Pagadian and Dapitan

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013


THE JCI Senate (of which Rey and Peter Rey are members) had their national conference in Pagadian, Zamboanga Del Sur. The conference was hosted by Pagadian Governor Antonio Cerilles (JCI National President), and his wife, Rep. Aurora Cerilles. Five lechons and one roasted calf were served every dinnertime!

Pagadian City is straddling the line between modernity and traditions. All the entrapments of modern technology are present, but with a sense of the old, reminiscent of rural towns. Such a feeling invokes a sense of relaxation, perfect for anyone who wants to get away from all the trappings of a bustling metropolis. Pagadian has a lot of natural resources and attractions. According to the city’s brochure, there are hot and cold springs, waterfalls, mountains and hill trekking, spelunking in caves, and several hanging bridges with wooden planks suspended by supporting cables. Unfortunately, Pagadian’s tourism is pathetic. I wanted to go to several places mentioned, but everyone explained that transportation is difficult and the areas can only be reached by trekking! My sense of adventure was totally doused.

The saving grace of our trip was a tour to Alindahaw Lakeview Resort (also owned by Gov. Antonio and Rep. Aurora Cerilles) where all the delegates who attended the conference were treated for a buffet lunch in the floating restaurant that cruised around Alindahaw Lake. According to our guide, the lake is 370-ft deep and 722-ha wide. The Subanen Tribe lives at the Lakewood Municipality. After the cruise, my nephew, Tonton, Peter Rey and I dared to go on the zip-line over Alindahaw Lake - for free!

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After the two-day conference, we decided to contract an SUV vehicle to convey us to Dipolog and stopped to see Pumalacan Falls. Dipolog is famed for its bottled sardines so we bought two boxes to bring back home.

On the trip back, we passed by Dapitan, the exile-place of Dr. Jose Rizal (our National Hero). At the Rizal Park, the Shrine, Museum, and Rizal’s HOUSE are situated. In front of Dapitan Church is Rizal’s Mindanao Relief Map. Our dinner was at Ati-Atihan Restaurant in Oroquieta. It was 11 PM by the time we were back at our hotel. Whew! It was too much moving around in one day.

Peter Rey and Tonton flew back to Manila while Rey and I opted to stay another day. We went to the market, and then later, took a jeep to the next town, Tukuran - a 22-km drive away from Pagadian. Our lunch was at an Ihaw-Ihaw place in Tukuran market and had a hilot-massage in the afternoon – one of the best I ever had!

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on March 28, 2013.

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