Thursday, July 30, 2015

Cape San Agustin is a hidden attraction situated in the laid back town of Governor Generoso in Davao Oriental. It is located about 5-6 hours by private vehicle from Davao City.

It was early Saturday morning when we left Davao City going to Governor Generoso. We weren’t that prepared so we had to stop a number of times along the way to buy food and other stuff necessary for our camping trip. There is no accommodation near Cape San Agustin so the best way to spend a night is to pitch a tent at the beachfront.  

After several hours of traveling, we finally hit the end of the road. It was an absolutely amazing journey. We finally got to have a glimpse of the Cape San Agustin. We first explored the lighthouses and then the nearby areas. One of the three lighthouses is open to everyone while the second lighthouse is locked and you’ll have to borrow the key from the care taker.

While we were on top of the lighthouse, Governor Generoso’s Vice Mayor and ABS-CBN crew arrived to document a video about Cape San Agustin. Ate Ida of Choose Philippines was with them so she asked me to be interviewed. The interview was aired the following week in TV Patrol Southern Mindanao.

Let's explore GOVERNOR GENEROSO, Province of Davao Oriental! Daghang salamat Vice Mayor Katrina Joy Hao Orencia, Shama, Joey Gamao, the two Tontons, Orencia Family, Rb Dela Cruz, Hernel Tocmo, Philip Tumaroy, Maayong Buntag Mindanao ( Official ) and TV Patrol Southern Mindanao (Official)Glen Santillan Chamee Pecson Anthony Gaupo Miguel Trocio Alsiphi Lanos Quinones
Posted by Ida Nanette Damo on Tuesday, July 7, 2015

After exploring the lighthouses, we went to the beach area. We were so happy to see the pristine white sand along the coast. It wasn’t powdery but it was really good enough for us to get excited to dip in the clear water.

We continued walking along the coastline to visit the “Altar”, a rock formation, considered to be a major attraction within Cape San Agustin. It was phenomenal. It wasn’t that huge compared to the ones in Biri, Northern Samar but it was interesting enough for us to be amazed of how it was formed throughout the years. It’s definitely worth exploring.

Before the sun has set, we pitched our tent cooked dinner and started having fun. The weather was a bummer though. We were planning of star gazing but the clouds covered the stars so that was frustrating. It also rained a bit but we’re still lucky it wasn’t that strong otherwise we would have packed our stuff and move to the area near the lighthouse.

How to Go to Cape San Agustin

The best option is to either rent a van or bring a car from Davao City. Travel along Davao-Mati Road and turn right when you reach Manikling going to Governor Generoso passing the town of San Isidro, Davao Oriental. Just continue driving straight until you reach the end of the road. There’s no crossroads so you’ll not get lost for sure.

If you decide to commute, take a bus going to either Pundaguitan or Lavigan in Governor Generoso and then take a habal-habal from the bus terminal to Cape San Agustin. Lavigan is closer but buses going to Pundaguitan are more frequent. Check with Bachelor Express in Davao City Ecoland Terminal for the bus schedule as it is very limited.

All Photos are captured by Anthony Gaupo of The Guy With An Orange Backpack

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

President Benigno S. Aquino III presided over the stately turnover of 75 ammunition from 145 soldiers of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to the International Decommissioning Body (IDB) at the Old Provincial Capitol in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao. The witnesses from the IDB was headed by Turkey's former ambassador to NATO, Haydar Berk, and joined by Jan Erik Wilhemsen from Norway, Major Muhammad Aiman Syazwi Bin Haji from Brunei, and local retired experts of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Lieutenant General Rey Ardor, Dr. Mario Aguja, Von Al-Haq and Janati Mimbantes.

In his message, President Aquino said that the MILF's turnover of weapons is an honest and responsible show of support to the Bangsamoro Agreement which aims to achieve enduring and much needed peace in Mindanao. This is despite of the deferral in the section of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) in Congress. In relation to this, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Governor Mujiv Hataman said the gesture is "an act of peace [and] the show of sincerity in the peace process." He also expressed hope that President Benigno Aquino III will see through the passage of the BBL.

The surrendered firearms included 55 guns (AK47, M14 and M16) and 20 units of medium and heavy machine guns decommissioned from the 145 Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) soldiers. This ceremony marks the first of the four periods of the progressive decommissioning process that the MILF will go through as a major aspect of the signed agreement under the Annex on Normalization of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB). The decommissioned weapons will be transported to Camp Iranun (Abubakar) in Sitio Bombaran, Barangay Tugaig in Barira, Maguindanao.

As part of the Annex on Normalization, the 145 decommissioned BIAF soldiers will get P25,000 in financial aid and PhilHealth cards. They will also receive government assistance to support them in their transition from militant to civilian life.

The ceremony is given positive feedback by other government officials. In a radio interview, Senate President Franklin Drilon said that the ceremonial turnover is a small step to regain trust and peace in Mindanao.  "Ang sinasabi nila, 75 lahat ng weapons. Biruin mo, 75, maibalik mo? Hindi po biro-biro iyan... Simula pa lamang ito, hindi naman ito ang huli. May percentages po iyan," he said. In a previous interview, Drilon said that the decommissioning might be the big push that could help in the passage of the BBL in congress. 

