Mangitngit Falls in Middle Earth Spring Resort | Discover Carmen

Carmen is known to be home of cold springs. If you need a quick break from the heat in the city, Carmen is your place to go. Head to Durano Eco Farm if you want to swim in the midst of a rainforest or you can simply take a dip in Uragay Spring Resort.

Not too long ago, another cold spring resort opened its home for the public. It is the Middle Earth Spring Resort.

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So, the misadventure that we had brought us here. Wait, did I say it brought us to Mangitngit Falls? Yeah, I did. And yes, we’re here!!

So what happened to Mangitngit Falls? 

Just a quick lookback in 2007, the falls met a tragic fate — a landslide that took two lives. It resulted to the closure and the prohibition of going or coming near the falls. 

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Mangitngit Falls, Carmen, Cebu

Years had passed… the public are now given a chance to see the beauty of this infamous waterfalls again.  As Mangitngit Falls opened its door to the people, so as Middle Earth Spring Resort which serves as the living room of the place.

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Middle Earth Spring Resort

Middle Earth Spring Resort is tucked in lower Natimao-an, Carmen, Cebu. This is the gateway to glimpse Mangitngit Falls.

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The resort has three swimming pools. All pools are filled with a free-flowing, non-chlorinated water from the spring where the water from Mangitngit falls was also coming from.

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The water is ice-cold. But my niece Ahkirah really had a great time despite shivering from the cold. She really had a great resistance with cold temperature.

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While waiting for Ace to finish grilling the fish for lunch, we soaked this bottle of softdrinks in the flowing water.

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And, voila!!! That’s an instant chiller! 😀

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So, while the hubby was preparing our lunch, I explored the place and looked for the waterfalls. Because admittedly, I was not after the spring resort, I was much more interested with the falls.

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I was hoping to get a close shot with it, unfortunately, fences are being put to keep the visitors off and from getting near.

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I learned that the falls have three tiers. As much as I want to get a shot of each tiers, it’s not possible not unless you’re willing to take a risk and pay a fine for punishment. 😥

 

As I continued exploring the place and looked for a nice angle to see Mangitngit Falls, hubby joined me. We went down a stairway that leads to the middle of the forest.

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But, the forest is completely tamed, as the stairs was concreted and a viewing deck was made. This is where the visitors could glimpse Mangitngit Falls.

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This is already the closest shot one could get because the rest of the area is off-limit. It was like, Mangitngit Falls is dropping proudly. (So near, yet so far, eh?)

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A proof that the place is a landslide prone area. 

Just few meters from the basin of the falls, we noticed this eroded soil. The erosion looked fresh as if it happened just few days ago.

I researched about the closure of Mangitngit Falls several years ago. Geologists had inspected the soil and found out that the rocks surrounding the waterfall are phorus — a soft kind of rock that is prone to landslide.

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As much as we wanted to go near, keeping off is for our own good and safety. Perhaps, Mangitngit Falls is made for our eyes only. We personally thought that the prohibition is also beneficial for the falls itself because in this way, the falls would remain safe from the cruel hands of the people.

Nonetheless, we were glad to see the beauty of the falls even from afar. For now, let the visitors just see it this way and settle for the same water in the spring resort. 😀

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How to get to Middle Earth Spring Resort? 

Ride a bus from the North Bus Terminal. Any buses bound to north will pass by Carmen. Ask the driver to drop you off at the town’s public market. (Fare Php40.) From there, you can hail a motorcycle that will take you to the resort. (Fare is Php35/person.)

Fees and Amenities: 

The resort has an entrance fee of Php50 (adults) and Php30 (kids). There are cottages and kiosks for Php400-500. There are tables and chairs for rent for Php200.

The resort also have a karaoke for rent, although I haven’t asked the rental fee.

There is no restaurant in the area. We suggest you bring your own provisions.

 

We hope you find this post and guide helpful.

Over to you. What do you think about the falls’ prohibition?

‘Til our next adventure!

Keep safe!

Love, Ace and Demi.

Gatubod Spring Resort | Review

In a tropical country like ours, cold spring resorts are really helpful to escape the heat. No wonder why mountain resorts are thriving nowadays. One is Gatubod Spring Resort in Compostela, Cebu.

