as I packed, unpacked,and then repacked my stuff after thinking what to bring (a routine I’ll, one day, share to you).

You see, NPC Nature’s Park Zipline has strict rules about the proper footwear — close fitting shoes, and I was wearing open shoes then.. So, after everyone has decided to take a zip — I went along with them. We signed on a waiver, rented gloves and close fitting shoes they have available. After everyone was prep up for the zip, we then took a short walk to the bottom of the trail that leads to the first station of the zipline. 
The walk up the trail is steep but the concrete stairs with metal railings makes it easier to climb up. Pace yourself when you get to this part, since it is steep and that it might take few breaths out of you. This area is covered by trees and shrubs at both sides, you can tell that you’re ascending at a side of a hill slope.

You will then hit a stop-over rest point. The climb up the stairs is 5-8minutes short but it will leave you panting if you’re not used to it. The guide will the ask you to remain standing 2-3mins. before sitting down for another 2-3mins at this rest point. The guide was stern, aptly saying, “Para dli ka makuyapan” (So that you won’t faint). The rest point has tables and sitting, it could hold a large company of adventure seekers if you’re planning to come in large groups.

After a few minutes rest, we set of ~2mins. walk to the first station. The zip station landings securely sits on large and very old trees. The guides would hook our harnesses on the beams or safety wires on the trees for safety purposes. If you’ve visited the first time the ziplines opened, you might want to go back for another visit. Their landing standing stations are already made in metal and you can actually see what is below your foot.
The first cable line was a 2 person zip. I came in third to take it, with me is another visitor from Zamboanga and is studying at MSU-IIT, who wanted to try out the NPC Nature’s Park Zipline.

The second landing station was on top of the tree. Kinda gives you a glimpse of Tarzan’s life on the tree tops — minus the harnesses ofcourse. Since the landing is made of mesh metal, you can actually see the ground through it.
The tree would sway when a gush of wind blows at it. Looking down below you would see miniature vehicles and people on the ground. The view of the waterfall at this standpoint is amazing.

The second cable line, you get to zip on it alone. I couldn’t help but look down at people walking around. When nearing the landing, lift or flex your legs up to avoid hitting them on a the landing pad. You should also lean back a little, to avoid hitting your face on your arms or the harness when you’re brought to a halt.

By the time you to the third landing and cable line, you get the hang of it already. On this line, you get to cross the stream to the other side of the bank passing by the rapids.
When you get to fourth station, you have to climb down at the lower level of the station to get ready for the fourth and last zip. On this station, I was asked to jump off by myself, I on the other hand had doubts about that. I wasn’t brave enough to jump on the zip line. So I ask if it’s okay to take a small jump — more like a little bunny hop off the station. LOL!

On the last cable line, Richard had a way with it. Crossing the stream back to the main bank, he executed maneuvers — talk about flexibility and dare-devilness.

Thank you NPC Nature’s Park Zipline crew for accommodating us. We had fun zipping on the lines. We hope to see more of adventure sport facilities in the future. And yes, you might see us back there.

PINAY TRAVELISTA TRAVEL NOTES:
+ Wear close-fitting shoes. The crew are strict with that.
+ You can rent close shoes there for a fee, fingers-crossed they have one in your size.
+ Leave cellphones and other stuff that might accidentally fall from you hands or pockets
+ It is best to bring compact cameras. But SLR’s are also good since the view from the stations are great. Make sure you sling them up at you back to prevent it being hit or sandwiched by your harness and body
+ Lift up or flex your legs when you get near the landing pads to avoid hitting your legs on them.
+ Lean slightly back or the other side of your hands/arms and the harness to avoid hitting your face on them when you hit the stop pads they have on the line.

DIRECTIONS/HOW TO GET THERE: (Map: HERE)
*****Fares may change depending on approved rates (Post Date: Aug 2011)
1] Take a Public Utility Jeepney: Buruun line ( Fare Rate: 11Php, Travel Time: ~10minutes)
—> Ask the driver to drop you off at the NPC or Mabuhay Vinyl
2] Private Vehicle
—> Take the Macapagal Avenue, just after the bridge turn left. You won’t miss it.
3] Taxi
—> NO metered taxi in Iligan City
—> Passenger-driver agreement on Fare Rate

NPC Nature’s Park Entrance and Service Fees:
*****Fares may change depending on approved rates (Post Date: Aug 2011)
Operational Time: 9:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M. (daily)
Zipline Close for Maintenance: Every Tuesday
Entrance Fee: Children/Senior: 20Php
Regular (Adult): 30Php
Shuttle Bus (for visitors without vehicles): +10Php
Zipline: 200Php/pax
+ Closed Shoe Rental: 50Php
+ Gloves Rental: 10Php
Canteen Table Usage Fee (if you’re not a customer): 20Php/table

Check out more of the TOURISM TRIANGLE IN A DAY SERIES.

