Lunes, Pebrero 18, 2013

Engineering details conducted for Mlang rural airport

A team of engineers from the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) conducted initial survey of the Mlang Rural Airport last August 1, the town’s local chief executive said.
Mayor Joselito Piñol said the survey covered engineering details as to how the P160 million funds will be utilized for the completion of the long overdue airport in Mlang.
Initial survey showed that the funds would be used for the extension of the runway from 1.2-2.5 kilometers. The additional runway constructions will start on the 3rd quarter of the year, the mayor said.
DOTC engineers who visited the place said P150 million will still be needed for the construction of the control tower, fire station, and perimeter fence.
Photo courtesy of
and text courtesy of

Huwebes, Pebrero 7, 2013

Cotabato begins work on Southeast Asia’s ‘longest’ zipline

 (The Philippine Star)
“Tourism is where the money is.”
Thus said North Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza as she led officials and guests in the recent groundbreaking ceremonies for a 1.2-kilometer zipline in Barangay New Israel in Makilala town, right at the foot of Mt. Apo, the country’s highest peak.
The zipline, touted to be the longest ever in Southeast Asia, will cost at least P5.8 million.
The Makilala zipline traverses two villages — New Israel and neighboring Barangay Buhay – and will have a height of 360 to 920 meters above sea level.
Barangay New Israel is also considered one of the points of interest in North Cotabato, as it is home of the Moncado group.
The Moncadistas are known for their strict adherence to rules and disciplinary precepts, including a smoking ban.
Lifestyle Feature ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1
And as an added feature, Barangay New Israel is also where friendly monkeys and even deer roam around communities.
“What is good about New Israel is it still has thick forest cover which could inspire those who would experience the zipline with such a view of the green forests,” Mendoza said, adding that the sight of the Mt. Apo peak is another come-on for those who are into the zipline adventure.
The new tourism facility will also offer horseback riding and feature other attractions and amenities, including fruit and vegetable stores and a pasalubong center to cater to the needs of the visitors.
Makilala is also known as the “fruit basket” of the region where tropical fruits like pomelo, durian, marang, rambutan, and mangosteen, among others, abound.
“The provincial government is excited about the new zipline in Makilala as this will provide income to the residents. This also shows that North Cotabato is ready for tourism,” Mendoza said.
The governor added that the construction of tourism facilities is also a peace indicator, showing that the province is ready to welcome tourists and other visitors.
“It shows that North Cotabato has such a strong potential for tourism and all it needs is for people to discover the place,” she said.
 Video Courtesy of PTV Philippines

Martes, Pebrero 5, 2013

Fort Pikit- A Philippine National Landmark

The long wait is over – Fort Pikit in the municipality of Pikit, North Cotabato is now a National Historical Landmark. This is the first National Historical Landmark in the province of Cotabato said Gov. Emmylou “Lala” J. Taliño-Mendoza.
The Office of the Governor Emmylou “Lala” J. Taliño-Mendoza and the office of Mayor Sumulong Sultan of Pikit are working for more than a year doing the research and documentation of Fort Pikit history. The Governor also created a technical working group to draft the rehabilitation plan of Fort Pikit to coincide with the (100th Year) Centennial celebration on September 1, 2014.
Last March 1, 2012, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines has sent an official delegation to conduct ground validation, investigation of historical facts and site visit to Fort Pikit accompanied by the provincial technical working group.
Fort Pikit was built in 1893 of stone masonry as part of the series of Military fortifications in Mindanao by the Spanish colonial government; it was used by the American colonial government in the pacification campaign in Mindanao and by the Philippine Constabulary during the American period; it was also occupied by the Japanese Imperial Army and recovered by the American forces in their advancement to liberate Eastern Mindanao during the Second World War.
The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) by virtue of the Republic act 10086 through a Resolution No. 7 series of 2012 has declared Fort Pikit a National Historical Landmark.

