Matigol Falls, Arakan, North Cotabato

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

We celebrated Independence Day, June 12, in one of the places I didn’t thought will be greatly mesmerizing. I just joined Ram’s group (his workmates) in this adventure. I didn’t even google our destination just to check what’s waiting for me there. Haha. In fact, I thought we’re going to Bukidnon instead of North Cotabato. And  I can’t even pronounce the right name of the falls. Hahaha. (You can check my Youtube Vlog about the Matigol Falls here)

Anyway, Matigol Falls in Arakan, North Cotabato is just less than two hours away from Davao City. We arrived in Arakan at around 5AM and started the trek right away. From the jump off area, there will be a 30-45 minutes trek to the registration.

Registration Fee: PHP 35.00 per person

Tour Guide: PHP 300.00 per group


If you need Car Rental services, you can visit this page to book for a self-drive or with driver units.

Click the photo below!


All fees will be paid in the registration area.

From there, an hour of mesmerizing mountain climbing awaits. Why? These photos will tell you why!

After an hour, we were able to surpassed the steep mountain (going down to the foot of the Matigol Falls).

After few minutes of break, we started to climb up the trail of the falls. Here’s when the climax started. The trail is too steep, just like any other mountain when you are near the summit. However, it’s all worth it!

Forget about getting sunburn and getting tired. Just enjoy the moment, feel the cold fresh water and dive into it. Being on top of the mountain, away from the city life, brings so much calmness within.

To see our entire experience, check out my vlog about Matigol Falls. It will give you much more idea of how the experience will be. Enjoy!

SIDE TRIP:

After Matigol Falls, we went straight to Bemwa Farm to get some refreshments. You can take a lot pictures in the farm as they offer different crops such as Strawberries!!! There’s a minimal entrance fee to the farm.

We also had some merienda (in my case, lunch haha) in Seagull Mountain Resort. Make sure to have your cameras ready! You’ll be transported to Baguio while in Mindanao! LOL. Seriously, there are a lot of instagram-worthy spots in that area. You gotta try also their Hot Tsokalate and Suman. You must!

That’s it! Thank you for dropping by! Comment your questions if you have one. :)


If you are looking for a place to stay in Davao, you may want to try Red Planet Davao for a discounted price! Just click the photo below.


 

Advertisements

Samal Island, Davao: Chemas by the Sea Beach Resort

Tags

, , , , , , ,

One of the things I envy about the people of Davao is their accessibility to one of the best islands in the Philippines – Samal Island. It is just less than 30 minutes away from the best beaches! I’ve been to several resorts in Samal and while most of it are really beautiful places, Chemas by the Sea is actually a must-visit one (and in fact, only less than 15 minutes away from Davao). I’ll tell you why!

My vlog about Chemas by the Sea is also up. You can watch it here to know our experience!

The resort is not crowded. Unlike some of the most popular resorts in Samal like Paradise Island, Sunset beach, Cavanico, etc., Chemas is, by far, a peaceful place by not being too crowded. I learned after my visit that they don’t allow walk-in guests. Instead, a reservation must be made prior. That is how they manage to control the number of visitors per day. We went there for a day tour package last Sunday and we were able to enjoy the beach and their salt water pool since only few are booked that day.

Also, since it’s not crowded, the entire area is very clean. I think one of the factors they were able to maintain that is their ‘no food policy allowed’ except for chips and cakes. And meals such as lunch and dinner can only be consumed in the restaurant. By doing that, they were able to eliminate trashes from undisciplined visitors! :)

The area isn’t too hot. Thanks to huge trees, they kept the visitors away from direct heat of the sun. This also makes their salt water pool a great place to stay longer. Plus, malamig ang tubig since wala masyadong init. By that, this is perfect for those takot mangitim and magka-sun burn hehe. I personally like it too since most of the beaches, they only have umbrella or cottages to protect you from the sun.