Photo Credits: Adventures In Life, Explore Iligan 9200, Iligan Inquisitor, Simply Francis &; Travel Jams

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“Life is either a great adventure, or nothing.” – Helen Keller
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ILIGAN CITY | Visiting NPC Nature’s Park Guide

If you’re an Iliganon, you must have visited the National Power Corporation — on fields trips or at the now NPC Nature Park it’s boast of. If you’re a visitor, then, this is one iconic tourist spot you should dare not miss.

We started off by registering on the log books before entering. Complete names and residential addresses are required. Mr. Elvin Sanso of NPC Nature’s Park gave us a tour. We were lucky to have him answer to our queries about the park, it’s maintenance, and the animals in them.

NPC’s Nature’s Park is ideal for family and friends out for a nature trip. They have lined up cottages you can sit along and have a meal for free. But please, do tend after your company as they don’t have maintenance crew always about in the place.
They have the wishing well and another spot to hang around while the rest of the people took to themselves in wandering.
The park is known of the animals they host. they have several in their care. Our tour guide happens to be the resident biologist and cares for both flora and fauna and the maintenance of the place. One that they care for is the Ostrich park, right before you enter into the park.
They also have Crocodile Park, with five crocs and several over reptiles inside the seclusion.
They also have swans and ducks. This fowl just laid eggs and was gathering them in a bunch to nestle over them.
They also have Orchids farm at the corner where the greenhouse is located
Beside it is a butterfly sanctuary that Sir Elvin was helpful in pointing out the different species of butterflies they have. Not only were we enjoying going around but listening information is educational. I can only but imagine little primary school students going around with large open eyes trying to see and grasp everything they could. 
They have an array of animals in the park to go around and see. There will be an additional Deer and Wild Boar parks on the other bank, crossing over the bridge and raging waters below. As well as the construction for an Aviary. They have yet to finish the construction for these additional features of the park. 
We met Ruby, the monkey from the picture, who was donated by it’s owners when they migrated. The park also receives and is happy to hear from anyone who are willing to donate or to leave a pet to their care. 
It was blazing hot by the time we got near the Ma. Cristina Falls. 
On the weekends, Ma. Cristina Falls is at it’s best when they open the gates and let the water rush through and down the falls.
We had lunch at the canteen. Since we got to pack our lunch, we only had to pay usage fee of the tables we used. It was a nice lunch with hungry and tired bloggers but the sounds of rushing waters with the stream just beside us was relaxing. We were taking a breather, so as to say, before taking the zipline  that NPC Nature’s Park has for it’s visitors.
Hello NPC Nature’s Park! I am back again on the grounds of the backyard I wish to have. the last time I visited the place was showing friends from Ozamiz City aound. This time, I am with IBS bloggers and you can not find any better companions than people who share the same interest in exploring a place and enjoying every minute of it.
TRAVEL NOTES

+ For field or educational trips, send a letter of request to the NPC Nature Park management. Request for a tour guide and specify the number of people in the group/company.
+ If you are a walk-in visitor. Ask if Sir Elvin is available to accommodate you.
+ Be conscious of your actions — don’t leave paper or plastics behind.
+ If you’re bringing kids, please don’t leave them unattended. The park is generally safe, but children may venture off to small nooks and corners and may get hurt.
+ There’s an available comfort room at the park. Please use it like you would in your home.
+ Bring you cameras, and tripods with you. You might want to take a group picture and no around will be able to take the shot it for you.
+ Bring water canisters, it gets hot and you might need to hydrate.
+ Bring your trusty umbrellas, the sun may get so hot that you need a shade going around the park.
+ You can bring your own provisions, but a Canteen below the waterfall viewing deck is already operational and you can buy from them.

