ILIGAN CITY | Spelunking at Hindang Cave


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One of the scenic and must-to-go spots at Brgy. Hindang, Iligan City is the Hindang Cave. A ~1hour ride to get you to this barangay in the hinterlands from the city proper and a 2-3hour uphill trek to get to Hindang Cave. The trail is good for the experienced trekkers and for people who are physical conditioned for it. All I can say is that I was not cut out for this trek but am happy I’ve done it and came out unscratched.


Because after a grueling trek uphill, we came into a canopy of trees and lush vegetation that changed our moods as well. This time we knew that the cave was near and I can stop my litany of question, “Are we there yet?”. *giggles*.. You can immediately feel the humidity in the area and hear the sounds of crickets and the like. The trail led to a downhill path. You can actually tell that the habitat for wildlife has changed with the kind of vegetation that now surrounds the area. You cannot get any cellular signal for this or any part of the trail. So it is best to leave the works and worries of your life and enjoy where you are at the moment. After all you are at ~600-700 feet above level (estimated level: DraftLogic) and about to see the not-so-visited gorgeous Hindang Cave.


We have yet to go down on what it looks like a basin of vegetation to get to the opening of the cave. But as soon as we saw it — it stopped us in our tracks. Covered with curtains of greens from the top, vines cascading everywhere, and framed with light-colored massive limestone rock facade, is Hindang Cave– I just knew I was blessed to have made it there and get to experience what Mother Nature has unfolded in front of us.


And then silence just got the best of us and that eerie feeling that you are somewhere deep in the mountains and this huge mouth hole of cave gaping at you. You’re awed for a second or two — or even few.

We finally made it — just before noon, for a break and our lunch. I was ecstatic for some spelunking! This will be my first suuuper massive cave to scare myself into with 6-8 cave cluster as my research said it was. LOL! Here’s the adventure seeker in me pushing out the fear of the dark, unknown, and closed areas away. I was half scared and half excited. It was the thrill that I will be willingly swallowed into this massive mouth hole of the cave. And I was, all, up for it.


We made it down the pathway through the cave opening. This was the biggest chamber of the all chambers inside. The view looking up the opening is just beautiful with the light shining in. 

Next to this “receiving” chamber is another chamber — but this one is dark and is massively walled up. The walls are irregularly shaped with jutting surfaces in odd shapes.

Shyly waiting for us at one side is a narrow opening just enough for you to bend down to a squat to get to the inner chambers. I was having second thoughts of going through but the guides ahead of us said that opening is pretty short.

This was some shots I took inside. It turns out that a digital camera has way better adjustment and clarity in photos than a DSLR would. Deep within the cave, lighting was a problem, and since SLRs actually uses light to take a shot, it was quiet impossible to make one here, in a few seconds, without proper lighting. So I would suggest to bring both types of camera’s or additional lighting if you can. 

The one small thing in this huge cave that saddened me is this. This is a stalagmite in eye-level. The guides told us that the locals had cut it off because they fear of the shape it was forming. And it broke my heart because what they thought was a good thing was actually a bad thing at the same time. Locals and officials should be taught about how to properly preserve these. And if you chance upon this same scenario, do it your best to tell the locals what these are and why and how they came to be what they are. The good thing is that if you check it out — this is still alive! *grins*



The stalactites in the cave chambers are alive and forming. So how do you know that a stalactite is alive? Check for drips of water at the tip. If it’s wet and you hear drops of water in a cave chamber and the surface has a powdery feel to it, you can bet that the stalactites in a limestone cave is still alive. The science to it is actually simple. Limestone contains calcium carbonate that gets dissolve in water (containing carbon dioxide) and  forms calcium bicarbonate that drips down to a tip. When it comes in contact with air, the chemical reaction is reversed and it will form back to calcium carbonate, hardening and forming into what looks like ice peaks from the ceiling.

But sour note and lectures aside, the caves are also inhabited by bats and — lots of them. Our guides were also trying to look for salag or bird’s nest for them to sell. I was impatiently asking if the “salag” I saw were the ones that they were looking for. But to my dismay, it was a bat’s nest — so they say. I only took a few shots with bats on the crevices. I know that they were more scared of me as I was of them.

 Hindang cave is by far the coolest cave I’ve been in. Inside, are connecting chambers that host darkness, dampness, and that eerie feeling that beyond is an unknown. They have 6 large chambers and 2-4 small ones. The ceilings are high and the chambers are massive. There are no stalagmites at any part of the cave. So the ground is damp and it is difficult to move around with but my dainty pink slippers. LOL!
I would have love to have stayed a little longer but the thought of having to go down the trail was torture. So we got out and readied ourselves for a downhill trek.
We were on our way down — the trek took us ~1-2hours. Much faster that we did uphill. Its a sad thought to know that I may not be able to visit Hindang Cave as much as I want to. The trail is too much for me. Maybe in some distant future when I am physical conditioned for it. For now, I’m happy to know I’ve set foot the Hindang Cave and off we go for Hindang Falls.

TRAVEL NOTES:
+ Bring flashlights.
+ Wear appropriate shoes. The ground is damp and slippery.
+ Bring cameras and it’s additional accessories.
+ budget your time. If you want to visit the Hindang Falls afterwards, it is best that you set schedules.


How To Get There:
1. Iligan City city proper to Kiwalan (Map: HERE, Time Travel: 30 – 45 mins)
*Jeepney (Fare: 14Php)
*Taxi (no metered taxi available, rate as agreed by passenger and driver)
*Private Car 
2. Kiwalan to Hindang: (Travel Time: 1 – 1 1/2 hrs)
*Jeepney (Fare: 35 – 40Php)
*Habal-Habal (Fare: 50 – 60Php)
*Private Car
3. Brgy Hindang Proper to Start of Trail: (Travel Time: 5-7mins)

*Habal-Habal (additional Fare: 5 – 10Php)
*Private Car
4. Hindang Cave Trail (Trek Time: ~2-3hrs uphill; ~1-2hrs. downhill)


You Might like to read the rest of the HINDANG SERIES:
Part1: Adventure Planning Mode
Part2: Attractions & Directions To Brgy. Hindang
Part3: Ambitiously Trekking the Hindang Cave Trail
Part4: Spelunking at Hindang Cave
Part5: Hindang Falls

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Remember what Bilbo used to say:
It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door.
 You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet,
there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.
–J.R.R. Tolkien
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Photo Credits to Travel Jams & Adventures In Life

ILIGAN CITY | Ambitiously Trekking the Hindang Cave Trail


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It was a friend who asked if I’ve ever been to Hindang Cave or Falls, and because that I haven’t — searched for previous posts regarding both — but I couldn’t find any! 
Which saddens me.

Then frustrated me.

And made really want to go there. 
How could anyone not write about something when random people have been raving about it for some time now? After planning it for 2-3 weeks — directions to Brgy Hindang was the problem. Once I got over that, I was in it — excited nerves and all.