Meanwhile, Senator Francis Escudero said he hopes the ceremonial decommissioning will lead to the turnover of more weapons soon. Escudero said that the ceremonial turnover "will help build confidence," as the peace deal progresses.
At the height of summer, the heat in Manila is fierce and unforgiving. Thoughts can quickly turn away from work and daily life towards the tempting idea of a well-deserved break away from it all. Of course, only a few people can take vacations at the drop of a hat. However, if you live in Manila or are staying there for business or pleasure, there are plenty of places that are easily accessible outside the metro. Take a break from claustrophobic buildings and rush hour with these day trip destinations.

Mount Pinatubo
A trip to this impressive active volcano can either be on a guided tour or by yourself. Take a 4x4 jeep from the town of Tarlac to the lower slopes of the mountain, and then hike up to the crater itself. A spectacular lake has naturally formed at the top as the crater is filled with rainwater since the last eruption. Enjoy the views of the crater’s rim rising majestically from the water, and even hire a boat to take a trip across the lake. How many people can claim to have been floating above an active volcano crater? To fully enjoy the spectacle, try camping so you can experience a closer look at nature during the day and at night.

Mt. Pinatubo crater | Photo by Flickr user Cagsawa (creative commons)

Pagsanjan Waterfall
The Pagsanjan Falls offer a cooling experience in the summer, with a deluge of water cascading down sheer rockfaces and filling the air with a refreshing spray. Traveling to the falls is the exciting part of the whole experience, as the preferred transport method is by boat with a local boatman expertly finding the way through forest rapids. Once there, enjoy the cool spray from the adjoining rocks or caves behind the cataract.

Pagsanjan Falls | Photo by RJ d Explorer

Tagaytay City
Pining for a cool destination to escape the summer heat? Abandon your condo for rent in Manila and prepare for a long road trip ahead. Tagaytay City offers a refreshing retreat with great views of the Taal volcano and lake in the distance. The city boasts some of the freshest and cleanest air in Asia. It also benefits from numerous parks and gardens, perfect for a relaxing day away from the sultriness of the Manila metropolitan area. You can even rent a condo in Tagatay and escape from Manila for a while.


Anawangin and Nagsasa Coves
Summer guides are not complete without beaches, but Nagsasa and Anawangin coves are something special. Two decades ago, the area was devastated when Pinatubo flexed its muscles. But today, the coves are highly popular because of their unique ground-covering of volcanic ash, which transforms the waterside forests into one huge beach. Shady and beautiful, these beach destinations provide a welcome relief in the summer with a laid-back atmosphere that feels a million miles from the city.

Nagsasa Cove | Photo by Flickr user JR (creative commons)

All these sights are within reach of Manila by various combinations of public transport. Whether you're staying at a tourist hotel or have lived in Manila for a long time, visiting these destinations will provide many days of adventure and pleasure. It also gives you a better look at the natural beauty of the Philippines.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Muslims all over the world have gathered to celebrate Eid’l Fitr which marked the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Eid’l Fitr which literally means “festival of breaking the fast” symbolizes faith and being observed by the Muslim community all over the world. 

In Cotabato City, hundreds of Muslims have gathered at the Grand Mosque also known as the Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Masjid, the Philippines’ largest mosque to offer their prayers during Eid. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Brace yourselves for a new experience in Davao. Eden Nature Park, the same place that gave us the Skycycle and the Skyrider, now brings us the Skyswing. Skyswing is a new adrenaline inducing ride that is unlike any other in the region. The ride is suspended 95 feet from the ground, and will swing you to adrenaline fuelled bliss. You haven’t tried every thrilling ride in the country until you’ve gone on the Skyswing.

The Skyswing comes after the big success of the Skycycle and Skyrider, the suspended cycling and zipline rides in Eden, respectively. The almost million peso investment ride includes firmly designed harnesses and safety gears from Tetzel, a company based in France that is well renowned for having secure safety equipment. "Safety is our paramount concern that is why we invested a lot for safety materials. We ordered it from Tetzyl of France which is famous in producing safety equipment. In fact, we also ordered from them (Tetzyl) for our equipment in skycycle and zipline," said Engineer Alfredo Mangahas, Jr., project-in-charge of Eden’s extreme rides.

The latest attraction at Eden Nature Park in Davao City. Watch in HD for better viewing. SHARE if you must :)To know more, visit:
Posted by Glen Santillan on Monday, July 6, 2015

The swing has experienced attendants that will guide riders and ensure their security. The attendants will also make sure that the riders will feel at ease with the Skyswing so that they will enjoy the thrill of the ride. Riders can also opt to adjust the height of the ride between 95 and 30 feet, depending on the level of adventure that they desire.

The Skyswing was opened to the public last June 12, and is available for P300 for a ten minute single ride or P400 for a ten minute tandem ride. It is available from Mondays to Thursdays at 1pm to 5 pm, and from Fridays to Sundays at 8am to 5pm. The ride is open to all ages, as long as they pass the 4-foot height requirement and have a maximum swing weight of 300 kilograms. Safety precautions and limitations for pregnant, hypertensive and vertigo sufferers are strictly enforced.

Eden Nature Park accepts inquiries and reservations through the following contact links:

Mobile: 0918-9307590