Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Traveling Kitty - Lake Sebu, Malita & Little Boracay

Hey guise, finally! new post about my travel galore, and this time it's in Southern Cotabato. Lately, i've been visiting the south-eastern part of Mindanao; surfing the waves of Dahican and bummin' around the white sand beach. Right now it's different, we visited a lake, a waterfall, and a new beach resort in Davao del Sur.

Holy week is the last week of lent and the week before easter for Christians. We didn't celebrate it with church visits and worship though; in the Philippines, it is considered a pass to vacation, along with family, friends and co-workers.

Anyway, moving on with my travelogue. I didn't plan an itinerary for this, hence it was time consuming, and could've been better with a guide. But it was fun! got to see new surroundings and even road (although the road to Gensan makes me dizzy).

First, we had breakfast at our favorite coffee shop, Bo's Coffee at Torres st., Davao City. Fueling up ourselves for a 2-3 hour drive to Lake Sebu. After Bo's, we went to our rest house in Badiang, Digos City to bring a few things, then drove off to Gensan City. It's a bad decision by the way. We didn't know what road to take, so we went straight to Gensan and asked for directions. It would rather been a 2-3 hour drive if we took the Kidapawan City to Isulan road, then Surallah, yet it took us more than 3 hours to go to Lake Sebu because we didn't plan this trip hah! and got too excited traveling.

Not a problem though, sight seeing and road tripping were good experiences, and the road after Gensan was nice. Got to see Polomolok, Banga, Koronadal City, and Surallah, and we met a lot of Ilonggo along the way :)

Arriving in Surallah

Lake Sebu is all about the culture and tradition of Mindanao, go there and experience it yourself

Like I said earlier, we didn't plan this trip, so we asked a local about a popular restaurant in Lake Sebu and she mentioned Punta Isla. You can totally check them out here: Punta Isla Lake Resort

The place is laid back surrounded by a gorgeous lake, majestic mountains and a lot of Tilapia!

Beautifully painted t'nalak motif in the restaurant. Wish I visited this place before finishing my thesis, my study was about t'nalak and mindanao art.

Don't fret! it may be expensive but the serving is bizarre! lol
Everything here is indeed good for 4 persons or more depending on your appetite. We certainly didn't finish our orders. Small advice: Huwag Maging Takaw-Mata

Don't worry, ain't gonna spoil this performance since its only a photo. You have to see them dance and perform traditional musical instruments of the t'boli tribe

Yewww! my favorite Filipino kakanin, unfortunately over indulging this is a big NO for me. Called 'Kalamay', made from a concoction of ground sticky rice, mascovado sugar and coconut milk. I love it so much, maybe because of the texture, its soft and sticky and fun to eat lol. I bought this while waiting for our order in the restaurant, an 'ale' sold us a couple of pieces for only 60 php each.

Took this photo while waiting for our order. When the food was served and during our feast the rain poured; it made a cool relaxing setting.

We had ginataang hito. It may look disgusting but wait til you taste it!
Rating it 4/5. Why 4/5? the hito heads scare me lol

We also had the very famous kinilaw of the south. Kinilaw is raw fish in white vinegar, but this one has a twist, it is also paksiw. I know right? all for the taste of 'maasim'

Another new style of lutong sinigang na isda, this one has watermelon!
Rating it 5/5, just the best damn sinigang i've ever had

Crispy Tilapia is good for pulutan in beer drinking sessions. It really was crunchy and very good! If only I had more space for beer. By the way, I am not a rice-eating-person, but I ate one cup of rice during that time; I got so full, I forced myself to eat one piece of durian meat, but thats because I really wanted one

More? yes, more interesting food. This one is sizzling tilapia sisig. I know! it doesn't look like the traditional sisig, and doesn't taste like one. But it's quite good and crunchy too. The difficulty is that they still have tiny bones. When you're really hungry, I suggest you eat sizzling tilapia sisig slowly, the tiny bones will not satisfy you. Rating it 3/5

For dessert, which was not devoured immediately. The fruits in duyan, I think, is loaded with fresh sweet fruits and a cream sauce. Durian, my favorite, as always taste fantastic, don't need the cream sauce!

hello :)

Here's my shot of the famous lake, just a part of the punta isla lake resort.

Sorry for the blue sack on the ground, it was packed with soil, I guess they were still improving their garden.

After our meal at Punta Isla Lake Resort, we stayed in Estares Lake Resort. They have spacious rooms in affordable prices. You can check em' here: Estares Lake Resort

It rained a bit, leaving the place very cool and relaxing as well

A cup of black coffee is the best way to end the afternoon, and welcome the cold evening

Don't be upset with them youngsters. They would probably go near you and ask for money, but I think its better if you give them food and drinks. They looked awesome rowing their boat anyway

We Filipinos are very fond of gambling lol don't be ridiculous because its true. Although, most of us do not take this game seriously, and even if it gambles our money, having fun is different from desperation. So don't forget to bring cards for hours and hours of gambling haha!

