Thursday, December 29, 2011

Alma's Ihaw-ihaw and Lechon Manok in Kabacan, Cotabato

Looking for a place to dine-in is one of some experiences that a traveler wouldn't forget, with scorching heat and alighting a side car (motorcycle with custom built side passenger seat) in finding one. 

Travelers and the locals has distinct taste when it comes to a dine-in place. If we happen to ask a local where his taste of a restaurant has different standard as ours, we always end-up finding "another one".

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cotabato : Cross-Roads and Intersection

Kabacan Cross-Roads :

One of the things that we should be thankful is the presence of various landmarks in the Philippines. Like in Manila, one of the famous and the most helpful landmarks is the Luneta Park or the Rizal Park. Why helpful? In surveying, Rizal Park or the Luneta Park is where the zero benchmark of our Philippine Highways, starts or most commonly known as the Kilometer Zero.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Featured Blog Post : Gem in PASSIG is waiting for you

One of my fascinations about travel is to visit beautiful beaches. This is because of my desire to unwind from days of work. A perfect break away from work's pressure. Though this island cannot be perfectly compared to the White Island in Camiguin or the Gumasa Beach in Glan of Saranggani Province, when it comes to its pearly white fine sand. But this can be compared to a perfect break away place like any other beach fronts such as Duka Bay of Misamis Oriental. It's a perfect spot for both local and foreign tourists.

I am referring to an Islet of Passig

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cotabato : Morning Scene En Route to Carmen, Cotabato

Fogs in Sinangguyan, Don Carlos, Bukidnon 

My Cotabato Travel Chronicles : First Stop in Carmen, Cotabato

In the past few years, I was so apprehensive in traversing this route via Carmen, Cotabato to Kidapawan, Kabacan and Midsayap, because of the news about unlikely incidents such as bus robbery, family dispute resulting to killings of some family members, etc.  But even if the news projects a negative publicity, I never discounted the news since we do not know what will happen along our way to our destination. It is always been like that, especially that we do not know or have any idea about the place.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

I was surprised when I got "Lost "

After done with the Red Cross Volunteer Run in the morning of December 04, we went home straight with my little girl who was so eager to join that run.  Unfortunately, her elder brother was unable to join because of asthma attack, due to the onset of cold weather here in our place.

When we were about to go to a special meeting with my group, and to have a weekend seminar,  I've got a call. A call from an unregistered number in my phone book, ignored once and just answered it when rang twice. 

The one in the other line has a polite voice and I heard him saying "PO". He was saying in a soft voice, "Hello Po, si ____po ito." 

"Po" and "Opo" are just of the few Filipino traits that I missed to hear now. A cultural traits that makes it distinctive among the rest of Filipino which is rarely heard here.  Some locals who came from Luzon, still practice this trait.

I did not expect that a "boy" called  up and informed me that they are going to visit the Monastery in Malaybalay City,  then later a PTB lunch meet-up.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

RECONQUERING MANILA | Series 22 | The Homeward Bound from Manila to Cagayan de Oro City

 Series 22/22 : Last and final post of this Travel Series :
Dear Manila,
Though I reconquered you for only few days, but you traded me with full of memories, that when I come back again and to hug you, a beautiful smile of Manila Bay Sunset will be the warmth respond when I arrived......soon.  -- con tour
Don't be dismayed at goodbyes.  A farewell is necessary before you can meet again.  And meeting again, after moments or lifetime, is certain for those who are friends.  ~Richard Bach
When I arrived from My Side Trip to MOA, I can smell the scent of home. I have no other choice but to leave you for awhile.
  •  Srs. Merlita Calledo &  Elsa Emano Cahatian, Francescan Sisters
You may wander why I took some snapshots on these two nuns.  I may say that I am just a guy who has a friendly traits that after seating down the lobby's passenger bench, I then greeted them with a warmth smile and asked about their destination and they both replied, "Cagayan de Oro". 

Hmm, we have of the same destination, homeward bound. "So we're kababayans pala". The one who replied was the nun with a black habit.  I then looked for a rest room and politely asked them to take a look for my belongings. I have to discharge first my toxins to avoid discomfort while inflight from Manila to Cagayan de Oro City.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Awesome Sunrise at the Capitol Ground

One could probably say that this is really one of the things that could not let it gone by just looking at it, as it slowly and slowly getting up from where she lies, the beauty of its kind and the crest of new beginning, new hope and new life-------------SUNRISE, for a photography junkie like me, but to take this awesome snapshot. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Bukidnon : The Monastery of Transfiguration : Behind the Pyramid, Unveiled

Last month of October, the Pinoy Travel Bloggers, discussed about the November’s theme for the Blog Carnival. Been read the thread, I then reflected on the possible theme on why not feature this time the Island of Mindanao, for some of the reasons, is to counter the negative publicity. I suggested it to the group and eventually, many signified that the island be featured-the Bliss of Land of Promise-Mindanao. 

