Friday, November 26, 2021

13 Days Mindanao Pandemic Adventure Solo Backpacking

Davao City going to Davao Occidental, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao, Cotabato, Lanao del Sur to CDO
November 09 to 21, 2021

My 94th solo backpacking trip, 4th local long travel after Panay Island Jul. 2016Babuyan Islands trip May 2016Mindanao Eastern Side Aug. 2012 and of course, usual budget do-it-yourself (DIY) itinerary from arrival to departure. Also, this was my 64th to 69th provinces on my quest to conquer the 81 provinces of the Philippines.

The new normal of traveling is inevitable. Just after around more than 4 months of hiatus coming from a 7 months solo trip in American Continent from Nov. 2020 to Jun. 2021, these itchy feet strikes again. This trip is also considered as my Pandemic Adventure Season 5 following the (1) Earth Circumnavigation Jan. 2020, (2) Abu Dhabi Folding Bike Cycling Apr. 2020, (3) Caribbean and Europe Oct. 2020 and the (4) American Continent Jan. 2021.

Mindanao is the second-largest island in the Philippines, after Luzon and seventh-most populous island in the world. Mindanao is divided into six administrative regions: the Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, the Caraga region, the Davao region, Soccsksargen, and the autonomous region of Bangsamoro. Mindanao is considered the major breadbasket of the Philippines, with eight of the top 10 agri-commodities exported from the Philippines coming from the island itself.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mindanao

13 Days. 7 Philippine Provinces. THANK YOU VERY MUCH MINDANAO!  
(Davao de Oro, Davao Occidental, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao, Cotabato, Lanao del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay)
Visited 25 of 27 Mindanao Provinces and 70 of 81 Philippine Provinces.
#philippines #pinasnaman #mindanao #pandemictravelling #pilipinas #lakbayPinas #livealifeyouwillremember 

13 Days Mindanao Pandemic Adventure Solo Backpacking

13 Days Mindanao Pandemic Adventure Solo Backpacking

13 Days Mindanao Pandemic Adventure Solo Backpacking

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT MINDANAO
1. Mindanao is Philippines second largest island.
2. Mindanao is comprised of 27 provinces and six regions.
3. Mindanao is home to 3 sultanates: Maguindanao, Maranao and Sulu.
4. Philippines highest mountain, Mt. Apo (2,954masl), is located in Mindanao.
5. Among the 3 main islands, Mindanao is regarded as having the warmest temperature at 29'C average

13 DAYS SOLO DIY TRIP MINDANAO PANDEMIC ADVENTURE ITINERARY

Preparation:
Cebu Pacific Super Pass Flight Manila - Davao 800 / Cebu Pacific Super Pass Flight Cagayan de Oro - Manila 800
Mt. Apo Day Hike trip down payment 1,000 / Saliva PCR Test (Red Cross) 1,600 / Barangay Health Certificate (free)
Total: PHP 4,200

Day 01: November 09, 2021 Tuesday (Davao City Arrival)
1030H ETD Home; grab car 875
1230H ETA NAIA Terminal 3; snacks 25
Davao City Airport requirements: QR code & Negative PCR Test
1440H ETD Manila; flight 5J 977
1635H ETA Davao City; taxi to Roxas Market 250
Dinner 150; La Anclar Hotel check-in 250 / Pack Snacks 200; meet up in Ateneo Roxas
Total: PHP 1,750

0000H Meet up Ateneo Roxas Davao City (van) 
0200H Brygy Kapatagan Centro; habal-habal/van to Sitio Tompis
0300H Sitio Tompis; start trekking; tribe fee 200 / Trail: very muddy, slippery, mossy forest 
0700H Camp 1 Tinikaran (breakfast) / Trail: very muddy, slippery, mossy forest 
1000H Boulder Face / Trail: huge rocks, exposed to sun, trail not marked
1200H Whitesand camp (lunch) / Trail: short, rocky
1300H Mt. Apo summit / Trail: 87 degree hike, exposed to sun
1900H Sitio Tompis; habal-habal/van to Kapatagan Centro
2000H Brygy Kapatagan Centro / Mt. Apo Dayhike balance (Sibulan trail) 2,000
2200H Davao City; Jollibee dinner 250 / Megiko Dormitel 2 nights 1,200
Total: PHP 3,650

