Pluto trail was accessed via municipality of Bansalan, Davao del Sur for two hours from Davao City. When we were there, we took another hour of a motorcycle ride, then a long hike on the road. This was the first time that I brought my younger sister Prescilla with me. I used to take Moondays with me, the other younger sister of mine. We were all eight on this journey. Leo also came with Sir Denz, his boss. As we were hiking, I enjoyed watching over those field of healthy green peas and green onions. Some peas were getting out on the road that I really wanted to snatched one of them. 🙂 At the end of the road we met Sir Denz’s porter named Blah’. I really like this guy, he’s full of energy and stories, one of the best porter I’ve known.
We spent half of the day trekking in an open trail of hills and farms. The heat was exhausting.
Another field of carrots was on our sight and the generous farmer gave us plenty of his nice carrots, I think I added two kilo of it in my pack. Ha ha!. Yeah, I know that the extra weight will drag me down but I couldn’t say no to it and we were really enjoying munching those carrots while hiking over the hills 🙂
Moving on, we journeyed through a seemingly like an unending open trail of hills, from scorching heat of the sun to the foggy and grassy slope. This is Pluto trail, one of the entry point of the country’s highest peak, Mt. Apo.
At around two o’ clock in the afternoon, we almost set an emergency camp in the hills, my sister was fainting and perspiring cold sweats . We stopped and after a long rest, her body regains strength and good to go. We pushed through because the hill was not a good site to camp.
There’s no water for cooking, it was very open and exposed to cold wind.
Moving forward, we passed the forest line and hit the first camp before dark. The sleep was uncomfortable because of the sun burnt neck, it hurts.
The next morning, I still had plenty of carrots. hehe. Even I and my sister had already eaten a lot of these carrots along the way, there’s still more left.
Everybody’s preparing to leave the camp and go for the summit.
We met this family in the mountainous area of Tamayong. We were passing by their home when a very hard rain caught us. The kind mother invited us to take a shelter inside their house. We took a nap for a little while but the rain lasted for several hours, giving us more time to bond with this family, especially the kids. I wanted to capture the innocence in the faces of these kids but Kevin just appeared quickly on the side. He’s not supposed to be in the picture but it made the shot more memorable.
We became friends with this family and gave them a visit every time we climb that mountain. After a while, they abandoned their home. Some sort of tribal war happened on their land. A year after that incident, we came back to that mountain and we met the kids on our way down. We visit them on their new home and it’s good to see them again, new place was really far though. 😉
When I heard its name, I was thinking of a white summit, as white as the sand in the beaches with scattering green flora all over the place. Rising high in barangay Andap, New Bataan, Compostela Valley is the country’s thirteenth highest point . This mountain is also known as mt. Pandadagsaan. From the word “dagsa” which means “gather”, it’s a place where the Mandaya tribe gathers and carry out their rituals for bountiful harvest and thanksgiving. The mountain’s peak was made of limestone and when the sun’s ray hits the face of the mountain it made a white reflection. So that’s how it was named according to the orientation.
My climb on White Peak was actually seven years ago, that was on the year 2007. Up to this date, this mountain is still the hardest trail that I’ve made so far and a point in my mountaineering life where I could say that I am in my strongest physical condition. Muscles and joints on legs surrenders on this venture but not my energy level. Well, I don’t know, maybe I just ate something like “Popeye’s spinach”. hehe. As I tried to reckon, I had a more tiring experience on my other ascents than this one.