We had a pick-up truck, which is an ideal vehicle should you be traveling on, on some rough roads which the road to Brgy. Hindang, is. Big space for your stuff and enough leg room should  you ride on the back.
It took us an hour and a half to get to the Brgy. Gymnasium where Kagawad Aguilar met and greeted us. We signed our names on the logbook and we were officially off for a trek with 3 young men as our guides.
THE TRAIL:
We parked the car at the start point and had our guides in slippers and a large bolo which frightened me that I has to asked what it was for. He explained that it was for removing salag on the cave should they find any. I just nodded not knowing what a salag was. LOL! But I’ll get to that later. This is also a spot were you’ll get a cellular signals for all networks.. When you get to the trail, SMART network could only get one bar signal, and the rest — none! So better to send out messages that you’ll be out of coverage area for awhile while you’re here.
The trail started as easily as a flat trail with no other elements that gets in your way. Our guide took us at a fast  pace on the early leg of the trail, where it was still easy to trek and manageable for the inexperienced and the unconditioned trekkers.
Then there’s slight elevation here, a couple of streams to cross there, and tall grasses everywhere! I suggest you wear tights, cargo pants, or long shorts — something light and easy for you to move around with. After 15mins. we were told to take a break as the the next leg would be quiet difficult to take — and we did. Not because we were told to but because we had to.
And it will get worst than it already was, since I was not programmed for trekking. You get to climb a steep portion — which is by the way, the start of the grueling part of the trail. About ~60-70 deg. angle, you get to feel your knees up your chest, toes flexed as much as it can be towards your shin, and hug Mother Earth for life, *giggles* the way I did when I didn’t trust my feet anymore.
We had three guides to take us, one upfront, another at midsection, and one at the rear — for a group, this set up is full proof on not getting lost, get accidents, or other hazards you might encounter. After the steepest portion of the climb, we had a few minutes break and went up a weaving uphill climb of what is now  a constant ~30-40 deg. angle in elevation with but only foot holds, rocks, shrubs and trees for you to hold on to. Expect that either or both sides overlooking the sides of the mountain — DOWNHILL.
When hiking in groups it is best to let the slow-paced hikers take the trail with a guide uphill. This will set the pace for the rest of the group. That way, when they get exhausted and stops for a break they can still catch up and won’t be left behind. So yes, I was the one of the first uphill. I make it a mission not to follow a pack behind because I tend to tire easily and have the tendency to get lost. LOL!

Pace yourself. One of the dangers in hiking is dehydration, and exacerbation of pre-existing medical condition.  I had to take the front uphill because I know that I will tire 2-3 times faster than anyone doing the same activity I did — so I did stop and rest periods knowing I’m not the last one on the trail. And remember: also control your breathing on this part of the trail because hyperventilation may get to you.
Two-thirds on the way up was a landing area from the steepest part of the trek. we took refuge for a few minutes. and I had to take off my now torn shoes ( I slipped while crossing a stream and it got the best of of my shoes) and put on my slippers.
I know, this isn’t the appropriate pair of slippers to bring! LOL! But I had the Hindang Falls visit in mind when I packed these. So I have to use this for the remaining 1/3 left of the trail, for spelunking, going downhill!, and for the Hindang Falls trail. I was doubtful! But I had no choice. So watch out for the survival of the dainty slippers on this adventure!  LOL!
What’s remaining of the trail is a walk towards a secluded canopy of trees after through jutting rocks and lush vegetation. and before we knew it, we’ve finished our trail and we’re bound to do some spelunking. It took us hours to trek to the cave but it was all worth it. But I would visit the Hindang Cave anytime if not for the trail. It was one ambitious trek I took being inexperienced and unconditioned for it — for this is not for the faint-hearted.

TRAVEL NOTES:
+ Use your backpacks! The ones that is just enough for the things you need.
+ Wear apprpriate lothing — something you’re comfortable with.
+ Must brings: Water, Food, Sunblock & Insect Repellent, Flashlight, & Emergency Kit
+ Ask for a guide if you don’t know the trail.
+ Trek in good weather condition. The trail can be VERY slippery when it rains or had rained the days before.
+ Pace yourself . Do not go in hurry and be sorry, afterwards.

Direction and How To Get To Hindang Cave Trail:
1. Iligan City city proper to Kiwalan (Map: HERE, Time Travel: 30 – 45 mins)
*Jeepney (Fare: 14Php)
*Taxi (no metered taxi available, rate as agreed by passenger and driver)
*Private Car
2. Kiwalan to Hindang: (Travel Time: 1 – 1 1/2 hrs)
*Jeepney (Fare: 35 – 40Php)
*Habal-Habal (Fare: 50 – 60Php)
*Private Car
3. Brgy Hindang Proper to Start of Trail: (Travel Time: 5-7mins)
*Habal-Habal (Additional: 5Php)
*Private Car



How to Get Started on Hindang Trek: READ HERE
Trek Duration:
–Uphill: ~2-3hours
–Downhill: ~1-2hours
Fees:
–Trekking Fee: 5Php to be paid at the Brgy. Hindang Office beside the gymnasium
–Trek Guides: 300-400Php for 3 guides
You might like to read the rest of the  HINDANG SERIES:

Part1: Adventure Planning Mode
Part2: Attractions & Directions To Brgy. Hindang
Part3: Ambitiously Trekking the Hindang Cave Trail
Part4: Spelunking at Hindang Cave
Part5: Hindang Falls


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“Two roads diverged in a wood and I
 – I took the one less traveled by.” – Robert Frost
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Photo Credits to Travel Jams & Adventures In Life

ILIGAN CITY | Attractions & Directions To Brgy. Hindang


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Finally! How to get to Brgy. Hindang

I’ve been trying to get someone to point me the directions on how to get to Brgy. Hindang for awhile now. I’ve mustered up confidence to write emails to people and offices just to get details on directions. Fortunately, I know the people who maintain the email address of Iligan City Tourism Office. So I was off Brgy. Hindang to visit the Hindang Cave and Falls after a 2-3 week planning for a Hindang Nature Hike with no progress. Imagine my excitement!
Brgy. Hindang is one of the 44 barangays in Iligan City, it is accessible through Kiwalan (map: HERE)by public utility jeepneys, habal-habal, or private vehicles. It’s one of those barangays in Iligan City that is located in the hinterlands. I was eyeing on this place because I knew that there was Hindang Cave and Waterfalls that is visited but not often enough that you don’t hear much from it. So, I wanted to get to know how to get there and find out for myself.

We started from the city proper to Brgy. Kiwalan, which is approximately 30-45mins taking the nat’l highway north bound to Cagayan de Oro City. Just tell the driver to drop you off at  the Granex main gate. Take the road that leads to the Kiwalan public market, a couple few steps from there, you will find jeepneys parked at the side of the road. 
The makeshift mini terminal is for the residents of barangays Bunawan, Kabacsanan, and Hindang — the barangays in hinterlands of Iligan City, the jeepneys has to be packed for it to take off, since there’s not much of them that travel on road. 
Sir Pat was nice enough to accommodate our trip on a Saturday with a vehicle to take us there and to be indispensably at our disposal — or something like so. But I will give you a blow by blow details on how to get there as we got off to ask the locals for it. 
The good thing about the vehicle we had was it was a pick – up truck. I got so excited to take pictures that I asked the driver to stop so that I may be able to ride behind — enough leg room, and a view without distractions. Good thing ma’am Binky and Jam came out with me. The bad thing was the roads are, uhhhhhmmm, how will I put it? half developed?! Well, there are parts ton the road that is cemented and the there are rough roads in between. I didn’t get it — really. But ma’am Bing explained that these are brgy. budgets that I guess is not enough to develop the whole length of the road.
This is simple living here. There are a few with private vehicles, but mostly people commute — on foot, on hilariously packed jeepneys, or in sardined in habal-habals. It’s a long drive and you get to cross 2 barangays to get to Hindang. The view is amazing. The road would curve and if you’re an observant, you’ll realize that you’ve been taking a road that weaves around the mountain sides.
It was a long drive but took us 1 day for both Hindang Cave and Falls — so the drive was all worth it. We had to visit both spots para makasulit. I would recommend this trip to anyone, but the trail for Hindang Cave it not for the faint-hearted. The reason behind it —is for another blog post.
TRAVEL NOTES:
+ Visit Hindang Cave: 6-8 clusters of cave after a 2-3 hour trek climbing up the mountain sides. 
*****Read: HERE
+ Visit Hindang Falls: 2 tiered waterfall with a water drop of 40ft. The water basin is ideal for swimming.
*****Read: HERE
HOW TO GET HERE:
1. Iligan City city proper to Kiwalan (Map: HERE, Time Travel: 30 – 45 mins)
*Jeepney (Fare: 14Php)
*Taxi (no metered taxi available, rate as agreed by passenger and driver)
*Private Car 
2. Kiwalan to Hindang: (1 – 1 1/2 hrs)
*Jeepney (Fare: 35 – 40Php)
*Habal-Habal (Fare: 50 – 60Php)
*Private Car
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All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.
________________________________________________________
Photo Credits to Travel Jams & Adventures In Life