Day 03: November 11, 2021 Thursday (Davao City Relaxation)
Davao City rest and chill day (leg muscle pain) / Lunch 70; body massage 250; dinner 110
Total: PHP 430

0530H ETD Hostel; jeep to Ecoland 10
0620H ETD Ecoland; bus to Monkayo 280
0830H Tagum stop-over; breakfast 90
1040H ETA Monkayo; skylab to Awao 400; balsa 100
1200H Awao Falls 30; snacks 35
1330H ETA Monkayo; bus to Davao 225
1800H ETA Ecoland; jeep to hostel 10; dinner 170
Total: PHP 1,350

Day 05: November 13, 2021 Saturday (Davao Occidental; my 65th province)
0630H ETD Hostel; jeep to Ecoland 10; breakfast 70
0700H ETD Ecoland; bus to Sta. Maria 202
0930H ETA Sta. Maria (advance booking required) / Davao Occidental no movement policy on Sunday
0945H ETD Sta. Maria; van to highway 50
1030H ETD Highway; bus to GenSan 165 
1130H ETA GenSan; bus to Tacurong 204
1330H ETA Tacurong; walk to hostel / BF Lodge 1 night 600; dinner 91
Total: PHP 1,392

0730H ETD Tacurong; bus to Datu Paglas 62
0830H ETD Datu Paglas; habal-habal to La Palmera 450 / La Palmera Mountain Ridge 100; drinks 50
1045H ETA Datu Paglas; van to Tacurong 70 
1130H ETA Tacurong; lunch 90
1145H ETD Tacurong; van to Cotabato 200
1230H Pink Mosque (Masjid Dimaukom) 
1315H ETD Pink Mosque; jeep to Cotabato 100
1400H White Mosque (Masjid Al Nasser) 
1445H ETD White Mosque; jeep to Cotabato 10
1515H ETA Bubong; payong payong 70
1530H Cotabato Grand Mosque; refreshments 33
1545H ETD Grand Mosque; payong payong 30
1600H ETD Bubong; jeep to Super 25 / Hotel Filipino 2 nights 1,600; dinner 205
Total: PHP 3,095

Day 07: November 15, 2021 Monday (Cotabato; my 68th province)
0700H Jollibee breakfast 121
0830H ETD Cotabato; bus to Alamada 140
1030H ETA Alamada; habal habal to Asik Falls 500 / Asik Asik Falls 100; refreshments 75
1300H ETA Alamada; lunch 45
1345H ETD Alamada; bus to Cotabato city 140
1545H ETA Cotabato city; dinner 157 / Hotel Filipino
Total: PHP 1,278

Day 08: November 16, 2021 Tuesday (Lanao del Sur; my 69th province)
0800H Hotel check-out; Jollibee breakfast 125
0830H ETD Cotabato city; van to Marawi 700
1200H Stop-over lunch 95
1400H ETA Marawi; look for hotel / No hotel in area. Ground Zero traffic. 
1530H ETD Marawi; van to Cagayan de Oro 500
1900H ETA Cagayan de Oro; dinner 150 / Palace lodge 1 night 280
Total: PHP 1,850

Day 09: November 17, 2021 Wednesday (Long Bus Journey)
0630H ETD Hostel; jeep to Bulua Terminal 10
0700H Bulua Terminal; breakfast / snacks 275
0715H ETD Cagayan de Oro; bus to Pagadian 430
1515H ETA Pagadian; snacks 65
1530H ETD Pagadian; van to Zamboanga 350
1900H ETA Ipil; dinner 175 / Herb Hotel 2 nights 1,350
Total: PHP 2,655

Day 10: November 18, 2021 Thursday (Zamboanga Sibugay; my 70th province)
0700H Jollibee breakfast 125; jeep to Titay 40
0800H ETA Titay; habal2 to Malagandis Falls 200 / Malagandis Falls 20
0930H ETD Titay; jeep to Ipil 40; snacks 28 / Hotel rest; snacks 35
1430H tricycle to Magdaup 30 / Magdaup beaches (Anduhol, Katipunan)
1600H Tricycle to Ipil Market 30; dinner 60
Total: PHP 608

