I was looking forward to those oh so comfortable chiropractic beds from Microtel when I heard we’ll be staying at their new branch in General Santos City. Microtel by Wyndham is no stranger to me as I’ve already stayed at their branches Baguio, Tarlac, Puerto Princesa and Boracay. The good thing about this chain hotel is that I can expect the same comfort I’ve enjoyed all through their branches, which is the bed where I’ve always felt rejuvenated waking up even with only a few hours of sleep. Microtel General Santos is no exception.
It was not hard to notice the wide national road neatly fringed with rows of palm trees once we entered the City of Tagum, Davao del Norte while on a shuttle coming from Davao City proper. This is probably one of the cleanest and greenest national road I’ve seen in the country. The #TravelMindanao group visits Tagum City for a day trip to see what this fast developing city has to offer.
The iconic Philippine Eagle or the Monkey-eating eagle is the country’s national bird. I have seen and heard much of this mighty flyer in many photos already but never I have seen one of the largest eagle in the world (in terms of length) still in existence, up close. The Philippine Eagle is critically endangered with only about 500 remaining in the country, that’s why it saddens me whenever I read news of one dying either naturally or mistakenly shot in the wild. While staying at Marco Polo Davao, we were able to visit the Philippine Eagle Center (PEC) in Malagos District, Davao City home of about 36 Philippine Eagle.
After relatively roughing it up for a few days in Surigao del Sur for Cantilan Beach and Hinatuan Enchanted River, the Travel Mindanao team makes its way down south to Davao City. While we did stay for a night at EscapeManila’s crib when we arrived, Marco Polo Davao was our abode for two nights after. This chain hotel’s trademark elegance was a welcome comfort after a long travel.
“Bumabagyo tas pupunta kayo dun?!! (It’s storming and you guys are going there?)” a grumpy old man blurted while we’re warming ourselves with soup and coffee in a roadside eatery in Hinatuan. Yes the weather looked dreary and occasional rain showers threatened to dampen our excitement to visit the much talked about Enchanted River in Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur. We trusted our instincts and continued with our plans, Typhoon Zenaida can’t rain in our parade and it turned out to be one of the best decisions we made in this trip.
It was an unforeseen disaster when Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) ravaged the Philippines early November 2013. My Cebu Pacific Air cancelled flight to Surigao City is so petty a problem compared to what happened to the cities in the typhoon’s path. It was a storm the world was watching and the rest of the TravelMindanao team felt a portion of its wrath in Surigao City. Everything went to a sudden stop as we weathered the storm, Cebu Pacific Air easily rebooked my flight for Butuan on another date to catch up with the rest of the TravelMindanao team. Circumstances however led us to Cathe Pacific in Cantilan, Surigao del Sur prematurely for a much-needed downtime.
Usually when I talk about waterfalls, I talk about the great lengths on how to reach a good one, the extensive hikes, the stair climbs and the sweat you have to invest. Well Cathedral Falls, found in Baranggay Waterfalls in Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte defies the norms. After a 15-minute habal-habal ride from the main bus terminal in Kapatagan, we pulled off on the road and there it was in all its glory.