MFAT Summer Safari in Mindanao
I often think about spending the summer by doing the cross-country mountain biking to amazing places such as Bukidnon, Surigao, Davao, Zamboanga, CARAGA, SOCCSKSARGEN and ARMM. I’ve already done epic bike rides last year to Butuan City in CARAGA region, Iligan City in Lanao del Norte, Malaybalay in Bukidnon, and so far my longest bike ride was from Davao to Cagayan de Oro last summer. As these rides are incomparable to Gilbert Dizon’s solo and unsupported bicycle ride from North to South Philippines, what really matters is the journey as you spin from different regions and cultures; and how you appreciate the beautiful places in the country and share these things to the world!
This time, standby pahuway ’sa kadali si bike as this summer’s quite different yet exciting as I’m heading to Central Mindanao to join the Mindanao Food Appreciation Tour / the 1st SoCCSKSarGen Summer Safari.
Last May 29 at 3AM, fellow CDO Bloggers Jovelyn, Rubelito, Edward, Venus, Eldie, Elva and Michael were already at C7 convenience store in Divisoria. I was a couple of minutes late from a college reunion but we managed to leave CDO at around 4 and enjoyed the whole morning in Bukidnon’s long and winding road.
Along the way, as we enjoyed the overlooking views, the left rear tire unfortunately caught on a shallow but rough hole in the road causing its edge to jagged a bit and got flat. Fortunately, the surroundings were cool enough for us to take pictures. Chiq and the rest excluding Mike, went on ahead and reached Seagull Resorts, some meters away from where we had a flat tire. In less than an hour, we managed to go back on the track as we descend from the cozy Bukidnon to the warm Davao.
We headed to RANCHERO GRILL for lunch and of course, meet Davao Bloggers.
We introduced ourselves as others already have known each other from the previous meet-ups and events like the recent Mindanao Bloggers Summit held in Cagayan de Oro. While having our conversation, we also enjoyed the delectable foods served at RANCHERO such as these restaurant’s bestsellers – Seafood Vegetables, Isda sa Miso (Tiyan ng Bangus), Karagatan, Pinapugon na Liempo, Ranchero Ribs, Garlic Chicken, Seafood Kare-Kare, Seafood Platter, and Pancit Canton.
When you visit Davao City, don’t miss to try out RANCHERO GRILL located at Tionko corner Arellano Street. Pwerteng lami-a gyud sa mga pagkaon!
After lunch, together with Davao bloggers, we took an aircon bus, then traveled 3 hours to the highly-urbanized General Santos City. One caught my attention as I gazed the wide beautiful plains is the majestic Mount Matutum as its imposing cone shape dominates the landscape of General Santos to Koronadal City.
When we arrived at GenSan, a van took us to the hotel, thanks to MAYOR JUN ACHARON. We stayed at ICE CASTLE EXPERIENCE, the newest hotel in General Santos that will open SOON! We’re very grateful to the owner REY BILLENA for ICE CASTLE EXPERIENCE to be the official home of the participants of SOCCSKSARGEN BLOGGERS’ Soccksargen Summer Safari from Cagayan de Oro and Davao Cities.
Not far from the hotel, we headed to PACMAN SPORTS BAR. We had a great time playing billiards, looking at awesome pacman items and posters, sipping drinks, enjoying the mouthwatering cheese sticks, tasty garlic chicken, and the one I couldn’t stop eating – the succulent beef sizzling sisig!
It’s time for our dinner so we have to leave the sports bar to our next stop – LE JARDIN ARNEVEL. Yes, tinuod! Wala pa mi nanihapon ato. We’re surprised to see lots of luscious foods at their poolside such as chicken barbecue, sinugbang panga, crabs, guso, kinilaw na malasugue, and lechon baboy! Lupig pa man ang ga-piyesta!
The feast continued as we went to Donna Mae Congson’s PIYESTA KTV and RESTO BAR to meet the SoCCSKSarGen bloggers. There were really a lot bloggers and foods (kaon na ’sab!) and the place was di mahulugang tuna! I tried Piyesta’s Jell-O Shots and Gayuma. I can’t describe the idea but it’s really creative and unique. It’s my first time to put a large syringe in my mouth with jelly alcohol in it. Not sure if it’s the right description but I will never forget my experience there at Piyesta. Naa na pud lechon from Mayor Jun Acharon! Next time, I’ll try Piyesta’s kurasticks, sizzling ubol-ubol, and tuna buntot!
Aside from the kainan and injections, we all introduced ourselves – some are simple and short, while others went so on and so forth. There were a lot of conversations not just between bloggers but also among tweeters and plurkers. Recharged, together with some CDO and Davao bloggers, we went outside to explore the place. I saw the sign and it opened up my eyes I saw the sign. So the CDO Bloggers, with the participation of Jun, we performed our disappearing act to those people who made the event successful.
It’s already late and still a lot of excitements to happen on the next day. So we bid our good night to other bloggers and went to the hotel. But before that, we went to a convenience store beside Pacman Sports Bar and spotted The Destroyer Manny Pacman Pacquiao playing billiard. Lucky enough to get close as it’s my first time to see him in person. Though we didn’t bother to go inside, Rob manage to take some jabs.
Day 2 will follow shortly…
Please enjoy the video while waiting.