Together with my family, we visited the Monastery of Transfiguration last November 08, 2011, my wife's birthday, for a special prayer intention then followed last Sunday to hear mass. 

Having a long talk with Father Savio, the prior priest of the Monastery, my wife suggested that before posting anything on this blog, that I should seek first the consent from the Prior Father Savio Ma. Siccuan OSB, which then was granted

Monday, November 14, 2011

Agusan del Norte | My Nasipit Journey Series : In[Side] Town

Near the port area
On the first series of "My Nasipit Journey", I shared my En Route experience while on board a Bachelor Tours bus from Cagayan de Oro City to Nasipit, Agusan del Norte. My encounter with stranger having heard with a repulsive words and just ignored that little and nonsense things but worthy to be learned as lesson of that travel-the virtue of silence and patience.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cagayan de Oro City : Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan - Back to Alma Mater

The Bronze Signage near at the Entrance
One week before the end of September this year, I visited my Al Mater, Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan, Cagayan de Oro City, Mindanao, Philippines, to request for my TOR. I have to go down from Bukidnon on that day because I have a deadline to beat for the submission of my TOR as required by other institution and also as my future reference. I took a bus at around 7 am and arrived in Agora Terminal or Market Place Terminal in Cagayan de Oro at around 10 am. I filed a leave for that day just to request for my TOR. TOR stands for Transcript of Records. 

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Agusan del Norte | My Nasipit Journey Series : En Route Experience

 My bus in going to NASIPIT-Jump Off point-Cagayan de Oro City Bus Terminal

Why Planned Trip?

The trip was planned two weeks ahead while awaiting for the notice to proceed from my friend in the Wisconsin, U.S.A., requested to assist her on a special real estate transaction. 

I read a lot of articles about planning a trip ahead, and I would say that it is still best and effective in a sense that we will have some alternatives if ever some unexpected things would happen, like the travel time, unpleasant incidents, etc.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

RECONQUERING MANILA | Series 21 | Side Trip to MOA before Homeward Bound

Series 21/22 :  

After completed my CPE Units in the University of the Philippines - Diliman, that morning of 2nd week of March this year, I headed back to MOA to buy some kid's stuff, like school backpack and a running shoes. Though my running gig is not so tough or have some sort of rigid training, for me running has personal purpose. One is for healthy lungs and heart and the other is for my asthmatic son. I want to eliminate his being an asthmatic or a sickly child based on my friends testimonies. That is why I started to engage in outdoor activities like running together with my  son James.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Misamis Oriental | Laguindingan International Airport, its latest Development

After we have had our visit to Midway White Beach Resort in Initao, Misamis Oriental, we then headed to Laguindingan of this Province to visit the on-going construction of the Laguindingan International Airport Project.

As a Civil Engineer by profession, the project is observed to be in between 75-85% complete as of September, last month. The project has two major components and they are civil works, navigation system and support facilities.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cagayan de Oro City : Update : Puerto Flyover

Photo : Facing the Butuan Route.
Update: The steel pre-fabricated Puerto Fly-Over was fully functional, operational and formally opened last September 21, 2011. The said duly completed fly-over project was inaugurated by the City Local Officials. Among with the other City Officials, the inauguration was spearheaded by DPWH Secretary Rogelio L.Singson, Congressman Rufus B. Rodriguez of Second Congressional district of Cagayan de Oro City.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Resurrected Memories In the Sunken Cemetery

The famous large cross in the sunken cemetery in Catarman, Camiguin

Like any other travelers or local tourists in Mindanao, one of our planned trips in 1997 was to visit the Camiguin Island. But in most cases, planned trips or vacations were not even realized because of unexplained intervention. May it be that intervention is divine or human, still we have to follow our intuition and vibration just to do away from possible uncertainties on the road.