Lake Agco, the Eden of Kidapawan City

Lake Agco is quickly earning its reputation as one of Mindanao's top touristdestinations. Officially known as Lake Agco Mahomanoy Mountain Resort, it is strategically located at the foot of Mt. Apo (the country's highest peak) in Ilomavis, Kidapawan City. The tourism industry in the Philippines has recognized its potential in attracting local and foreign tourists, which is why they have worked to develop and improve this site while also embracing nature as the main attraction.

Aside from the beautiful scenery of the nearby Mt. Apo, Lake Agco resort offers visitors with a breathtaking view of nearby falls, lakes, and lagoons. There is also a rich array of flora and fauna in the area, which continues to thrive and offer something for tourists to feast their eyes on. Some of the climbers to Mt. Apo often stop by Lake Agco for a dip or simply to relax. This is one reason why Lake Agco is flocked by tourists from all parts of the country and the world all-year round.

Lake Agco is operated and managed by the Community of Local Agribusiness Partners Multi-Purpose Cooperative. They are responsible for overseeing the resort's day to day operations. This cooperative is made up of farmers and tribal groups that was formed through the efforts of Social Corporate Responsibility Program. One of their main goals is to help protect and preserve watershed areas and other natural environment features in the region.

Visitors to Lake Agco will bask in the lush greeneries offered by the surrounding forest that make up Mt. Apo's foothill. Lake Agco, one of the four major lakes in the area, provides the main water source in the resort.

Both hot and cold water meet at an elevation of 1,250 meters, wherein the cold and hot springs are frequented by tourists who wanted to enjoy a dip while checking out the wonderful sights in the resort. The hot spring is known to be hot enough that it can even boil an egg if you leave it for a few minutes! This is made possible by an underground vent and the presence of the mineral Sulfur, which is also celebrated for its medicinal value. There is also a 25-meter outdoor swimming pool wherein the entire family can enjoy and relax.

For all those who are interested to visit Lake Agco, it is a 24-kilometer drive from Kidapawan City. Thankfully, the road leading up to Barangay Ilomavis is well maintained to ensure a comfortable ride. If you do not have a private vehicle, you can also ride a jeep or van. The approximate travel time takes 45 minutes. There also other options for public transport, such as a single motorcycle or locally known as “habal-habal”, which costs PhP 70 per person. The entrance fee is also very affordable at PhP 15 and the cottages can be rented for approximately PhP 200. If there are no more cottages available, you may set up your own tent at their campsites.

Lake Agco Mountain Resort has been dubbed as the “Eden of Kidapawan”, wherein Eden is another famous nature park or resort in Davao City, Philippines. It is a place wherein you can experience nature at its best and is a vacation you won't soon forget.

Kalivungan Festival

North Cotabato will be reverting to the festival name “Kalivungan” in celebrating its foundation anniversary starting this year. 

The province, which will be commemorating its 97th year starting August 26 to September 1 this year, has used the Hiligaynon term “Hinugyaw” which means boisterous merrymaking in celebrating its founding anniversary since 1999.
With today’s approval of the Proposed Resolution No. 171-2011 during the Sangguniang Panlalawigan’s 50th Regular Session, Kalivungan will be the province’s official festival name again.

The term Kalivungan, which is a Menuvu term for “gathering” and connotes festivity has been used by the province during the term of Governor Carlos B. Cajelo in 1974 with the term spelled as “Kalibongan” instead of Kalivungan.

Through the resolution which was sponsored by Hon. Onofre L. Respicio, Chairman of the Committee on Education, Cultural Affairs and Tourism, the term will be revived as North Cotabato’s festival name using the correct and exact term, Kalivungan.

According to Board Member Aireen Claire Pagal, who represented Vice Governor Gregorio Ipong in yesterday’s flag raising ceremony of the provincial government, this move led by Governor Emmylou “Lala” Taliño-Mendoza is the provincial leadership’s way of paying tribute to North Cotabato’s early settlers, the Manobos, who tilled the province’s land and helped the province become one of the leading agricultural provinces in Central Mindanao. 

