Tracy Arm Fjord

 

 

September 9, 2019.  Our second day in Juneau, Alaska.

From our hotel, we walked for about 15 minutes to the office of Adventure Bound Alaska,  after breakfast.

We checked in for the Tracy Arm Fjord Tour at exactly 8am. While waiting for the other guests, I went outside and took photos of the seagulls and other birds.

Thirty minutes later, we were ready to depart. Our trip consisted of less than 20 people. Our captain that day was Capt. Steve,  assisted by John.

The Tracy Arm Fjord Tour is a whole day trip. We were lucky that the sea was mostly calm that day. With the small yacht, I am sure we would feel the wave if the weather was bad. I was kinda apprehensive about that. Because of what happened to us in Kingston, Canada during our 1000 Islands Tour. But I am so glad that I booked the tracy arm tour because we had an awesome experience. ❤

On our way to the fjord, we saw bald eagles and more seagulls. Halfway there, several whales came out. Seeing them rolling and blowing water was surreal. It was my first time to see such. So to say that I was enthralled, is an understatement.

And then we reached the fjords. High mountains covered in glaciers and snow surrounded us. The temperature got colder. But I did not mind it. We came prepared. Three layers of clothes, plus coat , hat and mittens shielded us from the chilly weather.

As we moved on, ice floes and ice bergs were scattered all over the place. Capt. Steve knew where to go and how to avoid them as he has been doing this job for at least 20yrs.  We could also see several waterfalls flowing from the mountain top to the sea.

If you only have a few days to spare in Alaska, take this tour. It is worth the cost, the effort and time. And prepare to be amazed…. I cannot exactly explain how I felt that time. Alaska is overwhelming. And this is one of those moments that overwhelmed me very much.

Moving on, when we reached the end of the fjord, we were introduced to Sawyer Glacier. Carved a million years ago by nature, this was another surreal experience. I am glad that I saw it. But sad at the same time because it is melting fast. It is continuously calving.

We saw several huge chunks calved. The sound is scary and loud. And it caused a ripple on the water once the ice reached the sea. Our yacht swayed with the wave. I did not like that. At all.

It’s a good thing that there were about a hundred seals chilling on top of the icebergs. They kept us entertained. ❤❤❤ Apparently, the seals stay in this area because Orcas and other killer whales will not come nearby because of the icy cold water. So they stay here to give birth and grow their pups. Look at my photos below, you will see how cute they are…. 😁

Capt. Steve also explained that we were at a safe distance. So there was nothing to worry about.

Here are some of the photos I took. These do not represent the real beauty of the place. But I hope that it will somehow give you a glimpse of what I saw.

For more details about this trip, check the website of Adventure Bound Alaska here –

https://www.adventureboundalaska.com

I would like to express my gratitude to Capt. Steve for a wonderful trip. Thank you for bringing us back to port safe and sound. Thank you also to his Assistant , John , for all the details he gave us and for providing meals in the boat.

By the way, there’s food available in the boat for a small fee. There’s hot choco, coffee, noodles, sandwiches, etc. So you will not get hungry. Or you have the option to bring your own.

Make sure that you are properly dressed for this trip so you will enjoy the day. It is nice to stay outside, specially if you love photography. But you need to be prepared for the cold and the wind.

Don’t forget to bring extra batteries for your camera. Most wildlife will be at a distance, so bring your long lens camera. That way, you will be able to take photos as much as you want.

I mentuoned earlier that the Tracy Arm Fjord Tour is a whole day trip. And true enough, yes it was. We got back to Juneau past 5pm that day.

So think about that. You will be on the water for about eight hours. If you have motion sickness concerns ,  take dramamine or the likes.

I hope you had fun reading my blog. Thank you.

Bye for now. Till next time! ❤

 

Lea C. Walker

http://www.davaoproperties.com

 

 

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Highway 906 (Cateel to Nabunturan)

I had a hard time looking for details about this highway online.

It’s a good thing that we have a client who lives in Cateel and told us, that the road from Aliwagwag Falls going to Davao City via Compostela Valley is now passable. That’s good news right? Specially for people who want to enjoy more time at the falls.

Google map showed that it’s only 149 kms from the falls to Davao. And the travel time – 4 hours. Not bad!  Comparing to the Mati Route, this is a lot shorter. That means , we can save a lot of time going home.

From Aliwagwag Falls, we decided to try this Cateel-Nabunturan Route.  I am glad that we did because this is very pretty.  It’s like going to Cagayan De Oro City via Buda. Less the crowd.  🙂

Plus in some parts, we saw waterfalls along the road. Amazing…

So let me show you the photos I took that day:

This is the only rough (not concrete) road we passed by. It’s about 1 km away from Aliwagwag Falls.

The view reminds me of Highway 955 connecting Gingoog City and Cagayan De Oro City.

Free water along the road. How awesome!!!! 🙂

I was so amazed with the flowing water coming out of the mountains.  I’ve seen the same thing in Kapatagan, Davao Del Sur.  

