Going Solo in the Land of Promise (Part 1)
September 1, 2015 2 Comments
I enjoy traveling alone.
Solitude is like a mirror that affords me the opportunity to be self-aware of my own strengths and weaknesses, revealing many qualities that I thought I do not possess: patience, perseverance and tolerance.
Going solo in the Land of Promise–Mindanao–taught me a thing or two about “social interaction” and self-confidence, as well as, honed my “navigational” instincts and “haggling skills”. Without a fixed itinerary, I embarked on a journey that began in Zamboanga City in the southwestern part of Mindanao and culminated almost 700km away, in the bustling city of Butuan!
Day 01: Zamboanga City. The first and only time I visited this place was way back in grade school, where I attended the National Boy Scout Jamboree in Pasonanca Park! Exploring the city the “second” time was a marvelous experience.
Things I did:
- Explored Sta. Cruz Island
- Visited Fort Pilar and the City Hall
- Haggled my way to some fancy malongs at Canelar Barter Center
- Did a walking tour of Pasonanca Park, dropping by the Tree House and Freedom Park
- Relaxed and bathed in the spectacular sunset on Paseo del Mar while binge-eating on curacha and sati.
- If you’re travelling alone (or even as a group), drop by the City Tourism Office near Fort Pilar. Though Zamboanga is generally safe, it is still advisable to inform the LGU of your presence and the length of your stay.
Day 02: Pagadian City. I must admit, I knew zero about Pagadian City, until it was time for me to hit the road again. My original plan was to head for Iligan City from Zamboanga City, but I saw that it was a loooooooong way. Pagadian City was an ideal pit stop.
Sadly, the mood in the city was kinda somber when I got there, as an area in the city was ravaged by fire.
So, after a quick city tour onboard Pagadian’s famed tricycle, I decided to just sit back and relax in my PhP800-a-night accommodation at Hotel Camila. It was a good decision.
- Haggle. Don’t be shy… especially when negotiating for a ride.
- There are several decent lodgings and backpackers’ inns around the city. Explore.
Day 03: Iligan City. My first visit here was in 2014 where I was introduced to some of Iligan’s magnificent waterfalls: Dodiongan, Mimbalut, Maria Cristina and, of course, Tinago Falls. This time around, I was aiming for the country’s highest waterfall at 870 feet, located in Barangay Rogongon: Limunsudan Falls.
Unfortunately, I was told that the trip to Limunsudan requires hiring a 4×4 vehicle–the ONLY means of transportation going there–which can cost as much as PhP7000 per trip! I was hoping I could get a habal-habal, but was told that the single motorcycles will have a very difficult time navigating the rough, very rough, terrain.
Foregoing Limunsudan (for now), I opted to revisit Maria Cristina and Tinago Falls instead.