Their Salt Water Pool is a great amenity. Most of us do not want to stay in the pool and in the beach longer for fear of sun burns. Chemas had us covered! They made us feel the saltiness of the sea in the pool and take us away from the sun with their ‘nature pool’ concept. It’s covered by trees so we don’t have to worry about sunburns. The cold water adds bliss to it! :)

The beach and the water are both stunning. Although Samal Island is one of the best, there are resorts that are not as stunning as others. In fact, there are resorts that do not have shoreline like Maxima. Chemas is a good combination of white sand beach and a clear, pristine water. It’s friendly to kids during low tide. It is also instagram-worthy place for those who loves taking photo of themselves with the beach.

What I don’t like..

To be fair, I’d like to share a little thing I don’t like about the resort. (1) The reservation staff is quite disappointing. Although we were able to reserve our vacation, there wasn’t really a confirmation that it was indeed reserved. I just assumed that it was reserved as implied in the replies. Ram’s friend also had the same experience when they had their reservation. (2) The food they serve is not worth the price. They serve small and not as good as we thought. Knowing that they have that exclusivity of the foods for guests, I thought they can do better since most, if not all, of the guests will have a taste of what the restaurant has to offer, unless they’ll skip breakfast, lunch or dinner. (3) With all the restaurant I have tried, theirs is the first time I experienced a restaurant not offering service water.

But other than that, there’s nothing I can say worse about Chemas. My great experience still outweighs the negative ones. I would still recommend it to my friends and to you. For me, it is still one of the bests of Samal Island!

HOW TO RESERVE?

Just visit their Facebook Page at Chemas by the Sea and place your inquiries or you can also message them at 0917-814-0814.

These are their rates for staying guests, based on their page:

  • Cottage 1,3–for 2 pax @ P5,500.00
  • Cottage 4A,5A,6A(2nd flr.)–good for 2 pax @ P5,250.00
  • Cottage 4B,5B,6B(ground flr.)–good for 2pax P4,750.00
  • Cabana 1 (2 separate rooms)– good for 4pax @ P8,000 .00
  • Cabana 2,3,4,5 (1 room)–good for 4pax @ P6,000.00
  • Cottage 2 (good for 8pax)-P12,000.00
    Note:
    *Cottages 1,3,4A&B,5A&B,6A&B-(2pax w/ king Bed)
    *Cottage 2-(8pax w/ 2 queen beds & 4 single beds)
    *Cabana 1-(4pax w/ queen beds separate rooms
    *Cabana 2,3,4-(4pax w/ 2 queen beds)
    *Cabana 5-(4 single beds)
    *We allow max of 2 pax excess per Cottage/Cabana @ P800/person beddings on the Floor, except for cabana 1.
    *Strictly No Food, Drinks & Water allowed.
    *Breakfast not included in all cottages/cabanas.

For day tour packages:

  • Entrance is P300.00/person &
  • Umbrella Hut is P500 good for 7 person, more than 7 plus P50/person more than 10 you have to get another Hut ( divisible by 7 ).
    Note:
    *Day Tour starts at 7am till 4:30pm.
    *2 year old & above same rate as adult.
    *No Food,Drinks & Water allowed.
    *Free use of the Salt Water Pool
    *Proper Swimming Attire is required.
    *We allow bringing of chips or cake.

HOW TO GET THERE?

Just ride a jeepney or taxi going to Waterfront Hotel, Davao. Just tell the guards that you are going to Chemas. You’ll go inside the hotel vicinity to get to the boat. You can ask the staff of directions where to go. But please take note that you need to have reservation first prior so they can accommodate you.

If you want to know our entire experience, you can watch my vlog at my Youtube channel. Click here to watch now! And don’t forget to subscribe both on this blog and my youtube channel! :)


BOOK NOW to Chemas for SOME DISCOUNTS! Just click the photo below.

