Sunday, February 27, 2011

North Cotabato | A Glimpse of the Municipality of Banisilan ---to give you some ideas on how it looks like

Mostly as traveler, we are drifting in a certain place especially if that place were first time in seeing them. We even do not have an idea on what this place is all about. What if this place we are referring to is Mindanao Island, particularly Cotabato. Right away if we are not come from this place, we always thought that Mindanao has a problem in Peace and Order. You are right, but not all of the places in Mindanao whose Peace and Order situation is being threatened. 

There are some places that we can consider that has occasional incidents but not in a whole year round were all of these are happening.   

In Metro Manila, some unpleasant incidents also happened, likewise, the same thing here in Mindanao. Mindanao is adjudged because of being a war zone before. Today, as we can see, Mindanao is still the food region in the country. 

As part of my assignments, again I have to take it for the sake in sustaining our daily needs, and as faithful servant, so, I have to follow orders from the management.  It does not mean that I do not have a choice, but, because I learned to love this place, though quaint in nature, there is also a considerable peace and order situation here.

What is my point here? All we see or hear from conventional news were all about wars, unpleasant incidents like kidnaps, carnapping incidents, etc. These things were also happened even in Visayas and Luzon Region. But all that I would share to you now is a glimpse of what Banisilan of North Cotabato looks like.

I have taken just a handful of snapshots in this place, and here they are as follows;

newly concreted road and completed last year 2010.
In 1999, it was on this year when I first set foot on this place. At first, I am hesitant to be assigned here. But, when I first saw this place, I was allured on its agricultural vastness especially on how these farmers suitably and equitably cultivated their land for sustenance.

Most common crops planted in this area are corn, upland rice like dinorado rice, perennial crops, fruit trees like rambutans and other crop productions were here. In some areas, they  were planted with sugarcane.

at my back, it was newly planted with corn
Today, Banisilan,  has also a vast area planted with rubber trees with a monthly income that would range from 60 thousand to a hundred thousand per month gross income. 25-30% or merely P30,000 at most per month based on gross income would be a net share for the tappers. So, that was sound great for an ordinary tappers. It can sustain  the educational needs of their children up to college level.  
It was also observed that some areas were planted with palm oil for renewable energy.

In 2008, when an ordinary business woman elected to a highest post in this municipality, she initiated the concreting of the road from Kalawaig up to the town proper except roads that has still things that needs to be resolved, like the demolition on buildings that were constructed on the road right of way. That also entails delayed in the implementation of the road concreting from Barangay Malinao to Barangay Wadya.

So, in going to Banisilan right now would be an easy manner, unlike before where you will be confronted with loose graveled road that would take you to more than 30 minutes to the Poblacion proper. Right now, you will reach this place at less than 30 minutes from Wao, Lanao del Sur.

Their newly constructed covered court or gym

newly concreted road in the Poblacion proper.
Far background is the newly built Municipal Building of which yours truly was the assigned Engineer on the part of the financing institution. I take pride on this because somehow I am part of the development of this place as I would say, a legacy that  I can leave to this quaint town and with friendly and passionate people. Most of the early settlers here were our brothers and sisters Muslim tribes, then followed with Hilonggos, Cebuanos and other ethnic tribes.
The St. Joseph Parish Church
When I saw this church, I felt quivering and happy to see a house of God in the middle of this wandered and adjudged war zone area. Which is not deemed fair anymore. So as you can see, Banisilan of North Cotabato is a peaceful place to live in and much suitable for agricultural production that would supply part of our beloved country.
The Globe Cell Site
This Globe Telecommunication company would not worth risking their investment if this place has a compromised peace and order situation. Sometimes some of us were just overwhelmed with conventional news reporting. 

With a positive energy in your heart, you are safe wherever you go. As Pinay Travel Junkie asked me yesterday, "if it is safe to go to Siargao, Surigao, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro and Malaybalay route". And I replied, "you are safe in this route. You are definitely safe in this route". This gave me an idea to write this article.

As experienced traveler and once lived in Sampaloc, Metro Manila, for 3 years and 2 years in Mandaluyong City where I was a victim of a notorious snatcher in Cubao heading up home, I would now even say that Banisilan of North Cotabato is safer than Cubao, Boni, Quiapo, Avenida, Libertad where my wife snatched her bracelet, and Baclaran where a real hive of snatchers and lawless elements did hide. I lived shortly in Pasay in a small shanty there because at that time, I can't afford to pay a decent room having a low salaried employee in a realty development company in Makati. On my first day of stay, my umbrella were robbed by my neighbor. That was really a disgusting and unpleasant experience. So, in conclusion, I would still loved to stay in Mindanao than to stay longer in Metropolis or in a highly urbanized cities. I'll just revisit this highly urbanized city of Metro Manila where I am once part of it, just to recrystallize the memories that I had.
Their newly renovated bus / transportation terminal

Road going to Alamada.

