Must-Visit Places in Mindanao to Spend an Unforgettable Vacation
Mindanao has several paradises hidden in the lush greenery that surrounds the region, just waiting to be discovered. Only it is overshadowed by the stigma that hounded the region since several hundred years ago due to the never-ending conflicts that started when Christian Spaniards colonized the country and displaced the locals’ populations who are mostly Muslims.
It all changed when a Mindanaoan won the country’s presidency last year. His popularity is so unprecedently high that people are willing to forget everything and start believing that maybe this time, the elusive peace is finally within reach.
Just when people begin to see Mindanao in a different light, the Marawi incident happened. It jolted people to reality. Is peace truly achievable, or will it remain just a dream? Only time can tell.
Whatever you think, allow us to show you just how beautiful Mindanao really is—a proof that the region is truly the Land of Promise.
Discover Must-Visit Places in Mindanao
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Great Sta. Cruz Island, Zamboanga
Despite the stigma that is connected with its location, this gorgeous pink sand beach in Zamboanga has recently been hailed as one of the best in the world by the National Geographic. The island is larger (and more beautiful) than the world-famous, commercialized Boracay Island, spanning 3,425 hectares. In January, DOT secretary Wanda Teo visited the place to show tourists that the place is safe.
Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte
Siargao Island is dubbed as the Surfing Capital of the Philippines where two international surfing competitions are held. Just 800 km away from Manila, it’s one of the must-visit places in Mindanao. The island also has several white sand beaches that visitors will surely enjoy.
Camiguin Island, Camiguin
This alluring pear-shaped island is actually the second-smallest province (Batanes is the first) and one of the must-visit places in Mindanao for its hot and cold hot springs, unspoiled powdery white sand beaches, and turquoise blue water. You just have to bring your own necessities as there is no available accommodation for you to stay in or store you can buy something from or even a tree to shelter you from the heat of the sun.
Rizal Shrine in Dapitan
From our elementary textbook, we learned that our national hero was exiled in Dapitan during the Spanish regime. But where exactly Dapitan is, many have no idea. Dapitan is in Zamboanga. Rizal stayed in the place for four years. Using the money he won from a lottery, he bought lands; built houses; became a teacher, doctor, farmer, painter, architect, biologist, composer, inventor; and helped improve the lives of the people in Dapitan, proving that our national hero is the jack of all trades.
Maria Cristina Falls, Iligan City
Of the more than 20 waterfalls found in Iligan, Maria Cristina Falls is probably the most especial. At 320 ft high from the ground, it’s the second-highest falls in the country. It also serves as a stable source of energy for the entire region, supplying 70 percent of Mindanao’s power needs. Swimming is not allowed in the area because of the very strong water current; however, there is a viewing deck open to the public to watch the mesmerizing cascading of water below. Fun activities like zipline and rock climbing are also available for adventurers.
Mount Apo, Mindanao
With 9,692 ft high above sea level, Mt. Apo is the highest mountain—well, it’s actually a volcano—in the Philippines. It has three peaks that provide breathtaking views of the vast virgin forest of Davao. The flat-top mountain is crowned by a small crater lake about 500 meters wide. Among the attractions, you’ll see in the area are unique plants and trees, waterfalls, wild boars, and sometimes, a mountain deer. It’s truly one of the must-visit places in Mindanao for mountaineering junkies.
Vega Ancestral House, Misamis Oriental
If you happen to be in Misamis Oriental, don’t forget to drop by Vega Ancestral House in Balingasag. It is the oldest structure in the area made of molave, a high quality of wood found in the country. But even if it’s old already, the house has an interesting design.
Asik-Asik Falls, North Cotabato
The once-sleeping town of Alamada in North Cotabato is now a flourishing tourist destination, thanks to the Asik-Asik Falls. A truly magnificent gift of nature, this tourist attraction has pristine waters rushing from the stone wall covered with lush vines down straight to a shallow river. The place will remind you of fairies and magical creatures from old storybooks, making it one of the most enchanting and must-visit places in Mindanao you will never regret going to.
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