Monday, February 9, 2015

10 Safe Provinces to visit in Mindanao ~ Part 2

(This article originally appeared in Buhay Pinoy of the Philippine Online Chronicles on February 8, 2015 with the title Pilipinas tara na:10 safe places to visit in Mindanao (part 2))



In Part 1 we visited the provinces of the Davao Region namely, Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental, Compostela Valley Province and Davao Occidental. Are you ready for our second leg of virtual tour of safe provinces to visit in Mindanao?


6. Sarangani 

“Sarangani is a province of the Philippines located in the SOCCSKSARGEN region. Its capital is Alabel. With a 230 kilometres (140 mi) coastline along the Sarangani Bay and Celebes Sea, the province is at the southernmost tip of Mindanao Island, and borders South Cotabato and Davao del Sur to the north, and Davao Occidental to the east.

Sarangani is part of the South Cotabato-Sultan Kudarat-Sarangani-Gen. Santos City (SOCCSKSARGEN) development cluster, and is linked by paved roads to the international airport and harbor of Gen. Santos City.

The province is divided into two parts, separated by the Sarangani Bay and General Santos City, and it used to be part of South Cotabato until it was made an independent province in 1992.” (Wikipedia)

Sarangani is the province of Rep. Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao so it can be aptly called “Pacmanland.” The province boasts of white sand beaches comparable to Boracay. One of the famous beaches is along the coast of Gumasa in Glan. On the other side of the Sarangani Bay is located one beach resort which does not have a beach but which sits on a cliff overlooking a magnificent view of the bay.


View of Sarangani Bay on the way to the town of Maasim.
Sarangani Highlands Garden may be part of Gen. Santos City but it offers a breathtaking view of Sarangani Bay.
Lemlunay Resort is the home of South Point Divers. It is a beach resort that sits on a cliff where swimming, snorkeling and diving can be done.
Located in Gumasa, Glan, Isla Jardin del Mar offers fun in the sun, sea and sand.
7. South Cotabato

After General Santos City from Davao City is the province of South Cotabato with Koronadal City as the capital. A famous and cool place visited by those who are privileged to know someone from DOLE Company is an exclusive place called Kalsangi in Polomolok. Being there reminds one of Tagaytay or Baguio.

Another place frequented by tourists nowadays is the town of Lake Sebu which offers adventures in the lake itself or along the ziplines which show an exhilarating view of four out of seven waterfalls of Lake Sebu. This is a must-visit place in South Cotabato.

View from Kalsangi Clubhouse, Polomolok, South Cotabato.
Ziplining in Lake Sebu.
View from Punta Isla Lake Resort in Lake Sebu. One can taste different  dishes of tilapia in this place

8. Bukidnon

This vast province of rolling hills, plains and lakes can be reached through Cotabato or through Davao City in the south and Misamis Oriental in the north. It has such sweeping views of valleys and mountains that you can imagine yourself in an hacienda. Tourists often enjoy the sights in Quezon, Valencia and Malaybalay Cities and Manolo Fortich.

The famous Transfiguration Monastery chapel of the Benedictine monks in Malaybalay. This was designed by the National Artist for Architecture, Leandro Locsin.
The Overview, a viewing stop-over built by DPWH in Quezon Town. It offers a sweeping view of the Bukidnon valley below.
Lake Apo in Valencia City, the cleanest lake in Northern Mindanao.
Mt. Kitanlad, one of the mountains in the Kitanlad Range.
Dahilayan Adventure Park in Manolo Fortich town, a place for extreme adventures.
9. Surigao del Sur

Coming from Tagum City, you can go through Compostela Valley into Agusan del Sur and turn right en route to Surigao del Sur. Tourists usually take the route from San Francisco town and do a tour of Tinuy-an Falls in Bislig City, Enchanted River in Hinatuan town and the Britania Islands in San Agustin town. Some go as far as Cagwait town which has a 7-kilometer stretch of rustic white sand beach. It takes around three hours to travel to these places from Tagum City.

Britania Islands is a group of 24 islands scattered like the Hundred Islands of Pangasinan. Boat tours go to only 4 of the islands. This is my favorite among the places in Surigao del Sur. No words, no cameras can give justice to the beauty of the place.
This is Enchanted River in Hinatuan town. It is a river with refreshing brackish water which turns to deep blue green in sunny days.
Tinuy-an Falls is dubbed the Niagara Falls of the Philippines. It has four tiers with raging waters after a rainy day and night. On sunny or non-rainy days, the rocks beneath the mantle of flimsy waters can be clearly seen.
10. Surigao del Norte

The last but definitely not the least in our virtual trip is Surigao del Norte province. This is located in the northeastern part of Mindanao. One of the best trips my family took was a trip to Bucas Grande island, one of two big islands of Surigao the other being Siargao which is famous for its surfing sites.

Bucas Grande is home to Sohoton Cove, the Jellyfish Sanctuary, snorkeling areas and a score of white powdery sand beaches. It is good that the local government of that place is in the forefront in preserving the beauty, cleanliness and order of the spots most frequented by tourists. It is just but right to preserve this paradise of the south.


Going to the Jellyfish Sanctuary.
Sohoton, Bucas Grande Island, a haven, a paradise.
I hope you enjoyed our virtual trip to these beautiful places in Mindanao. It is only when you get to live in or visit any of these places that you will realize that Mindanao is really a peaceful place with peace-loving people, contrary to what may usually be read in the news.

So, make your next vacation lakwatsa a trip to Mindanao!

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