ILIGAN CITY | Hindang Adventure Planning Mode


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 I’ll be on an eco-adventure with a few blogger friends  this weekend. I’ve been on an Iligan City waterfalls series for some time now and I’ve only covered three, yet, of the 23 waterfalls that Iligan City hosts in it’s terrain: the Ma. Cristina FallsTinago Falls, and the Mimbalot Falls. Here’s one to add to that. I know there are a few accessible waterfalls around Iligan City, but I’m trying out the big ones first, ika -nga, this is for the show! LOL!
Hiking Trail Sign Stock Photo - 6994278

ACTIVITY: Nature Hike: Spelunking and Swimming

DESTINATION: Hindang Waterfalls and Cave
LOCATION: Brgy. Hindang, Iligan City; 20km from city proper
ESTIMATED BUDGET: 200-300Php (Fare: City proper – Brgy. Kiwalan – Brgy. Hindang)
WHAT TO WEAR:
+Hiking shoes/Sandals
+Cotton Shirt & Leggings
+Backpack & Cap
WHAT TO BRING:
+Cameras and other gadgets I guess
+Bottled Water
+Lunch; some extra food to munch on & keep me happy
+Extra Shirt/Shorts, Swimsuit ofcourse!
+Small Towel/Scarf
+Umbrella if it gets too hot
+Flashlight for spelunking
+Medicine/s
+Emergency Kit and other MUST bring stuff
EXPECTED THINGS TO DO:
Travel by road 15mins or so, and take the trail which supposedly is good for 2 hours on foot. Get to the cave first since it’s furthest from the main highway. After we go through, some if not all, 6-8 cave clusters, we feed on our packed-lunch and make our way back to the trail and take the other forked road that leads to Hindang Waterfalls. 
MY FEAR:
Narrow cave passageways! But I’m mentally preparing myself for that. It’s one of those things you don’t want to do but would enjoy doing it anyways. I’m up for this for the experience! Woohoo! LOL!
WHAT I”M Soooooo LOOKING FORWARD TO:
Taking a dip at Hindang Falls lagoon! Yey!
The Hindang Waterfalls and Cave is a territory that only a few have ventured to. I’ve tried researching for routes and hiking trail, previous trekkers may have taken. Sadly, you don’t get post like that because those who had gone there had not posted up their experiences blow by blow. So I wrote to a couple few people I thought could help me on this trip but none of them replied. So my last resort was to write an email to Iligan City Tourism Office because I was pretty sure that they can point me to the right direction or to the right people that could help me out. The reply was very short of the very formal email I sent them. It turns out that I knew the people maintaining the I.C. Tourism Office website — truly a blessing in disguise! Thanks to Sir Pat and Ma’am Binky, am off to Hindang confidently knowing I won’t get lost along the way and amidst the stalactites! LOL! ’til my Hindang entry..^^
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 “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed
 by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. 
So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. 
Catch the trade winds in your sails. 
Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
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How To Plan a Travel Adventure


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Any good adventure should parts-planned and parts-leave-it-all-by-faith, that is how I look at travelling at the tips of your fingers. here are some prior to actual travel that can help you get started on answering to that travel itch that you’ve been getting these days.
1. Select and Research a Destination.
This is where it all starts. From all the places and activities you want to go and try out, you get to narrow it in one destination (or may two or three) and loads of activities in between. always choose the one that fits the other elements on your planned travel — budget, weather, and security. Researching is also about mentally preparing yourself of what’s to come ahead and expect in your adventure. Read as much about your activities as you can. there are lots of reviews from travelers online that can help you with it.
2. Estimate your Total Budget.
The good thing about today with the invent of technology, you can get just about anything online! Use that to your benefit. check out the present air travel rate, accommodation, entrance fees for adventure parks, and food rates in the area. In your total estimated budget, add at around 30-40% for any excess spending.
3. Plan and Make Your Travel Arrangements.
Arrange your flights and accommodations online and ahead of time. Before booking a flight check out promos to lessen your expense. The earlier you book these the bigger chances you get to have discounts, and even have your host plan ahead with you. 
4. Plan the Things that you Need to Bring.
Don not under estimate the little girl scout because you will always need that little girl in you once in a while. This is where you may need here. Welcome the girl-scout in you to plan and pack the things you need for the travel. I didn’t say “might need” but “need”. Because if you’re a little bit like me. I go for little bags cramped with the stuff I “might need” which I would regret halfway the travel. So plan and always think on travelling light!!!
5. Get your “Paraphernalia’s” Ready.
Get the updated map of the country your visiting, a compass if you’re going on a trail, a Point It Book, cameras and lenses, gadgets and it’s chargers and the likes. Proper storage is a must! Make sure they travel in shock-proof and water-resistant bags/compartments.
6. Always Travel With an Open Mind.
A lot can go wrong even on a well-planned travel. Always be open to new and spontaneous circumstances. Prepare yourself to step out from your shell and immerse yourself in a culture much different from your own. the more you’re open to the new things and stuff — the more surprises you meet and the more you get to enjoy your experience.
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“The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality, 
and instead of thinking how things may be, 
to see them as they are.” – Samuel Johnson
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Healthy Saturday Routine


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I’ve been taking jogs early mornings when I saw that Iligan City Rizal Park was full of people, one summer  Saturday morning. My mama told me that there’s a Saturday morning program for a healthy exercise routine open for everybody.

The Saturday after that. I was there. With my mom.  And a friend. I got hooked ever since! Hataw Na Iligan is an ongoing program of Councilor Marlene Young for and with the public. This is to promote healthy living and lifestyle among Iliganons. There’s no age or medical condition/status required. In as long as one can dance and follow the instructor, then you’re welcome to join in.
What got me hooked?!
Nothing beats the energy of the people doing the routine.
This is how it looks! Iliganons from different backgrounds taking part as one in a full-packed-fast-paced dance exercise routine. In some mornings, I would have a teenager at my side, an aged at the other, and middle-aged in front. Not minding the sweats and the early sun light. Everyone seems to be in trance. You can’t help but enjoy.

What makes it click?

MUSIC! Yes, all types of songs from different genres are used from
one routine after another. There’s always something for everyone, I might say.
I’ve been seeing these people in Iligan City street and in the back of my mind I would say “Hala! klasmayt na ko sa Hataw Na” (Translate: Oh! A “classmate” in Hataw Na). Because people there are enjoying too much at staying healthy that you’ll find them a regular at it.
PinayTravelista (author)  Kayex, and Atty. Marlene Young

I’m not much of a health-buff person, but I get some kicks at having fun. I have to say that this program is one-thought-of-program. No wonder the young, and old gets to enjoy it at the same time.
If you’re staying in Iligan City or planning for a visit — stop by the Rizal Park on the Saturdays. The dance exercise starts at 6 A.M. and ends at 8 A.M. Bring a bottle of water, face towels, and extra shirts, and brace yourself for one wake-up-weekend-routine you’ll find yourself hooked at.
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Photo Credits: Photos grabbed from Atty. Marlene Young’s Facebook Account…^^
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Disclaimer: This in no other way a promotional or paid article. 
The author is a Hataw Na regular.
If you wanna bet on it —- I’ll see you there!!
**Once you’re IN you can never get back OUT… Or something like that in movie lines.. LOL
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P.S. So okay, I’ve been in these Saturdays for some time now.. There was this one Saturday that there will be an Aikido Sunday announced.. I actually saw pictures in Atty. M. Young’s photo albums that had me in funny poses! ahahahahahahaha! But that’s another blog post! 