Day 11: November 19, 2021 Friday (Long Bus Journey)
0600H ETD Ipil; bus to Pagadian 250
1000H ETA Pagadian; lunch 55
1030H ETD Pagadian; bus to Cagayan de Oro 510
1830H ETA Cagayan de Oro; jeep to Cogon 15 / St. Nicolas Inn 2 nights 1,100
Total: PHP 1,930

Day 12: November 20, 2021 Saturday (Cagayan de Oro City relaxation)
Jollibee breakfast 168; snacks 78; massage 300
Total: PHP 546

Day 13: November 21, 2021 Sunday (Cagayan de Oro City deparature)
Breakfast 88; Pasalubong 2,300; lunch 196
1400H ETD CDO City; van to airport 300
1810H ETD Cagayan de Oro; flight 5J 390
1950H ETA Manila; grab car to home 875
Total: PHP 3,759

GRAND TOTAL: PHP 28,468

13 Days Mindanao Pandemic Adventure Solo Backpacking

13 Days Mindanao Pandemic Adventure Solo Backpacking

TRAVEL TIPS ON MINDANAO PANDEMIC SOLO BACKPACKING

Route Flow: Davao City (IN) - Mt. Apo - Davao de Oro - Davao Occidental - Sultan Kudarat - Maguindanao - Cotabato - Lanao del Sur - Zamboanga Sibugay - Cagayan de Oro City (OUT) 

Total Expenses: PHP 28,000 (flights, hotel, transportation, meals and bookings included) 

Preparation:
- Bought CebuPacific superpass for only PHP 800 one way domestic flight (flexible date).
- Took Philippine Red Cross RT-PCR Saliva Test for only PHP 1,600 (24 hour email result)
- Mt. Apo day hike requires health certificate (fit to climb) and PHP 1,000 down payment
- Fully Covid19 Vaccinated with proof 

Covid19 Travel Requirement:
Manila to Davao City flight (Nov. 09) - RT-PCR Test within 72 hours and Davao City Safe QR Code
Cagayan de Oro to Manila flight (Nov. 22) - None 
- Wear face mask in public places at all times, face shield not required anymore 
- Original copy of full vaccination card (required in almost all provincial border checkpoints) 

Highlights: 
Davao City - airport arrival and jump-off to Mt. Apo
Mt. Apo - brutal day hike. 24km difficult backtrail distance at 15 hours with 1,800m elevation gain. My 6th of Seven Natural Wonders of the Philippines
Davao de Oro - visited Awao Falls. 4 hours bus trip from Davao Ecoland to Monkayo, then 1 hour skylab ride from Monkayo to Awao Falls (PHP 500).
Davao Occidental - Very short visit due to 10% booking capacity of beach resort and no movement policy on Sunday. 
Sultan Kudarat - visited La Palmera Mountain Ridge. Van schedule from Tacurong to Columbio is 1100H and 1330H daily, Columbio to Tacurong is 0700H and 0900H only. What I did was I went to Datu Paglas (Maguindanao) coming from Tacurong via any Davao or CDO bound bus then habal habal to La Palmera (PHP 500).
Maguindanao - visited the three famous mosques; the Pink Mosque (Masjid Dimaukom), the White Mosque (Masjid Al Nasser) and the Grand Mosque (Cotabato city). All of those are easy to navigate, just near the main road. Wear long pants and shirt with sleeves. 
Cotabato Province (Northern) - visited Asik Asik Falls from Cotabato City. Earliest bus going to Alamada is 0630H, advance booking required for the Asik Asik Falls entrance. Habal habal joyride roundtrip costs PHP 500. 
Lanao del Sur - visited Marawi City and entered from South, navigated almost the entire western part. There's no hotel anywhere in the city.
Zamboanga Sibugay - a very long bus travel, from Cagayan de Oro to Ipil for more than 11 hours. Visited Malagandis Falls and Magdaup beaches which is just near the Rotunda landmark. 

Asik-asik Falls Day Trip in Cotabato (Northern)
Short Visit in Davao Occidental and Lanao del Sur
Malagandis Falls and Magdaup Beaches in Zamboanga Sibugay

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