Ever wished to wake up one day with a gift certificate on your side with all the bold letters flashing on it: TRIP TO THE BEST TOURIST SPOTS IN MINDANAO? This is your day! Pack up your bags and let’s see the beauty behind the big island in Southern Philippines!
First stop, the Sohoton Lagoon, Siargao Island.
Ooh, island! Now this is more like it! Beaches, warm white sands, perfect sun… it just goes on! But what made this topped all other islands is that it offers the high surfing-perfect waves that just turns on that adrenaline. In fact, it was hailed the “Surfing Capital of the Philippines”! Plus, the non-stinging jellyfishes are a big yes to swim with and the Sohoton Cave (ooh the cave) is an addition to the adventurous stay in this tear-drop shaped island. A must-see island getaway to start the tour right, yes?
Alright, time to throw that two-piece bikini and micro mini shorts and let’s get out of this sun. Needs some shade? Second on the list, the People’s Park!
Located in the heart of Davao City, and known to be the most expensive park in the country-just P72 Million for construction cost if ‘expensive’ means money-this park brings you to the mini forest of Asia. A large collection of different trees all over the continent, Durian dome, hundreds of pigeons you can feed, more than life size sculptures by the best local artists and “waling-waling” decorated walls that are lighted during night, are just few of the things to enjoy during the visit. We are actually one of the thousand visitors every day in this haven because aside from the Sunken Garden, children’s playground, well-maintained surroundings and monkey bars, the entrance is actually FREE! Who hates free anyway?
So much for sun, caves, jellyfishes and tress now huh? Who created them all anyway?-God. Time to praise the Creator and Tamayong Prayer Mountain is one of the best places for that.
Still in Davao City (yes, there’s so much to present and we just don’t leave this place without recharging our faith), Tamayong Prayer Mountain is located at the foothills of Mount Apo. The cool wind relaxes the mind; the garden soothes the senses as the big convention halls keep the atmosphere of peace. Tourists make it a point to drop by for perhaps they could run into big personalities and the President of the Philippines while praying. So if you think you’re having a hard time finding your soul, this is the best place to look for them. Not that your soul is in here but at least this paradise draws them closer.
Still into travelling? Of course, of course! Guess where will be the next stop? Our very own Paseo del Mar!
Just because you’re almost every night banging your head from the beat coming from Distrito, calling the ‘rice man’ for extra scoop of rice in Mano Mano, or indulging your guilty pleasure treat of Knickerbocker, Paseo del Mar is not just any walking-slash-dating-slash-jamming place with your love ones. It actually ranked 20 out of 492 attractions in Mindanao according to Trip Advisor site! Now that’s something! Planning to check and appreciate the park-beside-the-sea more tonight? Surely the dancing fountain will again splash the sprays of water beautified by the different shades of color as the fire shoots through the warm air, completing the “ooh’s and ahh’s” of the visitors sitting on the grass around the center of attraction.
There are like hundreds of breath-taking places to spoil our free time and enjoy every moment of our being and we are blessed to find them here in Mindanao. As much as the Medias and other reviews see this place as home of terrorists in the country, truth be told, there’s magnificence behind the dark wall blocking their impressions.
So! The trip is over, but the fun will be kept. There’s more to offer and we encourage you to discover them on your own. Where’s the element of surprise anyway? But most of all, let’s be inspired to enrich the cultures and traditions in Mindanao for this day will be the yesterday of tomorrow. And we surely want a good tomorrow from a good yesterday, don’t we?
–Lynette May V. Pamunag
(This article was published in Digest Magazine exclusively written and distributed by The University Digest Staff, the official student publication of Western Mindanao State University, Zamboanga City)