We were four on this climb and we trekked with TRIMMOC, a mountaineering org. We joined the 4th climb season that was opened by the municipality. A porter was required for every six person ( I think, I forgot) and will carry only a maximum load of 15 kilo, including the weight of the porter’s tent that you also had to provide . But if you want to lessen the load you can share the tent with the porter if you still had an extra space for him to sleep on. We already knew that there’s no source of water up the mountain, so while packing at home, we secured our water supply for cooking and drinking in an extra back pack and this pack goes to the porter. The White Peak climb lasted for three days, two days for ascent and the third day for the descent
The trail starts with a long river trek leading the path through the dry forest abounding with tall ferns. We stopped by the stream, the last water source and had our lunch along with other group of climbers. We moved along from dry to moist forest. Lush greens in different forms were shooting everywhere. During that time, the forest trail was not that established, that the guide had to use a bolo knife to clear the way so we can pass through the luxurious vegetation. Different kind of orchids and bryophytes were attached and hanging on to the trees and on the forest floor.
We reached the first camp at around seven in the evening. Even so, we still managed to make out a good meal and a little time for chit-chit-chat. During the night, water was already a problem by other groups.
The Rolling Fish Balls
On the next morning, the trail gets steeper as we made our way to the summit. Hunger strikes so we keep on climbing to find a flat surface but it seemed like the “face the wall trail” was forever. The rain was falling and coldness was beating us. We took a little shelter under the big leaves and ate our packed lunch even if we were in an inclined position. Our hands were shivering as coldness were creeping our body so we made a hot drink and cooked some fish balls too to get our stomach warmed. Just in time were about to eat the fish balls, the pan went down and all the fish balls were rolling down the mountainside. I can still remember the looks of my friends’ faces. We almost cried over that fish balls in disappointment. That moment will forever be in my heart. 🙂
The mountain showed us another level of its mossy forest. So rich and luxurious. A very nice area for ferns and Bryophytes studies.
I don’t see the ground anymore. We’re taking the path of fallen trees, branches and roots, piled and tangled together, some were even hanging on air.
Climbing high was getting harder but getting more amazing. Fogs were crawling in, the trees gets shorter and the mossy forest gets thicker, covering all the trees and carpeting the forest floor. It’s foamy and bouncy when you take your steps. This mountain has the fluffiest mosses I’ve ever seen.
The rain was pouring down hard on us. From dense forest, our feet carried us to an open and exposed slippery steep slope, with only grasses (mostly thorny), some shrubs and rocks to hold. Funny, that there were times where there’s nothing that you can grabbed on but the thorny plants on the cliff. Ha ha! What a fate. 🙂 There were long ropes on some risky parts of the cliff to avoid the fall if you lose your hold on the ground. They were installed vertically and horizontally. The long horizontal rope course was hard for it was affixed in a concave curve, only half of your feet stands on the ground and you still had to figure out which steps you are going. Actually it will not help on your balance, you just had to rely on sticking your body on the ground, the only thing it could do for you is to hold you off if you fall. This phase took a long time because only one person at a time must pass that rope, other groups of climbers were still ahead of us.
There was a man on the ridge ( I think were of the same age), sitting blankly on the ground and crying. H e was dehydrated and was left by his group. Leo gave him a sip on his bladder.
We hit the summit at around three in the afternoon and it became sunny while it was raining all day on our way up. We looked so messy and damp but happy. On top was a stunning view of mountain ranges. The trail was a mixture of everything. If you have plans of venturing this mountain, I would suggest to be minimalist and fit your stuffs in a day pack bag. It’s difficult to fit on the holes, passed through the trees and branches, bending and crawling with an overhead bags. It will make the trail harder for you and it will cost the life of your bag too.
The summit campsite was wide but you can’t lay the tent flat on the ground, it’s so bushy. We’re like sleeping in a floating bed that night. As usual, our summit habit was to wake up early and wait for Mr. Sunny boy to rise.
We break the camp by morning. The phasing on going down was too slow. This is one of the disadvantage of climbing on open seasons, the traffic.
We were stuck by the steep slope for how many hours. Nobody can make the pass on the long horizontal rope course, a lady pinned herself in the middle. She took the wrong steps on that cliff and figured that there’s no more steps in front. She had to make a turn but already caught by the fear of taking the step back. I know that feeling, I’ve been there before too. It’s hard to turn because the pack will push you off the cliff and you can’t see which way to go if you’ll crawl backwards. Others that were near her tried to help too but she refused. It’s difficult to get her without swaying the rope that she was holding. The rescuer came after a time.