In the US, at Glacier National Park in Montana to be exact,  they call this “The Weeping Wall” . 

Like I said, spring water coming out of the mountains / hills.

The road looks beautiful with the blue sky, green trees and clean environment.

I envy the people living here. Imagine how beautiful this is early in the morning, when it’s foggy and cold.

The road attractions – other than the beautiful mountain view, that is:

Goats….

And piglets… hahaha… Cute kaayo! 🙂

If you have a long lens camera and you love “birding”, then this route is a treat for you. There are so many birds here.  This one below was sitting on the wire as we passed by. I don’t know what this bird is but its colors were blue, red and yellow.  Sorry, it isn’t very clear but our vehicle was running when I took this.

Mountain view… So beautiful. Can’t get over it. I know I have repeated the same phrase over and over again. ha ha

Military detachment along the road.

Somewhere in Compostela Valley.

Ricefield near Nabunturan.

I found this trip really short. Maybe because I wasn’t driving. And I was busy taking pictures. But despite the winding road, we had a very safe trip. We all agreed that it was a relaxing and very pretty drive.

This route has just become one of our favorites. Aliwagwag Falls made easy because of this Highway. 🙂

Reminder though – there are no restaurants or rest areas along this route. So bring food, specially if you have children. Gas up in Nabunturan or Tagum City. And use the gasoline station’s bathroom before you continue traveling.

With summer around the corner, make Aliwagwag Falls a part of your itinerary.

Thank you once again for reading my blog. Bye for now!

 

 

 

Lea C. Walker

http://www.davaoproperties.com

 

 

 

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Aliwagwag Falls

I just got back from a road trip with my family.  Thank God for the protection , the fun and the camaraderie shared among us during our 2 day East Coast and Compostela Valley tour.

For a day or two, I forgot our pressing concern – the Mindanao Railway Station passing inside Monteritz Classic Estates, where I live. It is awful. Not the railway project. But the thought that the Phase 1 of our subdivision will be rendered invaluable and our neighbors sleeping under the railway station , has brought us many sleepless nights.

The last two days have been a great escape from the worry and stress over it. I’m sure you will feel the same way too if you’re in my shoes. Sigh….

So we went to Cateel, Davao Oriental where Aliwagwag Falls is located  through Mati , the Capital City of the Province.

From Davao City, Cateel is more or less, a 7 hour drive via the coastal road. This is such a beautiful drive. Tiring but very pretty. The scenic views of our coastal road is so worth the long travel.

We left home around 5 in the morning. And after so many stops, we arrived in Cateel about 4 in the afternoon. ha ha… Yep it took us 11 hours! Why? There are so many “post card perfect” places along the way. So of course, photo ops are a must. That’s what road trips are made of, making memories along the way. And we did… 🙂 I will share more about it in my next blog.

Our home for the night was Edar’s Place. It is a simple Bed and Breakfast place in Cateel. Their rooms are clean. The food is delicious. The owner and their staff are amazing. They are kind and so helpful. I couldn’t thank them enough for their assistance. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart.  More of this in my next blog as well.

After breakfast the next day, we left for Aliwagwag Falls. From Edar’s Place, the distance is 16 kilometers. Via the concrete Compostela-Cateel Highway.  This route is very scenic too, with the Cateel River just beside it. I wish they had view decks on this road because the turquoise colored river looks amazing, specially with the lush forest as its backdrop.

Aliwagwag Falls is just beside the road. You can actually hear the powerful rushing sound of the water before  even seeing it.

And when you do see it, you just stand in front of it. Soaking it all in. My sister said she was teary eyed the first time she saw it.

I stood there for a few minutes. Mesmerized and in awe of something that is so beautiful and magnificent.  I have seen Niagara Falls in Canada. And Tinuy-an Falls in Surigao. But this is different. The staggering height and the stunning beauty of this cascading waterfalls left me speechless. I stood there in silence,  just taking it all in.

To say that it is amazing, actually , is an understatement.

I remember feeling this way when I stood on a glacier at the Icefields Parkway. When I experienced a winter wonderland at Lake Louise in Banff National Park. When I stood in front of the Grand Tetons. And when I saw the Rocky Mountains in Canada for the first time. Yes, that same feeling.  It is so humbling. And for God to have allowed me to see such a splendid beauty,  made me realize how blessed I am.

Traveling has changed me and my perspective in life. And this is one of those experiences which makes me love our nature more.  I honor the people that are behind the protection of Aliwagwag Falls. And I honor God the most, for giving us Mindanaoans , this gift.

I encourage all of you to visit and experience the place for yourselves. And when you do, please respect it. Leave nothing behind. Most importantly, please take your garbage with you when you’re done. It is but right to leave the place as pristine as the way you first saw it. We need to love and protect the place so our future generation can enjoy it as much as we did. Thank you.

We paid P100.00 per head. That includes the environmental fee of P50.00 . The Mandaya Chieftain who talked to us said that it will be used to develop the place. The government passed a law to protect 11,000 hectares of land surrounding Aliwagwag Falls. That is to ensure that no damages will come to it.

