NorMin-BARMM-Davao Region Solo Trip

Mindanao is a beautiful island at the southern part of Philippine archipelago. As the second largest island of our country, it hosts three major demographic groups or what they call tri-people living in harmony: Christians (mostly immigrants from Luzon and Visayas), Lumad (un-Islamized and un-Christianized indigenous people of Mindanao), and Moros (Islamized people of Mindanao).

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On foreground are the tri-people sculptures by Kublai Millan at People’s Park of Davao City: the boy playing a guitar-like instrument is a Christian, the girl at center with a flute is a Lumad, and the boy with kulintang is a Moro.

Despite some ongoing conflicts within the region, people are peace-loving and can’t wait to invite us to appreciate the natural wonders, heritage sites and colorful festivals they offer.

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Northern Mindanao (Tagalog: Hilagang Mindanao; Cebuano: Amihanang Mindanao; Maranao: Pangotaraan Mindanao) is an administrative region in the Philippines, designated as Region X. It comprises five provinces: Bukidnon, Camiguin, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, and Lanao del Norte, and two cities classified as highly urbanized,: Iligan City and Cagayan de Oro City. all occupying the north-central part of Mindanao island, and the island-province of Camiguin. The regional center is Cagayan de Oro.
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The Bangsamoro, officially the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao or BARMM (Filipino: Rehiyong Awtonomo ng Bangsamoro sa Muslim Mindanao; Arabic: منطقة بانجسامورو ذاتية الحكم‎ Munṭiqah banjisāmūrū dhātiyyah al-ḥukm), is an autonomous region located in the southern Philippines. Highlighted is the province I visited for this trip.

Our family from my mother side lives here so at least once a year, we pay a visit especially when there are big family gatherings or special occasions. This time, I took solo trip to visit the remaining provinces in northern Mindanao and spinoff at annual Tangub Christmas Symbols Festival if possible to cross Panguil Bay given enough time. Then I went to Davao City for my journey within Davao region as I caught some promo fare to continue my #project81.

davao region
Davao Region, formerly called Southern Mindanao (Cebuano: Habagatang Mindanao), is an administrative region in the Philippines, designated as Region XI. Highlighted are provinces and city I’ve visited for this trip.

I have visited some parts of Northern MindanaoZamboanga Peninsula, and Davao Region before so my goal this time is to cover remaining provinces of Northern Mindanao, Lanao del Sur and northern Davao provinces. Hence, my itinerary became NorMin-BARMM-Davao Region Solo Trip! Presenting my itinerary below with Laguindingan (CDO) Airport as my entry and Davao City as exit point:

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My NorMin-BARMM-Davao Region Travel Map doing north to southeast route.

HIGHLIGHTS PER REGION:

NORTHERN MINDANAO also known as Region X
Iligan City
📍Iligan City Hall
📍Maria Cristina Falls
📍Tinago Falls
📍St. Michael’s Cathedral
📍Anahaw Amphitheater
📍Paseo De Santiago
📍Iligan City Public Plaza
Lanao del Norte
📍Lanao del Norte Provincial Capitol (Tubod)
📍Mindanao Civic Center (Baroy)
Bukidnon
📍Bukidnon Provincial Capitol
📍Malaybalay City Hall
📍Monastery of the Transfiguration
📍Ereccion de Pueblo
📍San Isidro Cathedral
📍Rizal Park
📍Kaamulan Grounds
📍Malaybalay Old City Hall
📍Capitol Grounds
Camiguin
📍Camiguin Provincial Capitol
📍Mambajao Municipal Hall
📍The Sunken Cemetery declared as National Cultural Treasure
📍Old Bonbon Church Complex Ruins declared as National Cultural Treasure
📍Guinsiliban Moro Watchtower declared as National Cultural Treasure
📍Katibawasan Falls
📍Tuasan Falls
📍The Walkway To The Old Volcano and Stations of the Cross
📍San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish
📍Old Mambajao Municipal Building
📍Old Mambajao Fountain
📍Mambajao Parola
📍Mambajao Landmark
📍Mambajao Plaza
📍Camiguin Landmark
📍White Island
📍Mantigue Island

BARMMBangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao or simply Bangsamoro
Lanao del Sur
📍Lanao del Sur Provincial Capitol
📍Marawi City Hall
📍Mindanao State University Main Campus
📍Aga Khan Museum of Islamic Arts
📍King Faisal Mosque
📍Dayawan Torogan
📍Kilometer Zero Point Marker

DAVAO REGION formerly called Southern Mindanao designated as Region XI
Davao de Oro formerly known as Compostela Valley
📍Davao de Oro Provincial Capitol, home of the Biggest Gold Ring in the Philippines
📍Nabunturan Municipal Hall
📍Sta. Teresita Parish Church
📍Simballay Festival every December
Davao del Norte
📍Provincial Government Center of Davao Del Norte
📍New City Hall of Tagum
📍Christ the King Cathedral
📍Tagum City Open Arena
📍Tagum Old City Hall
📍Freedom Park
📍Tagum City Night Market
Davao Oriental
📍Davao Oriental Provincial Capitol
📍Mati City Hall
📍Cathedral of San Nicolas de Tolentino – Mati City
📍Mati Baywalk Park
📍Mati Centennial Park and Clock Tower Gate
📍Mati City Pylon
📍Dahican Beach
📍Subangan Museum
📍Badas View Deck to see Sleeping Dinosaur at Pujada Bay

