ILIGAN CITY | Must Go To & Try Out Places

Over a week ago you might had read that I was taking a break from blogging, and just went on posting on my social media accounts. I got an email from Cat from Globe to ask me to go around Iligan City, and share my wonderful adventure through social media. Here started my #WonderfulMindanao Challenge.

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{ Sole Diaries } Challenge Accepted

Iligan City
June 2014

A few weeks ago I got an email from Globe (along with other bloggers all over Mindanao) for a social media campaign to find the cool spots, interesting hang-outs, and best eats in the city. The thing was, I had to quiet down from blogging for awhile until I get it done, and for the meantime share my finds through social media. Here I was on one of the days I went out hunting for a place where people crowd at. It was a good challenge that had me gained a few pounds, some bonding moments with friends, and newly acquired taste for new eats from some of your suggestions! Thank you for helping me with this adventure! If you missed this, I will be blogging about it over the weekend. You can follow my steps through the social media accounts I use, and the hashtag #WonderfulMindaNOW.

#WonderfulMindaNOW | Discovering & Sharing Mindanao in Social Media

I’ll be taking a break from blogging for a bit as I go around Iligan City to explore, and discover cool establishments, must-hang-out corners, food places, and amazing spots that makes it up on my Top 10 #WonderfulMindaNOW list in #Iligan City.

This campaign to boost Mindanao is brought to us by #Globe, and their GOUNLI20PLUS.
With this promo, Globe Prepaid Subscribers will get to enjoy:
* 50 texts to Globe/TM Subscribers
* Unlimited Calls to Globe/TM Subscribers
* Free 10MB Facebook access
* 24H validity
* Exclusive to Mindanao Subscribers.

Together with bloggers, and social media enthusiasts from different parts of Mindanao, follow our list, and check out the places we will be visiting that makes it a truly wonderful Mindanao! Follow the hashtag  #WonderfulMindaNOW!

You might like to read about more about this #WonderfulMindaNOW adventure:
#WonderfulMindaNOW | Discovering & Sharing Mindanao in Social Media – you’re here.
{ Sole Diaries } Challenge Accepted
ILIGAN CITY | Must Go To & Try Out Places

{ Sole Diaries } | Sunshine on a Cloudy Day

#ExperienceIligan | Waterfalling Adventure Tour 3.0
Limunsudan Falls, Iligan City
May 2014

I decided to take sunshine with me on our second day of WAT 3.0  – well, uhm, just because. I packed Zem Gear for the 15 minute trek because I don’t want to ruin my flats from HalFootwear. We had to get off the truck, and walk on the bridge, and had to watch it make a stream crossing on submerged bridge because the one we were standing on may not be able to hold the truck’s weight. And yes, there I was, a girl must wear, what a girl must wear (whatever that means). The weather was not as sunny as my shoes were. Around lunch, the skies went dark grey, and we hurried back to the city proper just in time the rain fell. Ofcourse, we were all drenched in rain at some point, but having visited Limunsudan Falls made it all worth it.

WITHLOCALS App | Connecting People & Culture

Planning for a Vietnam trip had me land on Withlocals that offers authentic experience for travelers through local hosts. Quickly I read through how booking a date would get me to share a meal with local hosts, and get to interact with people who are total strangers to me but definitely would be looking forward for my visit. Wouldn’t itf be nice if visitors, and tourist would get authentic local experience during their stay in the Philippines?

Continue reading WITHLOCALS App | Connecting People & Culture

MANILA | Intramuros + Luneta Park

What if you had a free day, and a willing date to tour you around, where would you go? Weirdly, I chose a walking tour, and it was what I got. A heavy breakfast was prepared while Justin, and the rest of the family listed places I may want to check out. He wanted to just drive up to somewhere else but my flight, and his required flight hours left us only a day to tour around. We had a good dose of walking in between hunting a parking spaces in the most iconic tourist destinations in Metro Manila – Intamuros, and Luneta Park.