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Gatubod Spring Resort is located in Barangay Basak, Compostela, Cebu. It’s actually just one kilometer away from our house. This resort is owned by the famous Quiño clan in the town who also happens to own Green Lagoon Park.

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The Resort:

The resort has three pools. The first pool is what welcomes you upon entering. It has a depth of 7ft. The second pool is the kids’ pool which also serves as the launching pool for the slides. The third one is the widest and has a depth of 2ft to 6ft. It also has a mini waterfall for those who wanted a water-massage.

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The resort has two long slides that guests could enjoy. As of this writing, they have the longest slide in the northern Cebu. During our last visit, only one slide is operational due to some accidents and complains about the steepness and shape of the slide.

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There are cottages for rent and tables for rent but no rooms for overnight stays.

No corkage. Grilling station is also available.

They have a wide car park across the resort.

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REVIEW:

Gatubod Spring Resort like Green Lagoon Park is also a family-oriented resort. However, it could be crowded during weekends and holidays. My advice is to book in advance or go early.

They don’t have rooms or at least lockers to leave your important belongings. Therefore, you have to take turns in swimming so someone could look after your things.

The resort doesn’t have a restaurant so better bring your own food. Good thing because there is no corkage fee. 😀

 The staffs are friendly and approachable.

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How To Get There:

*From Sm/Mandaue, just ride a jeepney or bus going to Compostela or Danao. Ask the driver to drop you off in Compostela Public Market or in Guimbal, corner going to Virginia Foods Inc.. There are motorcycles for hire (habal-habal) and will take you to the resort. The travel from the market is 15-20 minutes.

More Information:

 *Entrance Fee — Php30 (Kids) / Php60 (Adult)

*Cottages: Ranges from Php250 – Php500

*No corkage

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I hope you find this review helpful. 🙂 Should you find any mistakes or changes, feel free to contact us or drop us a comment below. We’d appreciate it.

‘Til next time!

Keep safe!

Love, Ace and Demi

 

P.S Another post about our Gatubod Spring Resort adventure also appears on Side by Side blog.

A Weekend Dip. | Durano Eco Farm and Spring Resort

It’s summer time! Treat yourself a dip in a cold spring in the middle of a rainforest.

Side by Side

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks. ~ John Muir

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Last weekend, we planned to climb the highest mountain peak in the northern Cebu, but the weather got on our way. It would be very dangerous for us to climb because it was slippery and we’re afraid of landslides. As much as we want it, but we had to choice but to cancel our plan.

However, our feet really itched for an adventure. So, we decided to have a dip in a cold spring instead.

Situated in Barangay Corte, Carmen, Cebu is a place where one could take a dip in a cold spring in the middle of a rainforest. I’m talking about Durano Eco Farm Spring and Resort.

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If you’re someone who is sick of chlorinated water and wants a natural one that flows from a cold spring, then this place is perfect for you. The…

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Travel Guide | Coal Mountain Resort

In the trees, in the breeze… seek nature’s peace and bliss. 

Hello, everyone! Here’s a travel guide for those who have been asking us how to get to Coal Mountain Resort in Argao, Cebu. You can click here if you want to hear our story about our wonderful experience in the resort.

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Ace and Demi’s travel guide to Coal Mountain Resort

Where: The resort is hidden in Barangay Linut-od, Argao, Cebu — a one-hour bumpy motorcycle ride from the town proper.

How to get there: Argao is located in the southeastern part of the province, approximately 67 kilometers from Cebu City.

  • You can reach the town by taking a bus bound to Dalaguete or Alcoy from the Cebu South Bus Terminal. Tell the driver to drop you off at the town proper of Argao. Travel time would take you around one to two hours, bus fare — Php70.
  • From there, hail a habal-habal (motorcycle) to take you to Barangay Linut-od. Travel time is approximately one hour, fare is Php130 (one way) for daytrip. We suggest you book for a back and forth ride because motorcycle going back to the town is scarce in the resort.

What to expect: You can learn about what we did in the resort by clicking the highlighted word. :* Click me!!!

