Foreigners in our own country



How far can your 6,209 pesos go?

The view from the view deck of Mt. Parker / Lake Holon via Kule trail in T’boli South Cotabato

Gen San  Kiamba, SarangganiMaitum, Saranggani  Gen San Koronadal Surallah  Lake Sebu  Surallah  Lake Holon in T’boli  Surallah  Isulan, Sultan Kudarat Tacurong, Sultan Kudarat  Cotabato City  Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao  Dato Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao  Cotabato City  Dato Odin Sinuat, Maguindanao  Marawi  Iligan  Cagayan De Oro. All in eight and a half days!

The sunset view from the golf course of MSU-Marawi

Today we conclude our travel around the land of promise Mindanao. Traversing through the regions of SOX, ARMM and some cities in Northern Mindanao.

When we hear about Mindanao most of the things that are commonly attached to it are the words ‘dangerous’ and ‘war stricten’ as portrayed by the media. But all through out our 8 day adventure we have experienced the exact opposite. We found the hidden gems of Mindanao and were at awe by its beauty and at the same time felt sad that a lot of people are missing out on what SOX and ARMM has to offer just because of the notion that Mindanao is ‘unsafe’.

The symbolic tuna statue just outside the fish port here at General Santos City


Tuka Beach in Kiamba, Saranggani (Manny Pacquiao has a mansion here :D)
The Kiamba Municipal Hall along with the hundreds of doves that are found in their plaza
White Water tubing in Maitum, Saranggani
Stop-over at Surallah Municipal hall
Foggy afternoon just outside our campsite here at Lake Sebu
Lotus Photography in Lake Sebu


We also felt the warm hospitality of the people of Mindanao, who welcomed us to their respective communities in each place that we went and even helped us in our times of need.

Trying out my new bird flute under Falls no. 2 Here in Lake Sebu
Falls no. 1 in Lake Sebu
Another angle of falls no. 2
Photo op with the Hugot Trek poster in Sitio Kule prior to our climb to Mt. Parker/Lake Holon
Too much gold in one picture! All their furniture are made from 18-Karat Thai gold! Only here in Sultan Hall at the Sultan Kudarat Provincial Capitol
Sultan Kudarat Provincial Capitol at night
The Blue Lagoon in Margues, Datu Odin Sinsuat in Maguindanao

We also experienced the rich culture and diversity of this part of our country where Bisayas, ilocanos, illonggos, Meranaos and Maguindanaons live side by side day after day in peace. I truly appreciated my stay in Maguindanao and Marawi where I had the chance to be with our Muslim brothers and further enrich my understanding and knowledge about Islam and their culture.

The Pink Mosque (Masjid Dimaukom) in Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao
The White Mosque in Capiton, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao
The Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Grand Masjid (The Grand Mosque the biggest in the Philippines) in Cotabato City
Mt. Minandar in Brgy Kusiong, Dato Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao
The guides and BPAT of Mt. Minandar together with Sir Halid, Maam Marie Kris and Maam Leah
Inside Aga Khan Museum, MSU-Marawi
KM Zero in Marawi City


I entitled this post as foreigners in our own country because we Filipinos are such. We are becoming foreigners in our own country because we tend to single out some of the places of our country which had difficult pasts and to the fact that we tend to live in that past. Yes, things did happen here in Mindanao but do you think the people here wanted it to happen? People here are peace loving, warm, kind and they are trying to move on from the trials that has long plagued their place. But how can they move on if we continually associate Mindanao with it’s past.

If we continue to be afraid we will never truly experience what Mindanao is. The land of promise.

Our campsite in Lake Holon, T’boli, South Cotabato

I’d like to thank Sec. Nelly Nita Dillera of DOT-Region 12 for connecting me with Maam Jellybee Madres Baay who helped me with my itinerary in SOX. Sec. Ayesha Mangudadatu Dilangalen of DOT-ARMM and her staff Sahara K. Ali for accomodating me Shukran maam! Especially to maam Marie Cris Batuampar 🤗, Sir Halid 🤗 and Dindo 😁 for being our guides and buddies in Maguindanao 😉. To Sir Co J Tamano for welcoming us in Marawi.

To everyone we met along the way, Pastor Louie of Maasim, Maam Jane of Kiamba thank you for your hospitality.

To Reggie Ondong, Joel Ikan and Lolo Sinam Muan for being our family in Lake Holon.

Our family in Lake Holon: Reggie , Lolo Sinam and Kuya Joel

To Sir Anthony of the Sultan Kudarat tourism office for touring us around Isulan, to maam Emelie Jamorabon of the Tacurong tourism office for touring us around Tacurong and Sir Rey for welcoming us in Baras bird Sanctuary.

Selfie with Sir Rey of the Baras Bird Sanctuary, Sir Anthony from Sultan Kudarat tourism office and Maam Emelie from Tacruong tourism office
Baras Bird Sanctuary in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat

To Maam Leah Tarhata Mehila for being our camping buddy in Mt. Minandar 😊

To maam Juhaira Musa Juanday and Sir Shybenn Racman for conversing with us during our commutes 😁

Special thanks to Bj Bj, Jawwad Usman Djamla Devon Tomato Toni Le Gresley Jose Espenido for answering my questions about the area prior to my visit. To Sir Hajar Kabalu for welcoming us in Cotabato city 😀

Madamo gid salamat! Shukran! Magsukol! Daghang Salamat! Maraming Salamat po sa inyong lahat 🤗😍😙😊😉

Please do Subscribe to my blog as I’ll be writing my detailed experiences in SOX, ARMM and my previous Zamboanga peninsula-Basilan Escapade 🤗😍😙😊😉 Along with all the adventures I’ve had here in the entire Visayas Region