Showing posts with label Zamboanga del Sur. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Zamboanga del Sur. Show all posts

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Zamboanga del Sur: Scenic Lake Wood in Lakewood

If South Cotabato has Lake Sebu and the T'boli, the province of Zamboanga del Sur has Lakewood and the Subanen. The main attraction is of course the 800-hectare Lake Wood which is sometimes referred to as Lake Lakewood. But the culture of the Subanen is not as highlighted as the culture of the T'boli is in Lake Sebu. The best place to enjoy the view of Lake Wood is at the Alindahaw Lakeview Resort in Brgy. Biswangan.

From Pagadian, vans leave every hour for Lakewood. While public buses pass through the Lakewood junction along the National Highway, the Alindahaw Lakeview Resort and the town proper are still several kilometers inside. So it's best to take these vans or hire a habal-habal when you get off at the junction. Or better yet, hire a private vehicle but note that after the resort, the road to Lakewood is not yet paved.

You'll have to be patient with the vans though. As I arrived at the van terminal which is in downtown Pagadian, I was told the van was about to leave. Then they tell me a few minutes later that the vans have a scheduled time of departure which was still 45 minutes away. When the time of departure came, I was informed there would be a slight delay because someone had just consigned a delivery of construction materials including plywood and G.I. sheets which they had to load and secure on top of the van. Along the way, we stopped for gas, stopped at a store to load sacks of rice, and stopped for passengers to get on and off. The ride from Pagadian to Lakewood took about an hour and 30 minutes.

Anyway, my plan was to get off at the town proper to find a habal-habal to bring me back to the junction so that I could stop along the way at scenic spots and the resort to take photos. The van passed by the Alindahaw Lakewood Resort on the way to the Lakewood town proper and I was able to glance at the view through the gates for a few seconds. It was truly stunning!

After the resort, the road gets rough and I was about to regret not getting off at the resort instead since it looked like it was going the rain. And it did rain when I arrived at the town proper. But the sun came out again.

Finding a habal-habal was a bit of a challenge and I had to walk around the town asking at the market, barangay hall and some sari-sari stores where I could find a habal-habal. I did find one after asking at a vulcanizing shop. Unfortunately the owner was busy at work so he called the guy at the barber shop if he was free. I had to wait for him to finish doing a haircut though before we went off.

On the way to the resort, it was quite sunny and I was able to take nice photos of some terraced rice paddies and the lake. But as we neared the resort, it started to rain again. So I had to make do with rainy shots of scenic Lake Wood.

The resort has accommodation and kayaks for those who want to row around the lake. It's a great place for a day-trip or overnight stay with the picturesque view. But the videoke is as vulgar as in most provincial resorts in the country. They have function halls anyway so I hope they can keep the noise contained so that others can savor some peace and quiet which is perfect for this wonderful panorama.

It didn't stop raining so we had no choice but to continue to the junction under the rain. By the time I reached the junction, I was soaking wet! But the trip to the lake was worth it! If only I could stay longer. From the bus stop near the junction, I boarded a bus to Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Zamboanga del Sur: Around Pagadian

Pagadian is the capital of Zamboanga del Sur and regional capital of Zamboanga Peninsula. The first thing you'll notice when you arrive in the city are its unusual tricycles which are inclined at about 30 to 40 degrees. The unique design of Pagadian's iconic tricycles add stability given the city's hilly terrain. It's quite amusing seeing 6 to 7 people (including the driver) jam-packed in this peculiar-looking tricycle.

Hoping on the tricycle is quite an experience. Getting on, especially the top level, is quite a challenge. Make sure to ride on one of these tricycles when in Pagadian.

The main attractions of Pagadian are beaches (Dao Dao Islands and White Beach), waterfalls (Lourdes, Lison Valley, Manga and Ditoray Falls) and caves (Twin Caves and Kendis Cave). This is one trip where I chose not to do research hoping to rely purely on the locals. Unfortunately, the hotel frontliners could not answer my queries about Pagadian's tourist attractions and I ended up seeing nothing major. The tourism office should train people on how to answer these queries.

They ended up pointing me to a beach resort in the town of Tukuran, which was a 45-minute jeep ride north of Pagadian. Baguio's Beach Resort was a bit too rocky. While Serena Beach Resort didn't have much of a beach and had a really noisy videoke! While videoke is an important national pastime, I've always advocated that it be kept in a contained area of a resort so as not to disturb other visitors who may have wanted to visit a beach for some peace and quiet.

Being regional capital, there are a good number of decent hotels in the city. Anyway, I decided to rest early instead since people had suggested I visit the town of Lakewood, Zamboanga del Sur. So my plan was to visit the town on the way back to Zamboanga City.
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