The idea to visit this most visited Island in the Northern Mindanao was already conceived 10 years ahead, until the final decision cave-in in 2007, when my friend Lui Mamino's mother visited his family which was coincided with the visit of my mother-in-law.  These two important people in our lives, are both from Luzon.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Misamis Oriental | Midway White Beach Resort

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -- Mark Twain

Done with our transaction in the Registry of Deeds of Marawi City, we then right away left the place @ nearly 11:30 am and headed back to Midway White Beach Resort to take our lunch.  

At least, I've  learned something as I set foot on that place. There is more than the transaction and aside from familiarizing that I've experienced in that place but I also gained more friends and acquaintances and even established more connections and affinity with those people. More thanks to the personnel of Registry of Deeds of Marawi City, hope and looking forward to see you again.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Lanao del Sur | In Transit to Marawi City

Expectations would somehow could lead you to have a mixed considerations about the place you have not yet been for more than half of your life. And that's was how I felt when we are in the highway in going to Marawi City.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Lanao del Norte | Iligan City | The Industrial City of Northern Mindanao

Iligan City is originally dubbed as the Industrial City of the South. But today, she is also dubbed as the City of Majestic Waterfalls. It is also known as the Mother of Industry and Fountainhead of Progress. 

Iligan City is located at the northwestern coast of Mindanao fronting Iligan Bay and home of the country's steel industry and Mindanao's electric power source.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Ronda Pilipinas is ON | 1st Stage Starts from Cagayan de Oro to Malaybalay City

Once again, the major thoroughfare of Malaybalay City was filled with colorful flags and flaglets. Why was that? It is because the 1st stage of RONDA PILIPINAS starts this morning from Cagayan de Oro City and ended up at Malaybalay City.

I was unaware of this activity today. This morning, I brought my daughter to school for her Math Elective Class when I noticed this commotion, singing, busy preparing and setting-up of the race props along the Sayre Highway fronting Plaza Rizal. 
Geared with only a cellphone camera, I then took these snapshots at around 10:00 am. I approached and asked one of the race judges which I thought first that he is one of the organizers, told me that the estimated time of arrival of the racers is at 12:00 noon. I bought a sack of rice and have just parked my motorcycle near the sidewalk and didn't hesitate to capture these people who were so busy preparing the race props, billboard ads and FINISH line.  

Having known with their arrival, I went home and grabbed my Canon Powershot Camera to take more pictures of this 1st sports event here in Malaybalay City after the Marlboro Tour some years back.
 This sports event is brought to us by LBC, ang Hari ng Padala. Obvious ba?
spectators along the National Highway (the Sayre Highway) were all excited with this event
After fetching up my daughter in school at almost 11:45 am, we then took the route near the Bukidnon State University and find a good vantage point. We then settled in front of Asian Hills Bank. Even my daughter, really enjoyed watching the race. The 1st stage of this race starts from Cagayan de Oro City to Malaybalay City, and this is one of my greatest milestones being as blogger.

Here's my captured photos below.

That's probably the LBC Red Leader's Jersey - Ronald Gorantes of Team Negros

When I saw these cars with tags of their place who participated this race event, I felt that I am also touring with them.

The following are the schedule of RONDA Pilipinas (courtesy of Ronda Pilipinas)

courtesy of LBC Ronda Pilipinas

Monday, September 19, 2011

Photo Shoot : Monday : Rare One

A family name - RIZAL
When we arrived in Iligan proper, I spotted this man wearing this shirt with a family name Rizal.

The rarest thing that I encountered in my lifetime is to see a family name like this in the South.  Maybe probably, if we consider in the Luzon part, we may encounter a family name of Bonifacio, Luzon, Visayas and even a family name of Mindanao. But it is possible that a family name Rizal would exist here because Jose Rizal, our National Hero  was exiled in Dapitan City, Zamboanga (The country's First Heritage Zone,through the enactment of Senate Bill 3014 seeking to provide protection and conservation of the Philippines’ national cultural heritage). 

[This is my Marawi Travel Series #2]

Friday, September 16, 2011

Misamis Oriental | Opol | Breakfast by the Bay

This is a travel series on our way to Marawi for official transaction. I could not imagine that it was really a dream come true to see the place--- Marawi City of Lanao del Sur. It is because of the urgency of the transaction. We even thought of that we've missed the company's 48th anniversary bash,  but we later learned that the bash was postponed at a later date.

