The most influential colonizers of the Philippines were the Spanish settlers. The country was under them for 377 years. No wonder some of the Filipino words sound like Spanish. This includes the word parola. It’s derived from the Spanish word faro, which means lighthouse.
Together with two of my college buddies, we decided to travel to Governor Generoso, Davao Oriental, Philippines to see its famous lighthouses.
Here are some products that I brought with me (in clockwise order):
- Sunnies – sunglasses are very important especially when going outdoors. They protect your eyes from unforeseen glares and bright light. Choose a pair that has UV protection. Your eyes will definitely thank you.
- Sunscreen- to protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun. This will also help you slow down skin aging.
- BB cream- additional sun protection. It can also act as a moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated.
- Exfoliating cleanser- to get rid of build up and dead skin cells accumulated at the end of the day.
Now, let’s proceed to the transportation deets. From Davao, we rode a van bound for Tibanban, Gov. Generoso. The fare costs 220 PHP ($4.63). Unfortunately, before we got there, the van’s engine overheated so they had us transferred to a local tricycle. It took us 4 hours from Davao to reach Tibanban.
When we arrived, we looked for the Tibanban Travellers Inn. The air conditioned room was supposed to be 600PHP ($12.63), but the attendant let us have it for 500PHP ($10.52). There aren’t a lot of big infrastructures there, so you have to prepare for a simple lifestyle.
Our first destination was the Heart Spring Resort. From the inn, it took us about 40 mins via motorcycle to reach the place. The motorcycle fare and resort entrance fee were 50PHP ($1.05) respectively. The resort is located in the mountains. It has 3 pool areas. One of the pools was shaped like a heart and it gets its water supply from a spring (hence, the name of the resort).
The first visible pool area from the entrance has 3 swimming pools, 2 of which has its own slide. The largest one (the farther one above) has one of the slide. The other one, which is a small, circular pool (upper right side; not totally visible in the picture) has the second slide.
The second pool area is a smaller one. It has a mushroom ornament. By the looks of it, the mini steps serve as a passage way of water. I can’t really tell since there is no water flowing through it.
Meet the heart-shaped pool. A resort staff said that the water flowing here is from an actual spring. Before this shot was taken, there were people taking a soak in it. I am not really comfortable doing the same because the pool looks like moss has already dominated it.
Here are other pictures taken from the resort:
After looking around the resort, we decided to head back. From the inn, we went for a walk and head towards the seashore to see an islet. It was surrounded by boats.
It was already sunset at that time and the view is really beautiful. For us to get to the islet, we need to rent a boat and the fare would depend with the boat owner. We no longer went there since it’s almost night time.
The following morning, we got ready to head to the cape. The friend of the inn’s owner drove us with a motorcycle for 1000PHP ($21.07).
We saw a very beautiful spot along the road. We stopped by and took some photos.
The trip was very long. In our case, it took us 2 hours to get to Cape San Agustin. That includes multiple stops in order to bring blood circulation back to our butts! Just a heads up, there are stock piles since roads are still under construction. Aside from that, be careful also when driving because livestock is present on the concrete path. You’ll see dogs and goats chilling and even running in the middle of the road!
Even if getting there is so hard, everything is worth it when you see what’s in store for you!
These signs greeted us by the entrance.
These are the lighthouses. They are kind of smaller compared to those I see in movies but nonetheless, they are beautiful.
Here are photos taken from one of the parolas:
The waters are no doubt, a work of art! The perfect blue hue the waves create is such a treat, I have a hard time looking at some place else.
Aside from the parolas, the place also boasts of its beautiful rock formations.
We went down to the coast and walked along it to get to the rock formation they called “The Altar“. Not only the formation looks like an altar, it is also said that it’s the place where the first mass in the province (which was preceded by St. Francis Xavier) was held.
Here are some photos of the shoreline:
The sand is really not black nor white. It’s like brownish to pinkish.
Some stuff you’ll see on the way:
Not to mention, the rock formations are also teeming with life:
I present to you, The Altar:
We have reached our destination. It’s time to go back. Piece of advice, you really need to bring lots of drinking water. The walk is pretty long and you might end up thirsty along the way. You could also bring food with you in case you get hungry.
By the way, this is the path you need to take in order to get down the coastline (the picture was taken when we were going back):
It is pretty steep so you need to be careful especially when climbing down.
After the long hike, we drank a lot of cold water and decided to head back. Seconds after we rode the motorcycle, the driver noticed that we had a flat tire. He had to leave us for half an hour to have the tires pumped with air. When he returned, we started our 2-hour, pain in the butt (literally!) journey back to the inn.
Aside from the problems I mentioned earlier, another problem that added up is the rain. It poured so hard that it felt like needles pushing against my face. I never thought water could be that painful.
Along the way, this giant tree caught our attention. It looks very old:
When we got back, we ate lunch and rode a bus to Davao. It was really a long and exhausting expedition. But seeing how beautiful the place was, not to mention, having experienced everything with great company, I don’t have any regrets. I’d do it again if given a chance.