If I would to share everything I did experience on my 4th Day here in Mindanao it would, one blog post is not enough. I would just be sharing with you the highlights of the road (and food) trip.
If you can get a Mindanao map, it would be easier to understand this post.
ROAD TRIP ITINERARY:
South Cotabato: Koronadal City – Banga – Surallah – Lake Sebu (and Waterfalls) – Koronadal then to
Sultan Kudarat: Tacurong City – Isulan (Capitol) – Tacurong then back to
South Cotabato: Koronadal City – Gen. Santos City
I woke up smiling from my nice sleep in my AC, clean room at MD Square, after breakfast I headed to Banga to meet Gerald again as he would to accompany me to Lake Sebu. There’s a small gift-giving project in Banga by Gerald’s younger sister, Jarissa Agujitas. She gave away some school supplies to the kids in Banga, in partnership with PNP and the baranggay. Although this is not part of my backpacking challenge, I did took some photos. After some time, tears began to fall from my eyes, I don’t know why but I was touched by the generosity of this young lass. She must have get this kind soul from her parents. I went outside because if I stayed one more minute I would have cried. What a nice way to start the day, right? Inspiring!
MEET THE BANGA MAYOR & COUNCILORS
Before we went to Lake Sebu, I was introduced to the Mayor of Banga, Hon. Henry Ladot together with his councilors in Blue Haven Resort. When he learned about the Mindanao Challenge 400, he was very excited and asked how I was doing. After the short talk he offered some merienda before we continued the trip. I just want to thank a Good Samaritans like Mayor Henry to a traveler like me.
LAKE SEBU & 7 WATERFALLS
We then went to Lake Sebu, I was accompanied by my very helpful host, Gerald Agujitas. What makes this trip different is that I can just relax on the trip because Gerald know where to get off or where to go to next. We headed to the Municipal Bldg of Lake Sebu to make another courtesy call. Unfotunately, the Mayor is in a meeting. Anyway, I just had some photo ops with the Lake Sebu on my background. This reminds me of my hometown, where Laguna de Bay is found.. Btw, Tilapia culture is a boom in this town (and there is no fish kill whatsoever).
Weather in Lake Sebu: In the morning till about lunch time its sunny, around 1pm it will begin to rain. So if you are planning to visit the place, be sure to arrive early. You can also try the zipline (I wasn’t able to because its is raining).
It was just raining when we went down to the first waterfall. Boo!
In transit, the passenger on the van that we boarded gave me a sweet corn from his harvest which taste really good. Thanks po!
Also took some time to take some photos of the nice dioramas at the Surallah Rotunda.
BACK TO KORONADAL
We had late lunch, I was ithcing to go back to Manny’s Balbakwa to try their Soup # 5. Hmmmm…. It really is aprhodisiac, I felt something…
TO SULTAN KUDARAT
So, I was about to go back Gen.Santos City when I learned that Sultan Kudarat is just 30minutes away. I checked my budget and I decided to just go and finish SOCSKSARGEN (South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Saranggani & GenSan) before heading to DAVAO Region. I just want to set foot on Sultan Kudarat.
I went to their Capitol and it was grandiose! I was amazed at the great Muslim-inspired architecture. That was enough for me so I headed back to Koronadal.
It was raining hard when I was waiting for a bus when some staff from the Capitol offered to bring me to Tacurong City (saved me Php15). Just want to mention their name as promised, Elsie, Grace, Jhana, Jayne, Lovely & Tonet. Thanks and I hope to see you again on my next visit.
GENSAN FOOD TRIP
(2 hours later, Isulan – GenSan) When I arrived at GenSan, Kuya Avel took us to Kabayan Nelson Foodmaxx, where we ordered Tuna ribs ans Shrimp sinigang and Sinugbang Pusit. Thanks again for the treat Kuya Avel, you’re the best CouchSurfung host in GenSan!
HOT CHOCO TREAT
Then we headed to SunCity establishment, where we met Phillip. He invited us to have some coffee at Caffee Firenzo. I ordered hot choco to cap the day. Another treat from a total stranger, thanks to Kuya Avel’s connections here in GenSantos City.
Expenses for Today: Php400
Php 44 – Breakfast (2 ulam, 2 cups of rice)
Php 10 – Tricycle (MD Square – Banga COOP terminal)
Php 20 – Van (Terminal – Banga, South Cotabato)
Php 35 – Jeepney (Surallah – Lake Sebu)
Php 50 – Habal-habal around Lake Sebu
Php 50 – Van fare (Lake Sebu – Koronadal)
Php 60 – Soup #5 (Late Lunch)
Php 8 – Tricycle (GenSantos drive to Yellow Bus Line Terminal)
Php 43 – Bus (Koronadal – Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat)
Php 15 – Bus (Tacurong – Isulan, Sultan Kudarat)
Php 65 – Bus (Marbel or Koronadal to GenSan)
Php 400.00. Wow, it looks like it was planned. Just the right budget. Bulk of y expenses comes from transportation.
Accommodation– Free of charge, CouchSurfing c/o Kuya Avel.
Word for Today:
Magpalit. Buy or Bili or Pabakal. Magpalit ako, duwa kabilog na kendi. (I’ll buy 2 pieces of candy.)
Reflection for Today:
“In giving, it doesn’t matter how much or how many you give, what matter is that it came from the bottom of your heart, with pure intentions.” (by JourneyingJames, June 10, 2011)