EL SALVADOR | Tallest Divine Mercy


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The Archdiocesan Shrine of the Divine Mercy at El Salvador, Misamis Oriental is a MUST place to visit as it being the tallest Divine Mercy in the world. Around 30 minutes drive from Cagayan De Oro City, Philippines, this shrine sits atop a hill with 9.8 hectares of landscape that allows one to meditate and solemnly pray. It has an additional parking space to safely park vehicles out of traffics way, a land area total of 11.8 hectares. To this date it is continually developed with buildings, chapels, and additional landscaping. 
My first visit was with my friends, Jeddy and Ed Michael. We traveled by bus and stopped at the foot of the Divine Mercy trail. By there, we rode a habal-habal (motorcycle). We were dropped off at the main stairwell of the Shrine. 
It was a pretty long way up the stairs. At the bottom were white crosses that weaves around the lawn as stations for the Via Crucis or Way of the Cross. As we made our way up the stairs, we stopped by the midsection where the Virgin Mary stands on her garden. Making your way up the stairs is a challenge, and not for the faint-hearted or the aged. You can enter through the back portion of the shrine where the vehicles are parked. The walk around it is long but has even walkway for those who find it hard going through the stairwell.
We were chatting our way up when we got the last 3-4steps and saw the Sacred Heart of Jesus standing massively on a hilltop with it’s beautifully orchestrated blooms and greens in it’s gardens. It was on Sept. 8, 2009 that more than 20,000 pilgrims journeyed to Divine Mercy Hills at northern Mindanao for the dedication and blessing of a 50-foot Divine Mercy statue and to celebrate the Blessed Mother’s birthday. I could only imagine how it was with thousands of pilgrims on it’s lawn looking up to it with the sky as it’s backdrop.
The statue of Divine Mercy in itself is breathing taking as it massively stands at the highest point of the hill set to be captured with the sky as its natural back draft. On a hill 500 feet above sea level, the shrine looks out to Macalajar Bay and a view of the embattled villages in the mountains of Lanao. The location is not deliberate, the priests, who take care of the shrine, say that God chose the place to be a center for dialogue and healing for the people of Mindanao.
TRAVEL NOTES:
+ Wear appropriate clothing. No shorts, sleeveless shirts/blouses, tight fitting bottoms or leggings allowed. I made a mistake on my second visit by wearing leggings, I was made to wear a gartered skirt in blue or red. thus, the minimum camera exposure I had then.
+ Bring bottled water for drinking and an umbrella. It gets hot around midday.
+ Light a candle at the back portion of the shrine for prayers of request or thanksgiving.
+ Bring a water canister. There are pipes and faucets of flowing water said to be blessed. If you must, bring some for home.
HOW TO GET HERE (MAP: Here)
1. Travel to Cagayan de Oro City
*** Daily flights
2. Travel by bus liners (Rural transit, Super Five, etc)
***Fare Rate: 30-60Php
3. Ask the driver to drop you off El Salvador Divine Mercy Shrine
4. Take a Habal-Habal or motorcycle ride
***Ask the driver to pick you up at a specific time, you can ask for their mobile numbers to be sure
*** Fare Rate 25Php
___________________________________
People travel to faraway places to watch, in fascination, 
the kind of people they ignore at home.” – Dagobert D. Runes
___________________________________

EMERGENCY ALERT : La Niña Appeal


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As it is the beginning of the gruesome start of La Niña, Red Cross appeals for funds to support their disaster preparedness program and to provide ongoing relief efforts for affected communities.


You may wish to post this flyer in your office/school bulletin board. You can download a copy here.

ILIGAN CITY | Aruma Coffee Lounge


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Iligan City is now slowly teaching it’s residents the love for coffee and growing array of choices you have to satisfy that craving. It has generated a few coffee addicts — I, admittedly, am one of them. There’s this one favorite quaint coffee shop that I seriously fell in love with, the moment I set foot into the interiors of the ARUMA Coffee Lounge. 

Located at Preface Building which timidly sits along De Leon cor. Burgos St., Poblacion Iligan City, it has an indoor dining and an outdoor area for what ever preference may you want. It started out with a bold move by coffee lovers turned entrepreneurs to open a long dancing idea of a coffee shop. It was on the December 15th of 2007 that this was realized with the name ARUMA, coming from the English word aroma pronounced in the “bisaya” accent.

 Their menu is light on the pockets with a variety of Brewed Coffee ranging from 70-99Php, Served On The Rocks from 99-109Php, Shaken and Whipped at 119Php. Add to that you choice of sandwhich, pasta, greens or sweets.
The Chicken Pesto Aruma Pasta is my all time favorite. It goes well with Chilly White Mocca Frap or my usual Cafe Americano which I take black. They have this very light Chicken Oriental Salad is good for those who are watching their weight. Top the day off with the must have Banofee Pie! You’ll be begging for another serving or more.
The interiors is what really hit home run for me. The white washed wall matched with white tables and seatings is a minimalistic approach in a trendy way of setting it. The design and lay out of the place has this desirable effect of pure comfort.
On its light painted walls are multitude displays of photographs of Iligan City — the events, the people, the scenic spots, in bright colors framed in a solid black border. It’s like one big hug of homely comfort.

This is generally a place for people to relax, hang out, socialize, rub elbows with and let time pass by. It is the “somewhere” for early afternoon get-togethers, midafternoon meetings, late afternoon to early evening dates, and late evening catch-ups. With very accommodating staff even if you and your friends had laughed their whole building off, warmed the seats dry, and tasted and ate everything on their counter.

They offer WIFI service connections for you to get connected, another reason to just love this place — it’s a bloggers haven! I, honestly, can’t find anything bad to say about this place, their service, and their products.

I just love it here!!!

All my praises goes to the owners and the people behind ARUMA!

You’re one of my favorite safe spots in town!
ARUMA Coffee Lounge
(063)221-7913
Preface Building
De Leon cor. Burgos St.Poblacion Iligan City
Email: arumakissatencoffeelounge@yahoo.com
Facebook Fanpage: HERE 


What to try:
I always go for my Banofee Pie!! *grins* I just can’t seem to get enough of it. Take your pasta or sweets with any coffee choice you want, and drain them with long talks and loud laughs.
  
How To Get There:
****For Touristhow to get to Iligan City — READ THIS: Iligan City
**** City Proper to Aruma Coffee Lounge:
1. Public Utility Jeepney: Pala-o, or Tubod Line for 7.50Php
…For PUJ’s, ask the driver to drop you off the Preface Bldg or at Penshoppe, then walk yourself at the other side of the bldg. You won’t miss it by the back corner.
2. Taxi for 60-80Php
…ask the driver to get you to Aruma Coffee Lounge at Preface Building, De Leon cor. Burgos St.Poblacion Iligan City
…if you’re planning to stay there ’til late eve, jeepneys and taxi is not difficult to get when it’s late.

i HEART iligan city


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Dear Iligan City,

To be honest, it took me awhile to realize that I was born and raised in a treasure-mount that you’re humble of. Only then when I went around Iligan City streets, immerse myself with your people, dive in the Iliganon culture during the festive Diyandi Festival, and get lost in wonder in your nature, did I finally gotten to know you.
Your history, people, and culture defines you
— you cut it out for everyone!