47_ILIGAN CITY
Iligan, officially the City of Iligan (Cebuano: Dakbayan sa Iligan; Maranao: Inged a Iligan) or referred to as Iligan City, is a 1st class highly urbanized city in Northern Mindanao, Philippines. It is geographically within the province of Lanao del Norte but administered independently from the province. You can get to 3 famous falls: Maria Cristina, Mimbalut and Tinago by riding a jeepney bound to Buruun, or hiring a habal-habal. Note that Maria Cristina Falls is open to visitors only when there is no high alert implemented.
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The name Iligan is from the Higaunon (Lumad/Native of Iligan) word “Ilig” which means “to go downstream”. However, some also claim that the name of Iligan was taken and inspired by the Higaunon term “iligan” or “ilijan,” which means “fortress of defense,” an appropriate term due to the frequent attacks incurred by pirates as well as other Mindanaon tribes. Shown is the Anahaw Amphitheater.
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A torogan inspired government building near Iligan City Hall. Torogan (lit. “resting place” or “sleeping place”), is a traditional house built by the Maranao people of Lanao, Mindanao, Philippines. A torogan was a symbol of high social status. Such a residence was once a home to a sultan or Datu in the Maranao community.
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The Roman Catholic Diocese of Iligan (Lat: Dioecesis Iliganensis) is a Roman Rite diocese of the Latin Church of the Catholic Church in the Philippines comprising 25 parishes in Iligan City and twelve municipalities located at the northern half of the Province of Lanao del Norte.
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The aisle of Iligan cathedral
47_ILIGAN CITY_PEANUTS
Cheding’s Peanuts store has been in Iligan City for decades. Tourists and travelers flock the store for its numerous delicacies to take home to family and friends. Cheding’s Peanuts peak season is on City Fiesta time (September), Christmas Season and the summer months. These packs come in different sizes, 1 kilo, ½ kilo, 370 grams, 50 grams, ¼ kilo and 200 grams foil pack. Cheding’s bestseller is ¼ kilo pack. For forty-seven (47) years, the business remains steadfast in producing quality peanut products for the Filipinos here and abroad as well as with the other nationalities who could taste the peanuts. A pinch of love like salt, and keeping faith with tradition made for the success of Cheding’s Peanuts, THE ORIGINAL ILIGAN’ S PRIDE, “NAG-IISANG PASALUBONG NG ILIGAN”.
46_MARAWI CITY
Marawi, officially the Islamic City of Marawi, (Tagalog: Bayan ng Marawi, Maranao: Inged a Marawi), is a 4th class city in the province of Lanao del Sur, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), Philippines.
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The people of Marawi are called the Maranaos and speak the Maranao language. They are named after Lake Lanao, called Meranau in their language, upon whose shores Marawi lies. “Lanao” means “lake”, derived from ranao. The province, situated at basin of Lake Lanao, is known as the land of the “Maranaos” (which means “the “people of the lake”). This is the view from a promontory at MSU Main Campus.
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Bolos kano is “Welcome” in Maranao language.
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Mindanao State University (commonly referred to as MSU Main) is a public coeducational institution of higher education and research in the Islamic city of Marawi, Philippines. Founded in 1961, it is the flagship and the largest campus of the Mindanao State University System. I was able to enter the campus from Iligan City Southbound Terminal, together with students and faculty whom I had ride with. The checkpoint is strict to visitors so make sure to bring your valid ID always.
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King Faisal Mosque is the biggest mosque in Marawi City, this structure is located in Mindanao State University. It is named after the former king of Saudi Arabia who also financed its construction. The structure is noticeable for its pale and dark green colors. The color green is a traditional color of Islam and it is used to describe the state of those living in paradise in the Quran
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Within the Mindanao State University is the Aga Khan Museum of Islamic Arts which is named in honor of Sultan Aga Khan who contributed to the realization of the museum. It has huge, collection of indigenous art, displayed ethnic music tape recorded, the native folk dances from different regions of Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan, the native tools and weapons used by the Muslims and different artistic designs of houses are the main attractions of museum. Indigenous art and cultural material are being displayed. Sadly, it was closed that day (weekend) so I roamed around the campus instead.
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Hoping I can be back soon to visit the museum.
46_LANAO DEL SUR
Lanao del Sur (Maranao and Iranun: Pagabagatan Ranao), officially the Province of Lanao del Sur, is a province in the Philippines located in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). The capital is the city of Marawi, and it borders Lanao del Norte to the north, Bukidnon to the east, and Maguindanao and Cotabato to the south. To the southwest lies Illana Bay, an arm of the Moro Gulf. My 46th province!
46_BALABAGAN
Balabagan, officially the Municipality of Balabagan, is a 4th class municipality in the province of Lanao del Sur, Philippines. Though I visited this on a later date, I was happy to see its natural attractions with my parents and relatives, as this was my mother’s hometown, before most of her siblings migrated to Ozamiz City.
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Lorenzo Beach is famous among locals with its black sand. We had lunch picnic here with some dodol and tuba.
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After beach bumming, we rinsed here at Lorenzo Cold Spring. Here, you can drink fresh cold water on a specific area, wash clothes on the other, and swim on the sides. It is crystal clear!
