10 days SOLO backpacking in Central Mindanao: A JOURNEY to REMEMBER.  

I’ve always dreamed to have a longer solo backpacking, but due to my works demand and responsibilities in the office I couldn’t make it. But God might have heard me pleading and asking for this, and finally it happened. I got the opportunity to do solo backpacking in Mindanao this year and I’ve visited 3 provinces. How was this made possible despite owing a busy schedule in the office? It is always an advantage to look for a holiday and familiar with holidays every year so you could plan beforehand. Yes, I filed for a 5 day leave in the office and made it nearer to the weekend and luckily there was a holiday that time, so eventually I was blessed to own a 10 day freedom for my solo backpacking in Mindanao.

Yes, I’ve traveled a lot according to my friends, but I know it’s not much compare to those that really go a lot and traveling has been their life. Way back then, I traveled to some places and provinces in the Philippines cause I aim to complete visiting the 81 Provinces in the Philippines. This 10 day solo backpacking of mine is a long allotted days I’ve traveled and the most exciting travel I had so far. I always wanted not to kill my excitement, hence I didn’t bother to make an itinerary during this trip, but I had places to visit in mind. I set down in the peaceful General Santos International Airport with an Idea of just purely excitement cause I didn’t expect anything, but truly just enjoy and explore wherever my two little itchy feet bring me.

I’ll be sharing with you how I’ve traveled 10 days in Mindanao without being broke and how I’ve able to visit some remote spots in Mindanao. Exactly like what I’ve said,  this sojourn was not a well planned trip since that’s how I usually deal with my travels. I simply have a few places that I wanted to visit and this is what I’m going to share with you all.


The first province I’ve visited was the Province of South Cotabato. Among the beautiful spots that this province has to offer, there are some places that I always wanted to visit and would always love to come back.

Municipality of Lake Sebu, South Cotabato 

Lake Sebu is nestled in the hilly land of South Cotabato, home of an endemic people like the Tboli, Ubo and some Blaan tribes and becoming widely known for their eco-tourism and adventure destination in Southern Mindanao.

The 7 falls and the Zip line is what pulls in my whole experience amazing. I also visited one of the cleanest Cold Spring in Lake Sebu, the Sepacca Spring. I too have checked some of their amazing lakes and the only Divine Mercy Shrine located in Brgy. Lamdalag, Lake Sebu, South Cotabato.

Hikong Benti – One of the 7 falls in Lake Sebu.
Sepacca Cold Spring


Municipality of Tboli, South Cotabato 

One of the amazing nature’s wonders that you really have to visit and see is the Lake Holon. Lake Holon or formerly known as Lake Maughan is marked as the cleanest lake in Region 12 and one of the National finalist in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, and ranked first in the 2003 and 2004 search for the inland bodies of water in the whole Philippines archipelago. The crater lake has an area of 304 hectares and more or less at an elevation of 4,700 feet above sea level and had a turquoise clear water, free from trash and dirt and offers panoramic view that will surely give you a pure bliss and tranquility.

Lake Holon

While I was on the viewing deck, I couldn’t elucidate how I got myself in awe as I’ve viewed the lake like as if, I’m gazing at the beautiful painting executed in fresco. Truly, mother nature never fails to amaze me.  A complete travel guide to Lake Holon here.

Lake Holon

Municipality of Tupi, South Cotabato When you travel from General Santos City to Koronadal City, you’ll get to find out the most prominent scenic view of Mount Matutum. You’ll as well see the 12,000 hectares of purely pineapple fruits that are peacefully nestled at the foot of Mt. Matutum. You can always drop by and take a picture of it, just inform the bus Conductor or the Bus driver.

Mount Matutum


Eating your fear, fight with your doubts and instilling your prowess may lead you to a destination you have never imagined you could have ever discovered.

Truly that there’s always something lies in one place that will surely leave you speechless as you blend to its comeliness and innate beauty. Truly,  when I visit Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat with a help from Esperanza Tourism office, I was able to find out that behind my artistic thoughts there’s always something a thought can never paint. My naked eyes opened with awe, taking me so deeply while hearing myself saying wow and my inner self remain muted with just an amazement marking my thoughts.

Visiting the Province of Sultan Kudarat have opened my eyes to different nature’s beauty. Some of these places I’ve visited was really amazing. The Panigan Underground River and Waterfall, Marguez Hot and Cold Spring, Marawir Peak and Quetuban Waterfall. Check the complete travel guide to Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat here.

Panigan Underground River and waterfall
Marguez Hot and Cold Spring
Marawir Peak
Quetuban waterfall


I was kind of confused on which part of Sarangani Province should I travel to because of the time constraints that time. Baffling on the suggestions of local to whom I have asked with. I was about to visit Tuka Marine Park in Kiamba, but ended up visiting Gumasa beach which was my original plan.

Gumasa Beach

Gumasa Beach is near one kilometer of a long stretch of powdery white sand beach with turquoise waters and known to be a Small Boracay of the Southern Mindanao. You can check my complete travel guide to Gumasa Beach here.

Gumasa Beach



My whole journey was truly fun and way beyond compare. I came across with different people along the way and make friends with them. I know this was something I truly have to treasure and remember since this was the longest days of my solo travel since I started solo backpacking. I learned a bunch during this trip and this is something I can look back in the future that I have survived my 10 days being with different people whom I have just met. I hope in the future I can get another trip just like this if not here in the Philippines then it might be outside the Philippines. I hope you had enjoyed reading my 10 day journey in Central Mindanao. I’ll be sharing my whole itinerary and travel expenses for this 10 day solo backpacking in Central Mindanao very soon.


  1. I don’t think I have the guts to be traveling solo. I don’t know, I just prefer to do it with my friends and family, than alone. BUT THOSE PICTURES OMG HEART-EYES-EMOJI ALL OVER THIS. It look sooo fun and pretty and… untouched. Loved it, truthfully!


  2. I am glas that you showcased these places in your post Master Lai. This would simply mean that Mindanao has been underrated for so long. I can see based on your pictures how magnificent these places are and how close to pristine state most of them. I would love to take on a challenge to go solo for that span of time. You’re such an inspiration.


  3. Mükemmel bir çalışma, eline saÄŸlık Havadelisi, ömürlük bir ÅŸey olmuÅŸ..Yılbaşındaki ısınmaya Noel Baba’nın gazabı diyelim Karakış fırtınası ile ilgili grafikleri yaklaşık bir hafta öncesinde Havadelisi’ne göndermiÅŸtim. Yani önümüzdeki çifte sistemi biz çok önceden biliyorduk, bu bir espri tabi ama bildik yani Aralık ayı ikide ikiyle baÅŸlıyor, diÄŸerlerini de fırsat buldukça kontrol edelim.


  4. Kia ora JoannaI enter for your challenge, but not for the contest. Many of your participants have described what I found – that it was a difficult choice Thanks for the opportunity to select from my year’s postings. It puts a focus on what writing is all about for me.My choice is .Best wishesfrom Middle-earth


  5. A SAD não tem que andar a confirmar ou a desmentir a toda a hora notícias que aparecem nos pasquins. Não faziam outra coisa. Têm é que tomar decisões que defendam os interesses do clube.Não acredito que o Sá Pinto prescinda de Adrien. Com o Sporting a precisar de fazer dinheiro em vendas e tendo Adrien já demonstrado capacidade para integrar o plantel, que sentido faria abdicar deste jogador?


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