Directions/ How to get to NPC Nature’s Park: (Map: HERE)

*****Fares may change depending on approved rates (Post Date: Aug 2011)
::: Take a Public Utility Jeepney: Buruun line
      Travel Time: ~10minutes
      Fare Rate: 11Php
       —Ask the driver to drop you off at the NPC or Mabuhay Vinyl
::: Private Vehicle
      Map: HERE
      —Take the Macapagal Avenue, just after the bridge turn left. You won’t miss it.
::: Taxi
      NO metered taxi in Iligan City
      —Passenger-driver agreement on Fare Rate

NPC Nature’s Park Entrance and Service Fees:

*****Fares may change depending on approved rates (Post Date: Aug 2011)
Entrance Fee: Children/Senior: 20Php
                       Regular (Adult): 30Php
Shuttle Bus (for visitors without vehicles): +10Php
Zipline: 200Php/pax
           + Closed Shoe Rental: 50Php
            + Gloves Rental: 10Php
Canteen Table Usage Fee (if you’re not a customer): 20Php/table
Check out more of the TOURISM TRIANGLE IN A DAY SERIES.


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Living on Earth is expensive, 
but it does include a free trip around the sun every year.” 
– Unknown

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ILIGAN CITY | Seeing the Other Side of a Military Camp

Our gracious host was nice enough to show us around the 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade, Light Armor Division, Philippine Army. Our light discussion about Iligan safety and security and the misconception about Iligan City led to his invitation for us to go around and check out the camp.
The tour around the cap could be ideal for children for educational purposes, I remember back then that I our classes would use to go on out on field trips like this. I wonder if they still do that today?

We were after all at the Pagari (Maranao for friends) Garden. The outdoor area is just adjacent to a basketball court, tennis and badminton courts, the have recreational facilities here that they also invite outsiders to play games them or two.

They were generous to have offered us bottled juices, and coffee cups with biscuits to go with it. Welcoming and generous they are.
Our first treat was a tank. All too ourselves for pictorial and inspection purposes. And by inspection, I mean, was to just look around — no pushing of buttons, pulling of cords, or going around near control switches. We were all over the “lean, mean, fighting machine”. …or something like that. 
I, on the other hand, just stood at this metal beast for a picture. The closest I got to it, at this stage, was to just take a peek inside. LOL. which was cutesy in a puppy-cute way. LOL! Both my grandpa’s were men in uniforms. The army, the air force, and the grandchild that did not, until then, comprehend that they were men just like the ones in this camp.
I was awed. I was mum for awhile. 
And I just stood there because I might, imagine, their voice saying in a grandpa-voice-to-a-toddler, “Lailai no..”. LOL! I could only just imagine lives of people close to my heart. And being at that grace was a blessing.
I like the small but well-kept buildings they had. I asked, if by any chance, they have a hospital inside. But I was saddened to know that a nurse would only drop by twice a month to check their vitals and health. I, personally, believe that a health personnel should look into them everyday. Then again, I guess, it’s in their training to do medical emergency response, that could be useful in  the absence of a medical practitioner.
We were looking at the pictures and I saw that they also do medical missions like other brigades I’ve seen working with. I like the image of men in camouflage uniform performing medical missions. LOL! Children would mum up from fear of injections and fear from the guys in those uniforms. You get things done easier then. 
On one nook is an open chapel for them to hear mass. They said that they encourage all types of religions to give time in prayer to meditate and reflect.
We also got to see  armory they had and the other facilities in the area. The tour would be great for educational purposes. Children would love to see these.
Along the tour, we saw a small pond made by nature. It was not developed but it looked well than I thought it should be. A nice picnic area would be nice in that setting, as the officers talked about possibilities in developing the pond. Beside it was a slab of square concrete with a sign that says “Designated Smoking Areas”. The tag line below, “watch me die slowly” has both humor and a strong positive impact to campaigning for good health.
We were escorted and accompanied inside while we went around the camp. I got to ride inside. We asked to keep the doors open because were not used to closed compartments. And after that ride, we bid farewells and thanked the accommodating soldiers who were nice enough to welcome us and show us around.

