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.

 Wide Road with another fogs ahead

In this sense, I'd like to say this again, which I quoted last time when we went to Marawi City, which says that,  
"We cannot have a full appreciation of a place unless we have a personal touch and experience of the place we dreamed to set foot. In other words, we cannot tell a story about a certain place unless we ourselves had been through it and the people we meet on the road or along the road on our way to our destination - con tour".
In going to Cotabato, General Santos, Tacurong City and so on and you were from Bukidnon or  Cagayan de Oro, the shortest way will be en route via Carmen, Cotabato, the first Municipality after the last Municipality in Southern part of Bukidnon---the Municipality of Damulog. There are six municipalities and one (1) City that we are going to pass before reaching the Municipality of Carmen, Cotabato proper if we were from the gateway of Northern Mindanao.

I've been in some places here in Mindanao some time during my early years of my employment, been in bustling and dazzling urban jungles, meeting urban warriors and rode any mode of transportation alone, but during this travel, I was really that nervous aboard on a regular bus type-the Rural Tours Bus. That because of the negative publicity of the place.

It was an early dawn of October 12 this year when I  rode a bus for the first time en route to Kidapawan City for some research work.  I preferred to travel solo just to experience the real sense being as a commuter to this part of Central Mindanao. 

Here in our place, we call a non-aircon bus---"regular" in layman's term. Regular buses is  slower than aircon buses, since they are stationary type of buses that whenever they spotted passengers along their way, they have to accommodate them, resulting to much delay and much extended travel time. It is also because along this route, there were no available public buses aside from Rural Tours. 

RTMI or Rural Tours Aircon buses has only at least 4 stops and  6 stops at most en route to Tacurong City (Sultan Kudarat), which is the only available transportation in this route, and same with the non-aircon buses. And since the only bus at the Terminal of Malaybalay City was the regular bus with Tacurong as its destination, I have no choice but to grab that opportunity.

A circular cloud formation in Kitaotao, Bukidnon

Fogs  confronted me when we reached the Municipality of Don Carlos of Bukidnon which I didn't expected. I have not been in this place as early as 6 am for my entire service years of my employment. And this is my first time have seen fogs in this town. 

Another scene that I am so fascinated also was the circular cloud formation in Kitaotao, Bukidnon. The next town after Don Carlos is Kitaotao, Bukidnon. 

Again, as fascinated with cloud formation, I would say that this capture is worth a million smile and would give more pride to Bukidnon people.  This will also transmit to everyone on how wonderful the nature is especially in the countryside like Don Carlos and Kitaotao of Bukidnon. 

Until finally the bus reached Damulog of Bukidnon. This Municipality is estimated a 2-hour ride from Malaybalay City. The bus stopped and the driver announced for a breakfast. That was already 6:30 a.m.,  got starved and a hot soup complemented my starving stomach since I woke up at 3:00 a.m. and took the bus ride at 3:30 a.m. 

This is my breakfast meal that I've ordered;
 At Viajeros Fastfood in Damulog, Bukidnon:
1 - beef soup (nilagang baka)-   P45.00
1 -cup of rice                           -         10.00
Total Expenses :                           P55.00

That fast food outlet is RTMI's (Rural Tours) usual stop for the breakfast when I inquired with the bus conductor if they leave Cagayan de Oro at 12 midnight. 

Well, the food was good and it satisfied my growling stomach.

The bus' tires continued its rolling function until I finally spotted the Highway Boundary of Cotabato and Bukidnon provinces.

The Highway Boundary of Cotabato - Bukidnon

For less than an hour, the bus brought me to the town of Carmen, Cotabato which was blanketed with negative publicity in the past few years.  

And because of my choice to travel alone, it made me boosts my confidence to see other places like Carmen, Cotabato and gave justice with what I've heard in the news or hearsay about the place. 

 The Municipal Hall of Carmen, Cotabato

It was really my first time to set foot on this place and I was surprised with what I've seen (evidently seen with the photos that I've captured). The environment is so clean.

Before, I have a different perception and it was too opposite when I set foot and have a personal touch in this place. With this, I would say, I must not give injustice to a certain place which I havn't been gone yet. This proved that I am wrong with what I perceived about the place. Its a wrong perception, indeed. I am not a perfect person but I still withhold my being sensible traveler when it comes to traveling to a certain destination.
The different mode of transportation

 The Highway System connecting the Bukidnon National Highway

The first thing that I have noticed when I set foot on this quaint yet simple town was their National Highway system and the  Town Planning System which is really that well organized and planned. As I looked at their wide road system, I may conclude that this is in anticipation of future possible  "traffic congestion". With this kind of approach in town or urban planning, long term projections for more than 50 years is really considered as a comprehensive one. 