On the way down, we helped another dehydrated person, Good thing that we really secured enough water.
It’s already dark when we reached the stream where we had our lunch a day ago. One of the TRIMMOC member got a sprained ankle, the worst thing was we still had to do river trekking where the river’s current gone wild too. It’s cold and we were wet.
I can hardly felt my legs. The fireflies and the bright stars cheered up the night. On the river bank, I saw climbers vomiting in the darkness, some were crying, some were lying, some were just sitting alone and some were asking for food. We’re glad we still had enough trail food left to give. Others were collapsed and rescued.
Maybe the mountain was just underestimated by others because the itinerary looks easy that’s why there’s food and water shortages.. Well, even us, it crossed our minds too, but we took the precautions seriously.
I was really glad that I was with Leo, Malou and Joan on this venture. The best buddies to be with on this climb. Even if Malou and Joan were just new to quests like these, they’ve shown their power, will, determination and never they complained.
This was the only climbing experience where I was trekking from morning till past midnight. We reached the jump off area past midnight and more climbers were still way behind us. We were all beaten by this mountain. Wounds, scratches, and other physical pains will fade away but the reward of seeing the nature’s beauty was far more great and another wonderful memories to keep.
Knowing that this mountain is standing tall in Compostela Valley, I think of it as ” Ah, it’s part of the mountain ranges.” It’s also the place of waterfalls, hot and cold springs, and folktales. The home of the corpse flower, Rafflesia mira, named after its decaying smell.
We’re all six on this journey. The tourism officer told us to dropped by a certain store, and from there we will meet our trail guide. When we got there, no guide showed up. So we took a hot and long hike to the foot of the mountain, hoping that we could find our new guy. We passed by on the rice fields and an old little hut surrounded by the greenery. I would love to sip my morning coffee in one of those hut on its balcony.
Then we stopped by a house with a carabao. There we met Jeli, our new guy. He said that it’s late, we’ll never reach the first camp in time, not even the emergency campsite. to go, our job was on the line if we we’ll not follow the schedule. We told him that we’re good to go and we’re ready to do night trek. So, we went on.
We make way through a bushy trail, then we got out to a river. We stopped for lunch at Marangig falls, the first waterfall to welcome us. We saw a group of local kids basking in the sun by the river. According to folktales…
“Nearby residents sometimes heard the horn of Doña Marangig ship, the rocks would move and the river overflows. On the ship were white people”
Kids ravishing the beauty of Marangig Falls. Having them added more beauty to the sight.
We used a roped ladder as an entry to the forest.
Did this only in Mt. Candalaga. hehe. The emotion of having fun and being scared were mixed. The ladder was very shifty, slanted and slippery that you can’t get a gold hold on it. Some of the steps were broken and some steps were too high to stepped on. So I was not really relying my 100% fate on it. And my load was pulling me down because I can’t just lean towards the mountainside If I wanted to rest my arms. The crevices and roots was a great help to me.
We finished the course, then we had to pass on the side of the slippery wall of stone. Waters were dripping on its sides. Had to be careful or fall right straight to the rocks below.
Then we did a lot of river trekking and river crawling and I had to make my crawling faster to get up because leeches were coming excitedly to taste my blood. The abundance of the plant called alingatong added the twist of the trail. We had no idea what it was until we started scratching. Any part of the skin that touches the plant will be irritated and it gets really itchy that you want to scratch it like crazy. The most affected parts were the arms and legs. It lasted for two to three weeks.
We enter the forest again and another rope course awaits in going down. We used the rope that was lent to us by the Tourism office. In getting down with rope, gloves were useful. It protects the hands from getting hurt by friction. When I went down, I went down fast, My load was pulling me down. The ground was loose and dry. Remember that we were soaked and wet by the river. Ha ha, imagine what we might look like. We just laugh at our faces.