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Picong, officially the Municipality of Picong, is a 4th class municipality in the province of Lanao del Sur, Philippines. This famous Picong Tunnel is the way we passed by from Ozamiz City to Balabagan, Lanao del Sur and vice versa. Built by the Americans during World War II, this road tunnel never fails to catch the eyes of motorists, including us.
BALABAGAN_DODOL
Dodol is a sweet toffee-like sugar palm-based confection commonly found in Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent. It is made from coconut milk, jaggery, and rice flour, and is sticky, thick, and sweet. In Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago of the southern Philippines, dodol is more similar to the Indonesian and Malaysian variants and is known by the same name. It is usually prepared into thick cylinders wrapped in corn husks or coloured cellophane that is then cut into disks before serving. Although, like the kalamay, Filipino dodol is made with ground glutinous rice paste and muscovado sugarcane sugar, not palm sugar.
47_LANAO DEL NORTE
Lanao del Norte (Cebuano: Amihanang Lanao; Maranao: Pangotaraan Ranao) officially the Province of Lanao del Norte, is a province in the Philippines located in the Northern Mindanao region. Its capital is Tubod. Situated within Lanao del Norte is the highly urbanized city of Iligan, which is governed independently from the province. My 47th province!
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The welcome marker of the Provincial Capitol in Tubod, Lanao del Norte. Tubod, officially the Municipality of Tubod, (Cebuano: Lungsod sa Tubod; Maranao: Inged a Tubod; Tagalog: Bayan ng Tubod), is a 2nd class municipality and capital of the province of Lanao del Norte, Philippines.
52_MAMBAJAO
Mambajao, officially the Municipality of Mambajao, is a 3rd class municipality and capital of the province of Camiguin, Philippines.
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Mambajao is from Visayan mambahaw (archaic form of mamahaw), meaning “to eat breakfast”; from the root word bahaw, “leftover rice from [last night]”.
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Old Mambajao Fountain – a unique-style fountain from the Spanish era. It has been declared an Important Cultural Property of the Philippines.
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San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish  was founded in 1916 and celebrates its feast on September 10th. It is located in poblacion and a few walks away from old Municipal hall.
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The altar of Mambajao church
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Old Mambajao Municipal building – a well-preserved Spanish-era government building which has been declared an Important Cultural Property of the Philippines, now a Municipal Public Library.
52_CAMIGUIN
Camiguin (Cebuano: Lalawigan sa Camiguin; Kamigin: Probinsya ta Kamigin) is an island province in the Philippines located in the Bohol Sea, about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) off the northern coast of Mindanao. The provincial capital is Mambajao, which is also the province’s largest municipality in both area and population.
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The name Camiguin is derived from the native word Kamagong, a species of ebony tree that thrives near Lake Mainit in the province of Surigao del Norte, the region from which the earlier inhabitants of the islands, the Manobos, came. Kamigin, the local language of Camiguin, is the northernmost variant of the Manobo languages. My 52nd province!
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Sunken Cemetery – Sunken Cemetery of Catarman – an ancient cemetery which sank beneath the sea due to a volcanic eruption. During the volcanic birth of Mt. Vulcan lasting from 1871 to about 1875, some areas in the town of Bonbon subsided, sinking the cemetery of the town to below sea level. The place is commemorated by a huge cross erected in 1982. It has been declared as a National Cultural Treasure of the Philippines.
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Old Bonbon Church Complex Ruins – Sometimes called the Old Church Ruins, the Guiob Church Ruins was what was left from the old church of the island’s Spanish era capital called Cotta Bato. It was constructed in the 16th century but it met its destruction a century later. On May 13, 1871, the capital’s peace was rattled by an intense trembling of the ground brought about by the rumbling of a nearby volcano, Mt. Vulcan. The earthquake shook the town mercilessly until houses and other structures were down to rubble. But that wasn’t the end of it. That evening, Mt. Vulcan unleashed its most devastating power when it erupted and destroyed what was left of the town. It has been declared as a National Cultural Treasure of the Philippines.
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Guinsiliban Moro Watchtower – The Moro Watch Tower lies at the beach of the municipality of Guinsiliban. The tower is very old and was used as a watchtower to warn the inhabitants of the coming of Muslim marauders that often come to inflict them with much damage. The tower lies a few meters from the coastline and near to the Guinsiliban pier. It has been declared as a National Cultural Treasure of the Philippines.
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Mount Vulcan, ironically known as the Old Volcano [671 m (2,201 ft)], is actually the youngest volcano in the island, born in 1871 starting as a fissure vent on the northwestern flank of Mount Hibok-Hibok [4,370 feet (1,330 m)]. As a parasitic cone of Hibok-Hibok, it is still considered part of volcano.
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My tour guide dropped me here to explore the area. I climbed up to the top scaling a flight of stairs with stations of the cross on the walkway. I didn’t mind the rain as I was already drenched. I made sure my valuables were waterproofed.
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The top of Mount Vulcan’s way of the cross. You can see the cross of sunken cemetery from here!
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Tuasan Falls is located 6 km (3.7 mi) northeast of Catarman. The local government, to accommodate local tourism, decided in 2012 to improve access to the falls with a road built all the way up to the falls, finished in late 2014. You can park your car near the waterfalls, and from there it’s just a few minutes to reach the falls and the pool. The pool at the base of the waterfall is deep and clear. My guide told me that it used to have a larger cascade until the water above was diverted to local irrigation for farmers to use on their crops.
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Katibawasan Falls — Located 5 km (3.1 mi) southeast of Mambajao, the Katibawasan Falls cascades 250 ft (76 m) down to a pool surrounded by orchids and ferns. An invigorating dip on the pool is popular especially on warmer days, and several hiking trails are within the park. This is also the favorite jump-off point for trekkers and mountaineers in search of adventure on the slopes of Mt. Timpoong. Entrance fee was Php30.
MAMBAJAO_PASTEL
Pastel de Camiguín, or simply pastel, is a Filipino soft bun with yema (custard) filling originating from the province of Camiguin. The name is derived from Spanish pastel (“cake”). Pastel is an heirloom recipe originally conceived by members of the Agrepina Dagondon Gultiano family of Camiguin. It is primarily produced by the family’s special occasions and gatherings.
In addition to the original yema filling, pastel also feature other fillings, including ubemochamacapuno, cheese, chocolate, durian, jackfruit, and mango, among others. Pastel is regarded as a pasalubong (regional specialty gifts) of Camiguin Island and nearby Cagayan de Oro City.
MAMBAJAO_KIPING
Kabkab, also known as cassava cracker or cassava crisp, is a traditional Filipino disc-shaped wafer made from ground cassava. It originates from the southern Philippines, but is most closely associated with the cuisine of Mindanao and the southern Visayas Islands. It is popularly known as kiping in Northern Mindanao, Camiguin, and Zamboanga del Norte.
51_MALAYBALAY CITY
Malaybalay, officially the City of Malaybalay (Cebuano: Dakbayan sa Malaybalay; Bukid and Higaonon: Bánuwa ta Malaybaláy) or simply referred to as Malaybalay City, is a 1st class city and capital of the province of Bukidnon, Philippines. Folk etymology has it that when Spanish explorers came to the central portion of the province in the late 18th century, they met children playing at the lower part of the Sawaga. The soldiers asked in Spanish what is the name of the place. The children, who did not understand Spanish, thought that they were asked what they were doing. So they replied “Tagbalaybalay kay” (we are playing house). The soldiers misheard and thought that the name of the place was Malaybalay, and it was thus entered into the Spanish record.
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Ereccion de Pueblo
The monument of creation of the town is proudly standing at Plaza Rizal. It depicts the 1877 agreement between the Spanish Colonizers and local leaders such as Datu Mampaalong.
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Kaamulan Grounds
Located at Barangay 1, Kaamulan Grounds serves as an activity area, refuge and recollection, picnic and other outdoor activities. The Folk Arts Theater, where some provincial activities and events are held, is also found here. Kaamulan Festival is held every February to celebrate the culture and tradition of the seven ethnic tribal groups—Bukidnon, Higaonon, Talaandig, Manobo, Matigsalug, Tigwahanon and Umayamnon—that originally inhabit the province. It is the only ethnic festival in the Philippines.
diocesemalaybalay
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Malaybalay (Lat: Dioecesis Malaibalaiensis) is a diocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines. The Diocese of Malaybalay covers the province of Bukidnon except the municipality of Malitbog which is under the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro, the municipality of Wao, Lanao del Sur, and Brgy. Buda in Davao City.
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The aisle of Malaybalay Cathedral
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Monastery of Transfiguration
The City’s 25-year Benedictine Monastery of Transfiguration on San Jose hill, is made of heavy lime blocks, designed by National Artist for architecture Leandro Locsin. The first Filipino Abbot, Fr. Eduardo Africa and former Malaybalay bishop Gaudencio Rosales inaugurated it on August 6, 1983.
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Today, 10 monks had its 7 hectares planted to rice, 25 hectares to corn, and the rest for planting the world-famous Monk’s Blend Premium coffee. Its two-story Museum of Transfiguration Monastery (MTM) houses Dom Martin’s 50-piece vestment collection included in Philippines’ 1998 centennial celebration.
51_BUKIDNON
Bukidnon, officially the Province of Bukidnon (Cebuano: Lalawigan sa Bukidnon; Binukid and Higaonon: Probinsya ta Bukidnon), is a landlocked province in the Philippines located in the Northern Mindanao region. Its capital is the city of Malaybalay. The name “Bukidnon” means “highlander” or “mountain dweller”. My 51st province!
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This is one of the most beautiful capitols I ever visited. See the manicured garden.
MALAYBALAY CITY_BINAKI
Binaki or pintos is a type of steamed corn sweet tamales from two regions in the Philippines – Bukidnon and Bogo, Cebu. They are distinctively wrapped in corn husks and are commonly sold as pasalubong and street food in Northern Mindanao and Cebu. It is sometimes anglicized as “steamed corn cakes”. Binaki has a longer and narrower wrapping. It literally means “wrapped [in a pouch]”; from Cebuano bakibaki (“[pouch made of leaves] shaped like a frog”).
MALAYBALAY CITY_COFFEE
The high altitude of Bukidnon and the cool climate are ideal for growing coffee. Monk’s Blend is a combination of choice coffee beans from the Transfiguration Monastery farm and from coffee growers of Bukidnon.
Monk’s Blend is a product of the Transfiguration Monastery, a Catholic Benedectine Monastery situated on the hills of San Jose, Malabalay, Bukidnon. The monks pray seven times a day, operate a farm, and receive guests who want to experience monastic life. The coffee has strong aroma and taste is on par with what the famous coffee shops offer.