Future developments supposedly include a horse trail going to the highest portion of the waterfall, the “Bangaw” (Rainbow) Falls. And the Sleeping Lady Falls, which drops down 150 meters from the top.

The Bangaw Falls is called as such because a rainbow comes out supposedly when there is a slight drizzle of rain. While the Sleeping Lady Falls is named after the mountain that looks like one near the said waterfalls.

I thanked the chieftain for helping in the protection of Aliwagwag Falls. And asked him to please continue doing so.

Let me share with you some of our memories.

There are picnic tables and chairs for those who brought food and want to eat beside the falls.

There are stairs going down to the water. But first you need to walk through the hanging bridge and the monkey bridge.

There are portions on top that have shallow waters. It’s like having mini pools where you can wade your feet or dip in it to cool off.

We  surely, had FUN!!!! 🙂 Please check the thumbnails to enlarge the photos below.

After an hour or so, we got cold and decided to leave.

Before I forget, if you’re wondering if they have nice bathrooms,  shower facilities and changing areas – Yes, there is. So don’t worry. And they are clean too!

Here’s a photo of the bathroom where we changed.

Thank you Aliwagwag for a fun experience. Till we meet again….

Goodbye for now… But we will surely meet again.

 

 

 

Lea C. Walker

http://www.davaoproperties.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Christmas Reflections

December 24, 2018

Reflections

This season is not about gifts, given nor received.

It is about God sending his son on earth to save humans from sin. It is about God’s love for all human kind. Regardless of race, religion, status in life, achievements, etc. It is about Jesus’ obedience to his father. It is about Mary’s obedience to the will of God and giving birth to her son, Jesus Christ.

It is about Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice because of his love for us.

And it is about sharing that love to each other. True, this is easier said than done. But it does not change nor twist the fact that the call is there. For all of us to love one another, no matter how difficult it might be.

It is more than enough to try. God sees our hearts. Not Santa. But God. And he forgives our shortcomings, not because we are good or we have been good. But because he is the epitome of love. He cannot help himself but love us. Unconditionally.

Today, I thank God for the gift of wisdom. For a heart full of gratitude. As I celebrate Jesus’ birth, I pray that I may forgive more.I pray too that I may be forgiven. And that I may love more. It is hard dealing with difficult people, yes. But I pray for his grace. That I will look into other people’s eyes through God’s loving eyes.

Thank you Father in Heaven. If not for you sending your son, there is no Christmas.

Merry Christmas everyone! May God’s grace and blessings be upon us this holy season….

 

 

Lea C. Walker

http://www.davaoproperties.com

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US Road Trip 2018 – Davao To Mississippi

This entry is 3 months old. I started writing while we were in the U.S. but got sidetracked with family visits , road trips and shopping. Hence, this very late blog on our fall visit to America.

We left Davao on September 18. PAL was late.  And I panicked because we had a 12:30p.m. EVA Airways flight going to Chicago, the same day.

I am glad that our trip from Terminal 2 to Terminal 1 wasn’t bad, at all. The taxi driver asked me if it’s okay for us to pay P45  expressway fee to avoid the traffic. So we said yes! Small price to pay when you are in a hurry.

I think I just relaxed when we were finally done with the Immigration process and were just waiting for the boarding time. It is always a hassle going through Manila when we travel. Hopefully, we will have direct flights from Davao in the future. And then it wouldn’t be so bad anymore.

Moving on, let me share with you my compilation of photos at the start of this trip. 🙂

While waiting , I took a picture of my coach back pack. It is big. And precisely the reason why I love it. I usually use cross body bag when traveling , but the space isn’t enough for all the “knick knacks” I carry.  So I find this perfect for what I need.

Finally, boarding time came. And we settled in our seats. A few minutes later, the flight attendants served our lunch. Okay, EVA Air’s food isn’t my favorite. But it is enough to fill an empty stomach. Thank God.

 

Here is an example of what’s offered when you fly economy class. 🙂  I like the boiled egg and there was rice. So yay! 🙂

Taipei soon. 🙂

The view before landing in Taiwan.

The Welcome Mural on the wall upon landing at Taiwan Taoyuan Airport.

The Hello Kitty waiting area. 🙂

Some photo op of course. ha ha

From here, we flew to Chicago this time. The trip is about 14 hours from Taipei. Yep, it is that long. So I just content myself with either watching a movie or sleeping. This time, I slept pretty good. We actually felt rested by the time we reached Chicago O’hare International Airport.

The line at the Immigration area was long. So it took awhile before we got stamped to get in. Yes, the common questions of “what are you doing” in the United States, etc. were asked again. Which I replied with family visit , road trip and shopping in those order.