We went back to river trekking again, then another roped ladder beside the falls.
A long river trek with leeches were still waiting on top.
Another steep assault in front of us and It’s getting dark so we stopped to ready the lights. We made it to the emergency camp by the river before 6 pm. Just in time. We still managed to cook hot and spicy pork stew and chop suey for the night.
The campsite is a little piece of flat area encircled with river. One of the nice thing on this mountain is that you’ll never run out of water. There’s water source everywhere, potable and cold.
Moving on, we crossed rivers and forests.We stopped by a catch basin of water because Leo and Kevin couldn’t resist to dip on it. “The water is refreshing and very cold. ” , they said. We just watched them enjoying the water. After a while, we found out that lots of leeches were bathing with them too. Ha ha! oh how they jumped out of the water so quickly.
The path led us to the mountainside again. Must be watchful with the steps because the grounds were not stable. It’s dry, loose and easily eroded.
Another rope course awaits on the trail beside the falling water…
Looking for a way up, the water from cascades were blocking the sight and piercing the eyes and getting in the nose. The rope was just up to the middle then must rely holding on to the crevices of the slippery rocks.
The rest of the trail was in the forest and it’s raining hard. I thought were done with leeches. But there were more leeches on the way, from the grounds, leaves and trees. I’ve never seen leeches that many in my life and they were moving so fast. I don’t want to rest and sit on the ground. I just wanted to keep moving. This was the scariest trail of my life. I felt like were in a big bowl filled with leeches and nowhere to run. We hit the second camp before dark and summit is just an hour away.
I checked on the sides of our tent and the leeches were like nailed on it and they point on directions in a synchronized way where they sensed movement but they’re gone when the night came.
Leech sucking blood.
A good meal and a good sleep sufficed the beaten self.
In the morning, we explored the area and enjoyed its beauty and richness, had our breakfast, then we descent. Going down was not bad at all.
Mt. Matutum is an active stratovolcano, its last recorded eruption was on March 1911 (PHILVOLCS). The fourteenth highest point of the country.
After five hours of a bus ride from Davao we reached Tupi, South Cotabato proper at around seven in the morning and had our breakfast. Then, we headed to the municipality’s tourism office and settled everything that concerned about the climb. There were four of us on this trip (Leo, Ken and Martin). We took a habal-habal ride (without the roof) going to mt. Matutum checkpoint and met our guide.
While on our way, we passed through a vast pineapple plantation. I was really having fun on that part of cool, smooth, and up and down ride over there. It was like a kiddie ride for me. The smile and laughter were all over my face, not worrying about the super bumpy and steep ride that we usually met when going to mountainous places. As we went along, I finally came to see mt. Matutum up close. I took a shot of the beautiful mountain while still on that habal-habal ride.
Our guide already awaits for us at the DENR checkpoint. While looking at the mountain, Leo said, we will probably hit the summit at three o’clock in the afternoon (But it didn’t turned out that way. 😦 ). And I said “goodthat’s very nice”.
We started trekking at 9:00 am. We passed by an avocado plantation, fields planted with different crops, hills and community of settlers. The people there were warm and accommodating. The Kablon Farm can also be found in the area. And I said,” Wow, I l super loved their durian jam product. So here is where it came from”. 🙂
We reached the forest line, wherein you can also set a camp on this site. The last potable water source is also located here and no more water can be found along the way except the water source from the crater which had a rustic color, smells, had to use filter if you don’t want to drink some floating substances with it, and had to boil it first before drinking.
After filling our bottles with water, we started ascending. Sadly, we really didn’t fill our containers with water that much because our guide told us that there’s a lot of water up there. The trail was a continuous steep path until reaching phase 1 at 11;45 am. We stopped here for a while and had our lunch.
At this point, we already felt the exhaustion. We weren’t able to sleep last night. A good sleep is a must before climb.