For Davao City Must-Visit Spots and Delicacies:

Davao Region-Cotabato Solo Trip

Davao City: Food trip at Crown Jewel of Mindanao

48_NABUNTURAN
Nabunturan, officially the Municipality of Nabunturan, is a 1st class municipality and capital of the province of Davao de Oro, Philippines. The town of Nabunturan was once a barangay of Municipality of Compostela. The origin of the name is from buntod, the Cebuano term for “mountain.” The word “Nabunturan” means “surrounded by mountains” in English. Simballay is an annual festivity of the Municipality of Nabunturan coined from a Mansaka word meaning, “Togetherness, sharing and thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest.”
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Sta. Teresita Parish Church is the main Roman Catholic church of Nabunturan.
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The aisle of Nabunturan parish church
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Simballay is an annual festivity of the Municipality of Nabunturan coined from a Mansaka word meaning, “Togetherness, sharing and thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest.” I took time visiting each booth where each barangay has their entry.
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Simballay Festival was conceived showcasing potential resources to attract investors in Nabunturan. It was not until 1994 when it was initiated by former Mayor, now Father Joel O. Bugas.
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For years, Simballay became a tradition to the Nabunturanons every second week of December, the month of family togetherness and sharing of gifts and blessings. It was also a symbol of honoring indigenous peoples.

A Senate bill officially renaming Compostela Valley to Davao de Oro was passed in 2019. Provincial officials led by Governor Jayvee Tyron Uy sees this as an opportunity to clear up confusion with its geographic location, with the province’s name sometimes associated with Cagayan Valley and the town of Compostela in Cebu, and associate it further with fellow provinces in the Davao Region. They see this also as an opportunity to market the province better for further investments. The plebiscite was held on December 7, 2019 with majority of participants voting in favor of the name change.