TRAVEL NOTES
+ Before visiting the camp, send in your letter of request and intent, that way they will expect you visiting them. We had one trhough the kindness of the Iligan City Tourism Office.
City Tourism Office:
Bahay Salakot, Buhanginan Hills, Pala-o, Iligan City 9200, Philippines
Tel No: +63 (063) 221-3426
Email: iligancitytourism@yahoo.com
+ Show your letter of intent to the guards before entering the camp. Tell them that you are expected.
+ Do courtesy call to the highest ranking officer before taking the tour.
+ Ask to be toured around and don’t be shy asking questions about anything within topic.

Directions/ How to get there:

2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade, Light Armor Division, Philippine Army
Brgy. Ma. Cristina, Iligan City
 Vehicle or service van
 Public Utility Vehicle (Ditucalan Line)

Check out more of the TOURISM TRIANGLE IN A DAY SERIES.

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The real voyage of discovery
consist not in seeking new landscapes
but in having new eyes.

~Marcel Proust
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OZAMIZ CITY | Where to Stay When in Ozamis

We frequent Ozamis because my mom’s hometown is a few hours drive from Ozamis. We travel back and forth Iligan City and Oroquieta City, and passed by Ozamis along the way. We sometimes would stay overnight at Ozamis City for some family gathering or functions. Finding cheap, and good accommodations can be a bit difficult because some accommodations have given thought of online presence to help their business, and to help travelers as well.

Here are some list of hotels should you stay at Ozamis City from the night. The accommodations can be a bit pricey, but if  you book online for discounted rates you can score cheaper accommodation rates that way.
Royal Garden Hotel Ozamiz City ( Discounted Rates )
Burgos corner Zamora Streets, Ozamiz City
http://www.royalgardenozamiz.com/
(088) 521 2888
67th Boulevard Pension House ( Discounted Rates )
Cebedo Street, Ozamiz City
GV Hotel Ozamis ( Discounted Rates )
Port Road, Ozamiz City
http://www.gvhotels.com.ph/
(088) 319 0375
Bethany Gardens Hotel and Restaurant
Bangcal, Ozamiz City
(088) 521 5240
Plaza Beatriz Hotel
Port Road, Ozamiz City
(088) 521 1394
Holiday Tourist Inn
Blumentritt Street, Ozamiz City
(088) 521 0073
Here are other lists of pension houses, and inns at Ozamis City. I have stayed at any of the ones that followed. But you cam always try to check them out before checking in.
Naomi’s Tourist Inn
Banadero Street, Ozamiz City
http://naomisgardenaccommodation.com/
(088) 521 2441
Skylodge
Rizal Avenue, Ozamis
(088) 521 1425
Holiday Tourist Inn
Blumentritt Street, Ozamiz City
(088) 521 0073
Minerva Tourist Inn
Washinton Street, Ozamiz City
(088) 521 0065
Skylodge
Rizal Avenue, Ozamiz City
(088) 521 1425

You might like to read and check the rest of the OZAMIZ CITY SERIES:

“Shooting Waterfalls” TRAVEL & LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP




Shooting Waterfalls” TRAVEL & LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP

Sept 9-10, 2011

Rolly Magpayo [www.rollymagpayo.com], an award winner travel & landscape photographer and GMA Television Art Director

VENUE: Maria Cristina Falls, Mimbalut Falls, Tinago Falls and Beach Area in Iligan City.

REQUIREMENT: Digital Camera, preferably DSLR

WORKSHOP OUTLINE
Fundamentals of Travel Photography
Fundamentals of Landscape Photography
Equipment and Techniques
Post Processing Techniques

Participation Fee: P3,500 
Inclusions Meals & snacks, Transportations & Entrance Fees to Venues, Certificate, Lifetime on-line support, free monitor color calibration, Workshop Workbook, and PDF Photography e-books…

Pls. inquire: 
Alan Santos 09088926080, 09228366160; 
Pat Noel 09193209944, 09427009788 
Robert Booc – Kodak Express Gaisano Mall

ILIGAN CITY | Restructuring Mindanao Image

Our first stop was at the 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade, LAD, PA at Brgy. Ma. Cristina. I was my first time to venture to that road and that camp. You might wonder why we even visited the place well infact the Fam tour was about the Iligan City Tourism Triangle.  So was I. We were greeted and welcomed by Col. Aldred L. Limoso, and was sitted in an outdoor setting which they call the Pagari Park.

