Motoring across the heart of Mindanao from Cagayan de Oro City to Davao City basically involves crossing over one big province – the Province of Bukidnon.

Thanks to modern satellite technology and the internet, the straight line distance between Cagayan de Oro City and Davao City has been computed at about 186 kilometers. The actual road distance, however,  is anywhere between 240 to 320 kilometers. And that takes about 4 hours driving by private car or 5 -6 hours by bus.

Though Bukidnon is oftentimes described as an extensive plateau, the southern and eastern boundaries are mountainous areas. You are driving through areas with an average elevation of 915 meters above sea level.

Halfway through the road trip, about 160 km from Cagayan de Oro (140 km more to go to reach Davao City), is the traveler’s pit stop -  the Ver Overview Nature & Culture Park located at an elevated point at Kipolot, Brgy Palaopao of the Municipality of Quezon, Bukidnon.

The Ver Overview Nature & Culture Park has a viewing deck which provides travelers with an elevated, panoramic view of Bukidnon’s beautiful rolling hills and mountains.

It’s a great stop over for motorists needing to stretch out while taking in the vast and scenic surroundings.

Here are a couple of shots taken one late afternoon…

[source: wikipedia, google earth]

  • Twitter
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo Buzz
  • StumbleUpon

Davao City viewed from Samal Island across Pakiputan Strait

Samal Island across Davao City is more popularly known for its beach resorts and dive sites. The island, however, offers more than just white sand beaches.

The Island Garden City of Samal (it’s a city and that’s the official name!) is bestowed with a lot of other beautiful natural resources, such as the Monfort Bat Colony, natural caves as well as enchanting waterfalls.

We got to visit the Hagimit Falls located at Brgy. Cawag, Peñaplata (a city district), about 2 kilometers away from Peñaplata proper.

Hagimit Falls is actually a series of small falls and ponds in its natural setting, scattered wide over a large forested area, with small natural pools and cascading waters all around. It is a haven for nature lovers, campers and picnickers – a great place to take a refreshing waterfalls “shower,” a dip in its very cool waters in a rainforest setting.

Since it covers a wide area privately owned by several families, the resulting “development” initiatives over the years have turned the place into a hodge-podge of huts, cottages, canteens and what-have-you. In fairness to the original owners, they have tried their best to preserve the natural settings, albeit the concrete mini dams and other old-fashioned, concrete structures built decades earlier can stand some renovation and face-lifts to make them blend more with the natural surroundings.

Still, if you come early, ahead of other campers and picnickers, you can go survey around and explore the wide expanse and find a private, undeveloped nook all to yourself.

And therein have a serious commune with nature…

VIEW FULL GALLERY >>>

For more information, contact Leyte Gulf Travel & Tours:

(053)321-7966; (053)523-7966; email: leytegulf@callezaragosa.com

  • Twitter
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo Buzz
  • StumbleUpon

While rummaging through my photo library – organizing and updating them and doing back-ups – I ran into a gold mine of several folders containing hundreds of unpublished photos!

I’ll have to say I was not totally unaware of its existence; I further confess it’s a classic case of procrastination on my part.

Also, a series of ensuing events and circumstances further buried these folders back into my baul – among them not-so-pleasant ones the mind automatically chooses to set them aside (to be dealt with later, but when?)

Among the photos I found were those taken during an 8-day inter-regional marathon caravan we took in 2007, conducted by the Department of Tourism of Region 13 (Caraga), Region 8 (Eastern Visayas) and Region 5 (Bicol) that saw us traversing the Maharlika Highway from Agusan del Norte all the way to Camarines Sur. No mean feat.

Don’t get me wrong; a few of these photos were actually published in the net – the more prominent and interesting ones – but most of them got buried deep owing to its sheer volume (it was an 8-day event!) and the not-exactly exciting prospect of rummaging through all of them and doing post-processing on the chosen ones.

So having said that as a backgrounder, let me feature first photos taken in Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte.

The Pansukian Tropical Resort was the first resort built in Siargao Island – a remote island located in the easternmost border of Surigao del Norte province in Mindanao facing the Philippine Deep and the mighty Pacific Ocean. Over the years Siargao has gotten to be known as the surfing capital of the Philippines.

Built by a Frenchman in the middle of a lush tropical mangrove forest with a lagoon and a river running through it, and with a beach front facing the sea, the Pansukian Tropical Resort stands out as one of the more prominent paradise-like exclusive hideaways in the remote island.

Its Balinese architectural theme makes one feel like being in another faraway land.

I’ve heard earlier that the resort’s architectural-designer group was the same one which designed and built the Surf Camp Resort in Calicoan Island in Guiuan, Eastern Samar. One cannot miss the striking resemblance.

And, of course, when one goes to Siargao, one goes to surf. Or see others surf.

And Cloud 9 sits right there at the island’s major surfing area.

Continue reading »

  • Twitter
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo Buzz
  • StumbleUpon
© 2013 gerryruiz photoblog mark II Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha