That One Saturday I Joined a Matin-ao Trail Hike

After several Saturdays of planning to join this hike (which I always put off because sleep is life hahaha), I finally was able to push myself to wake up early in the morning and drag myself to McDonald’s where the agreed assembly area would be. My friend, Erns, was already there waiting for me. We would be joining a group of friends who bonded over hiking and alumni homecoming preparations (Hi, Saturday Warriors!). The start of the trail was in Barangay Bonbon since Matin-ao is part of the barangay. I think it was already almost 6 A.M. when we started hiking. The sun was up but the air was cool. It was a good day for a hike.

So let me show you the awesome views I saw along the way. This was primary reason I wanted to join the hike.

There was a community we passed by along the way which made me wonder what it was like to live away from the city.

I snapped photos of flowers which I shall use for future painting references.

Although there were a number of times that I found myself chugging my water bottle and catching my breath, it was a relatively easy hike especially for a newbie like me. We were chitchatting while walking. It was like a stroll in a park. Well, it was partly because Daryl, who frequents this trail, kept telling me that we were near the end of the trail. “It is near that next turn, Kat.” “Just a few more steps.” All lies. hahaha  The pedometer reading on my phone recorded my 16,417 steps that morning.

Saturday Warriors on a hike.

We met kids with a carabao. What a cheerful child!

I forgot the beads of sweat trickling down my face whenever I saw a view like this.

How marvelous Our Creator is!

At the end of the trail is a rolling plain that makes you want to sing like Maria in the Sound of Music!

Erns was happy to reach this place.

From this vantage point, you can see Mt. Mayapay.

The best part of this experience was sitting on the grass and eating breakfast. Ha! Who said we were on diet? Never mind the amorseco (Chrysopogon aciculatus) on our clothes, it was a wonderful experience.

Thank you, Saturday Warriors, for letting me tag along your hike!

Photo credit: Siegred Lumayag Colima

Living it Up in Libjo

I always look forward to visiting new places especially those off-the-beaten-path types. These places are not usually teeming with tourists so I feel like I own the place. (Yes, I have a very active imagination. Didn’t I say I was a dreamer?) So when an opportunity to visit Libjo in Dinagat Islands came up, I was thankful that I had no important activity in my calendar. I thank my friend, Bryan, for inviting me to talk about blogging and photography to high school students there. I had a wonderful time living it up in Libjo.

Libjo is a municipality in Dinagat Islands. Dinagat Islands is a province in Caraga Region in Northern Mindanao.  To get there from Butuan City,  we traveled by bus to Surigao City, took a jeep to the port and rode the boat for Libjo. The boat ride took us almost 4 hours.

Port in Libjo.

Libjo is a charming little town with so much potential for tourism.  We had time to just stroll around the town and the introvert in me just loved the peacefulness of the surroundings: no traffic, no crowd, no pollution.

This is the park and government center in Libjo. Children of all ages hang out at this park.

We walked further to reach an area overlooking the sea.

From this vantage point, I get to see these views. This is a great reward after walking a few kilometers.

There is a fishing boat docked below.

Libjo has rice fields that looked like small terraces.

Awesome, isn’t? Wait till you get to the beaches.

Beach hopping was part of the workshop so that the students can get some inspiration with their writing and practice photography.

So we hopped on a boat and we passed by this view  on the way to our first beach.

Don’t you want to just hang out here and relax?

How about sipping buko juice and scooping the yummy meat afterwards?

Say hi to my friend, Bryan, who made this trip possible. Thanks, Bry!

Libjo has white sand beaches with wide shoreline that we have enough space to jump…

… and do some yoga.

How about some quiet time in the blue lagoon?

I love hanging out in the grass under the coconut trees.

Oh, the students had fun, too.  I hope they learned something from this workshop.

My heart is full. Even for a short time away from the city life, I get to live a little better.

I will be back,  Dinagat!

Living it Up in Libjo