We started our day visiting ST. JOSEPH PARISH CHURCH. Okay this is probably the only one on the list that is not located in Manila but we had to stop by before heading to Intramuros. Located 10 kms. from the center of Manila, the St. Joseph Parish Church houses the Bamboo Organ in it’s old walls, and structure. It has a museum, and a souvenir shop that you might like to check out. It took us a bit longer than we intended to stay, it turned out Justin was an eager museum rat as well.


Our first visit at Intramuros was the MANILA CATHEDRAL. Formally known as the Manila Metropolitan Cathedral-Basilica serves as the seat of the archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila. Located at Plaza de Roma in the Intramuros the cathedral was originally a parish church owned and governed by the diocese of Mexico in 1571, until it became a separate diocese on 1579. There was a renovation going on at the time of our visit so we did not get to stay there long. We just took enough time to check out the facade before heading down the cobbled streets of Intramuros.



One that caught my attention along our walk was the MEMORARE MANILA MONUMENT. The Shrine of Freedom was erected in dedication and memory to the war victims of the Battle of Manila. It is located at the Plaza de Santa Isabel, also known as the Plaza Sinampalukan, located at the corner of General Luna and Anda Streets in Intramuros, Manila.


“This memorial is dedicated to all those innocent victims of war, many of whom went nameless and unknown to a common grave, or even never knew a grave at all, their bodies having been consumed by fire or crushed to dust beneath the rubble of ruins. Let this monument be the gravestone for each and every one of the over 100,000 men, women, children and infants killed in Manila during its battle of liberation, February 3 – March 3, 1945. We have not forgotten them, nor shall we ever forget. May they rest in peace as part now of the sacred ground of this city: the Manila of our affections.”



SAN AGUSTIN CHURCH. San Agustin Church originally known as “Inglesia de San Pablo”. It is the oldest stone church in the Philippines built in 1589. And declared by UNESCO as World Heritage Site in 1993.

We went to BARBARA’S for lunch because his mom says it’s where I’m supposed to be taken. And in the heat of noon, the tiredness of our feet, and the quiet growls of our stomachs found welcomed in the warmly lit room, dark wood, and white linen covered table tops. Ofcourse there was live entertainment to go with food, and the sound of conversation added to the ambiance’s charm.


We waited until the sun was not as harsh as we walked, and explored INTRAMUROS. When I was asked on how I wanted to spend my day, I opted a walking tour, and even slightly brushed off the offer for a company. I knew Intramuros is too much for just one day to fit, if I must enjoy it in an unhurried time. So we rested a bit before continuing on a Fort Santiago Tour in the afternoon.

FORT SANTIAGO. This iconic, and dominating structure was first built is a citadel first built by Miguel Lopez Legaspi for the established  city of Manila. It is the one of the most important historical sites with many people losing their lives during the Spanish Colonization of the Philippines, and the site where the country’s national hero was imprisoned.

The PRISON CELL OF JOSE RIZAL gave an eerie feel. I could already tell that my cousin was a bit tired going around, and following me from one room to the next, and we still had a long day ahead.

We then headed out to the BALUARTE DE SANTA BARBARA that protects the entrance to the Pasig River. And in the corner we found ourselves  peeking through tunnel gates, and darkness looking back at you. A cross, as well as a marker stands In Memory of the Victims at Fort Santiago, and neither Justin, and I stood there too long. On our way out we followed the last steps of Jose Rizal before we head out to our last destination.

The guarded bronze-granite RIZAL MONUMENT at LUNETA PARK is not merely a statue but it is also where his remains is located. It is one of the most famous sculptural landmarks in the Philippines.

When in Luneta Park also check out RIZAL’S EXECUTION SITE. It is obscured Rizal’s Monument. At the time of the visit, some part of the park, this specifically, was under renovation, as well as the musical dancing fountain.


The INDEPENDENCE FLAGPOLE that stands 150 feet, and is the highest flagpole in the country. Though I had to ask a friend the exact location of KILOMETER ZERO which is also located within the park – just in front of Rizal Monument. It serves as the point from which road distances from Manila is measured. You will also find the Burnham Green, and further another block towards the coastal area is the Manila Ocean Park.