The reason why we came and made a visit here was because we wanted to know the peace and security situation in Iligan City for it’s residents, visitors and tourists. We are, after all, advocates of peace within Iligan and that outside of it. It was only around 15-20min. talk. Mostly it was about how safe Iligan City is, and the goal of the 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade for a peaceful and welcoming Iligan City for it’s visitors and tourists, alike. Even these men, most of then Tagalogs, finds Iligan City beautiful — enough to invite their comrades and friends to the city. And why wouldn’t they? Iligan City and much of Mindanao has everything it can boast for. 
It was this topic that brought up on the perception some people have about Iligan City or any city/province in Mindanao and the Mindanao stigma media has placed on it. Being a resident in Iligan City, I’ve grew up with a nagging frustration of being, constantly, asked if Iligan City is a war, violent and unsafe city as media has made it  perceived to be. 
To educate:
This is Iligan City. 
A lone city belonging to Region 10. It once belonged and was a capital of Lanao del Norte but after it was considered a lone district and city, it stands on its own — Explore Iligan City, 9200! It is highly urbanized and was called the Industrial City of the South and known as the City of Waterfalls.
This is Mindanao.
The second largest island of the 7, 107 islands in the Philippines. It has 94, 630 square kilometers and is larger than 125 countries in the world. It is divided in 6 regions and further subdivided in 26 provinces.
Why the emphasis on size? Because Mindanao is greatly MISUNDERSTOOD. In a very large island, a conflict at one of it’s provinces is considered to be  a conflict in the WHOLE Mindanao.
To expound:
Which is partly true and party false. You can say it is true since both provinces belongs to both large island groups, Mindanao and Luzon, respectedly. BUT, with all due respect…
To explain:
The large island groups, that is Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao has their own provinces unique to their own. But let us not forget that these provinces are unique to themselves and are identified as individual, with but only fraction in a part of a whole. When negative news regarding a province in Mindanao, people would always think Mindanao in general.
Please enlightened me how it is considered as that.
It was Aristotle who said that “The whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts”. Mindanao is more than just the provinces in it. Just because one is in trouble doesn’t entirely mean that the whole Mindanao is. On that philosophical view, it does not mean that the whole is “greater” than sum of it’s parts but that its is more than merely the sum of it’s parts.
I would like to ask for a few or more or whichever to review your geography,
if it is not too much to ask.
The talk was done prior to the tour they had set up for us in the camp. It was enlightening and paradigm shift at that. I always knew at the back out my mind, how people can prejudge a place from what was broadcast, written or shared. But I was really glad to know, straight from these men, that Iligan City is a safe place. 
I know that! — I only wanted a solid confirmation from the ones that guards this city.
Check out more of the TOURISM TRIANGLE IN A DAY SERIES.

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Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, 
deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Miriam Beard
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ILIGAN CITY | Iligan in One Day!



We started the day early. Call time was 7:30-8;00AM at Jollibee Main (Gen. Aguinaldo St.) which is smacked right at the busy center of the city proper. With our stuff, packed lunches, bottles of water, and excited nerves — we were set to go.


No tourists guides. No maps. No general idea of what was in store for us. A direction-knowing driver, with Sir Pat and Maam Bing at the front seat. Fellow bloggers behind. All we had was an itinerary of the places we should visit — packed in one day.

It was the Execution Day for the planned IBS Fam Tour.





These were the places we visited, gotten to know and, best of all, enjoyed (in order):

  • 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade
  • Ma. Cristina Falls and NPC Nature Park
  • Mimbalot Falls and Paradise Resort and Eco-Park
  • Tinago Falls

So, okay, you might have visited these tourist spots but I’m going to share to you how to really maximize your day and enjoy these visits. Here are the list of what I was looking forward to do aside from touring these spots:

1] Armored car or tank ride at a PA Camp  –> No kidding! An army camp welcomed us and let us ride off a tank!
2] Zip line at NPC Nature’s Park across Ma. Cristina Falls rapid waters –> Hello Ma. Cristina!
3] Test try EURO BUNGEE or BUNGEE TRAMPOLINE a Paradise Resort and Eco-Park –> prayed that the rain would stop so that the park manager would allow us to try it.
4] Dual Zipline at Paradise Resort and Eco-Park and get a view of the Mimbalot Falls –> it would be my first zip at this eco-park and was excited on how it will turn out.
5] TOP of my list: Tinago Falls Jump/Dive –> always been to Tinago but never did that, check out if I really did.