Photo Courtesy of Manila Bulletin

Visit Cotabato and Climb Mount Apo.

Mount Apo is a large solfataricpotentially-active stratovolcano in the island of MindanaoPhilippines. With an altitude of 2,954 metres (9,692 ft), it is the highest mountain in the country and is located between Davao City and Davao del Sur province inRegion XI and Cotabato province in Region XII. The peak overlooks Davao City 40 kilometres (25 mi) to the northeast, Digos City 25 kilometres (16 mi) to the southeast, and Kidapawan City 20 kilometres (12 mi) to the west.

Apo, which means "ancestor", is flat-topped mountain with three peaks and is capped by a 500-metre-wide (1,600 ft) volcanic crater containing a small crater lake. The date of its most recent eruption is unknown, and none are verified in historical times.
The volcano is one of the most popular climbing destinations in the Philippines with the summit, on the average, takes two days to reach. The first recorded climb was on October 10, 1880, by a party led by Joaquin Rajal, then Spanish governor of Davao.
On May 9, 1936, Mount Apo was declared a national park with Proclamation no. 59 by President Manuel L. Quezon, followed by Proclamation no. 35 of May 8, 1966 then Proclamation no. 882 of September 24, 1996.On February 3, 2004, the approval of Republic Act no. 9237 established Mount Apo as a protected area under the category of natural park with an area of 54,974.87 hectares (135,845.9 acres); with two peripheral areas of 2,571.73 hectares (6,354.9 acres) and 6,506.40 hectares (16,077.7 acres) as buffer zones, provided for its management and for other purposes.
Although a declared a Natural Park, the current climbing trails are littered with rubbish by irresponsible climbers, opening paths for soil erosion across the already denuded mountain sides. Some mountain and social climbing groups conduct climbs after the Holy Week/Easter, the peak climbing season, to clean the affected areas.
At 2,954 meters (9,692 ft), Mount Apo is the highest mountain in the Philippines. This majestic peak is one of the country's most popular climbing destinations.
Several trails lead to the summit, coming from North Cotabato and Davao provinces. Arguably the easiest route to the National Park is through Kidapawan City with an average hike taking 3–4 days roundtrip. In the classification system used by local popular mountaineering website, the difficulty of the hike is 7 out of 9. Various sights along the trail include Lake Venado, one of the highest lakes in the Philippines, the solfataras and the old crater near its summit. The mountain may be climbed year-round or one can register and join the city's Summer Climb or the Annual October Trek / Climb.

What makes Cotabato a tourist destination?

Cotabato province is one of the most beautiful provinces in Mindanao. Like a jewel it is still very rough waiting to be polished in due time.

The province has all the best potential tourism sites but it is untapped and unexploited. Ligawasan marsh the snaking Pulangi River, caves, numerous water falls and hot springs are waiting to be re-discovered. 

Kidapawan, Magpet and Makilala or KMM is one of the locations where tourism potential is at its best. KMM is the gateway to Mt. Apo Natural Park, the Philippines highest at 10,311 ft. above sea level. It has numerous rivers and springs, waterfalls and hot springs. The Mt Apo Natural Park is abundant with exotic flora and fauna, the home of the Philippine Eagle. 

Experience the power of nature at the peak of Mt. Apo, the magical charisma of lake Venado that inspires many essays and photos, watch the playful macaques as they mingle and blend with humans in the hidden religious world of the Moncadista in New Israel.

Indulge and feel the therapeutic effect of the many hot springs, bathe at the rivers and water falls, feel the solitude in the midst of the urban life. Nature will claim you in KMM eco-tourism triangle.       

KMM has a very rich tribal culture and heritage, watch the traditional rituals and mimic the dances of the Manobo during festivals. The exotic fruits are bountiful; dare the Timpupo festival and eat all your heart out at the streets during the peak of the celebration. 

Come, explore and became a part with nature. Experience KMM Eco-tourism triangle adventure.