It's so hard not to notice that the sky was already changing...

and changing beautifully

in radiant hues of blue, magenta, red, and yellow

Estares Lake Resort has the best buttered chicken in town! Actually I think the food in Lake Sebu, everything is pretty freakin amazing and delicious! must-try the specialty food in this resort also :)

Night time bed time. Sorry I didn't take pictures of the rooms we stayed in. I slept comfortably to tell you the truth. We rented one of the family rooms for 600 php per night (good for 4). Advice: keep the comfort room light on so no mosquitoes or insects will come in, bring a jacket because at night it sure was very chilly, and respect the lake, don't throw anything in the water. By the way, the photo above is a floating restaurant, it's accessible and you can dine there if you want

Feeling fresh in the morning only in Lake Sebu

The only touristy shot with the Estares tilapia statue

I didn't had any tilapia for the record lol I ate peanut butter on rye bread for breakfast, and a cup of black coffee as usual

 Can't get enough buttered chicken, so they ordered again for breakfast

After finishing our meal, we packed up bringing only a few things and leaving the rest in the room we rented, locked of course, as we were about to go on a mini-trek to waterfalls #2 of the 7 waterfalls of lake sebu
Bring money, parking and entrance fee are required.

Going here is very easy, you can easily see the signage of the 7 waterfalls. However, the road is rough and ridiculously tight, so sometimes it causes traffic, and problem-solving needs to be done.

I think this is a beautiful picture with my mom :)

Actually, we went here yesterday in the afternoon like 4:00 p.m. but it rained pretty hard and the wind was kinda harsh (despite the fact that we already paid the park & entrance fee), so we went back to Estares, and decided to go in the morning and gladly,  it was a sunny day. Just the right time to enjoy the sunlight and water

This photo tells how excited my mom was! despite we made her bring all of our bags hahaha

To go to the mouth of the waterfall, you need great courage and stamina, i guess. Just going through these slippery rocks exerts effort...

and when we got to this point, the wind was blowing strong sort of like a cyclone. It's grueling to see the utmost part of the waterfall, maybe if you had goggles on, but intense winds were unfitting for us. So we just stood here and enjoyed a good shower haha

Natural water, natural light and immense waterfall, best shower ever! haha

Time to say goodbye to beauty. It may not be the last, we will surely come back here and I want to try to pass the mouth of this waterfall, someday...

After a pleasant time at 7 waterfalls, we went back to Estares, paid our bills, and drove off in a strenuous trip to Malita. Malita can be reached by going to Gensan City, a "to Malita" signage is visible
Lake Sebu to Malita is a grueling 3-hour drive

Malita is only optional - You might want to skip this part and head on below to Little Boracay beach resort, if you're not interested with black sand. the waves usually good for skim is only seasonal.

It's 2014 and Malita is not advance, there was only one hotel, and one dormitel which was very stressful to find, some local kids were helping us get a room for rent. We had no choice as it was dark as hell, I mean it was almost midnight. So we stayed in this house which caters room rentals. We had the air-conditioned room by the way so it was totally fine; the rooms were clean but the toilet, urk. Anyway, this place is reasonable, Malita just needs improvement with their tourism, I think; their black sandy beaches looked quite okay and clean. Mornings there felt cool and the house was overlooking the beach; the place is called "baybay", which means it's near the ocean.

If you're looking for more sight-seeing adventures, road to Malita was indeed nature-trippin'; lush greenery, abundant coconut trees, and cute furry animals - they were free to roam around the place, even pigs.

Sunset over Malita road

When we entered Malita territory, we spent a few minutes in this mini park overlooking the field and ocean. It's a relieving feeling after a tiring ride.

This was the house we stayed in for the night. Packing up as we embark on a new journey lol

Sunrise over Malita waters

See? the beach is pretty amazing, I think the water looks cool and relaxing. The big waves are seasonal (according to my skimmer friends)

Off to our next destination...

40 minutes drive from Malita to Little Boracay in Sta Maria

You can check out the place here: Little Boracay Beach Resort

The resort is packed with people during holidays. Good thing we went there in the morning and rented a cottage, and ordered our lunch before the resort got really crowded. Why the early orders? because they still need to buy the ingredients in the market. Advice: It's best to bring your own food, and drinks; they have no food & drinks corkage, or you can cook your food in their grilling station.

Sorry about this blurry photo, but its got a good view of the shore

Little Boracay offers a trip to an island called "Paradise". 10 persons, back n forth for 500 php. It's a great deal although the stay was only limited for an hour; they also offered us to rent one of their 'bangka' or small boats for 10 php per person for an hour too; working out our shoulders like kayaking; it was such a lovely experience as we went really far in the deep ocean and swam haha. Advice: Bring snorkel and water-resistant camera or GoPro

The crew on a boat trip to Paradise

Wanna be a mermaid for once

A colony of corals yewww! :)

Some cool rock formations and beautiful greenery

The arrival

Never forget to pose like this haha!

If you have the jump shot, look up shot, and wacky shot, we have the run shot haha! (aaah.. dork)


I'm not gonna spoil you about the beauty of this place, so here is our last group photo in Paradise

Here's another convincing photo that Little Boracay is the place to be for snorkeling in cool water

After our little trip to Paradise, our lunch was served. The Bihon was not as good as the canton. Therefore, I would really like to suggest you cook your own food, or bring it. The buttered chicken was meh.. okay.

I would like to thank my mother who sponsored this trip! well actually, she did want this to happen. All thanks to her for effort and blessings.

I hope this itinerary works for you too, and promote peace and tourism in Mindanao. I still hear a couple of people tell me that Mindanao is unsafe and targeted by terrorism.

You missed half of your life for too much internet and media lies.

Life is extremely risky, don't just barely exist.