  • The resort has three swimming pools — mango-shaped is 4ft, heart-shaped is 7ft, largest pool is 16ft and has 7ft general depth. In order to get to the third pool, one should walk through the hanging bridge.
  • They also offer aerial adventures like zip-lining and cable car riding.
  • The resort has a coal mining demo which allows guests to explore a sample of a coal mine tunnel that stretches up to 145 meters long and is 70 feet below the ground.
  • There is also a mini zoo in the resort which showcase different bird species, snakes, ostriches, monkeys and more.

Accommodations and Such:

  • They have deluxe rooms good for two to four people with airconditioner, private bathroom with hot and cold shower, and local television. (Php2500/night)
  • The resort also has family rooms for group of 6 to 10 people. (Php1500/night)
  • There are nipa huts for rent, too. It can house 4 to 6 people. (Php1000)
  • One can opt to pitch tents in the camping area as well.
  • The resort also has a function hall that could accommodate 40 to 50 people. (Php1000/day)
  • They also have a multi-purpose covered court for team building activities. (Php1500)
  • For food, they don’t have corkage fees except for softdrinks and beers. The resort also has a restaurant where you can order farm-to-table meal. We personally suggest you try their sinigang soup (it’s savory).

Who to contact:

  • For motorcycle service we suggest our awesome driver Kuya Elias. Reach him through this number: 0908 778 8701. You can negotiate the fare with him if you wish to stay overnight in the resort.
  •  For bookings and other resort information, you can contact them at 0918 965 6081.

Tips and Reminders:

  • Book your rooms at least a week ahead. The resort is usually full on weekends.
  • Always ask the locals if your traveling on a private car because the road to the resort is confusing as there were no signs. Ask, ask and ask.
  • The road going there is bumpy and requires a skilled driver. We personally suggest our driver for you.
  • We suggest you bring a jacket if you wish to star-gaze at night because the temperature drops real low when the evening comes.
  • VERY IMPORTANT!!! The rates and fees above are based on our visit last February 17, 2017. It may change without prior notice. Feel free to notify us if there were any changes.
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Ace and Demi full geared for the mining demo. 

 Love her, but leave her wild.

~~ Articus, To Kill A Mockingbird

 

Until our next adventure!

Keep safe!

Love, Ace and Demi

Travel Guide | Catmon River Trekking

We’ve been told to keep this a secret but I just feel that ain’t right.

Whilst the blame that some people are throwing to us, bloggers, I’m still posting this travel guide for those who are interested to experience and discover Catmon. We expect everybody to practice responsible tourism and give others the chance to witness the beauty of the place, too. 🙂 

As promised, a travel guide for our Catmon river trekking adventure.

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Tinubdan Falls in Catmon, Cebu

Where:  The trek started at Barangay Tabili Elementary School. You can choose to trek upstream or downstream depending on your capacity. 😀

How to get there: Ride a north-bound bus in the North Bus Terminal and tell the driver to drop you off in corner Katambisan, Barangay Corazon, Catmon. Travel time should not take more than two hours for moderate traffic. Bus fare from terminal to Catmon — Php78. From corner Katambisan, hail a motorcycle to take you to Barangay Tabili Elementary School. We suggest you meet your guides first before going there and they will make the negotations for you. Motorcycle fare — Php50.

Who to contact: Our awesome guide was Mr Kyno Lim Dumlao. He knows the place like the back of his hands so we suggest you contact him. He also conducts guideship to Mt Kapayas and other destinations that requires extreme adventures. You can reach him through this number: 0999 325 9621 😀 You can also negotiate the fee with him.

Tips and Reminders: **Wear proper clothing and footwear for this activity. **Bring enough water to keep yourself hydrated during the entire adventure. **Expect to plunge in the water so bring your dry bags with you to protect your personal belongings like phones and wallets. **The trek would last more than two hours, you can bring trail snacks with you but be mindful of your trash. **You will be chasing waterfalls, if the place is not what you expected, just enjoy the moment and stop comparing. This place is unique in its own way and that’s what makes it beautiful. **And lastly, LEAVE NO TRACE!!! 😀

Expenses: 

  • Php176  — bus fare (back and forth)
  • Php100 — motorcycle fare (back and forth)
  • Php200 — guide fee

Total: Php456 (Note: This was our individual expense. Food expenses are not included for you may have different preferences.)

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Tinubdan Falls, Catmon

We hope you’ll enjoy trekking the rivers of Catmon as much as we did. We’d love to hear your stories about your adventure, too. Update us! 😀 

’til our next adventure!

