If you haven’t been to Mindanao then you should. Media has filled so much of our brains about it being a dangerous place. But I grew up in Mindanao, and Mindanao is such a big place for someone to make sweeping generalizations about. In fact, I’ve been travelling alone since I was 13, and I’ve come out unscathed. I guess one of the perfect ways to introduce you to our huge, beautiful island is through the Summer Peace Festival (SPF13).
When I first heard about SPF13 I knew I wanted to go. It’s a 3-day event with music, art, and nature activities. There’s yoga and poi dancing workshop, you can also go fishing and bathing in the river. In the evening the music concert starts with local and international acts. I don’t think I’ve ever attended anything like this in my hometown. A very different kind of concept right in Cagayan de Oro’s backyard! The event is on its second year and is held at the Ki Bathala Gardens in Talakag, it’s an organic farm run by my highschool classmate’s family.
Whenever I go home to Cdo, I either stay at home or hang out at my friend’s house. There’s nothing much to do but watch movies, go malling, karaeoke, or go drinking. Not that I mind, I always enjoy my friends’ company but I was looking for something different to do. So I booked a ticket bound for Cdo, with the assurance that my friends and I would all be attending the Summer Peace Festival.
The day of the event, everybody flaked out (my disappointment can be read in the entry below.)
Of course I’m not one to backdown so I found a way of going to the event.
Luckily they had shuttles at designated areas that brought you directly to the venue. Commuting is cheaper but it can be quite a hassle. There were only four of us during the 1 pm trip. The ride takes around 30 minutes.
We arrived early for the main event (concert) so we decided to go around the venue and explore.
We walked to the river (about a 10 min. walk). While we were walking I swear I was hearing rumbling sounds around the forest (yes, it’s a jungle). I was being paranoid and asking my friend if there were tigers here, “or maybe wild boars!” It was actually the skies rumbling, I swear it sounded like it was coming from the bushes.
My friend and I had such a fun time in the river. There were other people too but we were too shy to mingle. There are areas safe for bathing, we positioned ourselves near the stones so we wouldn’t get carried away by the current.
Afterwards we hiked back to the event venue. There were different food stalls and a bar. We watched the concert a little farther from the stage, choosing to sit on one of the bamboo beds. I wasn’t able to take photos of the concert, I just sat there and listened to the music. I loved every set!
This event happens every summer, and I think they schedule it to coincide with the full moon. When the dates are out, I suggest you book your tickets early to avail of discounts. If you want something different for next summer, you could always check this out. . . and stay for 2 nights/3 days to get your money’s worth! 🙂