I would never tire to show people around you. It’s like sharing a secret that everyone must know.Showing them how you would define nature at — Ma. Cristina Falls, you are well-known for, your hidden beauty at Tinago Falls, & little rough edges at Mimbalot Falls.  There’s also the Timoga Spring Pools, and the secluded Taytay, Maze and NPC Natures Parks.

A time spent with you is never ever boring!!!

Pinay Travelista nature tripping


When in the mood for busy city lights and streets, your highly urbanized center has everything for everyone. Those small and big retail/service businesses keeps me occupied. No wonder that there are sprouting budding entrepreneurs and investors taking their spots — you not only have THE location, but also has source for raw materials, man power, and target market. There’s enough for everyone to go about — the family-oriented establishments from fine dining to grilled and outdoorsy type to fast food chains; the night scene for young people, and the just-about-for-everyone go places like the Iligan Citys Weekend Night Market.
Diyandi Festival
To top it off, are the people that resides in Iligan City. The very accommodating, friendly, and colorful – Iliganons. Celebrating the feast Sr. San Miguel every September 29, is a month long celebration and merry-making, with programs and events happening almost every night. It is best to come around this festive month. The Diyandi Festival  Street dancing, where performers would dance in the streets and have a final showdown at the Anahaw Amphitheater is a mustnotmiss-event!

I may not always stand in your rich soils, Iligan City.

But there’s a special place I have for you in MY heart
It’s never unsafe in your grounds, despite what other people thinks about you. My one wish is to have them visit you and see for themselves what I and many more have been CONSTANTLY raving about. 
Your Iliganon blogger, 
P.S.  My little travels ad adventures started with you. Thank you for inspiring me to become a traveler. In you, I saw that treasures are hidden and kept secrets and that the best way to enjoy and fall in love with them is when you  seek them out for yourself.

_______________________________________________________

 “Submitted as an entry to the My Iligan Blogging Contest”
_______________________________________________________

ILIGAN CITY | Mimbalot Falls


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It is a breathtaking place to commune with nature and leisurely spend time swimming in its’ pool basins or having a picnic on its tables. I’ve been lucky enough to live in Iligan City where urban and nature gracefully dance in sync together. That I get to run off somewhere a few minutes off and finding myself in this pocket of wonder nature has given to us. One of the 23 waterfalls of Iligan City is this pocket of wonder — the Mimbalot Falls. It is located at Brgy. Buruun, which is approximately 11km drive from the city center (Map: Here). This falls has established itself as a lunch to mid-afternoon nature trip location for families and friends.
The Mimbalot Falls is a cascading waterfall with jutting rock edges reminding you of how raw nature is. With its’ 90 ft. water drop and 18 ft. wide facade, Mimbalot Falls will not dauntingly scare you. It gives off this visitor-friendly feeling that you find yourself enjoying the the falls up close.

 

 
 
Take a hydro-massage while you’re at it. The pressure from the rushing water feels good on the back. It can steal time away from you. Take time to enjoy it.
 
 
You can swim on it’s pool basins. Don’t leave kids unattended because there are deep water spots on some of these pool basins. The shallow pool areas have large slippery rocks, it is best to get steady foot hold.

Travel Notes:
+Bring your cameras. What good is a short nature trip if you can’t capture the fun you had at it.
+Bring your own provisions. There are no stores around the area.
+Be careful of loose rocks. Always find a good and steady foothold.
+Be careful of slippery areas. The wooded bridge and the concrete fixed picnic tables have slippery surfaces. don’t leave children unsupervised.

How to get to Iligan City: Read: HERE

DIRECTIONS | HOW TO GET TO MIMBALOT FALLS Map: HERE
Date Posted: June 2011; Updated: March 2014
Entrance Fee: 15PhP

From City Proper – Brgy. Buruun
1. Take the jeepney (PUJ) for Brgy. Buruun Fare: 12-15Php
— Tell the driver to drop you off the Iligan City National School of Fisheries..
— Or just say “Sa kanto sa Mimbalot lang ko manong” (At the corner road to Mimbalot, manong)
— Take the off road trail beside the IC Nat’l School of Fisheries around 5-7 minute walk to the Mimbalot Falls.

2. Or you can take a taxi, tell the driver to take you to Mimbalot Falls
[No Fixed or Metered Fare (driver-passenger agreement): ~150-200Php]

3. If you’re driving, take the national highway going southbound. The ICNSF is a few minutes after you pass by the Timoga Spring Pools. Ask any locals which road bend to take.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

_____________________________________________________
“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home 
and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.” – Lin Yutang
_____________________________________________________
 
 

ILIGAN CITY | National Power Corporation Natures Park


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National Power Corporation Natures Park, is one of the largest nature parks of the Philippines. It is open to locals, backpackers, and tourist for a nature trip one will definitely find it hard to forget. The NPC holds Maria Cristina Falls , is a major tourist spots in Iligan City. Being a city with more than 20 waterfalls that sits on it’s terrain — it boast the iconic Ma. Cristina Falls, Iligan City is known for. On it’s grounds is the long standing primary source of electric power for the city’s industries, being harnessed by the Agus VI Hydroelectric Plant (HEP). Now, NPC has developed it’s surrounding land area into recreational facilities for the visitors to enjoy nature at it’s grandest.

  

They house Ostrich and Crocodile Parks, and you also get the chance to see snakes, monkeys and other exotic animals at that. To add to the list the park has in store for you is a butterfly sanctuary with a coi pond, and luscious garden, and beside it is an orchids garden, both enclosed within a greenhouse for the green thumbed visitors to enjoy. Bus loads of children have visited this place for field trips and the likes. Not only is it recreational but educational as well.

The nature’s park is ideal for any company of different walks of life, or of any ages. Be it family out for a weekend gathering, friends getting away from the hustle of life city life, or lovers taking some time off to be together. You don’t get to relax that much often in your routines in life — but here, it’s a break away from work, school, and the stresses in everyday living.

In it’s landscape is a line of cottages for a break from the heat and a place to eat , relax and enjoy the place. You can pack a small meal for the family, friends, or for a date, since you can’t find any stores that carry any provisions. Just be sure to tend after yourselves. Not much of their maintaining staff are around to tend after you, and the place is so beautiful, it would be an insult to mess it up.

Ofcourse, a trip to NPC Nature’s Park is not complete if you don’t make it to the top of the viewing deck to see the magnificent waterfall. It’s a long walk and a couple of stairs to take, since the coaster ride only takes you at the bottom of the building. But I must say that even for the faint hearted, it is but worth every step. You then get to that building corner, the water-falling-crashing-sound behind it, the first peek and down the curved walkway leading to the viewing area. 

You just wanna run down and say those “oohhh… ahhhh… woooow…” words. 

That’s exactly the feeling you get.

It can take any lonesome traveler breathe away with it’s majestic pride of water downfall. It is sometimes called the “twin falls” as the flow is separated by a rock at the brink of the waterfall. It is a landmark of Iligan City, located 9.3 kilometers away southwest of the city proper at the boundaries of Brgys. Ditucalan, and Buru-un. Well-known for its natural beauty and grandeur, the 98 meters/320 water drop for a waterfall is one sight you will definitely remember .

It’s almost melancholic to look at it, but then again at the back of your mind you would think — here is a beauty that sits undeviatingly wonder lighting up every single bulb, charging every drained out cellular phones, powers up every computers, turning on every television on a 600km radius, or more, or so… So when you’re in town, do visit this spot, and take my word for it, you’ll love it.