From there , we picked up our luggage and took the shuttle bus going to the car rental place to pick up our rented vehicle. I always book through traveljigsaw.com, which I find cheaper than dealing directly with the rental agencies. The hubby just presented the prepaid voucher and voila. We got our rented car in a jiffy. We paid for a Jeep Patriot or similar. But seldom do we ever get the JEEP. What we got this time is a Nissan Rogue. We own Nissan vans back home. But this is our first time to ride in their SUV.  So far,  it hasn’t disappointed us. It’s a comfortable SUV with space for our luggage.

 

The weather was nice upon arrival. Coming from  a tropical country, 68’F (19’c) is heavenly.

My first picture that night. Coming out of the car rental office here. Proceeding to Interstate 57. Yes, we are going out of Chicago while traffic isn’t that bad yet.

Stopped next,  for Steak N’ Shake milkshakes. Don’t judge. I love them! 🙂 We haven’t had one for a year! ha ha

From here , we decided to book in a hotel about an hour away from Chicago. It is going to be a 10 hour drive to Mississippi. So we thought we will try to rest before proceeding to mommy’s place.

Check in at the hotel was a breeze. In no time at all, we rested in our room.

We woke up around 4 a.m. though . And since we could not go back to sleep, we went grocery shopping.

And drove towards Denny’s for breakfast.  The hubby’s choice was IHOP but he knew I had to eat rice, so Denny’s it was…

This is what I love about America, you can shop and eat,  24 hours a day. 🙂

I ordered Steak with Pilaf rice.  While his consisted of pancakes, bacon , egg and a hash brown.

Look at the steak above. Does it not look delicious! 🙂 It had been  hours since I ate rice. So I was hungry.

After breakfast, we prepared for check out. And started early for our road trip.

Somewhere in Illinos.

Illinois is a pretty state.

Look at the corn field below. I love its color with the red barn.

Careful driving in Illinois. If you hit a worker on the road, you get a $10,000.00 dollars fine and 14 years of jail time. Scary huh.

I love America’s interstate. It’s like a work of art. Too bad fall wasn’t visible yet when we arrived.

Missouri. The temperature went up to 90’f (30’c) by the time we reached here. It felt like we were back in Davao. ha ha

The bush below looked like a bottle. lol

Cotton fields. 🙂

Sun ray. 🙂

We stopped at a rest area, somewhere in Missouri.

The drawings on the posts refer to the seismic activities that hit them on 1811 and 1812. It supposedly affected 600,000 sq. km to 2,500,000 sq kms of land. Which caused  Sand Blows, River Bank Failures, Landslides, and Sunken Land.

That must have been scary huh!

We just reached the State of Arkansas. 🙂

This truck reminded me of the series Ozark.

From wikipedia -The Ozarks, also referred to as the Ozark Mountains and Ozark Plateau, is a physiographic region in the U.S. states of Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Kansas. The Ozarks cover a significant portion of northern Arkansas and southern Missouri, extending from Interstate 40 in Arkansas to the suburbs of St. Louis.

Yay, Nashville finally. 🙂

The Mississippi River.

Memphis,  Tennessee.

Traffic in Memphis.

Glad to get out of the city.

This is before reaching our final destination. Taken at Natchez Trace, on Mississippi side.

Thank God for the safe travels.  It has been an awesome trip again. I still have so many articles to write and photos to share but I will just do it slowly since I am back at work. 🙂

Thank you once again for reading my blog.

 

 

 

Lea C. Walker

http://www.davaoproperties.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On Inflation II

On Inflation II

A) How does it affect us?

Let me explain. If a person is earning P10,000.00 per month, his/her income has devalued by 6.4% because of inflation. Devaluation means the reduction of value of a currency. In lay man’s term, we lost (nalugi) by 6.4% or P640.00 pesos per month.

Is it bad? Of course, yes. That P640 means fare money, fuel money or rice money for ordinary citizen.

But look at the chart of the Regional Minimum Wage History. In 2017 the Minimum Wage was P340/ day. And as of this month, it rose to P370/day. That means, a P30/day increase in payroll is equivalent to an 8.8% increase of people’s income. So if we think about it, did we really lose? No. Even if the prices increased due to inflation, we still gained because our wages rose by 8.8% . So the notion and comments that say, the Filipinos are getting poorer because of inflation is not accurate. Because that has been answered by the increase in Salary. If we lost P640 per month because of Inflation. It has been compensated with a P900 peso (rounded off), increase per month now. Numbers don’t lie. So that’s kinda difficult to refute.

Plus of course, let us not forget the Train Law. Our employees earning P250,000.00 below per year has zero tax payable now compared to the 10% Withholding Tax in the past. Is that not savings for ordinary employees? I rest my case.

So If you are poor now, chances are, the reason isn’t inflation. It must be you not working or not budgeting well. Living above your means is worst than inflation, you know. 😊

B) Central Bank of the Philippines:

True, it is the job of our Central Bank to manage our currency. But let me correct those who blame them for not doing their job.

Why? Because the Foreign Exchange (FOREX) market is worth $5 Trillion Dollars per day. These are all the currencies in the world, trading, PER DAY. And you know how much is the Annual Gross Domestic Product of the Philippines? Record shows $313.6 Billion Dollars as of 2017.

