TRAVEL GUIDE: AWAO FALLS, Compostela Valley

Awao Falls
Awao Falls hides on the mountainous farming village in Brgy. Awao, Municiplality of Monkayo. In terms of Eco-tourism, Awao is the top destinations in the province of Compostela Valley, now Davao de Oro. There is no direct transportation to this majestic waterfalls, so having an hour bumpy habal-habal ride, with river crossing, is necessary to see its hidden beauty. Getting here will certainly be challenging but you will be rewarded with a pristine and breathtaking waterfalls. The picturesque is perfect, the ambiance is relaxing, the water is cool, and the air is fresh.

TRAVEL GUIDE: KAAMULAN PARK AND ZOO, Bukidnon

Kaamulan Park and Zoo
Kaamulan Park and Zoo is definitely the most relaxing part of my travel in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon. This government owned park offers an outstanding and remarkable experience to all visitors. Why not? Inside Kaamulan, the wind is fresh, the temperature is cool, and the ambiance is relaxing because of the greens that surround the area. The landscape is clean and well-maintained, thus, the entire area is picture perfect - a perfect place to bond with your loved ones.

TRAVEL GUIDE: MATIN-AO COLD SPRING, Malaybalay, Bukidnon

Matin-ao Cold Spring
Matin-ao Cold Spring is one of the public summer destinations in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon; it is a long river system where the cool and crystal waters are free flowing. The crystal clear pool lit by a natural skylight creates the picturesque more dramatic. Not only that, the area is surrounded with hardwood trees that preserve the tranquility and also serve as a perfect backdrop. And of course, the set up is not complete without the birds singing their lullabies to welcome the visitors. There are benches and has a wide open ground for family gatherings and picnic. A habal-habal is needed to visit these spots because they are located in a remote area on an adjacent location.

TRAVEL GUIDE: NASULI COLD SPRING, Bukidnon

Nasuli Cold Spring
Nasuli Cold Spring is one of the "not so visited destinations" in Bukidnon. For the locals, it's a prominent place to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature but a few travelers and backpackers know about its hidden beauty. Nasuli is definitely a natural cold spring with cool and crystal clear waters that can quench your body heat. Not only that, this resort in Malaybalay City is surrounded by trees, plants and flowers which preserves nature's tranquility and creates a relaxing ambiance. To combine all, the landscape of Nasuli Cold Spring is picture perfect which can be considered as one of the must visit attractions in Bukidnon.

TRAVEL GUIDE: PASEO DE SANTIAGO, Iligan City, Lanao del Norte

Paseo de Santiago
My Iligan City habal tour ended at the Paseo de Santiago, a seaside complex with several food stalls and shops. Since it's seaside, of course it's by the beach, the sound of the waves makes the area cozy with the cool breeze - a perfect spot to relax. Others would call it a "hangout area" where you can have a few bottles of beer and "ihaw-ihaw," with someone performing on the mini stage. The area is wide with an instagrammable landscape which includes the gorgeous fortress (photo above), a wide map of the Philippines on the ground and the statue of Lapu-Lapu on the other side. The perfect time to visit this place is during sunset. It is privately owned, thus, entrance fees are being collected.

TRAVEL GUIDE: MIMBALOT FALLS, Iligan City, Lanao del Norte

Mimbalot Falls
Traveling to Mimbalot Falls is easy as it is the most accessible waterfalls in Iligan City. It is not grand compared to Tinago Falls but its landscape is also picture perfect. The area is surrounded by greens and the wind blowing is cool and fresh. In addition to the picture is the rock formation that adds more drama on the frame. Anyways, the water is cool and fresh plus the current is very strong. Rainbows are formed when the sunshine reflects on the droplets of water. The sound of the waterfalls is relaxing and can make your day a "lazy day." Beside Mimbalot is a private resort with pool and beautiful landscape, perfect for family gathering.

TRAVEL GUIDE: TINAGO FALLS, Iligan City, Lanao del Norte

Tinago Falls
The Tinago Falls, literally translates to "hidden" in English, is one of the top tourist attractions and destinations in Iligan City, Lanao del Norte. This majestic waterfalls captured the attention of the travelers worldwide because of its grandeur. The crystal clear and cool water falling by the walls of the artistic rock formations create a world class picturesque - such a picture perfect landscape. On the other hand, the area is surrounded by greens that help in preserving the tranquility and relaxing atmosphere.

