Monday, July 30, 2012


 I was lucky enough to have joined a group of assessment team from the Department of Tourism to assess Ang Tribu Bagobo Woodlands resort in Digos City last July 27, 2012. The team was spearheaded by no less than the Regional Director of DOT XI Sir Art Boncato, along with his staff and my Boss Mam Camille. It was a great trip then, considering the first-hand experience I got in terms of observing new travel destinations in the region. It was indeed a nice thing to know also having private individuals erecting new places that would help the tourism industry flourish.

Stairway to Function Hall
Situated in Barangay Binaton, Digos City; Ang Tribu Bagobo Woodlands is a newly-opened commercial resort in the middle of a forest. The owner of the resort – Ate Nene Abajero – who eventually hails from Sta. Cruz, said the conceptualization of woodlands resort is attributed mainly because of the Bagobo Tribe who settles in the place. And with the opening of this unique recreation area, weekenders have now several reasons to flock to Barangay Binaton.

One of the 3 -level swimming pool
This 10-hectare resort is a distinctive haven located in the foothills of Mt. Apo. It is more or less 30 minutes from downtown Digos and is accessible by land transportation. It has state-of-the-art facilities ready to cater to wide-range of clientele such as the alluring 3-level swimming pool, function hall, open and close cottages, tent city and billiard hall; all equipped with free wi-fi internet connection.

Tent City
Moreover, since it is positioned in the middle of a secondary-growth tropical rainforest, the main attraction in the evening is the sanctuary of fireflies beaming all over the sober place. Ate Nene told us that fireflies can be best seen in between 6:30 to 7:00 in the evening. The resort as well offers an extensive variety of flora species.

The rich flora species 
One of the exceptional highlights of the resort is that majority of the materials used are purchased all the way from Australia. Ate Nene revealed that having all those materials are worth it. It’s all for the good of the resort and at the same time by doing so she can help preserve the environment of the Philippines. “We really cannot compare Australia and Philippines in terms of preserving and protecting nature. In Australia, once a tree is cut, it will be replenished afterwards. That’s why I would rather purchase lumber outside the Philippines.”

When asked about her future plans for the resort, Ate Nene said she is bent on putting up a firefly information center (which is already on-going) and to designate a place as showcase area of the Bagobo tribe. She would also like to enhance the landscaping aspect of the resort.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Delight up your tastes buds at Fiesta Sorpresa Digos

On July 19 and 20, 2012; I guided a crew from GMA News TV Manila for a segment shoot of their late night Friday show “Weekend Getaway”. The crew was headed by segment director Mico and event coordinator Bea, along with some weekend warriors and staff. It was however unfortunate that the show host Drew Arellano wasn’t able to come due to some tight flight schedules.

The itinerary was composed of an immersion at Tibolo Cultural Village in Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur; a lake challenge featuring Kapatagan’s Highland Resort, an exposure at Kublai Milan’s Agong House in Digos City, a seascape tour in Passig Islet and a water tubing challenge in Sibulan River, Sta. Cruz. There was also a portion of the shoot where warriors were tasked to eat fresh tuna caviar (bagaybay and bihod) at a newly-opened Fiesta Sorpresa Restaurant in Digos City.

It was only then that I knew how nice Fiesta Sorpresa was. This former franchisee of Penong’s Restaurant is now operating as an independent bistro featuring mouthwatering dishes suitable for customers from all walks of life with an amazing Pinoy fiesta theme. It is located along the main thoroughfare of Rizal Ave., Digos and is owned by the Echano Family from North Cotabato.

 “Our best selling recipes here are garlic roasted chicken and binaguongang bagnet,” revealed Mr. Dennis Rubia, the store manager. Since we started commercial operation in first quarter of 2012, we instantly enticed plenty of regular patrons. We are proud to say that we are serving palatable dishes at a very affordable price anybody can afford especially students.”

We enjoyed a complimentary lunch on July 20 at Fiesta Sorpresa where Mr. Rubia treated us with a sumptuous package. According to some crew members of Weekend Getaway, aside from having a very luxurious lunch, what made the place attractive to people is the hospitality of the restaurant crew.

The blogger with the whole crew of GMA News TV's Weekend Getaway

To the management and staff of Fiesta Sorpresa, congratulations for a job well done.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


If you are looking for a cozy, affordable and nature-themed isolated resort in Samal Island, I would recommend Seagrass Beach resort to be the ideal one. Located in Barangay San Miguel, approximately 200 meters from the center of Peñaplata District in IGACOS, Seagrass Resort is a small spot with complete amenities suitable for weekend overnight trips and day tour.

This resort has accommodation facilities like closed air-conditioned rooms, open cottages and small huts located in its beach front. The swimming pool placed above the information center also makes it unique while the elongated bamboo bridge going to the deeper sea is fantastic.

Owned by a good friend and successful entrepreneur Boy Sarmiento, Seagrass Resort was constructed a year ago and Mr. Sarmiento’s christening of the resort is patterned mainly after the area’s abundance of the so-called SEAGRASSES. While in the resort, one can explore the serenity of the place and enjoy the beauty of the seascape. 

Seagrass Resort already hosted several huge events last year such as the foundation anniversary of Mountaineering Federation of Southern Mindanao and the MFSM-MFPI Grand Eyeball. This coming July 14, 2012; it will host the Mindanao-Wide Search for Miss Body Beautiful as a major event of the Visit Samal program.

For information and bookings, you can directly contact the owner through his contact number 09496847771.