The unique beauty of Asik-asik Falls in Alamada, North Cotabato
The unique beauty of Asik-asik Falls in Alamada, North Cotabato

November was a kick-off of the TravelMindanao Project. It was a thrilling whirlwind 20-days (and would have been more if not for Super Typhoon Yolanda’s unexpected arrival) for me but was quite fulfilling in discovering (and re-discovering) different facets of Mindanao. So what started as a joke from the recent WAT 2.0 in Iligan evolved to an advocacy, a call to action to Travel to Mindanao. With a group of 8 travel bloggers we explored Mindanao to showcase the sights, the people, the experience and hoping you consider Mindanao on you next travel plan. Here’s a snippet on some of the highlights of this project.

Group downtime in Cantlan
Group downtime in Cantilan

Surigao del Norte. I caught up with the group a few days later after the TravelMindanao kicked-off November 6 in Surigao City. The group was supposed to go to Bucas Grande after but Super Typhoon Yolanda spoiled our plans as the resort we were supposed to stay at sustained some damage. We just enjoyed some downtime in Cantilan hosted by the ever generous Cathe Pacific.

Having Hinatuan Enchanted River all to ourselves and the author freediving to explore its depths
Having Hinatuan Enchanted River all to ourselves and the author freediving to explore its depths

Surigao del Sur. I found myself back to Hinatuan Enchanted River but this time the team certainly enjoyed it as we had the river all to ourselves. Aside from enjoying the surface, we were able to free-dive to explore its depths.

Tagum's San Agustin Botanical Garden
Tagum’s San Agustin Botanical Garden

Davao and Tagum. Yolanda may have screwed our schedule but we managed to go back on track in Davao. Big thanks to Marco Polo Davao for our pampered stay in the city and the Tagum Tourism office for a quick tour in their highly developing city.

The team enjoying the morning at Lake Seloton
The team enjoying the morning at Lake Seloton

General Santos and Lake Sebu. We had another pampered stay at Microtel GenSan before moving into an arduous commute in the next series of TravelMindanao legs. Lake Sebu is always a pleasure to visit even having been there several times already. The group certainly enjoyed the serenity of the place couple by its awesome zipline and a scenic stay at Punta Isla Lake Resort.

4 remained from the team to explore Asik-asik Falls in North Cotabato
4 remained from the team to explore Asik-asik Falls in North Cotabato

North Cotabato. Probably the most taxing in terms of travel but certainly worth it as Asik-asik Falls is one of the most beautiful and unique waterfalls I have seen in the country.

Dubbed as guinea pigs, the Travel Mindanao Team is officially the first group to do the 6-hour long Atugan River Trailing adventour
Dubbed as guinea pigs, the Travel Mindanao Team is officially the first group to do the 6-hour long Atugan River Trailing adventour

Bukidnon. This was a new territory for me and one of the most exciting of the TravelMindanao legs. From hitching trucks, river treks, waterfalls hunting to night treks, spelunking and rappelling off bridges, it’s just fun all the way. Not to mention that I love cold weather especially in Lorega. (Thank you DDD Habitat for our stay there).

TravelMindanao class picture at Cagayan River White Water Rafting
TravelMindanao class picture at Cagayan River White Water Rafting

Cagayan de Oro. This was the last leg I joined for TravelMindanao. CdeO has constantly been a transit city for me but this time I had the chance to experience its famed rapids. Many thanks to Kagay Whitewater Adventure for that extremely fun tour as well as Tune Hotels and DDD Habitat for our stay in Cagayan de Oro.

The team many thanks to ROX and Zemgear for our footwear
The team after the White Water Rafting tour, many thanks to ROX and Zemgear for our footwear

Travel Mindanao was quite an experience thanks to the sponsors who believed in our advocacy like Greenwhich Pizza for joining us along the way, and Zemgear, as our official footwear. Big thanks also to personal sponsor  Cebu Pacific Air for bringing me to Mindanao and back. There are more actually which we’ll get into detail once we go start writing our posts. I also had an awesome time with my co-travel bloggers during this 20-day tour. I’ve always believed that if you really want to get to know a person, travel with them and indeed this was such a rewarding experience of getting to know each other more. Mindanao is awesome but the people you travel with and the ones we met along the way are more so.

Do follow our project updates in our TravelMindanao Facebook Page or visit our site at www.travelmindanao.org

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