The idyllic Talaingod

OUR generation has a serious case of wanderlust and the presence of social media definitely makes it much worse.

When we open Instagram, we crave to book flights and see how there is so much to learn about other countries' culture- yes those elephants in Thailand are so adorable and Indonesia's Boho-themed hotel suites fronting pristine beaches look so good. But as we dream of going to faraway places, we often overlook how wonderful our own land is- that we too have sights some foreigners crave and we would realize it's a shame not seeing our own.

So, during holiday break earlier this year, I and my cousins decided to visit Talaingod, a second-class municipality in Davao del Norte. We know their municipal hall has this viewdeck which showcases a breathtaking view of the province; its mountainous landscape and the long shore of the Island Garden City of Samal, but we never had the chance to go there before so it's a first for most of us.

There were five of us who went and we have three motorcycles, I was with Kuya Gigi; Kuya JK and Kuya Jan went together, while Jessa rode alone.
The plan was to go after mass so it was passed 2:00 p.m. already when we hit the road. The ride going there was actually entertaining; the excitement is building up as we saw teenagers having fun playing basketball by the side of the road.We also caught some kids going down the hill through their wooden bikes which was probably made by their fathers, while some of the older people follow them carrying baskets filled with their fresh produce and firewoods. These are happy people who are living simple lives and it's as if their comfort is so contagious that when you look at them you get the same feeling.

I do not remember paying for anything when we reached the hall but there were boys who offered to guard our motorcycles while we are away so we gave them five pesos as thanks.

The viewdeck is around eight minutes of walk away from where we were but it's not that far, haha.We were just slow because the ground was wet from the fog and tiny waterfalls from the hills.

We got the literal chill that we were looking for as we climb through the upper deck and finally saw the view. It was picturesque like a scene taken from a storybook.

Soon after, the rain was starting to pour so we looked for some roof; luckily, Balimba Hills, a tourism facility built some time in 2015, was just a minute away from the hall so we stoop in. The province funded the facility to help promote a culture of peace and help protect the Ata Manobo’s cultures and traditions.

They also refer to it as a cultural village, it's a regional tourism project that aims developed to create more destination sites in Davao Region. They are planning to put more in Marilog District in Davao City; the Mandaya tribe community in Caraga town, Davao Oriental; the Sama Cultural Village in Barangay Tagbaobao in the Island Garden City of Samal; and another village in Davao Occidental.

Inside, there's a bistro with karaoke so we definitely had the most of our lives there while we were stuck from the rain. Some instant food and coffees were also available the place really was a total package for visitors with small budget.
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