We did it ALL in one day! 



Check out more of the TOURISM TRIANGLE IN A DAY SERIES.
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“A wise traveler never despises his own country.” 
– Carlo Goldoni
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ILIGAN CITY | Tourism Triangle In a Day Plan

You didn’t not know it, did you? That Iligan City has a Tourism Triangle, and you’ve went to these tourist spots but you didn’t know that they are geographically located in angles of each other making an imaginary triangle shape.
 I, too, for some time, until I was told of it — made me want to visit them again. Iligan City Tourism Office has called it at that, The Tourism Triangle of Iligan City. And I am bound to visit them in one day, with fellow bloggers, to show you that how to make your one day Iligan City visit —SUPER SULIT!

ACTIVITY: Iligan City Tourism Triangle Tour ~ 1Day Iligan City Visit!

DESTINATIONS: 
+Tourism Triangle:
+Hopefully get to visit: Maze Parks and Resorts, and (the controversial) Macapagal Rest House along the way.
LOCATION: Brgy. Buruun, Iligan City
ESTIMATED BUDGET: ~ Php; depending on the services offered by the resorts that you want to experience
Fare: Service Vehicle will take us through the whole day activity. BUT –just watch out for my Iligan City Tourism Triangle Series blog posts on the detailed facts on the trip including the fare rates and how to get there by commuting.
Entrance Fees:
+NPC Natures Park: Adult: 30Php; Children: 20Php
+Pardaise Resort: Adult: 25Php, Children: 15Php
***Fees may change according to approved rates
Service Fees:
+NPC Natures Park Zipline: 200Php
+Paradise Resort Zipline: 115Php (harness), 130Php (superman)
                           Kayak Ride: 110Php (1seater); 120Php (2seater); 130Php (3seater)
                           Bungee Trampoline: 120Php/3mins, 5mins lng sana
                           All Terrain Vehicle Rental: 200Php/30mins.
*****Fares may change depending on approved rates (Post Date: Aug 2011)
WHAT TO WEAR:
+Close-fitted shoes if you’re planing to zip; or any comfortable footwear will do
+Cotton Shirt & Shorts/Pants
+Backpack, to throw in all the stuff you plan to bring, or any bag that fits you’re outfit..^^

WHAT TO BRING:
+Cameras and other gadgets I guess
+Bottled Water
+Packed Lunch; some extra food to last you the whole day
+Extra Shirt/Shorts, Swimsuit, just incase we have time to take the Tinago Falls dip!
+Small Towel/Scarf
+Umbrella if it gets too hot
+Medicine/s
+Emergency Kit and other MUST bring stuff
+Sabay people, who are up for the trip and who are just as excited as you are.

EXPECTED THINGS TO DO:
Tour the destinations listed, and hopefully stop by Maze Park and Macapagal Rest House along the way. We will be travelling on the road most of the time and will only trek down the ravine when we visit the Tinago Falls. When doing the 1Day Iligan City Visit, it would be advisable to have a vehicle as your service, it will lessen the travel time by a fraction, I guess. And then there are rides and experiences that is offered and that I may take. Hmmmmmmm… Drop me a line should there be anything you want me to check out for you while I’m at these places..^^

WHAT I”M Soooooo LOOKING FORWARD TO:
Taking on the free-sprited side! Fears, please don’t act up now. LOL
1] Taking a jump at Tinago Falls water basin! I’ve always swam at Tinago Falls, my ultimate wishlist is to climb on the rock wall surfaces for a jump off point into the water. I’ve seen locals and brave hearts do that. But I have to mentally psyche myself for that — plus, I am not a strong swimmer. Sigh. Any strong and good swimmers out there? Can you wait for me in the water basin and pull me up for air after my jump? LOL!
2] Visit the Paradise Park and try the Bungee Trampoline at Paradise Resort. I’ve seen videos of how it is done, and I was afraid I might not get control over it, until i saw this Bungee Trampoline Video, the kids made it look easier than the adults did doing multiple flips. If a kid could do that, I think I can, too! But I think I need a strong abdominal core to do flips, don’t I? Hmmmm…. It would be my first visit to the park with it’s amenities ready for the visitors, the last time I was there was the construction phase and I was not able to experience the services that they now offer. So, I am up for that.
______________________________________________

