LuzViMinda Escapade: 10 Days, 10 Provinces. (Part 3 – Mindanao)

Day 8

From Davao Int’l Airport, we grabbed a cab going to Overland Bus Terminal. It was one o’clock in the morning when we arrived and the first trip to Cateel was thru an ordinary bus. We estimated the travel time would be around six hours and we told the ticket personnel to drop us at Aliwagwag falls so we can take a nap while on the road.

This was our first destination since it was located just along the high way. Upon arriving at the falls, we heard the locals talking about what happened the day after our visit. There was an encounter with NPA and we saw bullet shells near the falls. The water was so cold and I didn’t bother to swim and just took some pictures. The bus trips were limited and we missed the last trip in the morning going to Cateel, we were heading Awao Falls in Compostela Valley. So we changed our route, we haggled with the habal habal driver, and since our bags were huge we decided to take one habal habal per person.

After more than two hours of habal habal ride, we arrived at Montevista. We went straight to the bus terminal and took a Bachelor bus going to Monkayo. We haggled with another habal habal driver for a round-trip tour in Awao Falls. I was amazed by their habal habal, I called it habal with wings because there were seats on both sides of the driver. It can accommodate up to eight persons and the driver was so good in balancing especially on the rocky parts of the road. After an hour of balancing, we reached the Awao Falls. Only a few people went camping there since the falls were dry during that time. One good thing was that the water wasn’t deep and I could go swimming. After swimming, we told the habal habal driver to drop us at the nearest bus station going to Bislig in Surigao del Sur.

After almost three hours bus ride we arrived at Mommy Susan’s house, she’s one of my friends in a mountaineering group “Talahib“. We took some rest and prepared for our city tour in the evening. We visited Ocean View Park and their doll museum. And after eating dinner, we went to Bislig baywalk.

Davao to Cateel (Lyra Bus) – P220
Aliwagwag Falls entrance – P50
Cateel to Montevista habal – P600
To Monkayo (Bachelor Bus) – P25
Monkayo to Awao Falls habal – P500
To Mangagoy (Bachelor Bus) – P140

Day 9

Woke up early in the morning to visit Tinuy-an Falls and Enchanted River. Mommy Susan prepared breakfast for us, this family was so generous and kind. It was seven in the morning when Kuya Cesar, our tour guide, arrived and picked us up. About 45 minutes habal habal ride before we reached the Tinuy-an falls. I planned to swim in the falls, however, the water is not overflowing as I’ve seen it in the pictures.

The waterfalls were dry during that time so there was no view of curtain falls just like that of Niagara. So I just took some photos and watched the water falling from the second layer of the falls. I also tried to take a ride on the bamboo raft but I’m afraid I might fall in the water, not really prepared to get wet that time. At around ten o’clock, we decided to go to our next destination.

Our next stop was the Enchanted River, about an hour and a half from the falls. And with the right time calculation of Kuya Cesar, we had the chance to watch the fish feeding at 12 noon. In this ceremony, they believed that by feeding the fishes, there will be blessings in return and this also served as offering to the spirits protecting the river. It was so enchanted that no one knows how deep the river was.

One of the divers attempting to measure the depth of this river died during his second attempt. At the entrance, you will see his story written as a tribute to the contribution of this doctor in exploring the river, discovering why this was so enchanted. To preserve the river, there is now a designated swimming area for the tourist, away from the deep part of the river. And you are not allowed to swim without wearing a life vest.

After watching the fish feeding ceremony, we roam around to explore the place. There are also island hopping if you have so much time to kill. It was already 2:00 PM when we decided to go back home at mommy Susan’s. We packed our things and went back to Davao since tomorrow would be our last day in Mindanao. We booked our fan room accommodation in Daylight Inn via traveloka that costs us only 190 pesos for two people per night.

Habal habal – P1,000 for 2 pax
Tinuy-an Falls entrance – P50
Enchanted River entrance – P50
Mangagoy to Davao by Van – P300
Daylight Inn Davao – P190 for 2 pax

Surigao del Sur Tour
Cesar Sarmiento – 09485750496

Day 10

It’s the last day of our trip and we had decided to visit Samal Island, since it was not far from Sasa Wharf. We asked kuya Manuel for our itinerary and started our island tour at around eight in the morning.

First spot was the Bluebird View Deck, where you can see the island with so many pearls. Then we went to Sabang Cliff. There were a group of students having fun in jumping off the cliff. I wanted to jump but I’m a bit scared because I might hit the sharp stone down the cliff. So we just watched the boys jumping and took the pictures and videos.

Next stop was the Kaputian Beach, where you can relax because this place was not crowded and the sea was calm during our visit. From the word itself, “Kaputian”, the white sand made me swam in the crystal clear water. Though the sun was high, I swam and played with the mini waves.

After swimming, we explored the balete park and went to Hagimit Falls. It was quite small, but it all falls naturally from the mountains. There was a pool that catches the water to preserve its natural form giving the visitors a very relaxing spot. After taking our lunch, we went back to Sasa Wharf and had our tour in the Crocodile Park.

Before watching the animal show, we took some photos on their butterfly garden. The animal show was so organized and the animals showcasing their talents and skills were so amazing. Especially those monkeys playing basketball. After the show, we had our tour in the crocodile field, we watched how they fed the crocodiles and learned some information about them.

During the night, there was a show by the Tribu K’Mindanawan Fire Dance. They set the stage on fire with their spectacular fire dance routines. After having so much fun with all the shows we saw in the park, we went back to our accommodation and packed our things.

Time to go back to Manila and live our lives that we used to, but now with more new stories about travel and culture.

Inn to Sasa Wharf (Jeep) – P15
Wharf to Samal (RORO) – P10 per way
Samal Island habal tour – P600
Kaputian Beach entrance – P15
Bluebird View Deck entrance – P10
Hagimit Falls entrance – P50
Wharf to Crocodile Park (Taxi) – P140
Crocodile Park entrance – P300

Samal Island Tour
Kuya Manuel – 09350180022

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