I’ve always thought that Mindanao is such a scary place, especially that Martial Law was in place during the time of our visit. From Davao City going to Davao Oriental, we experienced some checkpoints. There were armed soldiers knocking on our vans and checking each passenger. Scary. Yes. But experiencing the warmth and hospitality of the people of Caraga, Davao Oriental made us feel otherwise.
Caragueños, the people of Caraga, Davao Oriental, are the most hospitable people I’ve ever met.
From their local officials, tour guides, mountaineers, up to the locals, they all treated us like a family, not just as a tourist.
They greet everyone with a big smile on their face even if you are a total stranger.
The overwhelming way they treat guests will make anyone feel at home in an instant.
Well, I never made an open letter before, but this time, I strongly feel that I have to. Because the Caragueños made me experience a lot of first times in my life, too!
Dear Caragueños, the People of Caraga, Davao Oriental
First of all, I want to THANK YOU for accommodating our group into your paradise, I will never forget how you all made us feel.
The moment I stepped into your municipality, the breathtaking sunrise in Pusan Point welcomed me.
What a unique way to welcome us into your community. And this was just the beginning, the 4 days we spent in Caraga proved us that Mindanao is a hidden gem.
Contrary to what media tells us, that “you should stay away from Mindanao“. None of us were harmed, not even a single person scared us.
I actually fell in love with the place, the culture, and most especially the people.
You welcomed us with banners, the van drivers were like a father-figure to us all, each barangay welcomed us with a sumptuous meal, Vice Mayor Marilyn Sy Iturralde welcomed us with an open refrigerator… I mean with open arms, and Ms. Daphney, the Tourism Officer, never got tired of touring us.
Our team actually had so much fun when Caraga’s Vice Mayor let us in to her house, and before we go, she told us that we can get anything from her refrigerator!
We got instant coffees, snacks, fruit juices, and even chips.
We had so much fun with that, and when Vice Mayor found out that we got snacks from her refrigerator, she even told us that she still has some refrigerators on her second floor.
By the way, I have a separate detailed post of all the Caraga Davao Oriental tourist spots, sorry but Vice Mayor’s refrigerator is not part of the list.
Even the Barangay Captains of Brgy. Mercedes, Alvar, Pichon, San Luis, Santiago, Poblacion, and Lamiawan welcomed us with crispy lechon and mouth-watering boodle fights.
I definitely would love to be back in Caraga, Davao Oriental.
But wait, there are also other messages from my group:
What Are Your Most Unforgettable Memories in Caraga, Davao Oriental?
I can’t forget the hospitality of their people, the food, lechon, lulot, the extreme motorcycle ride, and being with the company of diverse backgrounds like bloggers, vloggers, mountaineers, and travelers.Jeselle Gatje Canete, Lakwatserang Maestra
Ang madulas na trek to and from Tubilan Cave kung saan ako nadulas at tinutulak yung pwet ko naman nung pagakyat, yung pagakyat at pabalik ng Kapuka Falls na lawit dila, yung carabao ride ko kay Chelsea (na di naviodiohan… huhuhu…), ang pagkain ng adobong uok (coconut beetle larva) at palaka na buo kung iluto either lulot (bamboo) o inihaw AT MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL ang SAMAHAN ng TEAM BANTU!
English Translation: The slippery trek to and from Tubilan Cave, where I slipped, and someone pushes me from behind, the climb going to Kapuka falls, the carabao ride with Chelsea (which I wasn’t able to capture in video… huhuhu…) eating the coconut beetle larva, eating a lulot or grilled frog, and most important of all, the TEAM BANTU!Willy Gervacio, Asan ka Doc
Yung *moment na di ako makatalon sa falls kasi takot ako tumama sa bato (pero tumalon padin ako). 😂 DISCLAIMER: Di ako takot ma fall, takot lang ako masaktan. 😂😂😂 hahahaha At yung mga moments na nadulas ako sa putikan. Medyo okay lupa dun sa Caraga, highly recommended! 😂❤ Lastly, yung mga tao sa Caraga at mga taong nakasama ko para iexplore ang ganda ng Caraga, Davao Oriental. 🌴🌴
English Translation: That moment when I can’t jump in the falls because I was so afraid to hit the rocks (but I managed to jump). DISCLAIMER: I’m not afraid to fall, but I’m afraid to get hurt. hahahaha And the moments I slipped in the mud. The soils of Caraga is highly recommended! Lastly, the people of Caraga, Davao Oriental and the people I am with during the tour made it unforgettable.Tammy Makalintal, TAMBayan
Yung sabi nila na malapit lang ang pagtrek sa mga falls pero yun pala assault at buwis buhay ang trail hehe pero nakayanan ko dahil sa encouragement ng mga kasamahan ko pati na ng mga guides at higit sa lahat ang mga pa lechon nila at mga pakain. Busog lusog lagi hehe. Salamata’y Caragueños!
English Translation: When they told us that the trek going to falls was easy, but no, it’s pure assault and the trail seemed extreme hehe but I managed to do it with the help of my friends and guides. But most of all, the lechon and the food, we’re always filled hehe.Joemar Orbon, Lakwatserong Irigenyo
Thank you people of Caraga, Davao Oriental.
Thank you Biyaheros for this once in a lifetime opportunity!
Let us d