That travel was on a Monday morning. I received a text message from my colleague on Sunday that our travel was moved to Monday, instead of Tuesday as the prior schedule.  I was tensed, excited and with mixed emotions. I was tensed because I have not been there yet. I am excited because its been a long time that I wanted to see the place and with mixed emotions that I do not know what to expect.
We left our place of origin at around 4:00 a.m and we arrived at this bay side restaurant at around 6:30 am or a total estimated distance of 120 kms from where we've been. All were well planned including the places to eat. We took our breakfast at 7:00 a.m. at the bay side or a sea side restaurant in Opol, Misamis Oriental. We ordered a so-called ordinary food with tuna soup as our side dish and we paid at around P400 pesos for four person.

While our food were being cooked, I took advantage to capture some good canon snapshots, like the above sun rise.  I've never expected that the result will be like this one. It is like a silhouette, but I like the result--a wave breaker and a reflection of sunlight with Macajalar Bay as the backdrop.
This is their dine in area
The sea scape
The road going to Cagayan de Oro Proper
The road going to Iligan City
Iligan City from the standpoint is about 1 hour and 25  minutes in travel time. In going to this place, there is no other description of comfort and convenience once you drive a private vehicle than opting to commute, but if you will try the Aircon Bus like the one in the photo, still with the same comfort and convenience you would experience like in a private vehicle.The bus fare is around P130 pesos if from Cagayan de Oro to Iligan City. 

We traveled from the Province of Bukidnon, then Misamis Oriental, Lanao del Norte (Iligan City) and then our last itinerary on that day was Lanao del Sur (Marawi City). We traversed 4 provinces in 5 and 1/2 hours.

This is my first part of my Marawi Travel Series. On this series, I would  like to share it to you about what the place looks like by gleaning at the photos I've captured.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

RECONQUERING MANILA | Series 20 | Inside the University of the Philippines - Diliman

When there is opportunity, grab it and enjoy its benefit. - Fr. Savio of St. Benedictine of Transfiguration (Monastery). 

This is one of Father Savio's passage in his homily delivered in one of Sunday Masses in Monastery that we  attended last time. Opportunity knocks once on your door. 

This is what I've felt when I read the memorandum that was routed in our office last time, requiring all in-house appraisers to take the Real Estate Appraiser's Licensure Examination as required by the RESA Law or R.A. 9646-entitled the Real Estate Service Act of 2009, if not qualified for the grandfather's rule. For those who has 10-years appraisal experience were not required to take the board examination anymore as required by the said Law and this is also called as "The Grandfather's Rule. On my part, I only have to take CPE or Continuing Professional Education as required in Section 20 of the said Law.

Rare Opportunity :

Opportunity to visit the top and prestigious school in our country, the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City for a career advancement program is really a most rewarding moment in my life as an individual. Rare opportunity of this kind is really a blessing to me, because it was my dream to study in this school  way back in my high school days. But because my parents were not that so blessed in terms of financial capacity, I was not able to pursue that dream after graduation in high school. Blessing in disguise, I still settled in one of competitive schools in the Philippines.
Jogging at the Academic Oval early in the morning together with my colleagues
Entering the U.P. Diliman Campus :

After visited the SM Mega Mall and the Shangrila Plaza at the Crossing on the 13th of March, I took a bus ride and disembarked at the Philcoa near the entrance gate of the University. I then boarded a passenger jeepney in front of a 7-11 convenience store branch in Philcoa, bound to U.P. campus with a signboard of U.P. Ikot.  I boarded that jeepney at around 7 in the evening. Luckily, the lady seated beside  the driver is his wife and seemed like they were in their early 60s. Since the passenger front seat is vacant, I opted to seat beside that old lady. I got a chance to ask them if from that jump off point to the campus is just a walking distance? As a word of concern, maybe they thought of that I planned to just walk to the campus at that moment, then they advised me not to try for security reason. 

From that point, I felt so blessed with people like those couple who gave some advises and tips in going to the boarding house where we have booked our stay and to a stranger-looking-guy like me and seem like new to that place, it was really a big respite on my part. I chose to ask rather than pretending that I am already so familiar with the place. I remember the word of my professor during my college days. He said, "The best thing to learn is to ask-where ever you go."

And in less than 30 minutes, I found the Benitez Alumni Hostel without experiencing much difficulties in locating the place. I am so glad that I encountered people like those couple that night and thankful that I arrived safe. 
jogger's / biker's lane
Uncomfortable Stay :

The boarding house is so simple in a sense that it is made of wood. The lodging fee is so cheap at around P250 per day, but I  am uncomfortable during my stay there. Not only that I am not used to that place but also because of one of my roommates who snored so loud. The space is so crowded for  3 persons in that room that adds to my unrest nights of stay.  I have no choice since the person who snored so loud is my immediate supervisor. So I have to bear his snoring style. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

With only 3-4 hours of sleep. I got up before 5 o'clock in the morning on the first day of class, and went out with my officemates for a jogging exercise. I've just walked and jogged and have the chance to see the academic oval of the university. Haven't noticed that I finished 2 rounds or a total of 4.4 kilometers. 