16 Con Tour Passers by:

  1. Assuring readers about the safety of a place or a trip has always been hard for me because there are things that are unavoidable and it could happen even at the so called "safe place" around. How would you answer "Is Caramoan safe? Is the boat ride to this place safe? and even Is Airphil Express safe? If you tell them it is and then an isolated incident happens, them you're screwed. I would love to visit many parts of Mindanao someday. It's a beautiful place and had just been getting bad publicity. As long as hindi pa naman sya level ng Afganistan or Johannesberg, sensible traveling will get you through :)

  2. Ive always wanted to go to Basilan and other not so safe part of Mindanao. minsan kase huped na ang news, it's sad kase it's affecting other neighboring places as well or even the entire Philippines. When I was in Indonesia,there's I met an Italian guy there whose traveling the world and when I told him I'm from the Philippines, he said he skipped it because he thinks it's dangerous bec of the kidnapping by Abusayaff. kakalungkot, I had to explain over and over na not all parts of Mindanao or the entire Philippines is unsafe.

  3. @claire.
    Thanks so much for that some sort of enlightenment. As I've said in this article, I did say that this place is "generally safe". I've just said that the place is safe. And I did not gave assurances to the travelers that this place is "generally safe". If we are responsible traveler, we should conduct investigation on the area. Before, I have a negative thoughts about the place because of negative publicity. But when I set foot to this place, I said, the negative publicity proved that they were wrong. Of course, there are isolated cases happened but as I've said, it was not happened regularly.

    Well, Philippines is not on the level with the Afganistan or Johannesberg. You are right, I must be SENSIBLE TRAVELING that will ge you through. Thanks again for that.:-).

  4. @Ga-el

    I am really so sad with what had you have heard from that Italian National. The reason why we have poor number of tourists here in Mindanao because of some negative impressions and publicity that we had before. That's why almost all the neighboring places were so affected.

    I am hoping that someday Mindanao will bloom to become if not most but at least a considerably visited places in the Philippines.

    Basilan as others said for those who are from the Province can always attest that their place is indeed a paradise especially their beaches with fine white sand.:-). Thank you ga-el.

  5. Thanks for sharing this one Bon. I'm honestly scared to visit some parts of Mindanao too. But reading your posts have somehow relieved me of this fear. And I agree with Claire, being a sensible traveler especially when it comes to your safety goes a long way, wherever you go.

  6. Hello, Cedric. AT least, I've gave some notes and ideas on the other side of Mindanao. Yeah, sensible traveling lang talaga. I admit also. going far here in Mindanao especially far south like Jolo, Zamboanga (some parts), especially others parts, I am still not so comfortable.:-).

  7. Try nyo yung Isla Vista resort sa may pigcawayan. Ang ganda, resort xa sa gitna ng rice fields. :)

  8. hello travel pod.

    San yong Isla Vista Resort, at pigcawayan? Thanks for visiting my site. its my honor.:-).

  9. Hi Bonzenti, sa Midpapan Pigcawayan, Nice yung lugar, pde ka mgfishing. Eto yung link sa old blog ko po about Isla Vista. :)


  10. hi travel po. you have a nice web site for your blog. I like that, its simple. thank you so much for this information.:-).

  11. sayang nga kasi nagegeneralize ang Mindanao sa mga ganito. I would hesitate when people ask me if it's safe to go to a particular destination because we won't know what will happen and we can't really guarantee except share our experiences when we were on the road itself. But then again, we always say to practice caution cause anything can happen. What I normally do is keep an open mind and not be biased by what other people say so we can experience it for ourselves.

    Back in 1998, every weekend we'd travel from Davao City to Makilala due to my parent's line of work. :D

  12. Hello Ed,

    Just recently, I been visiting the other parts of Cotabato because of my job, like Midsayap, Kabacan and Kidapawan. I am writing a series of post on this later.:-).

  13. Tsada ang BANISILAN...

    ROMANTIC...due to its PANORAMA VIEWS...

  14. @Anonymous.

    Well, Banisilan has a vast tract of production land. True, they have a panoramic view.:-).

  15. I Love Banisilan @ Facebook

  16. Thank you for your nice post. I am from Banisilan; lived here most of my life. And I agree with you that it's way safer than any place in Metro Manila.

    Even if I'm now living overseas, this will always be home.


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