Naga City | Camarines Sur

Naga City in Camarines Sur is known as the “Queen City of Bicol”. It is also called “Heart of Bicol” due to its central location in the Bicol Peninsula and “Pilgrim City” as it is home to the largest Marian pilgrimage in Asia.

Established in 1575, the city then named Ciudad de Nueva Cáceres (New Cáceres City), earned its status as the third Spanish Royal City in the Spanish East Indies after Iloilo and Manila.

Tourists can visit the popular Mount Isarog, Malabsay and Nabontolan Falls, Naga City Ecological Park and numerous hot springs and resorts. Aside from the natural attractions, numerous churches and monasteries, and historical landmarks can also be found within the city.

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Naga Metroolitan Cathedral. Biggest church in Bicol Region which was built from 1816 to 1831
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Holy Rosary Minor Seminary. The center of ecclesiastical education of Bicol Region which was built in 1785.

 

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Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Penafrancia. Built in 1985, the Basilica Minore was constructed as the new home of the miraculous image of the Patroness of Bicolandia.
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Ateneo de Naga University. The Jesuit university in Bicol.
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Unibersidad de Santa Isabel. The first college for women in the Orient.
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San Francisco Church. Established in 1578, it is the first church in the Bicol Region built by the Franciscan Friars.
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Quince Martires Monument. The monument was built to honor the 15 martyrs of Bicol during the Spanish Regime.

 

 

How to go to Naga, Camarines Sur?

From Manila, you can travel by land and take the 9-10 hours bus ride bound for Naga (Superlines, DLTBCo or PhilTranco). Naga is approximately 2 hours away from Daet in Camarines Norte and also 2 hours away from Legazpi City in Albay.

 

Featured Photo: Porta Mariae which was inaugurated on September 10, 2010 in celebration of the 300th year of devotion to the Virgin Mary.

 

Disclosure: TheTravelad personally writes his blogs for informational purposes. All photos and content provided in this blog are owned by TheTraveLad. Photos may not be used without permission. For more comments and suggestions, you can send an email to thetravelad@yahoo.com.ph

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Fort San Pedro: The Oldest Fort In The Philippines | Cebu City, Cebu

The tri-bastioned Fuerza de San Pedro or commonly known as Fort San Pedro is located at Plaza Independencia in Cebu City. It is the oldest fort in the entire Philippines where the first construction is said to have started in 1565.

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Signage near the entrance of the historical Fort San Pedro
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Photos telling the story how Cebu was founded

The fort which served as a military defence structure in Cebu to repel Moro raiders was built by the Spaniards under the command of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. The two sides of the triangular-shape fort face the sea while the third side is fronting the land.  The three bastions are named La Concepcion, Ignacio de Loyola, and San Miguel. It has a total inside area of 2,025 square meters. The walls are 6.1 meters high by 2.4 meters thick, and the towers are 9.1 meters high from the ground level.

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Army Camp turned mini garden inside Fort San Pedro
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One of the turrets of the tri-bastioned fort

At present, part of the fort is a museum where Spanish documents, artefacts, sculptures, paintings, swords and other weaponry are being displayed.

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Replica of Spanish fleets inside the fort’s museum
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Old Spanish flag found during the old revolution battle

How to get to Fort San Pedro?

The fort is located near the pier area of Cebu City. If you’re coming from Manila, there are numerous daily flights going to Cebu via Mactan-Cebu International Airport  in Lapu-Lapu City. From the airport you can take a cab and asked the driver to take you to downtown Cebu City at Plaza Independencia where the fort is located.

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Disclosure: TheTravelad personally writes his blogs for informational purposes. All photos and content provided in this blog are owned by TheTraveLad. Photos may not be used without permission. For more comments and suggestions, you can send an email to thetravelad@yahoo.com.ph

The Museum of Three Cultures

Opened in May 2008, the Museum of Three Cultures is located within the Capitol University campus along Corrales Extension in Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental, Philippines.  The museum represents the three dominant cultures of Northern Mindanao, namely the Bisaya-speaking Christians, the indigenous peoples, and the Maranao Muslims.

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The Museum which attracts curious visitors because of its history and cultural value has the following five main rooms:

POSAKA M’RANAO: Posaka is the Maranao equivalent of the English word heritage. This name was given to the gallery because it contains mostly objects commonly handed down by parents to children – kitchen wares, jewelry, among others. This gallery features 175 Maranao collections out of the 700 of the Museum, and the centerpiece of the Museum of Three Cultures.