While walking, I've got a chance to take some snapshots and captured this sun rising that time.
beautiful sunrise in the University's Academic Oval
Another thing I've noticed during my short walk was the road system around the oval. The jogger's or the biker's lane. A system is so simple and yet so functional and useful for those who really like to take some physical exercises like jogging, biking and for those with low stamina, walking is advisable.  

I've just remember the discussion with Mr. Noel Silan, the school director of my kid's school, a good friend of mine and an alumni of this university, opined that if all the road system all over the Philippines is patterned of this kind, Philippines would somehow shifted to non-smoke-puffing vehicles and less accident would happen on the part of motorcycle drivers.
My backdrop - The U.P. Engineering Building
You could just imagined that in this institution, they produced lots of topnotchers not only in Engineering but also in other courses. If i could go back in time through a time machine, I would still chose this institution to pursue my Civil Engineering course. 

Well, since last year, I was given an opportunity to get enrolled in distance learning module in U.P.O.U and have finished two courses in Real Estate Continuing Professional Education. When I've got my certificate of completion of that 2 courses, I am so grateful of the people who gave me this rare chances to be with this institution. Last year, my former President Dra. Mary Gaw So of Philippine Association of Realty Appraisers, Inc. gave this opportunity to become one of the scholars of the first batch of Land Laws and Planning for Development. On March this year, I was again invited to take the 2nd course and eventually finished it just last month. And this was the reason why I stopped my blogging for awhile. 
International Valuation Standards, sponsored by our partner organization, IPREA
After the enrollment in U.P.O.U last March this year, I was able to join the other appraisers in taking up another CPE in U.P. Diliman, with a topic entitled, the International Valuation Standards. I also would like to thank my boss Joen Faune in allowing me to join the group and my regional head, Mr. Cesar Magallanes for their selfless recommendation, thank you so much.
U.P. campus so far has the same environment with Malaybalay City except the cold climate. They still preserved the green environment amidst the fast urban development in Metro Manila. The danger here is transforming the campus into a commercial development. Hopefully that the U.P. administration would still consider the preservation of the green environment. 
The monument of the Father of Labor Union in the Philippines
The building where we held our training workshop-I know The PinaySolobackpacker can name this building
since I forgot it.
Our lecture room
In this campus, I saw some of the unique and rare structures which I considered as my inspiration to replicate in the future. One of these structures is the above covered walkway with cantilevered structural support  that was made of steel. I took photo on it in anticipation that I might replicate it and construct one in my front yard connecting to my entrance gate. :-).
So far, the best among of the speakers we ever had during our training workshop, Dra. Lim, former Museum Curator
Feeling Alumni talaga.....
Under Restrictions :

One of the highlights of my con touring around the U.P. Campus after every class was to take photos with the "Oblation"--- The famous landmark of this institution. I wonder why one of the guards apprehended me not to take pictures on this famous landmark per instruction allegedly by the school president and further stressed-out that some of the photographers were accordingly do some earnings  out of the photos. Since I was not satisfied with his statement, I asked the two guards I spotted not so far away from the one I first asked permission. I was shocked since these 2 guards allowed me to take photos on it.
It is not because sometimes I am stubborn if I am not satisfied with the answer but because the oblation itself symbolizes --"Continuous Discovery of Wisdom and Truth, Excellence in Workmanship, Love of Country and Service to the Nation and People" (thanks to PTB Guys for the translation-kudos to that). 

My intention in taking pictures on the oblation is for my own personal consumption only and for musing purposes.


One of my favorite subjects in photography is taking pictures of this kind---taking pictures of trees. I really love nature. That is why, I am that at home in the campus.

At least, I felt that I am now part of the history with these people (engrave on the tablet) who have been the prime movers in Philippine politics and economy.
"The physical state of the pictures can be paid by money as the direct monetary value but the memories and time spent in this institution has distinct value----the KNOWLEDGE that I gained during my studies in this institution is considered to be with INFINITE VALUE" - Con Tour.

You might like to read my other series : Happy Travels.

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