Pinay Travelista Notes: 
+ They also have this cave with bats, it is not yet accessible for the public, and we dare not go near it. If you’ve ventured near a cave with bats in it. You’ll know exactly why. From the noise they make, and the eerie feeling of darkness, to the foul smell they have — it’s best check it out but to stay away.
+ The Park also has this Adventure Park that has a Zipline from the canopy through the woods, down across the other side of the river bank,l and across back the other side again. It has 4 lines to “zipped on” and it goes for a fee of 200Php/person. You get to zipline across the rushing waters ofrom the waterfall.
+ Wear close and tight-fitted shoes when doing the zipline.
+ Bring your cameras of course!!!



National Power Corporation Natures Park
Location: Map: HERE
Agus 6/7 HEP Complex, Tourism Triangle Boundary, Ma. Cristina, Buru-un, Iligan City
Coordinates: 8°11’3″N   124°11’58″E

How To Get To Iligan City:
Directions from Iligan City Proper to NPC Natures Park:
Public Jeepney: Brgy. Buru-un Line (fare: 10Php)
Public Utility Vehicles: Taxi (fare: 100-150Php, depending on agreed fare with the driver)
*****Ask the driver to drop you off the NPC. You wont miss it, it’s right on the bend after the Buru-un Bridge
*****For those who will be traveling via jeepney, you have to walk a few 15-20m to the the main entrance.
*****Fares may change depending on approved rates


Entrance Fee:
Regular: 30Php
Student/ Senior Citizen: 20Php
*****for those backpackers or those with private vehicles, a coaster is provided for you and your party. It may take awhile to wait for it though, since they only have one coaster to serve everyone.
*****Fees may change depending on approved rates

Adventure Park Zipline Fee:
200Php/person for 4 stations/lines
*****Closed fitting shoes are required. However, there are close shoes you can rent for safety purposes.
*****Fees may change depending on approved rates

___________________________________________________
A traveler without observation is a bird without wings.” 
___________________________________________________
Related article by same author at a CoFFee SToRY To TeLL



ILIGAN CITY | Knowing Iligan City & How Get There Directions


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Iligan City is a highly urbanized city in the Northern Mindanao region, Philippines. It is geographically within the province of Lanao del Norte but administered independently from the province after it the passage of Republic Act 9724 that separates this highly urbanized city from the first congressional district of Lanao del Norte to form its own congressional district beginning in the 2010 elections. It was part of Central Mindanao (Region 12) and now under Northern Mindanao (Region 10).

ILIGAN CITY DETAILS

Coordinates: 8°13′N 124°14′E
Region Northern Mindanao (Region X)
Province Lanao del Norte

District Lone District of Iligan City

Directions, and How to Get There Details for Iligan City:

***Fares may change depending on approved rates
Post Date: May 2011
Recent Update: September 2013
The Lumbia Airport Laguindingan International Airport at Cagayan de Oro City, and Ozamis Airport are two of the nearest airports in Iligan City. Check out the flights from airline companies for schedules, and availability in flights.

Flights to Laguindingan International Airport (Cagayan de Oro City) 

1] Daily flights from Manila, Cebu, and Davao – Laguindingan International Airport, CDO
::: From Manila Travel Time
   Flight: ~1H 20mins
::: From Cebu Travel Time
   Flight: ~30mins.

2] Laguindingan Airport – Iligan City | North Bound Bus Terminal
:: Shuttle Rate: 50Php Pax
   Bus Rate: 85PhP
   Travel Time: ~1 hour

3] a] Laguindingan Airport – CDO | Bulua Terminal
:: Shuttle Rate: 100Php Pax
   Travel Time: ~1 hour

3] b] CDO | Bulua Terminal – Iligan City | North Bound Bus Terminal
:: Non- Aircon Bus ~40Phph Pax
:: Aircon – NonStop Bus ~ 85PHP Pax
   Travel Time ~2H

Ferries from Manila, and Cebu, to Cagayan de Oro 
::: From Manila Travel Time: ~30H
::: From Cebu Travel Time: ~12-14H
1] CDO Pier – CDO Bulua Bus Terminal
::: Jeepney (Just outside the docking area)
Travel Time: ~20- 30mins
Fare: 35 PhP
::: Metered Taxi (outside the pier)
Travel Time: ~15- 20mins
2] CDO Bulua Terminal – Iligan City North Bound Bus Terminal (Tambo)
:: Non- Aircon Bus ~40Phph Pax
:: Aircon – NonStop Bus ~ 85PHP Pax
Travel Time ~2H
3] To get to the City Proper
Take jeepney lines; Tibanga, Tambo, or Del Carmen
Travel Time: ~10mins
Fare: 7.50PhP

Via OZAMIS CITY to ILIGAN CITY

1] Check airline companies operating flights to Ozamis City
2] Please check ferry companies operating voyages to Iligan City via Ozamis
Travel Time: ~2H
Vessel docks at Iligan City Pier
2] Take the bus, and travel by road from Ozamis City to Iligan City
Read the post How to Get To Iligan – Ozamis City but backtrack it’s steps 

Via CEBU CITY to ILIGAN CITY

1] Check airline companies operating flights to Cebu City
Check airline companies operating flights from Cebu to Cagayan de Oro City
Follow the steps to getting to Iligan City via Lumbia Airport Cagayan de Oro City
2] Ferries from Cebu City to Cagayan de Oro City
Travel Time: ~16H
Ferries from Cebu City to Iligan City with Ozamis City stopover
Vessel docks at Ozamis Pier, a wait time of 2H before it travels to Iligan City
Travel Time: ~2H
Vessel docks at Iligan City Pier, at downtown Iligan

AVAILABLE TRANSPORTATION IN ILIGAN CITY:

JEEPNEYS. Jeepneys are the main transport in Iligan City. Jeepney fare is at 7.50PhP for routes not exceeding 4-5km. Do ask around to help you get the right jeepey route, and sit nearest the driver. Not all jeepney routes have jeepney conductors available. For other jeepney routes that is away from the city proper, fare is at 10-30PhP, depending on distance
TAXI. No metered taxi. Taxi rate starts at 70Php but is as agreed by the taxi driver, and passenger. I HIGHLY discourage this one, most of the time they overcharge the passenger — even locals, how much more the visitors. I “once-in-a-blue moon” take a taxi when in Iligan City, I strongly feel the need for them to regulate their meters.
TRICYCLES / TRIKES. Available ONLY is subdivisions, and in neighborhoods, and rates start at 5PhP. Though even if it is against regulations, by night time you can see them on the main streets, and highways — these can charge 10-30PhP Pax depending on distance.
HABAL – HABAL. ONLY available for remote areas. Though by night time you can see them on the main streets, and highways — these can charge starting at 20PhP Pax depending on distance.
TARTANILYA. Iliganons still use tartanilya, or horse-drawn carriage for local transport. You can see them at the Pala-o Market with only ONE route. They are not allowed to wander off at any part of the city, so please do not force it upon the carers. They charge at 5PhP Pax.

NOTES:

+ Unfortunately, the bus terminals does not have any visible tourism information to help you with your visit, give you a map, or help you with directions when you load off of the Bus Terminal. You need to visit or contact the Tourism Office of Iligan City for that.
+ Should you take the taxi heading for the city proper, never fix a price of more than 100PhP. It should only be roughly 70-100PhP. The route is only about 4-5km. Or ask that they turn on their meter —- and ALWAYS ask if they issue a receipt. If they say they can’t because they do not have it, or for any other reasons, WALK AWAY. It’s not that they are bad drivers, just hopeful that they can straightened their act like the taxi services in other cities.

