Postcards from Lanao del Norte

Tinago Falls, Linamon, Lanao del Norte

Coming from extreme Northern Luzon, the enigma that is Mindanao captivates. A couple of times, I missed the chance to join my Philippine ecoguide buddies to go white water rafting in Cagayan de Oro City in the province of Misamis Oriental. The opportunity knocked once again. (And my area of specialization) though how brief and extrahectic my mission was, I squeezed in time for a segue to neighboring Iligan City and Linamon in Lanao del Norte, basically a farming and fishing province. That’s what is so awesome about CDO — it is a hub to so many nature destinations such as Camiguin and Bukidnon.

LinamonTinago FallsA shade of Aqua

Tinago Falls in the quaint town of Linamon is stunning if not romantic. The color changes from true sky blue to the healthiest of greens depending on the weather, according to our wonderful guide. Partly man-made environs do not distract from the pristineness of the cascading falls. Climbing the 434 steps going back was nothing for such a magical spot.

Exploring Tinago FallsTinago Falls, Lanao del Norte, PhilippinesIligan City

A former lady president partly grew up in Iligan City. We passed by her ancestral house in Buru-un.

A famous landmark is Maria Cristina Falls (remember Social Studies class?). I remember it’s supposed to be twin, but when we visited, the waterfall was single.

Maria Cristina Falls, Iligan City, PhilippinesPicture 364Picture 366Maria Cristina Falls

Flowing into the Agus River, the Maria Cristina Falls is the major component of the hydroelectric plant that powers a huge chunk of the Mindanao Region.

Iligan RoadsideIligan Lechon

Kulas (Kyle Jennermann) and fellow ecoguide Reina Bontuyan of the Viajero Outdoor Centre reminded us not to miss the Iligan lechon. If you’ve been following this blog, you might remember my chase of the best lechon ever. I’m sure it’s not the foreignness of this travel, but the Iligan lechon is the best so far! Very crispy caramel skin with naturally sweet and succulent meat, dripping in awesomeness, OMG, pork!

Yummy Golden Iligan Lechon!Cheding's peanuts from Iligan

My first encounter with native Iligan peanuts was on the Philippine Airlines flight to CDO. The dry non-fancy kind was served. I also tried the garlic style at some joint in CDO. I’ve never had peanuts so tiny, yet so flavorful. CDO insider Jan Seriosa recommended the Cheding’s brand.

Our driver/guide, Leo Rayos, was truly nice and helpful. If you’re planning a trip to the City of Golden Friendship, contact him at these numbers: 0916 828 4809 / 0919 663 3549.

Will forever be grateful for reaching this far.

Photographed by Carlo, Leo and Blauearth
© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014

My Journey in Northwestern University Botanical Gardens

By Erin Salvador

ErinIts amazing how an indoor lover like me who loves to stay at home locked up in her room watching TV, using the computer and wasting his or her summer indoors can turn into an outfielder; someone who loves to go outside and explore.

It all started when we (My Mom and I) thought of a special event for kids like me that would kick away their gadgets that were wasting their summer, and make the kids outside for a change.

My Mom said that she had met her old friend, Aunt Tina, and she knew someone who was the manager of the botanical gardens. The gardens allowed camping, which was the event we were planning. I didn’t like leaving behind the computer, but I had no choice. On our way, we picked up Aunt Tina and we talked for the whole trip. She informed me that she was a blogger, and I was very pleased to meet someone else who enjoyed the art of writing. Before we got to the garden, we got kinda lost. It was a long journey (well, at least for me), but the destination was worth it.

The first thing I saw was a pond. It would have been extremely deep if two feet of it had been filled with water. Beside it was a wooden tree house. I wanted to go up, but we had limited time, so I never got to see it from the inside. The next thing I saw was a wide white house, surrounded with plants. Finally, I saw a man in casual clothing and walking towards us. Aunt Tina introduced me to Uncle Michael, the manager of the botanical gardens. He knew a lot about plants, and I was both surprised and amazed at the same time about his knowledge of it. After talking about the camping event we were going to hold, he showed few but special parts of the garden. The first was the orchidarium and asclepiadarium.

Asclepiadarium and Orchidarium

The place was full of plants, and we were all amazed by their looks. But the very special one on my part is the Butterfly Sanctuary. The structure was spectacular. Uncle Michael explained that it was based on insects being invertebrates and having a skeleton outside instead of inside. He showed us the pupas that were still incubated in their chrysalis, which looked like a leaf.

Butterfly EffectMichael and ErinStarry Hoya MultufloraHoya cinnamomifoliaA Walk in the GardenEyesAt the NUEBGPomegranates and LemonadeMeeting Erin

The Northwestern University Botanical Gardens is amazing, spectacular and… special. And I’ll never forget it.

“Look deep into NATURE, And you’ll understand everything BETTER.” – Albert Einstien

Earthsaver Erin

Erin Salvador, 10 years old, is a Grade V student of the Saint Louis University, Baguio City. This is her first published article.

Photos by Erin, Michael and Blauearth
© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014