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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tagbibinta Falls - Maragusan, Compostela Valley

Mindanao region is blessed to have numerous waterfalls. Some of them are presently used as the source of electricty for little towns in Mindanao. One great and enticing waterfalls can be found in Maragusan, Compostela Valley. It is known as Tagbibinta Falls where a lot of people visit the place specially last holy week. Compostela Valley is one of the best Mindanao tourist spost.

I really wanted to visit nice places in Compostela Valley and now I recently witness the majestic view of Tagbibinta falls which measures 700 feet high and a series of seven falls located in Maragusan, Compostela Valley. The trek to Tagbibinta falls is minimal. I was expecting some muddy trail and slippery slopes due to rainy days during the first month of summer. There are some parts of trail that are really slippery but you can overcome with it if you wear appropriate shoes. Proper climbing shoes are best for slippery trails, they are designed to stick with the mud. If you feel to face a trekking challenge, this is the best place for you to start. It offers great challenge for trekkers to conquer all seven falls.

It is really a great experience to witness these majestic falls in Compostela Valley. We felt tired during our trek but we get relief and enticed when we see what lies in the middle of the forest. If you are planning to visit the place, getting there is very easy. From Davao City, you can ride a van going to Compostela Valley. There are north bound van terminal in Bajada Victoria Plaza and in bus terminal in Ecoland, Davao City. Take a bus going to Compostela and jump off at Nabunturan. Nabunturan is the provincial capital of Compostela Valley. Then hire a motorcycle or habal-habal to take you to Barangay Coronobe, Maragusan. Barangay Coronobe is only 5 kilometers from the town proper.

If you want to get a guide, you can arrange with the local tourism office in Maragusan and ask some help of a guide to be with you during your trek. And if you don't have vehicle, it is also good to hire a "habal-habal" for your entire tour.

Location: Barangay Coronobe Maragusan, Compostela Valley Philippines
Budget: 2000 plus per person

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Things to Bring When Going to Travel

When going out to travel, one must bring important things and gadgets. Seriously without these things your travel won't be easy. Preparing things is the first thing to do before going out. So here are some list of important things that you must bring.

1.] Bag
When traveling, your bag is considered as your life. It is advised to bring light weight backpacks to make you feel comfortable specially when hiking. Don't bring unneccessary things, this will just make your bag heavy.

2.] Clothes
Don't bring too many clothes. Choose light weight clothings, you can wear shorts instead of pants and silk tops to fold it small as possible but depending on the location you are to visit. When visiting religious sites, churches and mosques then shorts are not allowed.

To make 2 pairs of clothing usefull in a couple of days, you can wash used clothes and then dry it. Trek pants and silk clothes dry easily. But if you hike forest, wear a light trek pants and long sleeve tops to keep you away from mosquitos and leech. These are essential depending on the location you will visit. If you are going in a beach then wearing long sleeve looks odd.

Jacket is also important. This can help you keep warm during cold nights. Swim wear- bring this as extra if you think you might be needing some.

3.]Foot Wear
You can bring light slippers for a comfortable walk but still depending on the location you are on. Hiking shoes and sandals are effecient if you trek slippery forest. You can bring both if you want but I'm sure there's no space inside your bag. Some backpackers just hang their footwear on their packs.

Bottom line: Bring clothes you are comfortable. If they are light and practical all the better.

4.] Swiss Army Knife
An ordinary little knife will do if you don't have a swiss army knife. This is very useful specially if you do hiking or camping. It can be used as can or bottle opener, knife and etc. When passing through airport, you should place it in your checked luggage so that it won't be confiscate in airport security.

5.] First Aid Kit
Medications and other healthcare stuffs are also important. Headache, Wounds, cuts and burns might happen during your travel and it is better to be prepared.

6.] Camera and Batteries
Picture taking is always present in travel time. I mean, all of us wants a sovenier before leaving the place and pictures are the perfect one.

7.] Mobile Phone
For some reason, it is advisable to bring any device that can contact other people in case of emergencies. Mobile charger is also neccessary.

8.] Torch Light
This is usefull when hiking a mountain and sleeping on the base camp at night. Tents are also essential on this locations.

Things that you should not carry

Water - you can buy mineral water everywhere so why bother placing water bottles on your bag. When hiking, there are fresh water streams you can drink inside the forest. Yes, they are clean and it tastes heavenly compared to bottled water you buy.

Some say bringing map and compas are important. For me, it isn't because if you get lost, the very simple thing to do is ask. You can just ask people to point you in a right direction. And travel tour guides are always there waiting you to hire them on your trip.

