DAY 1 Sept 13 Monday, 6am waiting to board on for Gen.San. and reflecting on a travel blog. Texted Ms. Pilar V., Ms. Lily M., and Mr. Barrel on how to get to Van Terminal to Maitum. Tried to connect at the Airport wifi but failed. Maybe I should be starting the blog instead of facebooking.
While listening to FEAST Worship in my mp3, Bro. Arun Gogna saw me at the laptop table of Naia Terminal 2. We had an early brainstorming on fund raising for the South Feast. Very funny Feast Builder, so cool.
7am I boarded PAL Airbus and landed 8:30am. Got on a blue multicab (P50) to Ablog Van Terminal going to Maitum. Ate balbakua for breakfast at the karinderia beside the van terminal, it is like sinigang na bulalong beef skin and meat. Super delicious must try.
Boarded the van going to Maitum (P140). Seated beside the driver of course and discovered that Sarangani is full of very industrious Ilocanos. No wonder the province is very progressive. The province don’t need external investors. The local Ilocanos are hardworking and prudent.
Mr. Arlex, the Tourism Officer warmly met me showed me the museum and the office. Then we went down to Manang Pilar’s Homestay to check in (P650 w dinner and breakfast). My aircon room is good for 6pax (2queens w 1pullout each bed). Toilet and bath is common.
Manang Pilar ask me what time I want my dinner, I said, I will eat with the family if possible, I like home stays, scheduled to eat with the family by 7pm tonight. Manang Pilar said she will prepare crabs and shrimps.
Arlex volunteer his motorbike to go to New La Union for the river tubbing, I paid for the gas P100. People from New La Union are from La Union of Luzon. Everywhere I look there are agricultural plants. People here will never go hungry here. We passed by the Tboli Village of Sarangani, where the houses are made of native materials and no nails.
The river tubbing is P 120 guest (P 60 goes to the guide and P60 goes to the Barangay (local leaders, land owner, site maintenance and medicals of the community). Most like subject to change after I post this travel blog. The River tubbing is great, must wear helmet, lifevest and booty, just make sure all your body parts is in the tube. My advise is to get 2 guides per 1 rider, it is much more SAFER and will prevent you to get trapped in the washing machine or get over board. Water will get in your nose during the exciting rapids. Overall evaluation, MUST TRY. I will do it all over again and will do much farther. Will pay extra tip because I will get 2guides.
Then we went to the cocoproducts factory. Here they make copra out of the meat. The cocoshell as buttons and cocohusk as bags, souvenir products and weave nets to prevent soil erosions.
The he showed me the pond where the Maitum name came from. The rocks in the pond is black, maitum means black.
Then we went to the Turtle Sanctuary, it is one on one orientation given by Manong Danny, they have green, olive and leather back. Manong is also growing mangrove seedlings for the guest to plant. He mentioned a crab fattening area, but he did not show it to me.
Then we went to WINDS, (Women In Nation Development for Sarangani ) they make the semi dried and dried fish as livelihood. Their husbands get the fish and the wife process the product. They have very few catch today, because pirates are all over again. The pirates got all the food supplies, engine and killed all the 6 fishermen. Did plan to buy a lot to support the lost of the community, but I still have 11days to carry the semi dried fish around Mindanao. So I bought the remaining few super dried instead.
Then we went to the local market, saw beautiful baskets and the fish area, to check for sharks. Got myself a yellow fin tuna sashimi for ¼ kilo P25 instead. Went home, prepared the sashimi, chill, shower, blog, eat, nap a bit.
Dinner time was excellent! Manang Pearl prepared a pork hamonado, seafood sinigang and sizzlin’g crabs, with fruit salad dessert. Eat all you can. Over dinner I learned that there is this very good politician who always give away fruit seedlings in all the LGU and People’s Organization Meeting. Now the town of Maitum have additional income from the fruits of the tree. We need more leaders like this in the Philippines. Maitum is where Ilocanos love to plant, crops, flower and fruit trees for the market, for local consumption and for give aways. I love it, they are hardworking, prudent and generous. Here if you beg for food, you will be considered “tamad” lazy.
Manang Pearl, who is also in Indigenous People’s Ministry, told us that she is going to Lemlunay next day for the quarterly Women’s Org meeting at South Point where I am scheduled to dive. Excellent!