6 Life Lessons I Learned Outside the Corporate World

Tags

, , , ,

Hey,

It’s been 8 months since I wrote about my life and posted it here. It was a looong story to tell why. That 8 months seemed to passed by really fast. But here I am sharing again my life. :)

In about less than 30 days, I will be celebrating an anniversary — as a corporate-free man. 30th of June 2017 was my, should I say, ‘parole’. Like a ‘prisoner’, I was happy at first because I could breathe fresher air and hopeful of a brand new life. I thought my dreams are within reach. I always believe that I can do all things. haha. However, I only saw just the tip of the iceberg. Mas mahirap pala to be out of the corporate world.

My life felt like a disaster.

I would cry myself to sleep at night a lot of times. I felt insecure and uncertain. I felt that the people close to me do not believe in my dreams. I was very anxious and worried for my family. I felt like the world is now against me.

But day by day, I felt like a message was being passed on to me — To learn and to realize that the world outside the corporate world is not an easy battlefield. Slowly, I felt like I was learning the lessons God wants me to realize. For the past 8 months, I’d like to share with you how it impacted my life and what I am now.

  • Anxiety will not do any good

Obviously, it won’t but it’s human nature to worry about the future. Though I can say that it’s normal, it goes beyond the limit when it stopped you from working on your goals and your daily activities. I had it for how many times in the past 8 months. I just laid in bed, cry and think of what I have done. I had sleep problems for consecutive days. I even thought that maybe it’s depression and maybe I need professional help? But my strong side kicked in and said to myself, ‘hey, nothing has ever come easy.’ Work on it. Laban lang!’

My family has always been my source of strength. I learned in the past 8 months that overthinking and too much anxiousness will not do any good. Opportunities will not just come to you. You have to chase after it. While luck plays a good role, you don’t wait for it to happen. I’d rather say, blessing will not come to you if you didn’t work for it.

  • Some ‘packages’ just need to let go

When I resigned from my job, I suddenly felt the pressure of holding on with my life. That time, I have no stable income. I was only starting to go full time with my photobooth business. My van rental is not doing well. I was undecided to continue our dishwashing liquid business. My online business has made no impact after my first sale. While at the same time, expenses are piling up. All of these things caused worries and anxiety to me. I thought after I left my job, everything will come easy because I have these plans. However, I was wrong. Dinamdam ko lahat. I was very emotional when I realized I was failing. But that’s the mistake I made. I carried everything for how many months thinking maybe one day, some of these will leave by themselves. But it’s not. You are the captain of your ship. You decide.

I started telling my story and my struggles to my sister. She helped me emotionally and financially. We decided to let her manage the van rental business and its expenses after I asked if she can handle it kasi di ko na kaya yung expenses. I was relieved by that burden being off the list.

Do not hesitate to ask for help if you need to. Let go of the loads you do not need in your journey. Share your story to someone who will understand your situation. Sometimes, some ‘packages’ just need to be shared to someone who knows you and willing to be with you.

  • Accept your failures

When I decided to open up and accept my failures, I felt like I was given a second chance to try again. I was happy to know that some people will just accept your failure and still believe in your dreams. Remember that it is always the journey that matters, not the destination. I was blinded to appreciate the efforts I have done for the past months not realizing that I have tried so many things that others have not. Just don’t compare your finances and lifestyle to them because that will make you insecure. haha. Maybe not now. I’m keeping it in my head that I took the long and harder road than the safe and easy ones. A coach once said to me, ‘Live like no one else so that, later, you can live like no one else.’

  • You’ll discover the things you didn’t know you can

Right now, my photobooth business is a little bit stable. I have consistent number of customers since January of this year. It has become my major source of income. I am earning almost the same of what I was earning in my previous job. But this time, I have a lot of time for myself and for other things I wanna do.

In that regard, I just accept whatever opportunities that come to me since I have a lot of time. I do some freelance photography for event and photoshoots for kids which I really enjoyed a lot. Hehe. I even accepted web design projects which I nailed too. Presently, I accepted a software-development project for a small business in Davao. I have done it years before so I think I can do it again and make it my stepping stone for a startup tech company. I enrolled myself to an online course for some refresher. Fortunately, I’m already in the middle of the project.