So these are the essential things that you must bring when going out and exploring the world wonders in every nation. Hoping this can help you make you travel easy and convenient.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Epol Waterfalls | Epol Spring Resort - Marilog District

best places in the philippines Epol Spring Resort

Seeing a waterfalls is an enchanted feeling. It is one of the best and exciting adventure that you should list on your blog journal. Since Philippines is blessed with so much nature wonders, then Philippines is expected to have large numbers of majestic waterfalls. However some of them are difficult to accomplish and extremely dangerous. And I know that there are still undiscovered waterfalls in the Philippines.

best places in the philippines Epol Spring Resort

I know one good waterfalls in Mindanao and should be listed as best Davao tourist spots. It is easy to climb, human friendly forest and a recommended one to those who want to start trekking. You can find Epol waterfalls in Marilog, Davao City. I already visited this place when I was in high school but then blogging that time was not on my mind. So I decided to visit the place again and take some photo to be posted here and to show you that the place is still beautiful.

Marilog District is a 100 kilometers from Davao proper and will take you almost 3 and half hour to travel. Epol falls was known as Green Valley waterfalls before. The trek is very easy, no sweat at all. When we reached the Marilog road, we started our trek immediately. There is entrance fee collected when you pass by at the first house going down the waterfalls. They used to collect fees to maintain the cleanliness of the falls.

best places in the philippines Epol Spring Resort

best places in the philippines Epol Spring Resort

When we get there, it is really cold due to Marilog's climate plus it was a rainy day season. It is really foggy and it doubles the adventure because of the muddy trail we undergo. There's a base camp where you can place your tent, there are also few cottages you can rent. From the base camp, you can reach the waterfalls in no time. The falls ins't that high and deep but when rainy season the falls has strong current and waters go deep.

I would advise you to stay overnight at the base camp for many reasons. One reason is that traveling back and forth will took you so long, second you won't enjoy the place if you travel back the same day and possibly you cannot reach the exit trail before day is over. Trekking forest at night is truly dangerous.

From Davao City proper, you can reach Marilog riding a bus via Cagayan Buda. Bus terminal is located at Ecoland, Davao City. Bus fare to Marilog is only PHP200.00. If the place is already foggy then that signifies that you just entered Marilog District. Tell the bus driver to drop you at Busai or Epol waterfalls. On the left road, there's a sign board pointing you where to start your trek down to the falls. To get back, same thing to do, wait a bus from the Epol road and buses will usually go back to Ecoland terminal.

Easy right? If you are an adventurous person then you have the courage to travel inspite of bringing a map only and hope this article will help you if you are planning to trek Epol waterfalls.

Location: Marilog District Davao City, Davao del Sur Philippines
Budget: 500-1000 per person (Davao City based)

Enjoy other pictures taken at Epol Marilog District.

best places in the philippines Epol Spring Resort

best places in the philippines Epol Spring Resort

best places in the philippines Epol Spring Resort

best places in the philippines Epol Spring Resort

best places in the philippines Epol Spring Resort

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Villa de Mercedes Resort - Catigan, Toril Davao City

White sand beaches and resorts in Philippines are usually a busy places during summer. Enjoying summer is fun. Playing with waves and cool water really feels great and refreshing. I been through with many resorts and lately I have visted this high class resort which I instantly listed as my another favorite Davao tourist spots and highly recommended resort for you this summer.

villa de mercedes resort mindanao best places

We actually intended to go for a house tripping at Villa de Mercedes located at Toril, Davao City. And as we go around the subdivision, one of the housing agent told us to check out the swimming pool. As we reached the place, it really captivated our mind because of the beauty and modern trend of the swimming pool. Indeed a breath taking place. Actually I though that it is considered as a private resort for Villa de Mercedes subdivision only but surprisingly they allow outsiders to enjoy the resort for a low price.

villa de mercedes resort mindanao best places

Let me first describe the pool. Villa de Mercedes swimming pool has a great and super high class designs - a modern one. It is an infinity pool and the beach kilometers away looks like just connected with the pool as you take a look from the pool's sand. The swimming pool's depth is only 5 feet. Diving is not allowed but I assure you, you would still enjoy the place. There is also a kid's pool.

villa de mercedes resort mindanao best places

The swimming pool is designed to be a beach like with white sand and shore. You can play volleyball behind the benches near the pool and still it's a white sand. You can do sun bathing using the benches on the side. For food, there is a restaurant near the entrance gate. They serve different delicious meals, pastries, snacks and ice cream. Bringing of foods inside the pool area is not allowed however there's a walking distance cottages outside for free and you can leave your food there and lock the cottage when going back to the pool.