While eating, I heard the birds singing in different and some weird tunes. Never heard most of it before. Through this, I could tell that this mountain is a home to diverse species of birds. The temperature started to dropped down, so, we continued to ascend. The next flat surface will be at the summit. The forest gets thicker and colder as we moved on.
The diversity of ferns was surely awesome.
There were, I think two species of flowering plant that seemed to be ubiquitous starting from the forest line up to the peak of the mountain. Of course, I was able to collect data for my ant study while we were trekking, my climb buddies tried to helped out too.
I don’t know, but something weird happened up there in the forest. Still thinking if I’m going to share it or not. Maybe soon.
Our pacing was just fine. We’re so exhausted ( I think, because we didn’t sleep a day before the climb) but still pushing hard to not stop, We wouldn’t want to get caught by the darkness. It’s risky and it’s our first time to do that mountain. We usually see to it that our line was not broken by calling the attention of the lead person that you’re following if he’s no longer visible to your sight and checking if the pack behind you still follows you. We do this thing in all our treks.
The three of us regrouped, Martin was no longer in sight. We tried to call his attention by calling the last syllable of his name in an abrupt and quick utterance to reduce noise. But we can hardly hear our own voice. We tried clapping but it didn’t work because it made a dull sound due to the dirt that was all over our hands and little energy was applied in clapping. I was disappointed to myself for not bringing my whistle. Still, we managed to laugh at ourselves.
Are we there? Then we started to asked this kind of question over and over. The forest was so tricky. I f you look ahead, you will see light at the end of the trail, so it will made us think that summit was just nearby. We moved fast to get there only to find out that there awaits a harder trail upon reaching that mark. ” Oh no…“, says me. The trail was like this for about over and over. 🙂
More crawling through the holes and under the roots and huge fallen trees and logs (You’ll kissed the ground). The hard part here was when I wont fit through the passage because of my pack that I had to unpack. You had to Cling on the trees and leaping were also needed. I think I was the only one who had a good dinner. After taking like three spoons, the boys hurriedly went back to their tents. They said it’s cold. Ken didn’t even came out, he was sleeping flat after he pitched his tent . Well, I finished mine. I wont say no to food. hehe 🙂
The next day was fine and sunny. We had a nice and good meal. We will leave after lunch so I had a lot of time roaming around the area and search for my precious ants.
We left the camp at 11: 45 am and after three and a half hours, we reached the base.
Before the sun came up, we forced ourselves to get out from the comfort of our sleeping bag and tent, put on our head lamp, sip on some hot coffee, and made a quick ascend (at about 15 to 20 minutes) to the summit of the mountain. it’s still dark when we reached the top. we sat down into the ground and silently waiting for the sun to rise.
So that’s it. Sunny boy came up, and we greeted him happily. I usually said my prayers during this wonderful moment and time.
After devouring ourselves with the Lord’s wonderful creation, we went back down to the campsite.
It’s either making your way by climbing over the steep side of the rocks and might fall eventually with the chance of hitting your head against the rock or by jumping into the water with leeches on it.
We tried the rocks but duh… I doubted if I’ll ever make it. There’s a part over there wherein I can’t get a stable grip when I tried to make a turning leap except entrusting my fate in the hands of my buddy( that will be Leo Adorado) but I don’t think he’ll managed to pull me over the edge considering that I am way heavier now. I’ve done this before but I don’t usually go halfheartedly, so I stepped back. I guess things really changes over time. We can never do things over and over same way as before. But with perseverance, for sure we’ll be able to catch our goal but on the other way around, taste a new experience and learn something different, defying fear (because I’m really scared with leeches to death).
After 2 days of spending time at Surigao Del Sur State University, Cantilan Campus our next destination is a six hours travel going to visit the town of Tagbina. We’re going to visit Royaks, my hubby’s friend who lived there. While waiting for our bus along the road, this kind of Habal-habal ride caught my attention because it’s not the usual Habal-habal ride I’ve seen. Boy it has a roof! Then I assessed that maybe the reason it’s modified like this because the town’s area is very open and very hot.
Habal-habal is a passenger motorcycle modified to carry more people. A more complex one can be loaded with 5 or more passengers including the humongous pack of supplies and other baggage. So, imagine a flowering motorcycle. That’s how it will look like. 😀 In far away provinces, rides like these are more suitable and convenient than passenger Jeep and tricycles for they will not going to make it through, passing a very steep, narrow, rocky and muddy terrain.
I have lots of memories riding this one. But my most unforgettable habal-habal experience was my first fall from it. Yes, I was thrown out from the motorcycle as we were approaching on a very steep and bumpy road. I was flying! 😀
At last, our bus came. We said our goodbyes to the Catilangnon and hopped on inside the bus. After a while, the bus stopped. We were wondering why it has stopped when there’s no incoming passenger. As we looked around, we found out that the driver bought something from the stall on the roadside. I peeked on the window and saw the man was selling bibingka freshly baked in a fire furnace.
Bibingka is a native Filipino rice cake traditionally made from galapong (glutinous or sticky rice). A piece of banana leaf is used to line the bottom of the cake, and baked with charcoals on top and underneath the cake. There are many varieties of special bibingka today. But I’d still prefer the native one.
My pards and I quickly jumped out of the bus too! I love native delicacies! 😛 Especially the ones made from the provinces because they tasted just the way it supposed to be. When we reached the stall the man said that it’s all sold out. Hearing that I felt disappointed because the bus will not going to wait for us. The man looked at me, and then tried to check the bibingka again.
We’re glad that it’s done already. Hmmm, it smells good. We ran back to our bus, holding the super hot, super full and fluffy rice cakes. 😀 It’s so hot that we couldn’t eat it right away. A moment later, a nearly broken bridge is in front of us. The center foundation is bending down and will soon to collapse. The driver instructed us to get off the bus for our safety. We walked along the bridge then the bus. I didn’t able to take a shot of the scene because I’m still holding bibingka in my hand and the camera was in my pack.
As we are traveling forward, I took some of these shots as I was looking from the window of the bus….
Jeepney is the most widely used means of transportation in the country. The design was modified depending on the route it will travel. Vehicles like these in the remote and mountainous areas were developed to last against rough roads. It has bigger size, bigger tires and more seating for endurance and convenience. Jeepney in the cities was smaller, colorful and trendy. “History tells that the first jeepney was made from the US military jeep. After the World War II, hundreds of leftover jeeps were left and sold by the Americans to the Filipinos. These were then modified to have more passenger seats, installed roofs for shade and beautify it with colors and stuffs.” Until now it keeps on evolving.
I was happy sharing and talking about my trip a while ago, but now it feels heavy in my heart. I felt sad for my country and the people. Realizing that until now, my country is still a poor country. As a regular citizen, I think I knew why my country is moving on so slow. I hope it crossed the minds of the politicians too and take a look at it. The people have to be creative and resourceful to endure and survive, making life easy no matter how hard it is, fighting and striving to live. What touches and amazes me the most is that despite all of these, the people still do manage to “live happily”. I’ve been to different places in Mindanao region and the one common character of all the people I’ve me ton the way is that they were all “happy folks”. So much for my sentimientos. I’m sorry to bore you into this. I didn’t mean to. Blame it to the modified vehicles. hehe 😛
We stopped for a while to give way for this giant machine loading this earth to the truck which is blocking the road.
Passing on the seaside. Made me gazed in appreciation every time I passed by the seaside or any bodies of water.
Happy workers, laughing around while doing their job. A lot of ongoing road construction along the way. Sign of progress. 😀
Rice fields were everywhere, here and there.
Man relaxing on a pile of coconut husks. He’s probably tired .
Surely does look like a gold-plated mountain side or a flaming mountain. Actually most of the mountain side here were reddish-brown in color but this one is the resulting color when it hit the ray of the sun.This time it’s sunset.