Our GDP  rose by 2.8% in 2017 compared to the 2016 record. This is a good economic indicator but not enough to fight the US Dollar.  Philippine GDP is by Billion Dollars. 

 

US GDP rose by 4.1% , comparing the numbers between 2016 and 2017. Record is by Trillion Dollars.

What is the importance about that? Let me elaborate. All currencies in the world are pegged against the US Dollar. Looking at the chart, US GDP rose to $19390.6 Trillion Dollars in 2017 compared to $18624.48 Trillion Dollars in 2016. This means that from a slump in 2016, it recovered a little bit on 2017. These numbers show that investors have been buying the US Dollars more than the other currencies in the world.
The other side of the coin is = selling of the other currencies. You know, when investors buy US Dollars, they SELL their Peso, Yen, Deutschemark, British Pound, etc.

For example, you want to go to the US. And you need US Dollars, you bring your peso to Aldevinco and exchange it. In effect, the tourism industry in the US gained from your travel. And you just sold your Philippine Peso to buy the dollar. That is trading locally.

Forex is a trillion times larger.

And when speculators all over the world buy the dollar, the US currency gets stronger. And THERE IS NOTHING OUR CENTRAL BANK CAN DO about that. You just allow the Peso to fall or depreciate. Because even if CBP wants to defend the Philippine Peso in the Forex Market, they cannot. The Central Bank of the Philippines cannot afford it. That’s how George Soros broke the Bank of England. He hedged against their currency. The Bank of England defended their money but eventually gave up. This transaction made George Soros the best currency speculator in the world back in the 90’s era.

So think about this, what can a $300 billion dollar economy (our economy) do to a $5 Trillion Dollar per day industry? None. We will go bankrupt if we even try. Do you get my point?

For proper perspective, let me point out this comparison. According to Forbes, the Richest Man in the World is Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon. He is worth $112 Billion Dollars as of 2017.

He is 1/3 of the Philippines net worth. Has that figure sunk in yet? Yes you are right my friends. That just showed how poor the Philippines is.

And Jeff Bezos is just one man. In the trading world, think of George Soros and the other big time traders. The peso does not have a chance against those who prefer to buy the US dollars. None at all.

So yes, when you blame the Philippine Central Bank for the peso devaluation, it just shows how little you know. There are always 2 sides in every story. And this is the other side of it.

Why A Cheaper Peso Is Okay.

Record shows that as of 2017, the largest chunk of the Philippine Income came from the Export Industry. What does this mean for our exporters?

Example: Past Year – P51/ 1 USD
Now – P53 / 1USD
If our exporter delivers worth 1 Million Dollars of goods, the equivalent now is higher than before. Right? If it used to be P51,000,000.00 pesos, now our exporters are receiving P53,000,000.00 pesos. That’s a huge rise of our exporters and their employees’ income. Tell me, is it good or bad? And that’s how the export industry became the largest source of income in our country last year. Next to that is the BPO industry which is also a dollar earner. And like I mentioned in my previous article, our OFW’s is a big part of our income too. I’m sure they are happy with the exchange rate these days.

If your complain is that you are dependent on imported goods, then you are out of luck. Because buying the US dollar is so expensive now against your Peso. The lesson here is, refrain from buying imported goods or traveling abroad if you cannot afford it. Bottom line really is how much can you and can you not afford. If you are complaining, that means you can’t. Afford anything imported, that is.

Or if you have dollar loans, then save and pay it now! Refrain from buying crap you don’t really need. And concentrate of paying your dollar bills. That is simple economics.

TECHNICAL FORECAST:

There is an upward trend on the Philippine Peso. Meaning, it will continue to devaluate. Initial target is P54/per 1 dollar. Then off to P55/per 1 dollar.

This is bad for our importers and those who buy imported goods. Or to those who love to travel abroad. But like I said, don’t spend if you can’t afford it.

So why does a Cheaper Peso Okay? Consider this:

A cheaper peso means more dollar value for our Foreign Investors. Now is the time to think of investing in the Philippines because the US dollar will go a long way here. Labor is cheap. Raw materials are cheaper than most. Most Filipinos speak good English. And most importantly, the peso is very cheap now. So it is attractive to foreign investors.

If we focus on this rather than dwell on the negative, we can entice everyone to come to our country and invest. That way, our 95.3% employment rate will go higher.

More jobs for the Filipinos mean lower Poverty Rate.

Pero kung tamad ka, aw wa na jud ko mahimo ana. 🤣 Peace. ♥️

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On Inflation

On Inflation:

Inflation in lay man’s term means there’s too much money in circulation. Thereby affecting the people’s spending and the cost of goods. Let me elaborate, when people have money, people tend to spend. And when people spend, the prices go up because there is demand. This is the normal reason of inflation.

Sometimes, it is caused by stimulation done by the government. The government recently gave the people Tax Break, in effect of the TRAIN Law. What we saved in taxes prompted a rise in our income.

