Spirited Moments and Madcap Scenes of Maitum, Sarangani

Spirited Moments and Madcap Scenes of Maitum, Sarangani

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Albertowz is one of the adventure junkies whom I stumbled upon in Instagram (@albertowz). When he shared his festival chase schedule for the remaining half of the year, I chose SoCCSKSarGen, the Central Mindanao region, among those in the list. There are thoughts about safety used to linger and having some companions in visiting Mindanao would appease me. Without further thinking, I booked the entry flight to General Santos and the return from Davao right after Cebu Pacific announced its seasonal seat sale.

The Maitum, Sarangani leg is the first of four Central Mindanao adventure series.

Like some of my previous trips, this was also the case wherein I met my travel companions for the first time. Albert was joined by his long-time travelmate, Gracie, who also accepted the terms of Albert’s itinerary – one heck of an uninterrupted trip. And I like that condition to be honest. It was a quiet start and slow conversation among us until we’ve reached and eaten our breakfast in Maitum, Sarangani.

We asked the help of the Tourism Officer in Maitum, Kuya Arlex. He accompanied us like we’re VIPs in our entire day trip to Maitum. Pro-tip guys – have time to reach or to answer a courtesy call from the tourism office of any town or province of your next destination. You’ll get the best information and tips from them.

Anthropomorphic Jars of Maitum

Maitum Museum
Burial jars might represent specific persons whose remains are kept inside

I’ve seen them in National Museum here in Manila but to see these artifacts in the flesh from the actual origin is quite a feat unlocked. These anthropomorphic or human-like burial jars are archeologists’ sweet treasures because these experts found such jars in bulk which translates to these jars being integral to the rich civilization of ancient Filipinos. These outnumbered those Manunggul jars in Tabon Cave in Palawan.

Maitum Museum
A diorama of Ayub Cave where the jars were found

Pawikan Sanctuary

Maitum Pawikan Sanctuary
Before their imminent release

We were also privileged to free sea turtle hatchlings to their natural habitat. But the survival rate for them to become teenage sea turtles is almost 1 over a thousand. If there’s Master Splinter to look over them as they mature.

Maitum Pawikan Sanctuary
The brave new world for pawikans

Maitum Pawikan Sanctuary
Albert, documenting the steps of his baby

Maitum Pawikan Sanctuary
We all hope they will make it

River Tubing

Maitum River Tubing
That’s how our mini-rafts were carried

But the highlight of the Maitum trip is the river tubing activity which was originally unplanned. River tubing is similar to the more popular white water rafting, but the raft for the former, which is basically a lifebuoy, is made for single, no, not that relationship or the lack thereof kind of single. It is meant only for one person. Because the activity poses dangers, it is required to have a guide that maneuver the watercraft in the entire course.

Maitum River Tubing
No trace of fear even at the beginning

Maitum River Tubing

Maitum River Tubing

Maitum River Tubing

The rise and almost fall of the ever-ready for photo op model

Maitum River Tubing
The secret is to know when to hold on or to let go

Maitum River Tubing
Get drunk or go home

Maitum River Tubing
The real life application of the idiom, just go with flow

Maitum River Tubing
Props to the captain of the ship

What we liked most about the extreme adventure is the cost. You can actually risk your life for only PhP 200, one-way, for a priceless adrenaline rush. And oops! We did it again.

Maitum River Tubing

Maitum River Tubing

Stopover to properly cover the activity

Maitum River Tubing

Maitum River Tubing

Maitum River Tubing
So one last time

Maitum River Tubing
Overtaken

Maitum River Tubing
I am not really sure about TLC saying that we should stick with rivers instead of chasing waterfalls

Maitum River Tubing
Wow. Legs.

Maitum River Tubing
Happy kids. And the adventure’s just starting

Maitum River Tubing
The ceremonial photo op before I ate my first durian ever. I quite liked it.

Fourth Member

While we couldn’t get over the satisfaction of river tubing, Archie, the fourth member of the wolf pack was already waiting for us in General Santos. This fellow traveler already made a name in the Instagram community and it’s also my first time to meet him off duty.

So after traveling 120 kilometers from Maitum to General Santos and fresh up rituals, the gang accompanied me in my Bo’s Coffee quest to pose with a barista in a Manny Pacquiao stance. But we failed to find the best balbacuahan in town later. Balbacua is a spicy beef broth with parts such as oxtail, skin and feet similar to a papaitan of Luzon. Eventually, our night was ultimately saved by Tambilawan Kamayan Restaurant with their delicious halo-halo rendition.

We were only left with less than 5 hours to rest and to prepare for our second day – the rest of General Santos city and witwew, Lake Sebu. To be continued.

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