Take this one as a constructive advice--"Grid planning not greed planning is the right keyword of this planning system. Another keyword here is political will and not political quail".
The Clean Bus Terminal, The Hotel with a good Architectural Design and above all, Clean Environment
 The Carmen Bridge over Rio Grande de Mindanao River

I left Carmen, Cotabato with a new perspective. Bridging the World on what life would be in this adjudged place as "chaotic". The above photos can speak now. Its up to you on how you perceive about this place.  A Morning Scene that made a long lasting and good impression to me. About the history, you may visit here.
Site Map by WIKI

I called this series as Cotabato Travel Chronicles in order to give a spotlight on my Bukidnon-Cotabato-Davao travel route. I also used the word STOP to make it unique from my other previous posts, like series, etc. Please bear also with a much delay of my next post because of my  hectic schedule now. 

If I cannot reply immediately with your comments, please consider and thanks so much for your understanding.

This is my First Stop of My Cotabato Travel Chronicles
My Second Stop is in Kabacan, Cotabato.

22 Con Tour Passers by:

  1. Di pa ako napadpad dito :( Someday, someday...

  2. Hi Ms. Irene. this is the shortest way to General Santos, Tacurong City, Kabacan, Kidapawan and so on. Even in Going to Cotabato City.

  3. I've always liked your detailed posts, Bon. Even if we're not there we feel like we know the place already. I wish I were as detailed hehe. Never been there myself, and it's really too bad since my father hails from Bukidnon. Maybe when I have more time I can take a road trip with him. He and my brothers have already done it before. Sayang I couldn't make it.

  4. Hi Aleah. I served my employer now and havnt been yet in this place last time despite of some opportunities. But for now, at least, I have the guts and its my job to conduct research in North Cotabato:-).

  5. hmmmm, mukhang masarap; mag-road trip dyan!

  6. hi poh,

    very well writtent.. makes me miss more one of my beloved province in Mindanao... Bukidnon :)

    gandah naman talga ng Municipal Hall nilah, tagal2 nah din akoh nakapunta dito n dat last time wla pakoh alam sah blogging... mga 2003 i guess...

  7. Hello Ding.

    Mukhang magandang maka timing sa sunset dito ding. Pag uwi ko, naka spot ako pero mabilis lang ang takbo. SA may Carmen, Cotabato yong may straight na highway. :-).

  8. @PinasBackpackers

    Arze, bro. thanks for that kind appreciation. I have a wrong thought about the place. I am very sorry for that. But when I finally leave the place, a trail of good impression was left there.:-).

  9. BONZ, i have to admit. I envy you! Never been to some of these places in this part of Mindanao. But I have it already in my list for 2012. :) Thanks for the info. :) THE PHOTOS ARE GREAT. :) How did you do it? Capturing it inside the bus/vehicle?

  10. Hello Olan.

    Actually some of the photos were taken inside the vehicle with my P&S camera, using a one hand technique. Some were taken inside the Bus and this is the highlight of this travel experience. Bus and Van rides for my Bukidnon-Cotabato-Davao Route. Photos are to reinforce all the scene that I've been through.

  11. The post is so granulated. There are complete details everywhere. And Mindanao is really coping fast, I am impressed with the wide roads.

  12. Hello Edmar

    Thanks Edmar with that keen observation. I think, most of the route that they've using (travelers) is the Bukidnon-Davao Route.

  13. @Christian | Lakad Pilipinas

    Na tsambahan lang pre. perfect timing when passed by the place. Thanks pre. sana makarating din sa narating mo na.:-).

  14. mura ang foodtrip haha yan ang gusto ko madami food trip hehe , the bridge btw is breathtaking

  15. Thanks chino. Tsamba lang din yang sa Bridge. :-).

  16. Thank you...missed my childhood place.

    1. You should go home and see your childhood place.:-).

  17. I miss my homeplace..want to see my family!...hooray to our mayor!..tagal dn bgo nagng ganyan ang place...wats lacking in that place were investors!!!..para magng alive ang munichpality!!.....monopoly type of gov't kc

    1. You have a nice homeplace.:-). Very clean and peaceful.


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