DAVAO CITY: TRAVEL GUIDE, ITINERARY, TOURIST DESTINATIONS, HOW TO GET HERE, BUDGET

tourist spots in Davao City
Davao City is the center of Mindanao, so it serves as the gateway to the different provinces in the region. With that in mind, culturally speaking, the city showcases the mixture of the different culture and traditions of the Christians, Muslims and the other minorities. Regardless of what they believe, the people unites, creates and nourishes the so called "Davao City." Though this city is highly urbanized, behind the structures and commercial establishments are hidden tourist spots and destinations waiting to be uncovered. Let us discover some of the must visit in the city.

COMPOSTELA VALLEY (DAVAO DE ORO): TRAVEL GUIDE, ITINERARY, HOW TO GET HERE, BUDGET

tourist spots in Compostela Valley or Davao de Oro
Upon research, I discovered that the province of Compostela Valley (Davao de Oro) became the second richest province in the Philippines in 2017 according to Commission on Audit. Why not, aside from the local business establishments, they are the largest producers of gold (Oro) in the country, they have a lot of silver mines, and banana plantations. Aside from these, they also hide something very precious - the majestic Awao Falls.

TAGUM CITY, DAVAO DEL NORTE: TRAVEL GUIDE, ITINERARY - just passing by

tourist spots in Davao del Norte
The Banana Beach at Hijo Resort is the top tourist destinations in Tagum City, Davao del Norte. An earthquake left North Cotabato devastated, so hotels and other structures were closed while waiting to be evaluated, as a result, my itinerary was suddenly changed. Hijo Resort looks great and the reviews were promising. Upon inquiry, my expectation was set that part of the resort is close due to renovation. Had to think and balance the worth of money I'll be spending - and it was a NO. Alternatively, I stayed at one of the cheapest apartelle in Tagum for my route to Monkayo, Compostela Valley the next day.
 

BUKIDNON: TRAVEL GUIDE, ITINERARY, TOURIST DESTINATIONS

tourist spots in Bukidnon
The province of Bukidnon has a lot of tourist spots and destinations to offer. If you're into high altitude, Mt. Kitanglad, Mt. Dulang-Dulang and Mt. Maagnaw are just three of the must hiked mountains in the province. If you want a combination of relax and extreme, Dahilayan Adventure Park is the perfect spot for you. And, if you just want to eat, Bukidnon is the fruit basket of Mindanao, so you can visit the Del Monte pineapple plantation or just simple go the public market, for sure they have everything.

AN OVERNIGHT STAY in CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, MISAMIS ORIENTAL - a Travel Guide

tourist spots in Cagayan de Oro City
The thrilling white water rafting is the main attraction and destination in Cagayan de Oro City. But, did you know that they are also  known as the "City of the Golden Friendship?" Though there's a language barrier, I totally agree that they are the city of friendship because I was able to experience such hospitality from the jeepney driver and the taho vendor I met. By the way, nothing special happened during my stay in Cagayan de Oro City. Since it's the center of Northern Mindanao, transportation to my next destination (Bukidnon) is not a problem. It is also the gateway to the province of Camiguin, Bukidnon, Agusan and the city of Davao.

A QUICK VISIT TO MARAWI CITY, LANAO DEL SUR - a Travel Guide

tourist spots in Marawi City
Marawi City, the capital of Lanao del Sur, is one of the cities in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. Marawi has a colorful culture and is overflowing with stunning tourist spots and destinations. Prior to my solo-backpacking,  whenever I share my itinerary, the common response of my friends was "it is not safe in Marawi," that negative statement did not affect my travel plan. From Iligan City proper, I rode on a habal to the Southbound Terminal where I rode in a van to Marawi City; travel time was about 45 minutes to an hour.

ILIGAN CITY, LANAO DEL NORTE: Itinerary, Travel Guide, How to Get Here and where to Stay

tourist spots in Iligan City
Iligan City is dubbed as the "City of the Majestic Waterfalls" because of the established and non-established waterfalls. Though the city is independent, it serves as the center of commerce and tourism in the province of Lanao del Norte. Maria Cristina falls is the grandest among the 20+ waterfalls but it was close during my visit. Transportation is not a problem, like the other provinces in the Philippines, "habal-habal" is one of the mode of transportation to visit the tourist spots and destinations in Iligan City.