Trek & Swim

Davao Region is my third and last region for this backpacking trip in Mindanao.

For this leg, my main itinerary is a hiking trip to Mt. Talomo, one of the peaks of the city. 

Believe to be inhabited by the guardians of Mt Apo, the mountain is also an important ecosystem and watershed. 

To reach Mt Talomo, one should navigate first the hundred hectares banana plantations in Barangay Tamayong. 

As a advocate of diverse cropping and organic agriculture, it was a terrible sight to see hundred and hundreds of banana plants encroaching small communities and forest lines. 


We arrived at Sicao, an Obo-Manobo upland village by mid-afternon but we decided to set camp since the weather begun to turn bad.


It’s been raining for the past weeks in Davao, making all trails muddy and difficult for trekking. 

Rubbing salt into the wound, my shoes which I have been using everyday since arriving in Mindanao reached its limit. 


We decided to forego the summit trek and instead went to the mountains' amazing waterfalls. We leave our stuff at the community and after four hours of trekking with my rope-supported shoes, we reached our first waterfall- Sicao Falls.


The water of the  falls is cold and clean. In fact you can still drink directly the flowing water. 


After an hour, we went to another site – the Tres Marias or Tatlong Maria, a three side-by-side falls.


A magnificent 180 degrees-view. Too bad my camera doesn’t have a panoramic setting.

Saw this snake along the river. Beauty isn’t it?

Luckily I managed to get back at our camp with my shoes still barely intact. We have a healthful vegan meal for lunch and then trek back to the city.

After two weeks, I ended my backpacking trip in the great Mindanao.   

My deepest gratitude to Jumar, Anne and her family for their generosity and hospitality during my stay in Davao City. 

Davao City

Caraga's Jewel

Dazed still from my Agusan Marsh experience, I made an overnight detour to Surigao del Sur to visit another natural jewel of Caraga – the Tinuy-an Falls.

From Bunawan, I travelled to Trento via a motorela (tricycle) and then bus to Bislig City. The road featured spectacular view of Caraga’s mountains making the crowded and bumpy ride worthwhile. Saw two writhed hornbills flying lazily, another lifer yey!

It was already dark when I arrived in Bislig. Luckily I was able to find a cheap but decent inn. I got a big room for only P200.

Woke up very early and walked towards the nearby fishing community. Huts and fishing boats glow in the golden summer rays.

Breakfast of rice and humba (a Bisayan dish) then off to Tinuy-an. Habal-habal rental is a little steep but after haggling we agreed at P300.  I really wished I brought my mountain bike Ani here in Surigao huhu.

After an approximately 10 km of off-road, we finally reached Tinuy-an.

And then, pure awesomeness…

There are also access stairs that leads to the top of Tinuy-an. Beautiful cascading but smaller waterfalls.


Tinuy-an Falls is located at the forest where TICOP Corp, a paper company, once operated. Eventhough the company already stopped its operations in the said area, logging, both legally and illegally, continue to persist.  Hopefully something can be done to stop this environmental crime.

Flock of tourists started arriving by 10am, my queue to leave the place. Caught the noon bus to Davao City, my next region.

Adios Caraga for now!

 Bislig City, Surigao del Sur