Around Mindanao, 11 – Pusan Point

December 19th, 2006 | No Comments

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The last time I was in Caraga, I wasn’t actually able to go to this place due to time constraints. However, in the middle of 2004, I was fortunate enough to travel here which is considered the eastern most point of the Philippines.
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During the start of the current millenium, this was touted as the must be place at that time here in the Philippines. With many going there to see the first sunrise of the millenium, many were just disappointed since it was just cloudy and not the best weather.

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The point with its rugged features. It would be advisable to visit this place during the summer months.

Around Mindanao, 10 – Caraga Church

December 18th, 2006 | 1 Comment

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This is my second time to visit Caraga and this time, I decided to take the long trip. From Davao City, I went to Mati via an airconditioned Bachelor bus and from there, a jeepney. I was thinking that the sights and scents from an open vehicle would be more appealing than to one that is enclosed, airconditioned and in the case of V-Hires (actually, vans plying a route), an uncomfortable disposition since the passengers are tightly seated like sardines in a can.

At first, being in the front seat with the driver, I was excited about it. But then, after it left the terminal, it still went to the public market to get cargo and stuff and to the gasoline station to fill up its tank as well as another passenger’s big containers numbering 10 – 15 then to another loading point for a passenger to get his other wares that when we finally left Mati, it was almost two hours from our departure time! Excitement gave way to exasperation at the delay.

When we were already on the road, dark clouds started to gather and eventually, rain just poured. And hard. The front seat’s rain protection was not in good condition that water trickled in. But after a few hours, the pour became just a drizzle. Tired and weary, I arrived 5 hours later. If I rode a van or a bus, it would have just taken me around 2.5 hours. Anyway, that was an experience in itself.caraga5.jpg caraga6.jpg

Left, the provincial jeepney that I rode. Note the open front. I’m not really sure why they do this (it can also be seen in other provincial jeepneys around the country). Right, a stop at the market where it loaded stuff and goods for the trip.

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The San Salvador del Mundo church in Caraga is reputed to be the oldest in the entire Mindanao. A very simple structure devoid of facade embellishments, the top of the main door is inscribed as 1884.

From the Wow Philippines site:

“17th Century Caraga Church Considered as one of the oldest churches in Mindanao, located in the town proper of Caraga, 70 meters from the edge of a built-in port made of ancient rocks overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It houses the 1802 Church Bell brought by the friars from Spain along with the antique image of San Isidro Labrador and other ancient files and archives. The baptismal registry from year 1835 up to present is still intact. These documents proved that from 1835 up to 1846, the places of Baganga, Manay and Mati used to register their newly baptized inhabitants at Caraga church. Part of the convent was used as a prison cell during the Spanish times.”

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Left, this is the remaining half of an antique bell that used to hang from its belfry. The other half was stolen by thieves just a few months ago. Even the reamaining part is quite heavy and no wonder that the thieves left it. Right, the church’s ledger/records dating to more than a hundred years ago.

Around Mindanao, 9 – Misamis Oriental

December 14th, 2006 | 1 Comment

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Cagayan de Oro City in Misamis Oriental was my work base for two years when I was still assigned in Mindanao. Compared to Davao where I also spent another two years, I prefer to live in this place if I was to chose between the two. It may not only that its much nearer to Cebu, my home province which only takes an overnight boat ride but maybe its much more cozy. Here I found love, lost it and found another one. Majority of my beetle collection is near this city (Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental). People are friendly, city is laid back and just too many happy and painful memories.

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The new Cogon Public Market that now dominates the area. Still busy with vendors and consumers. For many years, that I’ve been passing this place, I just got accustomed to the seeming eternal traffic, people spilling its streets and chaos that I identify with this public market. Even with this new building, nothing much has changed.

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I made a short visit to the grave of a very dear friend in Gingoog City and was just happy to see this place again.

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On my way to Davao via Buda (the Bukidnon – Davao highway) it was raining hard and with the elevation, around 3,500 ft++, fog was very much present even in the afternoon.

Durian in Davao

October 7th, 2006 | No Comments

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After arriving in Davao this afternoon, what better to start my stay than a trip to one of the durian stands near the hotel? I was walking outside when I chanced upon a stall having different kinds of durian with sidetables. For 30 pesos a kilo, I opted for a good Arancillo variety and enjoyed its delicate pulp!

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A day’s travel to Davao

June 23rd, 2005 | 1 Comment

I just can’t resist eating durian when I was in Davao yesterday and off I went to Magsaysay Park, one’s source of cheap durians in the city. Since it was not yet the fruit’s season, only Puyat and the native variety, malagkit were available and god, it was expensive: P120 per kilo for the former! I got one, spent P200, and it was just not so good :-(

Next time though later this year, prices will surely drop, choices are more varied and that time, I’m sure I’ll eat one that’s perfect.

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