Also the Employment Rate in the Philippines rose up to as high as 95.3% . Which is by far the highest in at least 10 years. So yes, the BUILD, BUILD, BUILD program of the President is giving Filipinos more job. Another thing, the BPO Industry in our country has increased a lot of employees’ earnings, it being the highest source of Philippine income in the last 2 years. Not to mention our dollar earners by way of our Overseas Foreign Workers. So yes, there’s too much money in circulation these days.

That’s why our Real Estate Industry is at an all time high. Developers are constructing left and right. And they are selling like hot cakes. Also, our bank loan rates are very low.

Both if you ask me, are very good indicators of a robust economy.

BPI is offering a 4.75% interest on Loan Rates now. Compared to most banks 6 – 12% per annum interest in the past years. Lower Rates mean that our banks have a lot of money to spare.

So should we worry about the rise in inflation this year?

Well, take a look at the Chart. Between 1980 and 1992, the highest inflation rate was 60%. The lowest was 20%. History will tell us why. If you’re not busy, google will explain when you do your own research. 🙂 I will tell you though, this was when President Marcos was ousted. And during the reign of President Corazon Aquino. Enough said.

Since then our inflation rate has declined. Except during President Arroyo’s time when inflation rose to 11.4% . Fundamentals will explain this rise. Just check what happened back then.

Yes, a 6% inflation rate is high. But compared to 60, 20% and 11%, we have a far better rate now than before.

With the stimulation done by the government, coupled with growth in our country’s investments, I believe that our inflation rate is within normal range. For our country, that is.

I would like to say though, the Philippines is far from being rich. Our GDP per capita (income of each citizen) is less than $3,000 per year as per record. But the chart will show you a steady growth since 2016. That is something. At least now, we are seeing where our monies are going.

To all the investors out there, this means that there is a lot of room for growth in my country. So come here and make money with us. 🙂

Good morning everyone!

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Highway 906 and 907 (Mati to Nabunturan Route)

To those who are wondering about Mati – Nabunturan Route, this blog is for you.

Work brought us to Mati, Davao Oriental sometime in March this year.  And from there, we had to proceed to Nabunturan, Compostela Valley for another meeting the next day.  If one had to do such in the past, that would mean going back to Tagum City via Surigao-Davao Coastal Road.  But not anymore. In the recent years, the government opened up a new mountain road connecting both Provinces via Maragusan.

The GPS showed 2 hours travel time. Which made us think that the road must be good. 🙂 I surmised that with the distance and if the road is bad, it would take us at least half day to traverse this route. If possible at all. Now, google wouldn’t lie right? ha ha

Okay, the road was mostly concrete. Out of the 100 or so kilometers,  only 4 kms. of it were in bad shape. The rest was a breezy drive.  Really.

Check the pictures below.

The church was full when we passed by this area.  And then we found this Happy Fiesta sign as we went along. 🙂

Curvy roads, look pretty right?

Okay, so this is one of those bad portions I mentioned above. But you can see that it is being done. Good news, right?

Moving on, I got amazed when I realized that the people below were there to clean up the highway. 

We reached a busy town.  And yes, we found the rain. Or should I say, the rain found us. 🙂

More road works. 

When you go up the mountain on a bad road. Scary, yes. But manageable. 

I love its color. That’s solid mountain rock. 

Don’t worry. This is part of the 4 kilometer unpaved road I mentioned. I’m sure it’s okay when it’s not raining. But with our luck, of course it had to rain during our trip. 🙂

As first timers in the area, we wondered how bad it will go as we continued on.  We’re not just gonna quit and go back. We wanted a shorter route, after all. Plus it’s an adventure.

Yep, this is a high mountain road.  About 900 meters high to be exact. Dangerous if you’re not careful. I am happy to share though that the hubby is a pretty good driver. Thank God.

 

The picture above shows where we came from.

And the one below is what’s in front of us.

The mountains looked beautiful despite the rain. And the fog made them look ethereal.

At 900 meters above sea level, the temperature was 19’c.

See what I mean? Ethereal….

I love the mountain colors here.  Never mind the small and unpaved road. Like I said, this is still part of the 4 kilometer bad portion. Meaning, there are several portions that are still being done or being repaired. But they total to 4kms only. Not bad considering the view.  And the time you save going this way.

Okay this is when I saw the Highway 906 sign.

The sign below says: Boundary of Montevista, Compostela, New Bataan and Maragusan.

Our Department of Tourism should promote this area and put up a Four Corners Monument, just like in America. Referring to the boundaries of Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona. 

The four corners above, can be like the one where I am standing at.  Sorry I am so late in my blogging posts that I still have not written about this portion of our US Road Trip. But thanks to John for this memory.

See D.O.T. , people will come if you develop and promote the place. Maragusan and Compostela are two of the most beautiful places in Mindanao that I’ve been to. The hot springs and cold springs alone are more than enough reason to visit them.  I’m sure Montevista and New Bataan have their share of beautiful places as well.

Moving on, we found a passenger van finally near Maragusan. 🙂

Maragusan.  Their LGU should put up a big and colorful signage, to welcome the tourists in the area.