+ The Trikes, and Habal-Habal are regulated to only carry passengers to specific parts of the city. There will be stop overs to check proper licensing, and documents from the drivers. Always ask the driver if he is allowed to take the route, or the destinations you are heading to.
+ Iligan City has, still, a small town feel to it. you can ask the locals to help you go around the place. Better yet, call the Tourism Office to help you plan your trip.

You might like to read more of ILIGAN CITY posts.

ILIGAN CITY | Petronas Running Forward Fun Run


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Petronas Energy Phil. Inc. together with Iligan Sports Commission
and Iligan City Road Runners Asso.
 Invites everyone  to the PETRONAS Running Forward: Sixteen Years Fun Run.
In celebration of Petronas 16th Anniversary, they host their first fun run and invites everyone who are physically fit to participate in the event on June 20, 20011.
3 Distance-Divisions and Registration Fee:
3K (Kiddie) = 50Php
3K  (Adult)  = 50Php
5K  (Adult)  = 75Php
Only the first 500 registered participants will be entitled to a free singlet.
Do register early to grab your free singlet and race bib.
Petronas also invites the professional and/or amateur photographers
to take their best shots during this event.
Registration is at 300Php, and a line of prizes that awaits you.
So what are you waiting for? Register ahead and we will see each other at 
Petronas Running Forward Fun Run.

_________________________________________
Official Registration Form: HERE
Rules and Regulations: HERE
Race Map: HERE
__________________________________________

ILIGAN CITY | Night Market: STALL 65


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February 4, 2011, Iliganons had witnessed the opening of Iligan City Weekend Night Market. A total 105 stalls are allocated to lucky stall owners of small or large businesses, new or old entrepreneurs to set out their products on the streets of Iligan City when the night falls every Fridays and Saturdays of the week from 6:30 PM – 2AM.

It was my luck to be a part of one of the ventures in this Night Cafe. 

Stall 65; Weekend Night Market: Cafe
These stalls serves food products from meals, snacks, and drinks — and we’re a part of it. STALL 65, a group of first time entrepreneurs opened together with a few stalls on the first week of operation for the night cafe. Serving Roasted Pig/Pork (Lechonn Baboy), Pork Sisig, Kilawin, Halang-Halang, Pork/Chicken Barbeque, and Liempo.
Stall 65 also accepts catering service for all occasions. Just LIKE the official Night Cafe: Stall 65 Facebook Fanpage and read the details on it.

Stall 65 Crew in Sunshine Yellow
You won’t miss Stall 65 with the Sunshine Yellow Crew of young nurse entrepreneurs. See you on one of the weekend evening at Stall 65.

STALL 65:
Weekend Night Market:Cafe
Public Plaza, Iligan City
Facebook Fanpage: Edi’s Creation, and Catering Services
Contact #: 0916-232-9600

WHAT TO TRY:

Always ask for availability of KILAWIN and SPICY LECHON! It’s not always on the menu but try getting there every Fridays to get a taste of Baboy Sulop Kilawin from this Stall. And ofcourse, the Sisig is a constant —- crowd favorite!

HOW TO GET THERE:
****For Tourist, how to get to Iligan City —. READ THIS: Iligan City
**** To the Weekend Night Market: Cafe:
1. If you’re within the city proper, you can always walk with your family and friends to the City Public Plaza
2. Taxi for 60-80Php
…ask the driver to get you to Public Plaza…

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“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. 
The great affair is to move.”Robert Louis Stevenson
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ILIGAN CITY | Tinago Falls


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One must-stop-over is one of its pride — the Tinago Falls. The site for Star Cinema’s Forever & A Day movie by KC Conception & Sam Mibly. No, it wasn’t Ma. Cristina Falls but this other beauty. It is 13.8km away from the city proper and is accessible through two points, Brgy. Buruun, Iligan City and its neighboring municipality the Linamon, Lanao Del Norte. Tinago is the local word for hidden, being hidden in a deep ravine. Tinago Falls used to have a resort, mini zoo, playground and vast developed land area for a vacation one would truly enjoy with the family. Unfortunately, the resort has closed down and what is now left is a rundown buildings and cottages structures.

But Tinago Falls is still accessible and open for the public through the old resorts property. You can ask any locals for directions and even be accompanied through overgrown grasses and bushes of the old resorts to the makeshift entrance area for an agreed price or for free!

Height drop of 73.152 m (240.0 ft)
It’s a 5-10minutes walk through the property and, trust me when I say that you MUST, call a 5-10minute break, before descending down the stair. Trekking down through the side of the mountain requires an approximate of 500 descending steps called the winding staircase. I actually counted them, my count was 425 steps. Unless I missed or counted 1 for two or three. It is worth every sweat drop you’ll have as the falls just simply takes your breath away. 

A required life vest can be rented for fixed price, coming in a colorful hot pink, bright orange and green colors.  You must bring with you your own provisions, there won’t be any stores that may sell anything that you might need. So if you’re planning for a meal, pack one, and pack a good amount of it to satisfy you and your company. When down in the ravine, the signal for cellular connection is weak, from Globe, Smart, Suncellular, and their partner networks. So do make your calls or send texts messages to important people that you may be out of reach for a couple of hours. Pack you cameras with waterproof cases and tripods. The view will definitely take your already breathless breath away.

PINAY TRAVELISTA TRAVEL NOTES:
+Swim across the water basin to a small cave at the side of the falls. In good weather condition, the current is not strong. But for safety purposes have a couple of strong swimmers with you if you do so.
+Hop on the bamboo raft for a fixed price to get you near the waterfalls, and have someone with good zoom in lenses to take the pictures of you for printed memories.

+Always observe courtesy all the time, to locals and to what locals believe.
+If you brought a lot of food with you to consume, share it to the ones who watches over the property. There is this guy and some kids who stay there and make a living keeping you safe. 

How To Get To Iligan City:
—-Read: Iligan City, Philippines

DIRECTIONS | HOW TO THERE DETAILS TO TINAGO FALLS: Map: HERE

*****Fares may change depending on approved rates
Post Date: June 2011; Updated: March 2014
From Iligan City Proper to Tinago Falls:
A.] 1] Public Jeepney: Brgy. Buru-un Line
Fare: ~15Php/person one way
2] Take the Habal-Habal/
Fare: 35Php/person one way
B.] Public Utility Vehicles: Taxi (Fare: 250-350Php, from city proper to the highway or to the Tinago Falls Resorts, depending on agreed fare with the driver. It will be very costly.)

ENTRANCE AND EXTRA FEES:

*****Fees may change depending on approved rates
Regular: None.
Life Jacket Rental (required): 25Php
Cottages/Tables: 50Php
Bamboo Raft Ride Fee:
10Php/person

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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People travel to faraway places to watch, in fascination,
the kind of people they ignore at home.” – Dagobert D. Runes
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ILIGAN CITY | Ma. Cristina Falls


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Ma. Cristina Falls of Iligan City is a waterfall of the Agus River and is often called the twin falls with a rock separating the flow at the brink of the waterfall. It is what most people equate with Iligan City being a majestic landmark of Iligan City. It is located 9.3 kilometers away southwest of the city proper at the boundaries of Brgys. Ditucalan, and Buru-un. Well-known for its magnificent beauty , the 98 meters/320 water drop for a waterfall is one sight, and it’s existence you will definitely remember.
It powers the Agus VI Hydroelectric Plant when it was commissioned last May 31, 1953 and is operated by the National Power Corporation. It is available for viewing at the viewing deck and a must-stop-over when visiting Iligan City. You can visit it at NPC Natures Park, and the Ma. Cristina Falls is the highlight of the many surprises this nature park has in store for you.