“Courage is not the absence of fear,
 it is the conquest of it.”
Unknown author

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BUKIDNON | Monastery of the Transfiguration

I have a few travels that I am able to save photos to share it to you guys. One of these is that of the Transfiguration Monastery in San Jose, Malaybalay City in Bukidnon. It is known for its pyramid chapel and happens to be a popular destination for both tourists and pilgrims. For people who want to pray and for those who are seeking peace of mind and calmness of soul and spirit can visit this place for a spiritual trip. 


It was opened on 1885 by Spanish Benedictine monks for missionary works but was aborted when the Philippine-American War broke out. In silence and a life of continued prayers, the monks also farm rice, corn, peanuts, soybeans, and coffee beans that they sell. “The monks likewise have a little store near the chapel where they sell various products from religious figurines, to rosaries, to cassette tapes, and even food. You can buy their Monk’s Blend coffee, Monk’s peanut butter (very smooth and creamy, not too sweet – masarap!), roasted peanuts, and Piniato. Piniato is a rectangular-shaped peanut brittle type of product and it is individually wrapped. It can come in plastic packaging or plastic canisters. I like it because it is chewy and not too sweet. I like it better than Baguio peanut brittle.” – A. Villoria

I was one of the lucky who was given the opportunity to represent Iligan Medical Center College at the Philippine Nursing Association Convention at Malaybalay, Bukidnon last November 2009. Together with other Student Body Organization Officers of College of Nursing, Midwifery, and Health Aide, we had a stop at the Monastery of Transfiguration on the city tour that was prepared for us.


I have but few photos that really centered the pyramid chapel and the monastery itself. A mass was going on at the time we got there, and taking photographs is prohibited to do so at that time. I had a blast of a trip to Bukidnon with the SBO Officers. It’s not every trip you get to travel with different set of characters and personalities but would still hit it off as best travelling companions at the time. 

I ha a few good memories from that trip!
Thanks SBo Family!



How To Get There:
1] Book flights to Cagayan de Oro City (daily flights from Manila, Cebu, and Davao; no direct flights to Bukidnon)
2] Take a taxi or rented car from the airport to Agora Bus Terminal (Travel Time:15 mins)
3] Take a bus bound for Davao via Malaybalay or Valencia, drop off at Malaybalay (Travel Time: 2 hours)
4] From city proper Malaybalay, take a motorcycle bound for Monastery of the Transfiguration. You can ask locals where these motorcycles are located. (No public transport to the monastery)

________________________________________________________
“The journey not the arrival matters.” – T. S. Eliot
________________________________________________________

Looking For Backpack Tips

I am so looking for backpacks these days. And, sadly. I don’t have go to person on how to get a nice bag. I am not into this stuff until I challenged myself to get out of my comfort zones. So yes, here I am looking for bags to stash in my must-bring travel/adventure stuff. Get on the road and have fun and be comfortable doing it.

I came upon the blog of PossiblyPinay celebrating her 1st blog year! Yepey for that! And I’ve checked out her other post and saw this nics shopping for backpack tips. It is totally helpful!


Her bag main features really hit it off for someone who doesn’t know a thing 
about backpacks or shopping for it! LOL!

  • Giant main compartment —-> Check for space available to your needs.
  • larger external front pocket (behind the smaller one, duh), preferably with an organization panel (for small items like cards, keys, pens). The pocket needs to fit usually needed items like wet wipes, phone, camera, tiny kikay kit. —-> Make sure to have secured opening/closing.
  • 2 external side pockets or “water bottle pockets” as I call them, located on both sides of the bag, preferably with an elastic or pull-tie on top.  —-> SUPER MUST! I would also recommend to get a bag with this feature. It gives you free hands from water bottles/jugs.
  • 1.5 kilos or lighter in empty weight (just the weight of the bag and nothing else). If it’s a backpack that converts into a trolley, anything under 4 kilos is amazing.  —-> This was TOTALLY helpful. I didn’t know the standard weight a bag should weigh when empty. So it is a handy info for me.
  • Double zippers for the main compartment with that little hole in the middle so you can lock it with a luggage lock; bonus points if the bigger front external pocket has double zippers too.  —-> Better be safe that sorry.
  • small external front pocket for documents, itineraries, passports, boarding passes, departure/arrival cards. —> and that small compartment to just shove your boarding passes.
Thank you PossiblyPinay, it was really helpful to get these tips from you. And yes, I’ve joined in on your “Possibly Pinay Year 1 All-out Majorly Anticipated Celebratory Festival and Raffle Party“.