Not this dirty, old thingy in the middle of the road.

Hey guys, this signage does not speak for Maragusan. Believe me, the place is so beautiful with its lush and verdant forests and mountains.

After Maragusan, we turned right and headed towards Nabunturan, Compostela Valley. This is where I saw the Highway 907 sign.

Yep, it rained on us the whole time. But the mountains covered with fog looked amazing. I wouldn’t miss that for the world.

Another short portion of unpaved road below.  (Still part of the 4 kilometer I mentioned above).

We noticed this river beside the road on our way to Nabunturan proper.  

 

And this rustic bridge. Beautiful right? I would have wanted to stay longer but the rain just won’t stop. Hopefully I get to go back one day without the rain. So I can see more of its panoramic vista.

As we continued with the trip, the fog display wasn’t over yet. 🙂

And here I saw the Metro Bus. I think this came from Davao City. On the way to Maragusan. 🙂

Very pretty mountain side.

The sky was dark that day. But even so, it couldn’t hide the beauty of the place. Imagine how pretty this is when the sun is shining brightly and with blue skies?

 

Okay, so we’re back to another crowded town in the Philippines.

Welcome to Nabunturan.

It felt like the trip was longer than 2 hours , with all the pictures I took. But it wasn’t. Google was actually right. 🙂

So, was it worth it?  To us, it was. Now we know that it can be done. And it was safe too. Plus with the beautiful landscape and scenery, we’ll do the trip again given the chance.

To give you a better perspective of where we were, check the google map below:

Thanks for traveling with us everyone!

If you try this route, make sure that you do this during day time. I am sure it will be pretty dark at nights because I did not see light posts in some areas. Plus of course, since you’re in the mountains , there won’t be much help if you have an emergency. So be an intelligent traveler.  Be careful and have fun! 🙂

And please, please , please … don’t throw your garbage on the road. That’s just not right.

 

 

 

Lea C. Walker

http://www.davaoproperties.com

 

 

Posted in Mati, Mindanao, My Travels, Nabunturan | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Limketkai Luxe Hotel (Cagayan De Oro City)

The hubby and I have been traveling the past weeks for work. And one of the hotels we stayed at was Limketkai Luxe Hotel in Cagayan De Oro City.

Our first visit was sometime in February. We stayed in their King Room then.

The King Room.

Another business trip brought us to this hotel again earlier this month. Both times, I have been so impressed with their staff.  They were very helpful and accommodating. Check in was always fast and easy too. The rooms we’ve tried so far have been spacious, clean and very nice.

The Suite Room was our home away from home, this time. It came with its own small living room. We did not need this kind of space since it was just the two of us. But well, they were fully booked. And only had vacant suite rooms. After a hard day’s work, we thought that we deserved the break.

Right, nice excuse, I know. ha ha

 

Dining at the hotel’s restaurant,  Ka-ve , is always a treat.  Since we always arrived late, the hubby and I just opt to eat there for dinner. While waiting, the staff served us with bread, butter and cold water. The waiting time for our main course was about 10 minutes. And so far, it exceeded our expectations. The food is simply delicious.

 

 

Bacon wrapped pork tenderloin. 🙂

Our booking came with free breakfast. The buffet  consisted of bread, pancake, eggs which are prepared to your liking, main course composed of mostly Filipino food, bacon, ham, cereal, juices and of course rice – both fried / garlic and steamed. Their brewed coffee is good. I had to mention that because there are only 2 restaurants so far that we have been to that serve really good brewed coffee. One at the Almont Inland Resort Hotel in Butuan City and the Limketkai Luxe Hotel. If you’ve been reading my blog, you would know that we’ve stayed in a lot of hotels here in the Philippines. So that says a lot. Also, you can ask for a yummy hot choco from the servers. Several times if you want. And that’s included in your free breakfast. 🙂 I told you, dining with them is a treat.

The Pastry Bar.

The Executive Lounge.  For those staying in the Suite Rooms, there is an Executive Lounge where you can relax , have coffee or snacks while enjoying the view of the Macajalar Bay.

The view from the Executive Lounge. Sunrise is beautiful here. 🙂

Our room at the 21st floor came with a beautiful view. The Executive Lounge is on the same floor too.

Sunset view as seen from our room.

Would I come back to this hotel? Oh yes! I actually, look forward to going back there.  We’ve passed by Cagayan de Oro several times during our previous road trips. And the last two months have always been about work. So we never really got to enjoy CDO that much yet.

So if and when , we will travel back to CDO, our first choice of hotel is gonna be The Limketkai Luxe Hotel.

The Lobby.

What’s not to like? After all, the location is right smack in the City. It is surrounded by malls – Limketkai Mall is connected to the hotel building. Robinsons and Ayala Malls, I saw from our room. Then there’s SM Mall nearby too.

To those with vehicles, they have a 3 storey guarded parking building across the street. So it is very convenient. After parking, just walk towards the hotel using their overpass. It connects to the second floor of the hotel. So you do not need to cross the busy street below.