Keep safe!

Love, Ace and Demi.

Coal Mountain Resort | Bringing You Back To Nature

Let’s wander where the WIFI is weak or where there’s no SIGNAL at all. 

While everybody’s planning for a beach getaway, we, on the otherhand, found ourselves in the middle of the woods, surounded  by mountains, hearing the music not everybody can hear. We’re going back to nature!

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Ace and Demi Coal Mountain Resort Story

Who would have thought a place which was used as a grazing ground for carabaos could give us a total relaxation away from chaotic life in the city? In the outskirts of Argao, lies this wondrous haven called Coal Mountain Resort, a perfect place for those who wanted retreat from the bustling metropolis.

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Find Demi.

The hubby and I had our post-Valentine celebration (we just need some reason to getaway, you know) in this haven. I was very excited that I booked a room more than a week ahead. Well, I think that was just right because when I called, most rooms were already booked and there were only two deluxe rooms left. The staff whom I talked to said the resort is usually full on weekends especially the family and group rooms. So yah, I suggest to book your rooms ahead.

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Deluxe rooms.

Our one hour  butt-aching motorcycle ride was totally worth it. Admittedly though, when we arrived at the resort, I was kind of “disappointed” as there was no wonderful decoration that would make anybody curious and interested to see what’s inside. The look from the outside was very simple and straightforward.

But, see “never judge a resort by its gate”. 😀

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The resort’s viewing deck.

Yet, when we went inside I felt euphoric as I ran towards their viewing deck. It offers a panoramic view of the lush greeneries of the mountains that surrounds the resorts, some of which are part of Dalaguete mountain range. Not to mention the invigorating mountain air, I felt like we were transported to a different world.

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Imagine waking up to this view.

I was very excited to roam around to see what other wonders the resort has to offer. So, right after we threw our bags inside the room, I immediately went to explore the place. Look at this wonderful view from our room, don’t you want to wake up everyday for this?

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Morning view from our room.

It’s wonderful how the resort mainted its homey environment. It so much felt like I was having a vacation in my grandparent’s house in the countryside. Oh, I could live like this forever.

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Stairs to the deluxe rooms.

The resort has three swimming pools, all are fed by free-flowing spring water. But you have to go through the woods to reach the third pool which was the deepest, too.

The first pool is 4ft deep. It is mango-shaped, by the way. It also has a slide for kids or for those who are kids at heart.

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Four-feet pool.

Just when you thought you lost your heart, then you realized it’s in the resort. “Buti pa sa Coal Mountain, may heart.” 😛 Behold, the pool with a heart, er, heart shape. The second pool is 7ft deep. There’s a jumping platform if you want to plunk.

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The pool with a heart, seven-feet deep.

The third pool is the deepest. Imagine 16ft deep. I bet one couldn’t swim more than 15 minutes here because it’s just sooooooo cold. The hubby and I are into cold springs but this is the coldest one that we’d been to so far. I did not reach 5 minutes swimming here because my nerves were already freezing. There is also a diving platform on this pool that rises up to 30ft high. Perfect for “buwis-buhay” exhibition.

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The deepest pool, 16ft.

You have to walk through this canopy walkway in the middle of the woods. It’s quite scary because it was slippery and the steps looked weak. But duh, get that fear out of your system and step carefully. I didn’t expect the hanging bridge to be that far, I honestly felt dizzy before we get to the end of it.

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Canopy walk.

The resort also offered a mining demo which includes exploration of a mining tunnel. It was drizzling during our visit, the soil was wet and muddy, so the hubby decided that we go on full gear with the overall, boots and helmet. But you can opt to just have the helmet and boots if you are not comfortable with the overall. We suggest you try this one. Let’s get to work!

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Ace and Demi, off to work!

Now, get ready to explore the tunnel that stretches up to 145 meters long and 70 feet below the ground. I swear I was anxious while we were still at the entrance of the tunnel. Seeing the dark and narrow hole, I felt like it’s going to swallow me anytime. But the hubby and the guide were so assuring that I was persuaded to continue.

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I’m not scared. Really not scared. 😛

I can’t tell how happy I was when we were about to exit the tunnel. It was an achievement. Along with that fullfillment was a realization. A miners’ life is no easy. The danger while staying several feet below the ground is already something to be scared of, not to mention stooping for hours. But yeah, I did it!

