Butuan Sidetrips

As part of our Mindanao trip, we visit the Magellan’s anchorage, National Museum and Balangay site, probably because it’s on our way to Britania Island or our tour driver just wants us to experience these must-see Surigao landmarks.

(c) janette padilla. There is no entrance fee to the museum since July 1, 2016.

First stop is the Butuan National Museum which is very suited to kick-off our Surigao adventures. A little background on the beauty that is about to unfold before us.

An introduction of the province that was very well explained by the most dedicated curator I have ever met. (Never got the chance to get the lady’s name or maybe I forgot :p , but one thing I would always remember is her commitment to her chosen profession.)

The scenic view outside the gallery (inside the compound) provides great background for photo souvenir 🙂

We also stopped by a small monument depicting few people on a boat ready to anchor in Barangay Masao/Masawa.

Lower the anchor!

This place supposedly served as a short stop for Magellan’s expedition before heading out to Cebu, hence the name Magellan’s anchorage. Though other historians argue that the Masawa is actually the present day Limasawa – and not this tiny portion of Butuan.

We head next to the Balangay Boat Building site located in Luna Compound, Brgy. Bading, Butuan City. The site displays a huge balangay replica held above a pedestal emphasizing its size.

With the gang doing a trick shot (or maybe something of that sort…)

It is surrounded by tall acacia trees and the gigantic replica rest alongside the Agusan river.


The mention of Agusan river brings to mind Lolong (yes, the crocodile). That largest saltwater crocodile in the world (ever caught and measured) was captured in Agusan Marsh, a protected area found at the heart of this river.

We spent quite sometime spying on the vastness that is in front of us. Being the third largest river basin on the country, who knows what creature might lurking just around the corner 🙂

Back to Day 1 – Britania Island Hopping


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The Mountain’s Call

There are all kinds of Mountains in the world but never the same mountain twice.

From the famous qoute of Sir Fitzgerald(tweak up a bit), this, I know by heart to be true.

Dati pare-parehas lang tingin ko sa mga bundok. Lahat mataas, lahat malayo, masukal, maraming hayop, delikado, in short, “hinde masaya”.

(Before, I thought mountains were all the same. All were high, remote, home of wild animals, dangerous, in short, “not fun” at all.)

But not unless you make that first step up the mountain slope and not until you take your first life-risking shot up on the summit will you understand, the unspeakable joy mountain hiking has to offer.

The more I hike, the more I prove that each mountain is unique. Like different teacher on different classes giving different lessons. In two months this year, I had climb four mountains and each has generously imparted to me unique learnings. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all - Helen Keller

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all” – Helen Keller

Mt Maranat – Bulacan. – Stamina is sometimes more important than strength. That he who can endure is better than he who is strong.

The mountain is characterized by an 8-hr hike breath-taking(literally) unpredictable trail. This is my first ever hiking experience and that’s what makes it more special. Up to date, no other mountain has caused me so much fatigue than this one.

Mt Maculot, Batangas -Take Chances. Nothing is 100% definite until it’s done.

Here I miss my suppose to be first summit and traverse. After the rockies, we should be heading to the summit (where the view is actually by far average than the view from the Rockies). The tourguide notify us that the traverse path will be closed for that day. So i opted to just wait on the campsite while they continue on the summit. And once there, woah! change of restrictions, traverse is now open. While going down the same path, I was full of what ifs and could have been. And the regret I carried down is heavier than the force of gravity I had to endure going up.

Mt Daraitan, Rizal -Travel light. Excess baggage can drag you down.

My longest hike yet. My first overnight at the jungle. Truly,  how heavy an object is, depends on how long long you would carry it. Even a bottle of water becomes unbearable if carried all day. Are you dragging extra baggage with you? Let it go.

Mt Arayat, Pampanga -The universe is wider than your views of it.

My highest peak so far. Standing at an elevation of 1030 MASL with unobstructed view of central Luzon plains, I saw how vast the world in front of me is. And how small I am. A humbling experience indeed.

(Will post on each hike experience separately.)

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