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Take a beach break: Talicud Island

IGACOS map

Looking for a quick break in a fine white sand – clear waters – not crowded beach? Talicud Island is a smaller island part of Island Garden City of Samal (IGACOS), Davao del Norte which is situated at the ‘back portion’ of Samal.

How to get there:

Kaputian District public beach: check out the fine white sand and clear water!

Kaputian District public beach: check out the fine white sand and clear waters!

Coming from Davao City, you can catch a trip by riding a “lancha” or ferry boat from Sta. Ana wharf in downtown. I haven’t tried going this way but I heard from Samal locals that it’s an hour-long ride and the fare is around Php 60 or above (not sure!).  The trip goes straight from downtown to Sta. Cruz (main port in Talicud).

OR

Coming from Samal, you can hire a habal-habal (main mode of transpo in Mindanao. Public utility motorcycle like the ones in Bangkok :p) and ask the driver to take you to Kaputian District. From there, you can ride a boat (Php 20 / person) going to Sta. Cruz port.

OR

If you may chance upon an Island City Express Bus coming either from Davao City or Samal, you can also ride aboard it and just hop off in Kaputian District. From there, you can ride a boat going to Sta. Cruz port.

Sta. Cruz port, Talicud Island

Sta. Cruz port, Talicud Island

 

Where to stay:

There’s a nearby resort (Isla Reta) that is just walking distance from the Sta. Cruz wharf. No need to hire a habal-habal or hire a motorboat that will take you there!

Entrance fee is Php 40 / person.  Tables under the talisay tree are for free.

For the campers:Pitching a tent for overnight fee is Php 100. You may bring/rent a tent in the area.

There’s a restroom/ shower room, a few huts, and a mini snack store. Do not expect the usual grand facilities you’ll find in other resorts! It will however give you the ambiance of peace and quiet break away from the city life. Plus, the front desk staff in Isla Reta were nice enough to let us pitch our tent for free 🙂

Powdery white sand beach and clear waters of Isla Reta:

What to eat: 

There’s no decent resto inside the resort except for a mini snack bar so after hopping off the boat in Sta. Cruz port, you may snack on street foods like banana fritters, BBQs, and etc. sold in the area.

For lunch, you may shop in their wet market located beside the basketball court, a few steps away from the wharf then just sugba (“grill” in bisaya)  it when you reach Isla Reta. There’s no corkage for bringing in food, don’t worry!

What I did:

Since I was staying in Samal (Babak area) the time I went there, I opted to hire a habal-habal to take us to Talicud Island. You can negotiate about the prices with the driver. (Of course, I chose a driver that I personally know) Anyway, he let me choose whether I pay him (A) Php 1,000 and fill his fuel tank up full or (B) I pay him the “package” Php 1,500. Whatever you choice you made, he will drive you to wherever you want to go for the whole day.

We first made a side trip to Monfort Bat Cave (Guinness World Record for the most number of bats) in Babak, Samal before heading out to Kaputian.

Entrance is Php 100 / person

IGACOS

Try striking up a conversation with your driver, they know where the nice places are!

When we arrived in Kaputian, we boarded the boat Php 20/person going to Talicud. We decided to let our motor drivers tag along with us so that we’ll have a guide once we reach the island. (don’t worry, drivers’ entrance in Isla Reta are for free) We brought adobo and rice with us for our packed lunch but since one of our habal-habal drivers is a muslim, we bought fresh-catch fishes from the market. The drivers grilled it for us.

Khalid, one of our hired drivers

Khalid, one of our hired drivers

Unless your staying overnight in the island, be sure to leave before 3 pm since it’ll be quite hard to find a motor boat leaving after that hour. Plus, the boat are punuan. They fill up the seating capacity of the boat so you’ll have to wait  for other passengers unless you are willing to pay for the remaining seats 😛

Habal-habal: main mode of transportation in MindanaoDare riding a habal-habal this way? 😉

Kids on their afternoon play

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Ciudad Latina de Asia: Zamboanga City

BUENAS!

Just landed!

I am currently on my Miriam Volunteer Mission in Davao City. I got a call from my dad asking if I could visit Zamboanga. Why not. It has been 10 years since my last visit to my father’s hometown, Zamboanga City. Fr. Jeff, a good friend of my dad, went to Samal Island to personally hand me my plane ticket.