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Ahhh, I did it!

The one thing I loved during our stay in Coal Mountain Resort was the fact that we were so far from the civilization. Our smartphones were not getting any signals in the area. If not because of the camera, we wouldn’t be using our phones during our entire stay in the resort. It was another perfect moment for the hubby and me to talk about us, our life. At night, we stayed at the balcony and gazed at the stars in the sky while we contemplated about mundane affairs.

And oh, for the first time in a long time I saw fireflies coming near me. It’s rare to see them in the cities.

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Chilling.

It was a healing moment — staying outside the room, breathing fresh air and only hearing the sound of the crickets and the night owls. I felt like I was brought back to nature, to the time when there were only trees, water and air.

Our lungs had their dose of cleansing and our eyes were pampered by the green healthy surrounding. We felt so healthy during our two days stay in the resort.

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Ace and Demi are summer ready!!!

We hope you enjoyed our Coal Mountain Resort story. We’d love to hear yours, too. 😀

Stay tuned for our Coal Mountain Resort travel guide in a later post. 

‘Til our next adventure!

Keep safe!

Love, Ace and Demi.

 

 

 

Taste of Spain in Argao, Cebu

We couldn’t seem to get enough of the towns in the southern part of Cebu. After that South Cebu Tour we had last year, we thought we’ll have to give North Cebu its time to shine. But that time has not come yet. There’s still so much more to South Cebu that we couldn’t move on.

Last February, the hubby and I celebrated our Valentine’s Day in Coal Mountain Resort in Argao, Cebu. But I’ll talk about that in a later post. For now, let’s see what Argao has in store for us.

Half of our second day in this municipality was spent walking in the town proper. It’s amazing how Argao managed to keep the Spanish flavor around.

  • Cabecera de Argao
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Argao, Cebu

Just a minute or two walk from the main road, the town hides the remnants of the Spanish era, from the church to the government buildings.

  • Saint Michael, the Archangel Parish

Our first stop was the 200-year old church of Saint Michael, the Archangel.

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Ace and Demi in Argao, Cebu

Just like most churches in Southern Cebu, this church walls are also made from coral stones. The facade contains articulate carvings depicting the patron saint displayed on its niche. There are urn-like finials flanked at each corner of the pediment. It’s great that they have preserved this old structure.

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The interior.

You should not miss checking the interior of the parish, too. The ceiling immediately caught our attention because of the colorful painting that depicts that archangel’s life. We did not have the chance to check the altar because it was under rennovation.

  • The Hall of Justice.
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Argao’s Hall of Justice.

Second stop, was the town’s Hall of Justice.  One of the edifice in the town that shows evident Spanish taste. This served as military barracks during the old times but now functions as the Hall of Justice.

  • Torta, Argao’s delicacy.   

Have you tasted that delish sweet flatbread called “torta“? How was it? If you think it wasn’t delicious then you have not tasted Argao’s torta. 🙂

I say, “Torta is Argao, and Argao is Torta!”

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Home of delish tortas.

When you visit the town, don’t you dare miss this delish delicacy. Argao is known for its homemade tortas that are traditionally baked in a clay oven and they use tuba (coconut wine) as the leavening agent. They said “with time, it gets tastier” or “magkadugay, magkalami“. Hmmm? I ate mine after two weeks, I say they’re right. 🙂

  • Nature Park.
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Argao’s nature park. 

The town also has a nature park where you can relax and think about your existence. (Kidding.) They offer canoing for only Php10. You can have a picnic or try their wall climbing, too. The park has an entrance of Php5.

Personal rambling:

Our short jaunt in the town proper brought to us a Spanish flavor. Despite the pain the era had caused us, it’s nice to know how we are so forgiving, how we showed importance to its legacy. It would be easy to move on from the Spanish colony by destroying everything that reminds us of that time, but we chose not to. Because these…these things is a constant reminder of how our great grandparents fought for our freedom. A constant reminder that we have to take care of this sovereignty we have now. A constant reminder that we had been a slave once and we should not go back to being one anymore. 🙂

We hope you enjoyed our virtual diary about Argao.

‘Til our next adventure!

Keep safe!

Love, Ace and Demi