Like I said, the food is great. And the rooms, well taken care of and comfortable. So no, for now I have no reason to complain about.

For more details of this hotel, please visit their website here –

http://www.limketkailuxe.com/index.php#1

To clarify, this is not a paid advertisement. 🙂 I don’t accept payments in this blog. That’s to ensure that what I say is based on our experiences. And nothing else.

Thank you for reading my blog again!

 

 

Lea C. Walker

http://www.davaoproperties.com

 

 

 

Posted in cagayan de oro city, Mindanao, My Travels | Leave a comment

Mindanao – Highway 955

Highway 955  came as a surprise to us. I never even knew that it existed, if not for our GPS.

The hubby plotted a route to Cagayan De Oro City,  after my meeting in Gingoog  last month. Google showed a shorter route compared to that of AH (Asian Highway) 26 . And so we took it, not knowing that we will be traversing on a mountain road all the way to CDO.

Gory picture reminding motorists to travel with their helmets on. Photo was taken at the Boundary of Gingoog , coming from Butuan. 

 

Gingoog City Proper.

 

Leaving the City of Gingoog, we followed their Diversion Road.

Diversion Road View.

The weather couldn’t decide that day. It was hot in the morning. And rained in the late afternoon. Hence, the thick fog in the picture.

Mt. Balatukan. from a distance.

A few minutes later, we reached a military checkpoint so we stopped. One of the soldiers asked us where we were going. So I replied. And asked him back, if it is safe to go this way. Which he quickly quipped, yes. Very safe.

With that in mind, we continued with our trip.

And then we started ascending, in a zig-zag manner. Like the “intestine road” in Buda.

At 900 meters above sea level, we could see the tip of one of the foggy mountains.

I remember the hubby asking, when will we reach the top?

The place was very beautiful. But since it was my first time in the area, I had some apprehensions.

Well the news make it sound like Mindanao is a war zone.  So I guess, it’s normal to have some paranoid thoughts about safety.

When I saw several people walking beside the road, I realized that it might be okay. They wouldn’t be walking there if it isn’t,  right? 🙂

The fog got thicker as we arrived on top.

Now, we’re sharing the road with a motorcycle rider. 🙂  If we were on AH 26 (the National Highway), buses and trucks ply that route among others. So yeah, the word “crowded” is an understatement.

At least this way, there’s no traffic. Plus with that view infront of us, this has just become our favorite route.

Despite the remoteness, we saw some houses or nipa huts along the way. There were children coming back from school I believe.

Beautiful , isn’t it?

From what I saw, the main transportation mode in the area are motorcycles. So if you have none,  then you will have to walk for miles.

Honestly, this is one of our prettiest drives. It still amazes me how beautiful the valleys and the mountains are. Plus, it is so clean.

I prefer being with nature, than going to the malls. So this drive,  is an extra treat to me.

Oh another car on the road. 🙂 This vehicle made me smile actually.  It’s like, finally! Another traveler on the road, that’s not a local. ha ha

I am so used to empty highways  in America when we are road tripping. The hubby and I have an inside joke about serial killer committing suicide because of boredom. He’s out of luck if he’s waiting for a victim. lol

But not in the Philippines.

With a concrete highway and the panoramic views,  this should be crowded too. Not to mention the time saved using this route.. There is a difference of an hour compared to here and AH 26.  So it’s a no brainer, really. So I don’t know why only a few,  uses this road.

The questions that came to mind were – are we brave? Or are we stupid for following the GPS? ha ha

My opinion – a little of both maybe? ha ha

The hubby said it’s an adventure. 🙂

 

The Municipal Hall in Claveria, Misamis Oriental.

We left Gingoog City past 4:00 in the afternoon.

We were hoping to be in Cagayan De Oro before dark. But with the sunset in the horizon, we realized that it will get dark on us while we are on the road.

The sky got dark again. And the fog got thicker over the mountains.

As we continued with our trip, the sky turned more pink.

Dusk is stunning in this part of Mindanao.  Being on top, I felt like the sky was so near.

The view below is that of Macalajar Bay as we started our descent from Claveria  to the town of Villanueva, Misamis Oriental.

We arrived Cagayan De Oro City almost around 7:00 in the evening already, due to traffic.

Yes, we are back in the city , where traffic and road congestion is the norm. 🙂

And the temperature? 30′ celsius.  It was 10’c lower while we were up the mountains.

At 1,100 meters above sea level , the temperature was only 20’c . 

Our final destination for the night is The Limketkai Luxe Hotel. But I will blog about that next time.

For now, the hubby and I will just chill and have dinner in their restaurant before retiring to our room. It has been a very long and tiring day. But I thank God for the safe travels and successful business trip. Thank you Lord.

Now , it is time to enjoy my watermelon daiquiri. 🙂

See you next time guys! Ciao for now. 🙂

 

 

 

Lea C. Walker

http://www.davaoproperties.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Mindanao | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment