Aviary of Eden – Davao, Philippines

According to Wikipedia, an Aviary is a large enclosure for confining birds to allow them a larger space where they can fly. It often contains plants and shrubberies simulating a natural environment. During my visit to Eden Nature Park, in Davao, Philippines, I found out that the Aviary was in a small chunk of the park where midget flight cages were making room for a  number of birds, a pocket-size collection but, it’s worth the round. For me, it was an educational off-road trip getting close to nature once again.









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Tibiao, Antique #02

Early morning “coffee” for these habal-habal drivers which I encountered at the site of the “kawa” hot bath. Beer! I was  friendly with them so, I threw myself in at their drinking spree without their invitation. I asked a glass of Gold Eagle beer but it was seconded by them. And a third. I felt those were enough for me to be red-faced that morning.

I continued scouring the area and saw one of the houses for rent being built. Tourism was on the rise in Tibiao and people there wanted to get a share of the progress brought about by the  growth. I was thankful that people were aware of its gains.

A sari-sari store in the mountain was one of the visual changes enhanced by tourism.  That’s commerce, business, retailing, and marketing on the go. It’s making a light traffic at the crossroads where nature abounds and tourists are in the influx.

Progress can spell the difference. Building materials are brought to the site kilometers away from the road.

A little improvement goes a long way for visitors and the locals to enjoy the gains of progress.

Even the inactive but not totally worn-out “kawa” vats of a nearby sugar mill that went kaput for the past years have its life extended for use. This time it’s not for cooking raw sugar but for humans to be stewed.

But not fully cooked. Just a little blanching of the human bodies for a fee make these mountain populace some start-up capital to live civilly rather than making petty crimes against society.

With the growth of tourism in the area, people don’t just sit idly. Their minds think of other sources of income, lest, the birth of a one kilometer zip line, the longest in Panay Island.

As you go down, you can see the river and the trees below and, as you lift your sight straight forward the beautiful mountain meets the eyes.

Once you’ve completed the zip line, you can alight from the line and go straight to Tibiao river for a swim or go kayaking or rafting, depending on the season you’re visiting Tibiao. Summer is a non-kayaking season. It’s only during the rainy days where you can enjoy the kayaks.

On summer months, you can do these things! Jump from atop these big rocks or just make a body-dip in the cool water.

Exercise your muscles!

Take a walk at the hanging bridge and observe what is going on below.

Swim against the flow!

I am enjoying the “piranhas” eating my feet!

Before you complete your visit, you can leave your dead skins to the fishes! Go, have your tired feet cleaned and massaged by the fishes at Tibiao Fish Spa!

It tickled me! Having a choice of the sizes of fishes that will enjoy the cleaning of the spiritless skin of my feet was quite an adventurous compromise. Small, medium, and large fishes were the hard choices. I was scared of the large fishes. It might bit and cut apart my toes. I opted for the small ones.

The lady attendant had a hearty conversation with me that it lasted over an hour, close to two hours as my feet is being devoured by the fishes. Crush, crush, crush! It went beyond personal. She said,”It was ok. You can just pay the one hour, never mind the overage minutes”. I said to myself,  “Ah! It’s nice!”

Visit Tibiao and you’ll surely say, “I enjoyed Antique”.

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Tibiao, Antique #01

From Iloilo, an after-lunch travel  by Ceres bus was made thinking I could make it to Tibiao before the sun set. Yes, I made it but, it was already dark at 5 pm because of the showers. Hiring a tricycle to find some place for the accommodation proved a little bit  unyielding to my choice of comfort. So, I hired a habal-habal for an easy “go-around-the-place” for the search. And for the last try, we find my contentment and safety of the stay inside the University of Antique campus. There’s an airconditioned hometel there  with the basic necessities available. Meals are done outside. Make a deal with the habal-habal driver for a “fetch-and-drop” prearrangement including his meals. Whatever you want to clarify about your tour, consider it with the “deal-talk”.

This is the road to the mountain where all are appealingly lovely to the eyes. Like this mini rice terraces which look like a miniature Banaue rice terraces.

Bugtong-Bato waterfalls. During my visit, water volume at the falls was modestly low, that’s why the water drop was thin. Some fallen trees caused by typhoon Yolanda were still there. I wonder who would take the initiative to free the first basin with the clutters of fallen tree debris and other objects. Those junks has been a hindrance for a nice swim at the  the first falls.

Braving to climb the second falls was a fruitful one.

This is the 2nd Falls.

Some people living there are building their own houses or rooms for rent to visitors.

This is a quiet place away from the maddening crowd of city life. To unwind and rewind your energy will cost you a little sum of money but it is worth the fun and the experience.

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“Thank You, Surallah for being a safe place for visitors like me. I did not notice the rains pouring” — Surallah, South Cotabato, Philippines

In my desire to see Lake Sebu in South Cotabato, I really made the effort to take a visit of the serene lake even though I have already passed it the other day on my way to Gen San from  Malaybalay, Bukidnon. I thought that, I am already in Mindanao, so, why don’t I drop anchor at Lake Sebu town and see if write- ups about the lake are true. So, some preparations were made and framed some thoughts to be aware always of the road, thoroughfares and other passageways that the bus would pass. News then were not so kind to the place. Killings in one particular town in Mindanao were always a highlight on media and it dragged the whole island of Mindanao to be a terrorist lair frequented by groups to terrorizing the populace and scaring away visitors and would-be investors of the place. But to my amazement, development of the place was catching up the boom. The highways were wide and concrete. The picture of the place was aberrant to my thinking that it was a rugged and rural town. I was mistaken. And this is Surallah, a progressive municipality, and first class at that. This is the jump off point going to Lake Sebu. Tourism was the primary reason for the growth of Surallah but it was also the cause of its reduction in terms of land area where Lake Sebu became a municipality, thus, trimming down its hectares of lands.

As I walked and took a seat in the jeepney, majority of the passengers were talking and conversing in Ilonggo and that was the time I stopped being mindful of everything going on. Even the driver was Bisaya. I started to feel I was in the right place at the right time. I was in good hands. It was also the time I talked in Tagalog. “Thank You, Surallah for being a safe place for visitors like me. I did not notice the rains pouring”.

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