DIRECTIONS | HOW TO GET TO MA. CRISTINA FALLS: Map: HERE

*Fares may change depending on approved rates
*Updated: November 2014


National Power Corporation Nature’s Park is located within the Agus 6/7 HEP Complex
Tourism Triangle Boundary, Ma. Cristina, Buru-un, Iligan City

Coordinates: 8°11’3″N 124°11’58″E

How To Get To Iligan City
Please read: Knowing Iligan City & How To Get There Directions

Iligan City Proper to Ma. Cristina Falls/ NPC Natures Park:
1] Public Jeepney: Buru-un Line
    Fare: 10 – 15 Php
    — Jeepney line can be located at Corner Roxas Ave. – Arenata St. or after the third block south bound  from Crown Paper & Stationer, fronting Jollibee Aguinaldo/ Main. Check map here.
    — Ask the driver to drop you off the NPC, or Agus. You wont miss it, it’s right after the Buru-un Bridge which is currently orange in colour.
    — Walk a few 15-20m to the the main entrance.
 2] Public Utility Vehicles: Taxi (depending on agreed fare with the driver)

NPC NATURE’S PARK FEES:
*Fees may change depending on approved rates
Entrance Fees: Regular: 35Php
                       Student/ Senior Citizen: 20Php
NOTE: For those backpackers or those without private vehicles, a coaster is provided for you and your party at 10PhP pax, minimun of 5 Pax. It may take awhile to wait for it though, since they only have one coaster to serve everyone.

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

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“To awaken quite alone in a strange town
 is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.” 
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ILIGAN CITY | A Successful PhilHealth Run: One Run for Health


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I heard about a run through Facebook updates by Barbex Films
to carry on the campaign to fight against violence to women and children.
 (Watch Video Here: V1V2V3)
And as soon as a friend came up to offer a registration form,
I took on a chance to register early.
The poster was pink! and looked great!! And it hit me that it was for a cause!!!
I had to register ahead that way I can psyche myself. *Whoooo*
The PhilHealth Run was an event for a cause — for health
 and for abused women and children.
A part of the registration fee will serve aid in health insurance
 for 17 beneficiaries from the Mc Auley Sisters of Mercy – a center for abused women & children. 
Philhealth, a national health insurance, together with One 92 Organization,
a group of  Secondary Education Batch 92 from different schools of Iligan City, 
moved as one to organize and mobilize this run with rest of the sponsors.
There were three categories to run in: 3K Kiddie, 3K, 5K, and 10K.
I, having done previous run on 5K, took 5K hoping to have a shorter time finish.

After the run, everyone was at the Rizal Plaza to for the raffle draws 
and giving away of freebies.
Other activities were Philhealth Run photo contest, hand painting
 and photo taking at the Advocacy wall.
They set up stalls with food and beverage after the run. 
Loads up carbo, perks us up, and keep our bodies healthy and tummies happy.
 The freebies was great. Aside from the wrist baller we got along side our singlet and running bibs, we got to take home Enervon Prime, Enervon and Conzace Multivitamins, and Summit Mineral Water. And for the kiddies, they got Growee Multivitamins with water tumbler, alcohol in spray canister, and child friendly medications.
My praises goes to the organization of the event and the sponsors of this event. You thought of strategic areas to put up medic assistance and  water stations — hands up to Red Cross, traffic enforcers, and water stations people. Thanks for keeping us safe, and hydrated. Philhealth and One 92, Iligan City Gov’t and officials, the institutions, organizations, and business establishments had done a super great job!
We got to run, helped along the way, had loads of fun. 
Congratulations to the organizers and the participants of Philhealth Run!
Kudos to everyone!
_______________________________________________________
Photo Credits to Kayex V
Similar article at a CoFFee SToRY To TeLL
Related article by same author: HERE
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ILIGAN CITY | A Spiritual Trip at Benedectine Monastery of St. Anne


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Not many knows of a Benedictine Monastery of Saint Anne in a very secluded part of Sta. Felomina, Iligan City. I have been lucky to have visited this spiritual place twice early this year. Their main house is the first of the many infrastructures that is planned to be built on this large untouched and far-from-the-busy-city-streets land.
The Benedictine Monastery of Saint Anne has a new monastery overlooking Iligan City at one side and the Iligan Bay on the other. Just beyond the road bend on the way to the Ma. Cristina Gardens, Sta. Felomina, is a not so used road that brings you to this quiet place of the nuns.
On the main house is a chapel where the nuns say their prayers and where masses are also held. Everyone is welcome to visit and hear the word of God through the nuns who are willing to share it to you. In our little time of visit, the mother superior of the house has shared time and wisdom to us. The monastery also has a shelf full of handmade rosaries and and little momentos to get you by — for yourself or a gift to someone.
My first visit was with John Rulith, April, Kino, M’am Evelyn, and Ate Jeddy and Kuya Jason who brought us there. We waited on the main house steps for nearly two hours since we got there after lunch, which was the siesta and afternoon prayer time for the nuns.
My second visit was still with Ate Jeddy, Kuya Jason, and M’am Evelyn, together with Ate Aileen, Coco, Baby Alana, and Iven. The sisters were glad to see us back and even remembered our names.
The landscape is full of flowers and vegetation, as the nuns tend to the gardens for aesthetic and consumption purposes. If you have time, or in need for a spiritual guidance and enlightenment, visit this quite and far-from-civilization monastery — one can enjoy the scenery, reflect on life, and bask on wisdom from the nuns.
NOTES:
+ Study the map (HERE) of the place! Not many houses are found there for you to ask directions, it’s better to be equipped than sorry.
+ Drive to this place. Rent a car (Iligan City Yellow Pages) or have someone take you there. There aren’t any public utility vehicles to take you near or within walking distance to it.
+ Bring something for the nuns. It’s a hostess job to keep her guest happy — but these aren’t ordinary hostesses. Bring some food so that they don’t have to bother prepping something for you.
+ Come at around 9-10AM, right after lunch, or 3-5PM. that way they may have finished with the morning prayers, seista and afternoon prayers.
+ Check out the landscaping. It is far from finished yet. But the nuns have been busy tending the landscape with flowers and vegetation.
+ Observe proper decorum, this is a place of divinity and worship. We appropriate clothing and fight the urge to laugh or talk too loud.

How to Get There: 
A. How to get to Iligan City: Read: HERE
B. From City Proper to Sta. Felomina:
1. Take a Public Jeepney (Fare= 7.50Php)
2. Ask the driver to drop you off at Ma. Cristina Gardens/ Pryce Gardens
3. At the stop, look for Habal-Habal, ask to be taken at Benedectine Monastery or just tell them the monastery/house of the St. Anne nuns. Study the map first that way you can tell the the directions.
_____________________________________________
Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.” – Seneca
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Currency Conversion and Travelling


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When you’re planning to go on a travel, it *i will never tire in saying this* pays to plan ahead. Getting that plane ticket and packing up those backpacks are not enough. You also have to scout around for accommodations, possible food haven, and tourist or backpackers friendly area in the country you’re visiting — in the web. That way, you can anticipate the expenses you will be having during and for the entire trip. Think: BUDGET!

This is where you might need an extra detail on current currency conversions.

Read that again: CURRENT currency conversions.

Since the market fluctuates day by day, it’s best to check the currency conversion and get updated with any significant changes. Such change may be the only reason why the long awaited trip might get cancelled.

I came upon this site: CoinMill.com – The Currency Converter that is updated and super helpful when you’re looking for currency conversion sites. This site is easy to navigate and it lists all countries and it’s currencies conversion in one single entry. You can input an amount and have it converted to the corresponding amount of the currency of the country you’re eyeing up for a travel for and the rest of the countries listed.

Try this one up. You’ll find this helpful and easy to use.

Have a safe and happy travel you guys..^^