East of Rizal Park, you can also check out one of my favorite statue, which is the STATUE OF THE SENTINEL OF FREEDOM that depicts Lapu-Lapu. He was venerated by Filipinos as the first national hero for being the first native who resisted Spanish Colonization, and I like how he stands proud with the sky as his backdrop. In the area you will also find the DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM, as well as Museum of the Filipino People, and Relief Map of the Philippines.
If you’re the type who lean towards anything historical, and cultural interest, you might like to check out these on the list. Though I must admit that those are not complete, and if you can find a better resource maybe you can share it with us as well.
2] List of Institutions 
3] List of Historical Markers

It was a long, and tiring day of which I’m thankful that my cousin was sweet enough to take me out. But Intramuros should be thoroughly explored, and a day would not justify it. Luneta Park as much as it is a tourist destination is also a place of leisure. Maybe one of these days I’ll have enough time to waste it there. I’d say it’s one of the interesting places to do my favorite activity – people watching! Oh the stuff, and the inspiration you get from watching people. So if you have a day, or two and no plans to spend it at, why not give the familiar places a try.

SURIGAO CITY | Getting to Know Surigao City

Surigao City, the City of Island Adventures, is located at the northeastern tip of Mindanao. Surigao, as locals shared, was named after “sulog” or current, it may also be coined from the Spanish work “surgir” or swift current with the waves, and winds coming for the Pacific.


From a compilation of Father Alberto Masoliver, S.J., a parish priest of Surigao , diaries, entitled Diario de la Casa de Surigao, he wrote: “Before 10:00 AM, the tri-color was hoisted from Casa Real ( seat of provincial government) and the Tribunal … without any formalities … without anybody’s attention being drawn…..these people have no idea of what it is all about, and if they have… how peaceful and without malice they are.”.
Surigao then was the cabecera and the seat of government of the province of Caraga which had jurisdiction over Surigao, Butuan and Cagayan de Misamis ( Cagayan de Oro). Alejandro ( Jantoy) Gonzalez was the president of the Junta Provincial of Surigao during the time of the first flag hoisting.


The heart of downtown Surigao for over 100 years, this plaza remains the centerpiece of the city, hosting annual events, gatherings and concerts. A few pre-war acacia trees survive, enhancing this park’s laid back Spanish appeal in the shadow of Surigao Cathedral.

Surigaonon, the official language in the city and province is unique among the Visayan dialects. Spoken by the majority of the population in the province of Surigao del Sur. It is similar sounding with Cebuano language, however, staunch Cebuano speakers can hardly understand people who speak Surigaonon with differences in stress, and intonation; consonant, and vowel sounds; and the distinctive rise, and fall in their conversations. There is no doubt Surigaonon existed as pure and distinct, slowly pelted overtime by Visayan words as migrants settled in the area.

Surigao Del Norte Provincial Capitol
Shopping, and food at Metro Surigao
San Nicolas de Tolentino Cathedral
Pasalubong Center at Luneta Park in front of the Surigao City Tourism Office
This is part of the #TravelMindanao Project, and  you might like more of Surigao City posts here:
Getting to Know Surigao City <<< you’re here.
Where to Eat at Surigao City

ILIGAN CITY | How to Get To Limunsudan Falls

Limunsudan Falls may as well be one of the hidden gems of Iligan City with it being one of the grandest waterfalls in the country, and it being very difficult to visit — until we found a quicker way to get there. You may have heard that it takes a 3-day trek to see Limunsudan Falls from Iligan City city proper, but if you travel to Cagayan de Oro – Talakag, Bukidnon – pass by part of Lanao del Sur –  enter Iligan City through Sitio Limunsudan, Bargy Limunsudan – it will only take you 5-6H of travel. Now don’t get me wrong. A shortcut is never an easier, and less stressful route. Prepare yourself to travel half of that duration in cemented road, and other half over rough road you would wish you have a chopper to fly you over it.

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