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

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Day 02 in Iloilo City was the main event for the trip – the Visayas Blogging Summit and the Philippine Blog Awards.

Here are other photos I took on my second day in the City of Iloilo – photos other than those of the blogging summit and the Philippine Blog Awards.

The breakfast view from the Promenade Resto at the top of The Atrium showing the Iloilo Provincial Capitol.

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If peace and quiet is what you want… and if you happen to be in the northeastern part of Minadanao traveling from Surigao City down to the town of Kitcharao towards Jabonga in Agusan del Norte, there’s a little known (yet), quiet and simple resort along the shore of Lake Mainit.

It’s the Almont Lake Resort at Kitcharao, about an hour’s drive south from Surigao City.

It offers a breathtaking view of the scenic Lake Mainit.

Lake Mainit is the deepest lake in the Philippines (with a recorded depth reaching 223 meters), and the fourth largest, after Laguna de Bay, Lake Lanao (of Lanao del Sur) and Taal Lake.

Lake Mainit has a surface area of 17,060 hectares with a lakeshore length of 62 kilometers.

The lake is equally shared between the provinces of Surigao del Norte and Agusan del Norte with 31 barangays along the lakeshore belonging to 4 municipalities – Mainit, Alegria, Kitcharao and Jabonga.

Lake Mainit is home to rare fish species as well as other endangered wildlife flora and fauna.

The place is unspoiled and very rustic, and the water is still clean and unpolluted.

Very peaceful and serene, indeed – a perfect hideaway for those who want to be far from the crowded bars and cafes, the hustle and bustle of metropolitan living.

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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.

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