We stepped down the bus at the terminal of Barobo, a nearby town of Tagbina. From there, Royaks came to get us and off we go to his house at Tagbina. We arrived there late at night and had a good night sleep.
On my next post, we will visit another town again, to see how enchanting is “the enchanted river” ?.. I want to know if the pictures I’ve seen were really true. So stick with me. 😉 😉 😉
The IT and Engineering department of Surigao Del Sur State University, Cantilan campus is holding a 2 day seminar about “PC Interfacing”. My husband was invited to be the speaker of the said event. So one Thursday night my pards and I packed up and off we go to north.
Here is a brief history of the place we’re going to:
Cantilan is one of the oldest towns in the province of Surigao del Sur, Philippines. It’s the mother municipality of CarCanMadCarLan area. This is an acronym town namely: Carrascal, Cantilan, Madrid, Carmen and Lanuza. This explains why Cantilan is regarded as “the cradle of towns” in Surigao Del Sur. The story of the origin of Cantilan started a long time ago when the inhabitants used to cross the river to buy fish from the woman named “Tilang” who also resides near the shoreline. When people were asked for directions where to buy fish, they were often answered with “Adto Kan Tilang” , A Cantilangnon dialect which means “You go to Tilang”. Later, the place was named Cantilang. This was then changed to Cantilan.
We took a bus, and then a van. After 12 hours of travelling in a long and winding road, we finally reached the school by almost lunch time.
We are warmly welcomed by Ms. Divine Grace Loren and Mrs. Cheryl Tayo. The HRM students then accommodated us to their mini hotel and we stayed there for two days.
Lunch break! Enthusiast students stayed for a while for clarifications and grabbed a copy of must have pointers. Peeking out from the audio/visual room, I took some of these shots. And did some clicks around the campus area. Actually the school covers a very wide area but I never get the chance to go around.
view from AV room
view from AV room
SSDU campus area
From AV room, we moved to Computer laboratory for the hands-on exercises of PC Interfacing.
Outside the computer labora tory is the ROTC ground
On the other hand, these were some of the “Catilangnon “common dishes. Crabs! crabs! crabs! Surigao is in the northeastern coast of Mindanao facing the pacific ocean.
So this town is really abundant in sea foods. The place where I have eaten the fattest crab! 😛 This recipe is Ginataang Alimango (Crab in coconut milk). A steamed crabs and squash, simmered in coconut milk and seasoned with spices and finger chilies.
Steamed crabs. 😛
Fish in sour broth
Daing na isda (dried fish). The favorite dish of most Pinoy, the dish that all masses can afford. Daing is one of the cheapest method of food preservation. The usual procedure is by sun-drying the salted fish to remove the moisture from the meat.
Squid Kinilaw (Raw squid salad). Kinilaw is a popular Filipino dish and is basically made with raw fish and vinegar. But in Cantilan, MEN! they have their own variation too, serving squid instead of fish. This one is new to me and I love it.
Sikwate. A native, hot and thick chocolate drink made from tablea. Tablea are made from pure cacao beans .On our second day at the campus, a very hospitable, kind and friendly teacher named Cheryl Tayo and her husband Rene personally brought us breakfast and a thermos of sikwate. It has a very addicting aroma and so was the taste because the tableas are freshly made from a nearby manufacturer.
Photos with Ms Loren, Mrs. Tayo and some of the second batch students who attended the seminar. 🙂
End of the two days seminar, the students together with their lovely teachers accompanied us to the bus stop. We had a wonderful time and once again a new set of people has marked my heart. Unfortunately, I never get the chance to take a photo of the oldest church in town. It was built during the Spanish regime in early 1800’s. I saw it while riding a motorcycle upon our arrival but I didn’t take a snap because I was planning of roaming around the town afterwards, but it did not happen. Our trip continued from Cantilan, Surigao Del Sur travelling 6 hours to Tagbina Surigao del Sur.
More stories and photos on my next post. Come and join me on my journey. 🙂