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Danganan, ceremonial sword used during a sultan’s enthronement

KASAYSAYAN: This gallery features both pre-historic and historic artefacts of Northern Mindanao. The gallery also contains trade objects, such as jars from Butuan, Sung ceramics, and perfume bottles from Europe. There are also photographs taken during the Spanish Period (16th-19th century) and the American Period (19th-early 20th century).

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Pre-historic and historic artefacts of Northern Mindanao

RAWARI: This room features mostly the indigenous crafts of Northern Mindanao.  Intricately woven and some designed with beads, the bamboo baskets of the Tigwahanen Manobo found along the Tigwa River of Bukidnon, are displayed in this room. Also displayed are the soil paintings of artists from the Talaandig, of Bukidnon.

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Soil paintings of artists from the indigenous community

MEMORABILIA: This room houses the paintings, photos, certificates, and awards owned by Madame Laureana San Pedro Rosales, co-founder of Capitol University. It was installed to remember the deeds of the brave and courageous woman who migrated from Luzon (Bataan) to Mindanao (Marawi, Iligan, and then Cagayan de Oro) in her pursuit to provide quality formal education to Mindanao schoolchildren.

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Madame Laureana San Pedro Rosales, owner and founder of Capitol University

ART GALLERY: Constructed in 2010, the Art Gallery has hosted several exhibitions by the Oro Arts Guild, Tinta Iligan Artists, Northern Mindanao Artists, the Soka Gakkai International – Philippines and some individual artists.

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Entrance fee at the museum for CDO residents and guests is 50.00; public school elementary and high school is 5.00; and college students is 20.00. CU alumni, indigenous peoples, and PWDs are free of charge. It is open Mon-Fri: 09:00am – 12:00nn / 13:30pm – 17:30pm and Sat: 09:00am – 12:00nn. For more inquiries and directions going to the museum, you can call the Museum Office Desk through the following numbers: Telephone: 856-2832 / 8561165 local no. 7751 and Mobile: +639261429901

More about Cagayan de Oro City? Read the previous blog Travel Guide: Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental

Disclosure: TheTravelad personally writes his blogs for informational purposes. All photos and content provided in this blog are owned by TheTraveLad. Photos may not be used without permission. For more comments and suggestions, you can send an email to thetravelad@yahoo.com.ph

 

Travel Guide: Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental

Cagayan de Oro, known as “The City of Golden Friendship”, is the capital city of Misamis Oriental. It is located along the central coast of northern Mindanao facing Macajalar Bay.

Tourism: Aside for its whitewater rafting or kayaking adventures which is one of the tourism activities being promoted along the Cagayan de Oro River, tourists can visit the following parks, museums and historical places:

Mapawa Nature Park: The 2,500 hectares property is nestled in the forest park of Cagnun. It is good for horseback riding, biking, zip line and nature trekking adventures.

St. Augustine Cathedral: The cathedral was built in 1624 by Fray Agustin San Pedro who was called El Padre Capitan.

Gaston Park: The park is located across from St. Augustine Cathedral. This park eventually became an execution ground for Spanish criminals turned later into a training ground for the local revolutionaries during the American occupation.

City Archives Museum: Located inside the Old Water Tower built around 1922, the museum is just near St. Augustine Cathedral and across from Gaston Park.

Gen. MacArthur Memorial Marker: The historical marker is located near the Port of Cagayan de Oro. The monument commemorates where Gen. Douglas MacArthur landed in 1942 enroute to his wscape to Australia during World War II.

Museum of Three Cultures: The museum of Capitol University which houses a gallery of Maranao antiquity, archaeological artifacts, lumad arts and crafts and a gallery of ethno history which displays Cagayan de Oro history.

Makahambus Cave and Adventure Park: This is an underground cave with a 130 foot (40 m) circular gorge. It is the site of the historic Battle of Makahambus Hill between Kagay-anons and American soldiers during the Philippine-American War circa 1900’s.

Gardens of Malasag Eco-Tourism Village: The village is located in a reforested area on Malasag Hill. This 7 hectare village has replicas of tribal houses in the region and a panoramic view of Macajalar Bay.