villa de mercedes resort mindanao best places

You can stay overnight at the cottage if you wish but swimming pool is only open until 11:00PM. Villa de Mercedes swimming pool has a breath taking view during day time and captivating view when night comes. Different lights are all over the place and underwater lights changed to different colors which adds dramatic view to the place.

villa de mercedes resort mindanao best places

I'm sure you will also gonna love this one. Now if you want to enjoy this resort, getting there is very easy. First you need to be in Davao City and then make a reservation to the resort. You can only enter the subdivision if you have access inside or with any Villa de Mercedes agency. You can ride with them if your reservation will be granted and if you have a vehicle, just take the road going to Sta. Cruz. Before reaching Sirawan, you can see a signage pointing you to Villa de Mercedes direction. Just follow the road and give the agency name to the guard on duty on the Villa de Mercedes entrance gate. Guard will check if you really have made a reservation on that day. Swimming pool entrance fee is only PHP150.00 during weekdays and PHP200.00 every weekends and cottage is free. They are very strict with swimming wear. Only silk swim wear are allowed.

Important: Hire a taxi driver to pick you up when you leave at night. Vehicle are hard to catch up when going back.

Updated Entrance Fees Prior 2012
Monday-Friday - Entrance fee (Day and Night Tour) Php150.00
Saturday and Sunday - Entrance fee (Day and Night Tour) Php200.00
The additional was for towel rental.

Location: Toril, Davao City, Davao del Sur Philippines
Budget: 500-1000 per person (Davao City based)
Contact Nos. 

09176322880 (GLOBE)
09072714156 (SMART)
099235828328 (SUN) 

and look for Ma'am Marlene (Moreno Agency)

Enjoy these other pictures taken at Villa de Mercedes Infinity Pool

villa de mercedes resort mindanao best places

villa de mercedes resort mindanao best places

villa de mercedes resort mindanao best places

Friday, April 1, 2011

Hagimit Falls - Penaplata, Samal Island

best places in the philippines hagimit water falls

Waterfalls is one of the best places in the Philippines. Unlike other countries, Philippines is blessed to have numerous waterfalls all over in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. However since you can only find waterfalls inside the forest then you need to walk many kilometers before you can witness the beauty of waterfalls. For the first time mountain climbers, you can check out the trekking guide and tips to help you with.

best places in the philippines hagimit water falls

best places in the philippines hagimit water falls

In Mindanao region, there are lots of waterfalls you can find. The easiest one to reach is the Hagimit waterfalls located in Samal Island, Davao del Norte. It is a large cascading waterfalls that water continuously flows from the upper part of Hagimit. You can enjoy the lower portion of the waterfalls but if you want more adventure then you can climb the upper part to witness more falls. Hagimit is a fun experience and you must include this in your travel blogs. I can say that it is easy because you don't need to trek for a long hours. Hagimit falls isn't located in the middle of the forest, even young ones can get there without sweat.

best places in the philippines hagimit water falls

best places in the philippines hagimit water falls

When we got to Hagimit falls before, the place was not yet developed. We wanted to stay overnight at that time to enjoy more but we couldn't because there's no light, no care taker and we carried two children. Then we decided to go back to Hagimit after couple of months and we was surprised because the place is now different. I like undeveloped places but this new Hagimit waterfalls image is indeed cool.

best places in the philippines hagimit water falls

They build nipa cottages near the waterfalls and a little bridge to cross between two separated falls. It is helpful because young children and elder people are the one who usually visit Hagimit waterfalls. It could give safety and convenience to them.

To add adventure to your trip in Davao City, I highly recommend to write down Hagimit waterfalls in your Davao tourist spots itinerary and plus vising the unique Bat Cave in Samal Island is also good. Getting there isn't expensive as what you think. You can reach Samal Island through ferries and boats. If you have vehicle then you can ride in the barge. Docking station going to Samal Island is located in Sasa wharf Davao City. Upon reaching Igacos PeƱaplata in Samal Island, ride again a motorcycle to reach Hagimit. For vehicle owner, you can park your car when you see a thin road headed to the falls. You can start trek on that road. When you hear a running water sound that signifies that you are almost on your target place.

The entrance fee is PHP15.00 for adult and PHP10.00 for kids. You can get a cottage for PHP300.00. Oh, I forgot to mention, barge fare is PHP500.00 and below depending on the vehicle you carry and the number of people riding inside the vehicle. For ferries and small boats, single person will only pay less than PHP100.00. There is no terminal fee collected when you step the island.

Location: IGACOS, Samal Island, Davao del Norte
Budget: 1000-1500 per person