AND. This will be my first SOLO trip! ANYWAY 🙂

   According to a magazine I’ve read before, Zamboanga is the third oldest and sixth largest city in the Philippines. During the 1900’s, it used to be the capital of the Moro Province now called Mindanao.

Zamboanga is often called as Ciudad Latina de Asia (Asia’s Latin City)  for its Spanish influence. Zamboanga used to be the headquarters of the Spaniards during 1630’s.

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Hermosa Festival

a.k.a. Fiesta Pilar

The entrance

entrance

   Fiesta Pilar is a month long festival in the city. The festival is in honor of Our Lady of Pilar (the patroness of the city), in which the Lady is stationed in a shrine as a the front of Fort Pilar. Even the muslims believe in Lady Pilar since it has performed miracles that even the muslims residing nearby witnessed it.

Fort Pilar

The feast is held every 12th of October which makes my visit very un/timely. I arrived in Zamboanga on the day of the feast itself but missed (by one day! -__-) the fun and colorful street dances and one of the major highlights of the festival, Regatta de Zamboanga which featured a race of vinta sails.

Hey – at least there’s lechon everywhere!

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Paseo del Mar

paseoYou can take a stroll in Paseo del Mar in the morning but if you’re up for some food trip and night life, then go here during the evenings (obviously).

Paseo del Mar

Paseo del Mar

Aside from the musically gyrating dancing fountain, the government-organized park is like the former Bay Walk in Roxas Boulevard where there are bars and restaurants for you to enjoy.

Knicker Bocker

Knicker Bocker

Try the Knicker Bocker for dessert, fresh fruit salad with ice cream on top. Yum!

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Cock Derby

@ Zamboanga Square Garden, Sinunuc

I am actually on my way to do some sight seeing in Pasonanca but thought of stopping by the cock derby first.

I am not a fan of cockfights but hey- it wasn’t that bad inside. Being inside can be both interesting and stupid. I know, roosters suffer from this blood sport and I feel bad about it. It is just interesting in the sense that you can observe how people’s moods and the atmosphere inside change in seconds.

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When the roosters are shown before the fight, the crowd goes loud with their bets. One understood the bet of the other just by sign language – no matter how far they are from each other. And when the fight began, the whole arena falls silent – literally!

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The white rooster won the fight

Honesty and Trust. Those who won and lose the bets pay each other right after the referee declares the winner.

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National Museum

No travel visit for me is ever complete without a trip to the local museum. This museum is actually a branch of the National Museum of the Philippines, with a declaration of Fort Pilar as a National Cultural Treasure. I actually googled for the museum schedule and learnt that it is open every weekdays. So I went on a Monday, after pasalubong shopping in Canelar Barter Trade, and moments before my flight back to Davao.

Closed on Mondays! 😦

UNFORTUNATELY, there was a change of schedule, making it open everyday except Mondays and Holidays. Oh well, there’s always a next visit! 😉

Sneak peak to Zamboanga:

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ABLE

ABLE

Henry “Gaga” Segovia

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Town Fiesta

Town Fiesta

Island Garden City of Samal

Politics

Valenzuela City Mayor sending text messages like this.

…I’m not even from Valenzuela.

=))

Why I love Davao City

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  • Typhoon-free
  • Diversified city
  • Drinkable tap water – Yup, it’s potable!
  • Food – Affordable from fresh fruits to buffets!
  • No smoking in Public – Hooray for the city ordinance!
  • Persons with Disabilities friendly – Faith in humanity restored.
  • Cleanliness – One of the facts that made me love Davao instantly.
  • Security – Streets are CCTV equipped. Emergencies? Call 911!
  • Sister Cecilia and Our Lady of Victory Training Center

                                

Ten tribes, One vibe

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Madayaw!

So. Kadayawan is very timely with my volunteer mission here in Davao.

Kadayawan was fun to watch, very colorful, and very lively.

Here in Davao, it is actually a month long celebration but there’s a special day allotted for the street parades.

I got to see the “queens” or the representatives of the tribes that makes up Davao. In my opinion, they should be the ones representing our country in pageants. They showcase the real Filipina beauty. AT puro ang lahi.

August 18-19  Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan & Pamulak Kadayawan