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The Saint Augustine Cathedral
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Museum of Three Cutures
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The Water Tower turned City Museum
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General Mc Arthur Memorial Marker

How to go to Cagayan de Oro?

Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific have daily flights from Manila, Cebu, Davao and Bacolod going to Laguindingan Airport in Cagayan de Oro. From all points of Mindanao, Rural Transit Bus, Vans/Jeepneys are available going to the city.

Where to stay?

You can choose from premiere hotels, budget hotels and apartelles within the city. For list of hotels in Cagayan de Oro click here.

Disclosure: TheTravelad personally writes his blogs for informational purposes. All photos and content provided in this blog are owned by TheTraveLad. Photos may not be used without permission. For more comments and suggestions, you can send an email to thetravelad@yahoo.com.ph

Maria Cristina Falls: Its Majesty and Legend

Dubbed as “Mother of Industry” and “Fountainhead of Progress”, Maria Cristina Falls is considered as Iligan City’s greatest heritage. It is the most majestic among the 20 plus waterfalls within the city.

Maria Cristina Falls is 9.3 kilometers away southwest of the city proper at the boundaries of Barangays Maria Cristina, Ditucalan, and Buru-un. It is 320 feet high, the second highest waterfalls in the Philippines. It spews 150 cubic meters per second of water which is the primary source of electric power for the city’s industries, being harnessed by the Agus VI Hydroelectric Plant.

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The Hydroelectric Plant just near the waterfalls

The developed NPC Nature Park which broke ground in 2006 is where Maria Cristina Falls is actually located. Aside from the Botanical and Zoological Gardens which can be seen at the Nature Park, zipline and rock climbing adventures are now being offered.

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Botanical and Zoological Gardens inside NPC Nature Park
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Bat cave near Maria Cristina Falls

Did you  know that? Maria Cristina Falls is also known as the “twin falls” because of the rock at its brink that separates the water’s flow, although this can only be witnessed if the plant is not operational. Below is the legend of the majestic twin falls of Maria Cristina.

The Legend of Maria Cristina Falls

There once lived two loving sisters, namely: Maria the younger and Cristina the elder. These two beautiful ladies loved each other very much. Maria gave everything she had to Cristina, her beloved sister. Many People knew they were the ones living near the falls. They also loved their neighbor as they loved themselves. Datus and Sultans came to ask for their hands in marriage but the sister refused. There was a man, however, son of a prominent Sultan living somewhere beside the Lake Lanao. For many years he was unhappy because he could not find a suitable partner. He roamed around the lake until he saw the two maidens of the falls. He fell in love with the two sisters but the two sisters did not know whom he really loved. Many days passed and Maria discovered that she loved him very much, which made her very sad and she went to the top of the falls and jumped. When Cristina found out the Maria was dead, she likewise went to the top of the falls and threw herself down the deep ravine. When the handsome young man discovered the situation and found the bodies, he buried them carefully under the falls. After the death of the two sisters, he never married until he died. He named the falls, Maria Cristina after the two sisters he loved.

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View deck
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Powerful water rush coming from the waterfalls

How to go to Maria Cristina Falls?

Getting there is easy. Take a Buru-un route jeepney from the Iligan City proper to Agus Bridge and from there you can walk the rest of the way to the entrance of NPC Nature Park. Entrance feee is P45/head, P35/senior/student.

More about Iligan City? Read the previous blog  Travel Guide: Iligan City, Lanao del Norte

Disclosure: TheTravelad personally writes his blogs for informational purposes. All photos and content provided in this blog are owned by TheTraveLad. Photos may not be used without permission. For more comments and suggestions, you can send an email to thetravelad@yahoo.com.ph

Travel Guide: Iligan City, Lanao del Norte

Iligan City is a highly urbanized city in the Northern Mindanao, Philippines. It is one of the 10 largest cities in the Philippines in terms of land area.

The name Iligan is from the native Higaunon word “Ilig” which means “to go downstream”. Iligan is predominantly Christian, with Catholics constituting the majority of the Christians. Cebuano is the major language in the city.

Waterfall hopping is now becoming one of the popular activities for tourists in Iligan City. Iligan is known as the City of Majestic Waterfalls because of its numerous waterfalls. There are about 24 waterfalls in the city. The most famous as well as the city’s major landmark, is the Maria Cristina Falls. It is also the primary source of electric power of the city, harnessed by Agus VI Hydroelectric Plant.