OZAMIZ CITY | Cotta Fort and Shrine

The Cotta Fort at Ozamis City is, now, a historical landmark, it housed a Japanese garrison during World War II and was damaged during the April 1955 earthquake, it was restored and is now open for visitors and tourists. I did asked my cousin who resides there, what possible spots I could stop by before heading to Oroquieta City. This was one of his recommendation.
The Cotta Fort is a walled fortress presently used as tourist attraction being dated back from history. I never ventured out into this part of Ozamiz City before, as I would just pass by on my way to Oroquieta. The fort front was well maintained. I would have loved to go inside and and take a look but it was a Sunday, and the previous night activities had the place in disarray.
I only got to take the 38-step spiral staircase leading to a 10.6 m. high lighthouse shot from the outside of the fortress. One feature the Cotta Fort is known of. It is the only break from the forts wall , as it looks out to the bay.
The Cotta Shrine lies on the outside western wall of the Cotta Fort. It has enough grounds for children to run around, for families to gather and for the Catholics to have Eucharistic mass celebration. Places like this should start sprouting up everywhere. It encourages the family to spend time together and to bond over packed meals or picnics. My most treasure family memories was going out family bonding at large open areas.
In it’s outside wall of the fort is the carved Virgin of Immaculate Conception that people say has been growing. I looked for past images of it online for comparison but I couldn’t find any. I leave it to locals who says that it does, after all they know the place better than anyone else.
It has a Eucharistic altar and concrete pews for Eucharistic Celebration to be held at the outdoor chapel.
The Kadaugan sa Krus is a symbolic figure on this site. The Birhen sa Cotta is also known as Birhen sa Kadaugan Sa Krus or “Nuestra Señora y del Triunfo”. It stands on the entrance to the outdoor chapel of this shrine.
Fronting the chapel is the Pieta with carved words about it on a marble slab on the ground in Bisaya. This was my first life-sized Pieta statue I’ve encountered and seen. And it gives you utter silence and comfort at the same time. All elements to the suffering and death of Jesus Christ and the sorrow of the grieving Virgin Mary is in play there. An altar at an open space where giggles and laughter of playing children at the background is difficult to imagine and grasp — but here, it is what it is, a is everything normal.
And it is actually comforting to know that young as these children are they are exposed to the religious practices and that families spend time to go out for bonding time. Most of my childhood memories are those from trips like these. 
These are the outside wall of the Cotta Fort, as my mom and I said our prayers at the chapel she headed off to the bay font of the Fort. The fort sits on the shores of the Panguil Bay. 
The outside walls of the Cotta Fort broken by the lighthouse jutting out from the inside and the Cotta Shrine overlooks the Panguil bay. There are benches and large grounds for families and friends picnic on.
We could not see it yet until we got the ledge and saw families and children all over the dark sand and in the waters. Beaches are usually packed with families on a Sunday, I guess this was no exception.
We made our way out and saw campers packing up their tent. They must have stayed the weekend for Ozamiz’ festivities. I guess anyone could stay the night if you may, I would like to do that sort of travelling sometime. But I wouldn’t be trying that with my mom. We headed off to Oroquieta City, also known as Green City. For now I bid, Cotta Fort and Shrine, until my next visit.
TRAVEL NOTES:
+ Visit on the weekdays. That way you can also check out the inside walls of the Cotta Fort.
+ Stop by on a late afternoon. I came by early morning, and the Cotta Shrine was magnificent then, try the afternoon for a sunset effect.
+ If you must test try the waters — pack your swimsuits!^^
+ And bring you cameras ofcourse.
HOW TO GET TO FORT SANTIAGO:
Just take the road on the right when you go through the Ozamiz Port gates and walk to the Fort Santiago.

You might like to read and check the rest of the OZAMIZ CITY SERIES:
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Half the fun of the travel is the esthetic of lostness.
~Ray Bradbury
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