I realized that when you have a lot of time and you are the kind of person who wants to make use of time to the best he can, you can think of starting doing something you haven’t tried before and found out that ‘kaya ko pala!’. For the past few weeks, I have been cooking my lunch and dinner. And I’m speaking of not the usual and easy to do meals like hotdog, or luncheon meat, or tocino. I have done pork and chicken adobo, pork sinigang, sinampalukang manok, and even Katsudon. Thanks to youtube tutorials, I learned na kaya ko pala magluto and in fact, masaya magluto! :)

My point here is, after my corporate life, I learned so much more that I haven’t thought of doing in the past — which translates to discovering some skills and talents and ideas that are actually worth learning as a person. And I’ve done it because I have a lot of time for and with myself.

  • Enjoy the time and the journey

When I was starting, I was very serious about life. I was pressuring myself too much to deliver. I was too focused to the point that I was not enjoying the road. That actually leads to my anxiety and some little depression dramas. But despite that, there was never an instance when I regretted leaving my job.  I may not be ready yet but it was the path I know I wanna take moving forward. And that’s been my ‘hugot’ to wake up myself to the idea of letting loose in the journey.

It’s the same thing I miss when I was in college. I forgot to enjoy my younger self. I was in a hurry to graduate, to work, forgetting that it was my last ‘hurrah’ to my student life. I don’t wanna make the same mistake that I did in the past so I realized why not just enjoy everything everyday. That’s why I incentivize myself of a vacation once in a month, usually at the end of the month to celebrate the current month and kick off  the coming one. In fact, I have never been excited to be sun-kissed the way I do now. This experience is making me realized that life is way more about the successes you can brag about but the journey itself.

  • Keep on dreaming until it happens

I wonder if you are familiar with Goalcast. I really love this page. They gave me so much inspirations and motivations to keep on holding on to my dreams. The success stories of each famous personality have never came easy for them. Have you ever imagined Jackie Chan being a construction worker? Or Chris Pratt as a service crew in a restaurant? How about Rita Ora handing her samples to producers as they walked out of the studio? They chased after their dreams. Now they got it. There’s just one thing that is common among the videos I watched.

Somebody gave them their breaks. 

I was so inspired to wait for my time when someone will give me my break while I chase them. Obviously, they were given their breaks because they look for opportunities. As I said previously, blessings do not come to those who don’t work for it. They chased after it. Now they have it. My hopes are high that someday, I’ll get it.

That someday, maybe a ‘golden buzzer’ will be granted to me because they believe in me and in my ‘talent’. I am a big fan of US and UK Got Talent shows. I am almost teary-eyed whenever there’s a golden buzzer. I was watching when golden confettis showered upon Grace Vanderwaal’s audition. She was a raw talent but was seen potential.

My point is, someday, we’ll have our own golden buzzer, our own Simon Cowell, our own Taylor Swift for Ed Sheeran, our own movie director for Chris Pratt, our angels-in-disguise to lend their hand, believe in us and let us fly. So better to keep that dream and work on it until it happens.

Okay, this is getting too long. Hehe. I actually thought of writing something that is not as serious as this. Haha. These realizations helped me to stay focused with my goals and at the same time gave me an easy time on Earth. I am very much relaxed now, peaceful and calm. I’m not in a hurry anymore but instead just living the life day by day and enjoying the moment as often as possible.

Most importantly, do not forget to pray and stay connected with Him. Whenever I feel like to, I will pray – while driving, while doing some work, while staring blankly, while on bed, while walking, while doing anything. If you’re in the moment to silently tell Him your desires, just give yourself some few seconds. It’s not hard to do and is actually relieving. In fact, just this week, I really felt like I am very much blessed. Last Monday, I was praying for a good week and for some more opportunities. In less than few hours after I whispered my prayers, my stock prices went up and sold it to take profit. I had photobooth booking last Tuesday night for a Wednesday event, and had a call from my partner restaurant for another stint.

The power of prayer is so powerful that it can work just seconds after you say it. So do it often!

Okay, I sounded like preaching. But I hope you get something from this. Thank you for dropping by!

– Anthony