Other famous waterfalls in the city are, Tinago Falls, accessible through a 300-step staircase in Barangay Ditucalan. Mimbalut Falls in Barangay Buru-un, Abaga Falls in Barangay Suarez, and Dodiongan Falls in Barangay Bonbonon.

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The Maria Cristina Falls
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At the Botanical and Zoological Gardens of Maria Cristina

Side Trip: LINAMON, LANAO DEL NORTE

Historically, the coastal town of Linamon was a barangay in Iligan City. It became a separate municipality on January 13, 1960. It is considered as the “Beach Capital of Lanao del Norte”, with beaches spanning from Barangay Poblacion to Barangay Samburon that comprises 16 established beach resorts.

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Coastal area in Poblacion, Linamon where you can swim for free

How to go to Iligan City?

Iligan City is served by the Laguindingan International Airport in Cagayan de Oro where there are multiple daily flights from Manila and Cebu.  From the exit of the airport, you can find van transfer booths heading to Iligan. You can also opt to choose to travel by bus. Just go Bulua Bus Terminal. Travel time is roughly an hour.

From Marawi City to Iligan City

This was the route I took going to up north of Lanao. From Marawi City transportation terminal I took a van going to Iligan. Travel time lasted for almost an hour.

For places to stay in Iligan, you can check this link from Iligan Tourism  here

Featured Image: Iligan City’s major landmark MARIA CRISTINA FALLs

Disclosure: TheTravelad personally writes his blogs for informational purposes. All photos and content provided in this blog are owned by TheTraveLad. Photos may not be used without permission. For more comments and suggestions, you can send an email to thetravelad@yahoo.com.ph

Travel Guide: Marawi City, Lanao del Sur

Marawi City, officially known as the Islamic City of Marawi, is the capital city of the province of Lanao del Sur on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. The city is predominantly Muslim inhabitants which accounts for 99.6% of the population.

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King Faisal Mosque

Due to its high elevation, Marawi’s weather is cool. The city is also called the Summer Capital of the South, a nickname shared with Malaybalay City, Bukidnon which legally holds the title.

Some Points of Interest

Mindanao State University: Founded in 1961, it serves as an educational institute and a center of social and cultural integration. Marawi City draws the most number of visitors within Lanao del Sur in which the MSU is located.

Lake Lanao: The largest lake in Mindanao and one of the deepest in the Philippines. It is one of the 15 ancient lakes of the world.

Kilometer Zero Point Marker: An important landmark in Lanao del Sur, from which all distances in Mindanao are measured, similar to the Kilometre zero marker at the Rizal Park in Manila.

Aga Khan Museum: Located inside Mindanao State University,the museum was named in honor of Sultan Aga Khan who contributed to the realization of the museum. Indigenous art and cultural material are being displayed.

Sacred Mountain National Park: The 94-hectare park and protected area was established on August 5, 1965. The park is dominated by Mount Mupo, a 900-foot extinct volcanic cone.

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Gate to Mindanao State University
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Inside MSU
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Aga Khan Museum of Islamic Arts

How to get to Marawi City: 

Iligan to Marawi City

From Iligan City’s South Bound Terminal, board an FX van or jeepney with a Marawi City signboard. Travel time is 45 minutes.

Cotabato City to Marawi City

From the downtown central area of Cotabato City near market area, you can take a van going to Marawi City. Travel Time is nearly 4 hours.

If you are planning to visit Marawi but hesitant because of stories of danger lurking around the infamous city, get in touch to the Provincial Tourism Council of Lanao del Sur prior to your trip to get some tips and the needed assistance. You may contact Ms. Raifa through mobile number +63 917 706 8838.

About The Featured Image 

Battle of Marawi: The painting was conceptualized by Aga Khan Museum director Minerva Saber-Sani illustrating the fight between the Spanish-Filipino soldiers and the Meranao defenders. On March 10, 1895, the Spanish through its mighty 5,000 armies, took possession of Fort Marahui of Marawi.

Disclosure: TheTravelad personally writes his blogs for informational purposes. All photos and content provided in this blog are owned by TheTraveLad. Photos may not be used without permission. For more comments and suggestions, you can send an email to thetravelad@yahoo.com.ph