Sunday, August 24, 2014

It's Wow In Mindanao 1-The Enchanted River

How could I forget our Mindanao trip?  Knowing that I was there a couple of years ago, I should have written something about it a long time ago. But it doesn't matter how long it will take, just as long as I can still recall them. I can write about it without missing anything, with a paradise as beautiful as that, I can hardly forget all the wonderful things that I saw and feel. Anyway, Mindanao is the second largest island in the Philippines. It is also one of the three main islands which composes the Philippines aside from Luzon and Visayas. The largest city in Mindanao is Davao City, the other provinces in Mindanao are home to a number of Muslims. I went to Samal Island in Davao as my first destination but I didn't get around much in the island and instead I chose to stay and relax in a private resort for my time to stay is too short. Villa Amparo offers a panoramic view of the nearby islands and natural scenery. It is spacious for large groups, it's peaceful and clean. They serve delectable dishes and the staff are polite. I highly recommend Villa Amparo for families who wishes to have quality time with each other.

Promenade.


My second day in Mindanao was wild! We left Samal Island early in the morning to prepare for our roadtrip. Our first destination...the ENCHANTED RIVER! Who would say that you can only see this mysterious river in pictures and television? Not me! It was a 3-hour scenic drive through country from Davao City to Enchanted River. We passed by countless coconut and banana plantations, towering trees and verdant fields. "Enchanted River" by the way, is located in Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur, Philippines. According to the vendor that I talked to, it was once an ordinary log pond in the 1950s, and that some logs still lies submerged underneath the 20-feet deep river. The road going to the river from the main highway is rough and slippery and only "habal-habal" (motorcycle) which is only the public transport that can take you to the river unless you got your own vehicle. Well, you don't have to worry about the ride, the drivers are used to the route going to the river.

Sun proof habal habal
The vendor added that the river was just a natural spring where the locals fetched water and swam, they knew about its existence because if you are a stranger in that small village you would not notice the river due to the dense growth of trees covering the area. It is called enchanted due to the supernatural creatures which inhabits and takes care of the area which I believe. And since that so many tourists flocks often anytime of the year and inviting more nature lovers,  the said creatures were disturbed and moved out. Anyway, there is a ticket booth which collects 20 pesos per head and cottages for rent of 100 pesos, if you wish to rent a life vest that would be 100 pesos for a whole day use. There is a concrete stair leading to the river which I of course hurriedly took a view and behold, the river which looks exactly like I see in pictures! IT IS REALLY BLUE! And all the wild plants that clings and adorned around the river really makes the place enchanted, a lost kingdom of supernatural beings! It is different from the rivers that I've seen which are mostly green or rather brown in color. The water looks dense and cold even though I didn't take a dip, I felt it.

Blue Danube, Philippine version. 
The depth of the water in the bluish part of river is not advisable for those who cannot swim and restricted to children. There is a shallow part of the river where children can enjoy the blue water. Lifeguards are always on watch on their posts so as to keep the safety of the tourists. At 12 noon all swimmers are requested to move out of the river to give way to the fishes to be fed, there are really big fishes in that river and after an hour, tourists can go back and enjoy the rejuvenating body of water!

Enchanting!
The sight of the river was amazing, a picture which I couldn't just erase in my mind. Too bad, overnight stay is not allowed and the resort closes at 5 PM, well it is good that they've set some guidelines for tourists. I have to say that they should have maintained the natural atmosphere of the place, the cottages just a few meters away from the river made the place commercialized. The line of vehicles parked in front of the natural spring made the place chaotic and if only these supernatural creatures could complain, they would rather cast a spell and make the place go back to its original appearance. And I wouldn't like that, would you?

I have a lot to tell about my trip in Mindanao and I hope I can write about it as soon as I can.
If you're planning to go to Enchanted River, I would suggest that if you're coming from Manila, you can take a flight to Butuan, take a bus going to Surigao del Sur and from there you can hire public vehicles going to Hinatuan. You can stay at Paper Country Inn in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur, the rates are affordable and the most decent place to stay, the staff are courteous. You can make reservations even without reservation fee just make sure that you confirm your booking a day before you arrive. You can send your inquiries in this email ad: papercountryinn.bislig@gmail.com

Thank you for reading!!


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