48_DAVAO DE ORO
Davao de Oro (Cebuano: Bulawang Dabaw), formerly known as Compostela Valley (Cebuano: Kawalogang Kompostela) or its short form ComVal, is a province in the Philippines located in the Davao Region in Mindanao. The province used to be part of Davao del Norte until it was made independent in 1998. It is the fourth newest province of the Philippines, behind Zamboanga Sibugay, Dinagat Islands, and Davao Occidental. Its capital is Nabunturan. My 48th province!
49_TAGUM CITY
Tagum, officially the City of Tagum, (Cebuano: Dakbayan sa Tagum), or simply referred to as Tagum City, is a 1st class city and capital of the Davao del Norte, Philippines.
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It is one of the top most livable cities in the Philippines. There is no official record as to the origin and meaning of the name Tagum, but in Visayan tagum (or variants tayumtagung-tagung) refers to the indigo plant (Indigofera tinctoria Linn.).
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Tagum is the most populous component city in Mindanao. The city serves as a vital economic crossroad not only for the province, but for the entire Davao Region as well, linking Davao City to the northern city of Butuan (in Agusan del Norte), to Mati (in Davao Oriental) and the Surigao provinces.
diocesetagum
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Tagum (Latin: Dioecesis Tagamna) is a diocese of the Catholic Church in the Philippines. The diocesan territory comprises the entire civil provinces of Davao del Norte (except the city of Samal, the southern portion of the Lasang River) and Compostela Valley.
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Christ The King Cathedral is the biggest Catholic cathedral in Mindanao. which was designed like a castle and has its distinctive architecture that most tourists find amazing and impressive. The cathedral’s design is a touch of modern and traditional architecture which is different from other churches here in the Philippines.
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The Resurrected Christ and the world’s largest wooden rosary. The World’s Largest Rosary weighed 2,815 kilograms and measured at 85.5 meters long. The rosary was constructed out of magcomo or iron wood that is native to the mountains of Davao Oriental and Surigao del Sur. It was originally intended as a project of the Knights of Columbus to commemorate the silver anniversary of the Catholic diocese of Tagum City in 2005. It was designed by a local artist from Davao City named Kublai Millan, who also made famous sculptures such as Durian monument in Davao airport and Bagobo children at People’s Park.
49_DAVAO DEL NORTE
Davao del Norte (Cebuano: Amihanang Dabaw) is a province in the Philippines located in the Davao Region in Mindanao. Its capital is Tagum City. Davao del Norte also includes Samal Island to the south in the Davao Gulf. My 49th province!
50_MATI CITY
Mati, officially the City of Mati (Cebuano: Dakbayan sa Mati) and also referred to as Mati City, is a 5th class city and the capital of the province of Davao Oriental, Philippines. It is located on the south-eastern side of Mindanao.
IMG20171213114217-min
Mati comes from the Mandayan word Maa-ti which refers to the town’s creek that easily dries up even after heavy rain. Pioneer settlers were tribes Kalagan, Mandayan, and Maranao which carried strong Arabic and Indo-Malayan influences.
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The Mati Centennial Park, inaugurated in 2003, celebrates the town’s 100 years since it was founded. It is adorned with a clock tower gate, and inside are busts of the town’s former mayors.
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Across the clock tower gate is the Mati Pylon. A known landmark in the city, the Pylon was designed by the First Filipino National Artist for Architecture Juan Felipe de Jesus Nakpil in 1979.
The structure’s location is the 00 point reference of Mati to other areas in the Province. Mati’s Pylon symbolizes the people’s faith in a responsive government.
diocesemati
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Mati (Latin: Dioecesis Matiensis) is a Roman Rite diocese of the Latin Church of the Catholic Church in the Philippines comprising parishes of the Province of Davao Oriental.
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The aisle of Mati Cathedral
50_DAVAO ORIENTAL
Davao Oriental (Cebuano: Sidlakang Dabaw) is a province in the Philippines located in the Davao Region in Mindanao. Its capital is Mati, and it borders the province of Davao de Oro to the west, and Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur to the north. The province is the traditional homeland of the Mandaya and Kagan people.
IMG20171213121027
Davao Oriental is the easternmost province in the country with Pusan Point in the municipality of Caraga as the easternmost location. The Philippine Sea, part of the Pacific Ocean, faces Davao Oriental to the east. My 50th province!
MATI CITY_EMPANADA
Famous amoing locals, their empanada has  ground pork, eggs, cheese, and all the herbs and spices inside a rich, flaky crust. They mentioned that the secret is withing the crust.
MATI CITY_LUMPIA
Lumpia is made from ubod (coconut heart) where it’s not shaped like the regular rectangular lumpia, but long and round. It is best to be dipped in native vinegar with spices.

The ideal NorMin-BARMM-Davao Region trip is the one above (CDO as entry and Davao as exit), but you can tweak it by going to each region on separate occasions. In my case, I explored first: Iligan-Marawi-Tubod-Ozamiz (visiting relatives), then Davao Region (Nabunturan-Tagum-Mati-Malaybalay-Camiguin then exit at CDO).

When exploring Mindanao especially some areas, make sure to contact local tourism office first, such as:

Viva Turismo Iligan Official Facebook Page of Iligan City Tourism Office.

Lanao del Sur Tourism The official Facebook page of Lanao del Sur’s Provincial Tourism, Culture and the Arts. 09176684499

CAMIGUIN TOURISM OFFICE The official Facebook page of the Camiguin Tourism Office.

Happy Travels! May you explore Mindanao soon! (n_n) -bengoeswhere

moro
In Mindanao, the southern part of Palawan island, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, dishes are richly flavored with the spices common to Southeast Asia: turmeric, coriander, lemon grass, cumin, and chillies — ingredients not commonly used in the rest of Philippine cooking. The cuisine of the indigenous ethnolinguistic nations who are either Christian, Muslim or Lumad peoples of Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago has much in common with the rich and spicy Malay cuisine of Malaysia and Brunei, as well as Indonesian and Thai cuisine, and from other countries cuisines.
#lakbaymuseo #philippines🇵🇭 #philippines #lakbay #museo #choosephilippines #pinasmuna #project81ph #igers #museum #interactive #travel #igworthy #instagram #culture #heritage #bengoeswhere @tourismphilippines @itsmorefuninthePhilippines #itsmorefuninthephilippines #morefunforever @tourism_phl #Pilipinas #mustvisit #wheninManila #Pasay #MetroManila #Luzon @lakbaymuseoph #happiness #Lumad #Muslim #Mindanao #cuisine

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